One of the highlights of being president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress is meeting the countless Ukrainian Canadians who demonstrate our community’s ability to produce some of Canada’s best minds and most talented individuals. We continue to make a meaningful contribution to Canadian society and foster a dynamic community that cares for its members from cradle to grave. Our community develops Canadian business leaders, helps those less fortunate, provides a vibrant religious and cultural life, supports settlement and integration for new immigrants, cares for its elderly, and educates and mentors its young. We truly have a vibrant and caring community to be proud of. The Congress together with its member organizations are at the focal point with a mandate to lead, coordinate and represent our rich and dynamic community.
This year is an important milestone for our community as we celebrate the 120th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. As always, we face a number of exciting challenges and opportunities. With a new Ukrainian government, our community, together with the Government of Canada, must proactively engage Ukraine at both the government and non-government levels if we hope that Ukraine will continue developing its democratic institutions, economic stability, civil society and national identity. There is no question that a meaningful relationship with Ukraine will have a positive influence on our community and for the future of Ukraine for decades to come.
We must at the same time be mindful of our community’s needs. We will continue to revitalize communities across Canada by engaging our constituents through traditional and non-traditional channels such as digital and social media. We are engaging our community in new ways with the establishment of a number of grassroots focused initiatives, such a National Ukrainian Arts Council, National Ukrainian School Council, National Sports Committee and National Youth Advisory Council. We are leveraging some of the most prominent supporters of our community with the recently established UCC National Advisory Council.
We are excited that Taras Zalusky has taken on the role of Executive Director of the Congress and we anticipate opening a UCC National office in Ottawa this Fall where we can be closer to national decision makers. With all these new and significant initiatives we have doubled our operating budget and need your support to help our community reach its full potential. Your financial contribution to the UCC National Fund will go a long way to helping us achieve that goal. I look forward to working with you to make a difference for the benefit of our community.
Paul Grod, UCC National President