From AYF Olympics 2012 Special Issue
Armen Gondrachyan, known by his stage name Armenchik, is a sensation in Haiastan and has traveled the world performing his music. This year, the Boston Olympics Steering Committee decided to bring him in for a new and exciting experience for the weekend’s guests.
The decision paid huge dividends for the AYF and the Boston community, especially when you consider that to include Armenchik cost a few extra bucks.
“We knew the financial responsibilities we had going into this Olympics and with Olympics in Boston and the population of Armenians in the area, we had the opportunity to bring in a ‘new’ artist that would draw all those people to our event. Saturday night of Olympics is not as popular as Sunday, so we wanted to have a new sound to freshen things up a bit,” said Steering Committee member Tamar Kanarian.
“We knew of Armenchik’s popularity when our community center [ACEC] brought him for their first annual Kermesse in 2010. We saw the thousands of folks that came to see him so we thought about bringing him to the Olympics stage.”
Saturday night’s performance attracted guests that might not have otherwise attended the weekend. “Our attendance across the board was massive throughout the weekend. We were successful in introducing other Armenians to an AYF Olympic weekend that we have been able to produce for 79 years. Armenchik was great and we’ve heard nothing but great comments of his performance,” Kanarian said.
The committee discussed bringing Armenchik for seven months, looking at all possible scenarios, and charting out attendance against expenses and possible ticket pricing. “You name it, we talked about it,” said Kanarian.
She noted that sometimes it’s difficult to take risks, especially when you have financial obligations to the AYF and the reputation of the weekend.
“Ultimately, we consulted with the Governing Body and CE [Central Executive]. We knew we had to work hard to publicize the event and make sure everyone in the Greater Boston Armenian community was aware of this new addition to the weekend,” she said.
People of all ages could be seen on the dance floor singing along to Armenchik’s lyrics. The ballroom was packed from the beginning of the night through the end.
Armenchik’s performance will rest well in the minds of those who attended, and the AYF can look forward to a successful reward for the risk the Steering Committee took on its decision.