2016 Highlights

We couldn’t have asked for a better Canada Day weekend for holding the anadian Slovenian Button Accordion Championship at Slovenski Park on July 2 and 3, 2016. We enjoyed beautiful, sunny July weather, a huge turn out of visitors on both Saturday and Sunday, the largest gathering of musicians and button accordion lovers ever seen at Slovenski Park, exceptional talent demonstrated by the contestants, great concerts delivered by guest performers LynnMarie Rink and Martin Težak and audience-pleasing dance music from the Steve Angel Band and Ansambel Brajda

A special thank you to Martin Težak — it was such an honour to include you in our Slovenian flag raising at Toronto City Hall and Slovenski Dan celebrations on the 25th anniversary of Slovenian independence. 

Thank-you for demonstrating what beautiful and timeless music is possible on the button accordion and thank you also for bringing with you your Šola harmonike Melodiart music school students Blaž Težak and Nikita Galuh Kapušin who are part of the new generation that are making the button box a cool instrument again. You have inspired and charmed a great many people, both young and old. Your visit  seemed too short. Please come back soon and bring with you more of your protégés.  And hopefully it won't be long before we will be sending you some of our own Canadian young talent to compete in the Accordion Games

Congratulations Champions! 

Congratulations to the four Button Accordion Champions - your performances were truly extraordinary and inspiring! 

⭐️ Senior International Champion is 22 year old Matthew Frank from Cleveland, Ohio, USA 🇺🇸
⭐️ Junior International Champion is 15 year old Blaž Težak from Metlika, Slovenia 🇸🇮
⭐️ Senior Domestic Champion is Peter Kralj  from London, Ontario, Canada 🇨🇦
⭐️ Junior Domestic Champion is 13 year old Jonathon Gregoric from Caledon, Ontario, Canada 🇨🇦

Thank-you All Contestants!  

To all contestants, we thank you for participating in this event. The spirit and passion you displayed on stage this weekend made a deep and positive impact on everyone present. This moment marks a renewed interest and reinvigoration in the popularity of the button box. You are responsible for making it happen — you are the emerging trendsetters for your generation of musicians.

Thank-you Judges!  

A special thank-you to our judges Martin Težak, Matt Lebar, and LynnMarie Rink  who had the tough job of selecting our champions from a group of outstanding musicians.

Kudos to All The Showcasers!  

Well done Showcasers!. All of you who brought your accordions to entertain our appreciative fans while the judging was taking place inside the hall — know that you contributed to the success of this event by warming up the crowd and charging the atmosphere with the energy and spirit of button accordion music. Thank-you and we hope that by your demonstrated courage even more musicians will to come out to play and compete next time.

Congratulations Raffle Prize Winners!

Congratulations Maria and Bill Sinko, grand prize winners of the brand new, custom built Rutar button accordion, delivered directly to Canada from our sponsors Rutar Harmonika, Sittersdorf, Austria.

Thank-you Sponsors! 

Thank-you sponsors for supporting this first time Championship at Slovenski Park. Your generous contributions were put towards generating interest and opportunities for our youth to be more involved in cultural traditions of their parents and grandparents, and to promote musical artistry as an important element of health and well being for the young (and the young at heart). Thank-you for supporting this first time Championship at Slovenski Park.   We hope that you enjoyed the event and that it met and exceeded your expectations. It would not have been possible without your support.

Onstage and Behind the Stage

Thank-you to Monica and Louis Mavec — our First-Class MC's — whose high energy and charisma captivated the crowd and kept the laughs rolling all weekend long.  Visit the Slovenski Park website or Slovenski Park Facebook page for some of their live interviews from the weekend. Thank-you also to Magdalena Simrayh-Razpotnik for co-ordinating the entertainers and making sure everything ran smoothly.


magda razpotnik

Thank-you Volunteers! 

It takes unity, community and cooperation to plan and deliver a successful event such as the 1st Canadian Slovenian Button Accordion Championship.  Thank-you to all Slovenski Park members on the work schedule who did their volunteer hours this long weekend. You each had specific responsibilities and you performed them with excellence and with minimal issues. Your willingness to help was greatly appreciated.  Without the support of such dedicated people, this event would not have been the success that it was. 

Thank-you to the Media Experts!

Thank you to our videographers, Sarah Larsen and Matei Kajs for their work behind the cameras . And special gratitude to Sarah for her many, many hours of work editing and producing the videos that captured the championship event for posterity.  Thank-you Victoria Levy, reporter from CTV News Kitchener for coming over to record some moments from this event, and to CTV Kitchener, Ontario for broadcasting this "Battle of the Accordions" news segment from July 3rd, 2016. 

Thank-you Fans and Visitors! 

Thank-you to all fans of the button accordion for showing up and supporting this first (and definitely not last) Button Accordion Championship. 

Thank-you Slovenski Park! 

Thank-you to Slovenski Park for hosting the first Canadian Slovenian Button Accordion Championship, on July 2 and 3, 2016.   


Stage decor designed and created by Joe Razpotnik, Owner/President MIHA Custom European Cabinetry and Woodworking

Special Thank-you to the Organizing Committee! 

Last but not least, I wish to acknowledge the organizing committee members who believed in this project from the very start. These enthusiastic individuals signed on immediately, without hesitation, volunteered countless hours, days and weeks over the many months that it took to plan, promote, and pull off such a unique event. Thank-you for your dedication and support.

Martin Pusic
Chair, Organizing Committee

Organizing Committee : Martin Pusic, Majda Pusic, Ivan Kajs, Rob Zunic, and David Pusic


© Martin Pusic 2015 - 2022