Ontarians of all backgrounds celebrate first annual Ukrainian Heritage Day in Ontario
Sept 7, 2011 – Toronto, Ontario: On Wednesday September 7th at 12pm, Ontarians celebrated the first annual Ukrainian Heritage Day in Ontario on the front lawn of Queen’s Park. At St. Vladimir Institute, all attendees also enjoyed Ukrainian food, culture and exhibits spanning 120 years of Ukrainian Canadian history.
Two notable Ukrainian Ontarians spoke at the event. Media personality Ted Woloshyn shared some of his personal experiences growing up as a Ukrainian Ontarian and Steve Peters, the first Ukrainian Canadian to hold the post of Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, also spoke.
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Photo compilation – Ukrainian Heritage Day Celebration 2011
Attendees reflected Ontario’s diversity and included leaders of other ethnocultural communities. They enjoyed traditional Ukrainian dance by the Desna Ukrainian Dance Company and vocal performances from soloist Taras Chmil, a regular performer with the Canadian Opera Company’s Chorus.
In March, the Ontario Legislature unanimously passed Bill-155 the Ukrainian Heritage Day Act, which proclaimed September 7th of each year Ukrainian Heritage Day in the province of Ontario. September 7, 1891 is the date on which the first Ukrainian immigrants, Vasyl Eleniak and Ivan Pylypiw, arrived in Canada.
“For over a century, Ontario has welcomed Ukrainian immigrants seeking freedom and a brighter future” stated Yvan Baker, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Ontario Provincial Council. “Ukrainian Heritage Day provides a special opportunity to celebrate with Canadians of all backgrounds the role that Ontario has played in successfully welcoming generations of Ukrainians seeking a better life here in Canada. We also commemorate the contributions of Ukrainian Canadians to our political, economic and cultural life in Ontario and across the country.”
Bill-155 was introduced by Gerry Martiniuk, MPP (Cambridge) and was co-sponsored by Donna Cansfield, MPP (Etobicoke Centre) and Cheri DiNovo, MPP (Parkdale-High Park). The Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Ontario Provincial Council assisted in the drafting of the bill and solicited feedback on the legislation from community leaders across the province.
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About the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Ontario Provincial Council
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Ontario Provincial Council is the voice of Ontario’s Ukrainian community. There are more than 336,000 Canadians of Ukrainian heritage in Ontario. The Congress brings together under one umbrella the Ukrainian Canadian Congress branches and community organizations from across the province. The UCC branches it represents are located in Brantford, Durham, Hamilton, London, Ottawa, St. Catharines, Toronto, Welland and Windsor.
For further information please contact:
Yvan Baker, President, UCC – Ontario Provincial Council
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: 416.505.5567