Jason Golinowski

Top 40 Under 40 2011

Photography 3Ten/Aaron Pedersen

Age: 39

Job Title: Senior Communications Advisor, Natural Resources Canada

Why He’s Top 40: After putting Alberta’s Ukrainian dancers on world stages, he’s now shining the media spotlight on important research by Alberta scientists.

Key To Success: “My twist on the unofficial Marine Corps slogan: Anticipate. Adapt. Get it done!”

The toned dancer’s body is gone, replaced by a physique that betrays Jason Golinowski’s weakness for good home cooking. But the boundless energy that once propelled Golinowski across stages in gravity-defying leaps as a member of Edmonton’s 42-year-old Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company remains.

While he continues to reach out to audiences, today Golinowski’s moved from body language to media messages. He now shines the spotlight on important research by western Canadian scientists as a communications advisor for Natural Resources Canada‘s chapter covering the Prairies and the territories.

Growing up in Myrnam, a speck on the map of Alberta, Golinowski was always keen to jump in and try the next difficult dance move, and he applies that same approach to life in general.

“We all have the potential to learn and we have so many opportunities in this city that others don’t,” he says. “Not capitalizing on them seems wasteful.”

The communications skills he uses daily to convey the state of Alberta’s natural resources was learned on the fly after becoming the volunteer promotions director for Cheremosh in 1994, while still dancing with the troupe.

“I knew nothing about the field, but I learned in the school of hard knocks,” Golinowski says.

Cheremosh hit a financial slump in 1997 that affected the morale of its dancers and organizers. It considered shutting down, but Golinowski and fellow dancer Kevin Zarsky persuaded the board that a tour was the solution. The company hadn’t been on the road for about a decade and neither of them had organized a tour before. “I thought, how hard can it be?” Golinowski remembers. “We worked out a model and away we went.”

The result was packed houses on a seven-city Canadian tour in 1999.

Golinowski used the same nothing-ventured, nothing-gained approach to take Cheremosh on a Western Canada tour in 2005 and a 10-city tour of China in 2007, paired with an aboriginal dance troupe.

In 2006, Golinowski became the board director and president, banking more than 15,000 volunteer hours for the company.

Golinowski’s current challenge is attracting media attention for scientific research in the province, particularly regarding environmental improvements in the oilsands industry. Selling a balanced story about the oilsands industry may be Golinowski’s biggest hurdle yet, but he’s still jumping at the chance.

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