Maria Colja

Introducing MARIA COLJA, co-founder and teacher of Plesati Slovenian Dance Group.

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Maria Colja moved to Ottawa in 2012 to start university and is now completing her Master’s degree in European, Russia and Eurasian Studies. Maria’s research focuses on the importance of mountains in the Slovenian national identity. 

The Slovenian community has always been a very important part of Maria’s life. From a young age she was involved in the Slovenian community in Windsor. At the age of four she began dancing in Windsor’s Planika, a Slovenian folk dance group where she danced for 13 years. She is also a member of Zvon, the Slovenian cultural club in Windsor, Ontario. This cultural association is a very important part of Maria’s life and family as her grandfather was one of the founding members. Maria’s family has also been a member for many years at Slovenski Park, a Slovenian campground/organization near Guelph, Ontario. 

When Maria moved to Ottawa there were relatively few opportunities to participate in the small Canadian Slovenia community there. She began to volunteer at events hosted by the Embassy of Slovenia. One such event was Slovenia Welcomes the World, which took place in June 2017. 

Maria received a scholarship from Slovenia to attend the annual Slovenian language summer school held at the University of Ljubljana. She has travelled to Slovenia three times so far, not only for language courses but also to conduct interviews for her major research paper. Maria continues her Slovenian language studies via Skype lessons through the University of Ljubljana.

Together with her Plesati co-founder Adrie Sustar, Maria is very excited to teach Slovenian folk dance, which she hopes will contribute to an even more vibrant Slovenian community in Ottawa, the capital of Canada.

Welcome Maria to the Canadian-Slovenians Have Talent Contest!!

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