The rich Macedonian national heritage and culture is Macedonia’s best Ambassador. One can dig anywhere in Macedonia and find remains from a different period of Macedonia’s history. From ancient cities and aqueducts, basilicas, to churches and mosques, medieval fortresses and ruins, Macedonia is full of things to do and see. UMD organizes heritage tours to Macedonia and the region to showcase the uniqueness of Macedonia’s rich history, food, and wine.
Macedonia has a filmmaking culture spanning well over 100 years with the start of the Manaki Brothers. Every year in the fall, Macedonia’s second largest city Bitola hosts the Manaki International Film Festival giving a preview to Macedonian and foreign films. Having this history in mind, the Macedonian community in Canada launched the Macedonian Film Festival, which is currently in its 6th year, and UMD has been a sponsor of it for several years now. In addition, UMD supports similar Macedonian Film Festivals in Australia and the United Kingdom.
The Macedonian language, which is spoken by only an estimated 2.5 million people in the world, is the backbone of the Macedonian nation and identity. Macedonians have done everything possible to preserve our linguistic heritage. The Cyrillic Alphabet founded by the Macedonian brothers Saints Kiril and Metodij from Thessaloniki (Solun) is today the official alphabet of the Macedonian language but also other Eastern European languages. UMD publishes a fully-bilingual magazine UMD Voice to preserve our language among the Diaspora, and in 2009 was a sponsor of the 7th Macedonian-North American Conference of Macedonian Studies at the University of Utah, which acts as a vehicle to preserve the study and the promotion of the Macedonian language. In addition, UMD has funded Macedonian-language instruction in Greece.
Another characteristic of the Macedonian heritage is the traditional folk dancing and music. UMD has sponsored the performances of Macedonian folk dance ensembles in Chicago, Melbourne, New York City, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. offering non-Macedonians a live experience of Macedonian folk life.