Legislation to Recognize Alberta’s Ukrainian heritage

Front row: Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffmann, Andriy Shevchenko, Ambassador of Ukraine, and Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

The Act states that, starting in 2017, Sept. 7 of each year shall be known as “Alberta’s Ukrainian-Canadian Heritage Day.” The date was chosen to honour the first officially recorded Ukrainian immigrants, Ivan Pylypiw and Vasyl Eleniak, who arrived in Canada on Sept. 7, 1891.

“Our ancestors’ journey to Alberta was often one of sacrifice and uncertainty. They overcame incredible hardships, and this is a way to honour them for generations to come. From agriculture and industry, to politics, academia and culture, they and their descendants helped build this province. I am so proud every one of my colleagues supported the call to celebrate the Ukrainian community’s tremendous contributions.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

“This Act is an honour to all Ukrainian descendants who made Alberta home. This acknowledges our contributions to the fabric of Alberta over the last 125 years, not just with our rich culture but to the economic, political, educational and social landscape. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Alberta Provincial Council thanks Minister Bilous for his leadership and the entire legislative assembly who once again made history and made this Act together.”

Olesia Luciw-Andryjowycz, President Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Alberta Provincial Council

Quick facts: Ukraine and Canada

  • 2016 marks the 125th year of the first recorded arrival of Ukrainians in Canada.
  • Alberta was the province where Ukrainians first settled and is where many of the earliest Ukrainian religious and cultural institutions were founded
  • On July 11, 2016, Canada and Ukraine signed the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA).

 

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