Ukraine’s Independence Day – “Flavours of Ukraine” –
Centennial Park, Toronto, August 20, 2011
The Ukrainian Community in Toronto celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Independence of Ukraine with a Fabulous Festival at Centennial Park. “Flavours of Ukraine”, as its official title, was organized and hosted by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Toronto Branch.
By 11 am there was a line up at the gate to enter and that continued well into the afternoon. From seniors to tots in buggies – all kept the ladies at the gate hopping. We thank the UCWC (Komitet Ukrainok Kanady) for a grand job in helping us collect donations to offset the costs of the festival.
The VIP reception welcomed His Eminence, The Most Reverend Metropolitan Yurij , who drove in that morning from Winnipeg just to attend, Rt. Reverend Roman Galadza, various political dignitaries and special guest Premier Dalton McGuinty. It was a wonderful opportunity for our Ukrainian Community leaders to mingle with our Canadian politicians.
The formal ceremonies included greetings from Premier Dalton McGuinty, MP Ted Opitz (Etobicoke-Center), MP Peggy Nash (Parkdale – High Park), MP Jim Karygiannis (Scarborough Agincourt), MPP Cheri DiNovo (Parkdale – High Park), MPP Gerry Martyniuk (Cambridge) and Councillor Gloria Lindsay-Luby, among others, with the main thrust of their messages thanking the Ukrainian community for being such a positive and contributing factor to the multifaceted wealth of Canada and calling on continued efforts to help democracy flourish in Ukraine.
9,000 people attended, 250 took part in an all-day concert, 350 took part in four soccer tournaments. The entertainment flourished with the dancing magnificence of “Ukraina”, “Vesnianka” and “Barvinok” together with many other vocalists. The children had their hey-day in the inflatable playground, sponsored by Shkilna Rada of Toronto, the sports fans cheered at the finale of the International Ukrainian Football tournament, with teams from US, Australia, Great Britain and Canada, and the gamesmen tried their hand at the chess tournament. Many vendors were cooking up delicious Ukrainian food and selling Ukrainian merchandise. All this fun culminated in a Zabava under the stars to the music of Dunay.
Director, Media Relations
UCC – Toronto