The Radość-Joy Vocal/Dance Ensemble was founded in 1992 by Ms. Ania Piwowarczyk, who has been an organist in St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish for more than 35 years. Initially the group sang in both Polish and English only during Mass. A year later, the group performed in a Christmas pageant called “Betlejem Polskie” (Polish Bethlehem) in Toronto. Over the years, the ensemble has grown to encompass various age groups. It has developed its repertoire to include Polish folklore, patriotic songs, artistic skits and modern dance. The group performs in colourful and stylized costumes designed especially for its members. Radość-Joy has performed in Canada and the United States, as well as in Poland and Taiwan. The group has recorded a number of CDs which were warmly received by the public. It has been recognized by an award of Merit from the Canadian Polish Congress, the Citizens of the Year 1996 award in the Music Category funded by the AmPol Eagle, Buffalo NY, and has won first place in the International Festival of Religious Song in Mississauga on two occasions. Weekly rehearsals in the parish hall, frequent trips and performances permit the youth not only to develop their musical and dance talents and artistry, but also to build lasting friendships. The group continues to participate in parish events. Many talented individuals have left a lasting mark on Radość-Joy, inspiring the more than 150 members who are currently involved with the group.
In early 1990, with the encouragement of then Pastor, Father Stanislaw Bak and the initiative of Ania Piwowarczyk, a group of young parishioners gathered to form a choir at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church.
In 1991, when Pani Ania was invited with her group of singers to perform for “Betlejem Polskie”, this group of children became the first and founding group of Radość-Joy.
While the group began as a vocal group, it was clear that their talents reached beyond their vocals. Pani Ania soon added dance and acting to their repertoire and the Group became Radość-Joy Vocal/Dance Ensemble
With the hard work or members, parents, sponsors, choreographers, audiences and the pastoral team of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, Radość-Joy has blossomed into a professional group recognized by the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts (CIOFF) and the Official Partner of UNESCO.
Their repertoire consists of folklore, patriotic and religious numbers and perform internationally as well as at charities, fundraisers, gala, seniors’ homes, hospitals and a variety of cultural festivals.