Over the past 75 years, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress has provided outstanding leadership, coordination and advocacy for Ukrainian Canadians. We have empowered and united our community and by building consensus, remaining committed to our grassroots and providing invaluable services.
In addition to the 75th anniversary of the UCC, 2016 marks the 125th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. This year, we recognize our community’s contributions to the essential fabric of Canadian life and culture in building a diverse, inclusive and welcoming Canada. These milestones have enjoyed recognition nationwide with Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta dedicating 2016 to our community. In 2017 we look forward to honouring the 150th Anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, where we will pay tribute to Ukrainian Canadians as a founding people.
This year we are also celebrating the 25th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence. As the Ukrainian people bravely defend themselves against Russia’s aggression, we must advocate for Ukraine with determination, resolve and unity of purpose. We will continue to tirelessly support the Ukrainian people until peace and prosperity returns to Ukraine.
I would like to recognize our organizations for their hard work in providing valuable services to the communities they serve. A heartfelt thanks to our donors as you fuel the work we do. Thank you to the thousands of volunteers across Canada that contribute countless hours to ensure we continue to build a conscientious community that cares for others.
The UCC is served by a dedicated Board of Directors, Committees that do the heavy lifting and an Executive Committee that has demonstrated unwavering energy, patience, and commitment – for which I am profoundly grateful. Sincere thanks to UCC’s Advisory Council, chaired by James Temerty, C.M. and UCC’s Ukraine Advisory Council, chaired by Olena Koszarny who have provided a wealth of knowledge and support especially during very challenging times. Significant recognition must be given to our past Executive Director Taras Zalusky, Interim Executive Director Olya Grod and Sr. Policy Advisor Orest Zakydalsky for their 24/7 work ethic and commitment to our community. I look forward to working with our talented staff, including our new Chief Executive Officer Ihor Michalchyshyn, who comes to us with a wealth of experience.
I am very privileged and proud to serve our community, Canada and the Ukrainian people. A very special thank you to my wife Adrianna, my children and my business partner for the support they provide on a daily basis for the benefit of our community.
Thank you and may God Bless all of you!
Paul Grod, UCC National President