April 13, 2016. Toronto and St. Catharines. To mark the 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC), as part of the Cross-Canada Tour undertaken by UCC President Paul Grod and Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko, the UCC held celebrations in Toronto on April 8 and St. Catharines on April 9.
Attended by 500 people, including Members of Parliament (Julie Dzerowicz, James Maloney, Arif Virani, Borys Wrzesnewskyj), the Provincial Legislature (Yvan Baker, Cheri DiNovo, Peter Milczyn) and Oakville City Counsellor Natalia Lishchyna, and Acting Consul General of Ukraine in Toronto Liudmyla Davydovych, the Toronto gala was held at the Old Mill.
Co-organized by UCC Toronto, UCC Ontario Provincial Council and UCC National, Master of Ceremonies Borys Sirskyj led the event, and UCC Ontario Provincial Council President Lidia Narozniak welcomed the guests. The Desna Ukrainian Dance Company provided a beautiful escort for the entrance of the Head Table guests. The event included wonderful performances by vocalist Oricia Juzyc and bandurist Borys Ostapienko. As well, Toronto sculptor Oleh Lesiuk was awarded as the winner of a design contest for the International Ivan Franko Fund Laureates’ Medal. Mr. Shevchenko presented Mr. Lesiuk with a certificate for his design.
Member of the UCC’s Presidents’ Circle and Advisory Council Eugene Roman led a lively round of fundraising in support of the UCC. The highlight of the event was a fireside chat discussion with Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States Valeriy Chaliy and UCC National President Paul Grod. The energetic discussion was moderated by Ukrainian journalist and TV anchor Hanna Homonai. The participants discussed a wide range of topics, including Russia’s war against Ukraine, the political crisis in Ukraine, Canada’s and the international community’s continued support for Ukraine and the role of Canada’s Ukrainian diaspora in assisting Ukraine. The panelists also answered questions posed by the audience.
Taras Bahriy, President UCC Toronto, closed the evening.
For an article on the event by the New Pathway (Новий Шлях) http://www.newpathway.ca/?p=6226
The next evening, the Ukrainian Canadian community of the Niagara Region welcomed Ambassadors Shevchenko and Chaliy and Paul Grod at the Black Sea Hall in St. Catharines to continue the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the UCC.
Master of Ceremonies, Natalka Diduch, welcomed all the guests, including St. Catharines Member of Parliament Chris Bittle, MPP Jim Bradley and St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik.
Following the dinner, more than 160 guests were treated to a wonderful recital by several Ukrainian artistic groups from the Niagara region. Paul Grod and Ambassadors Shevchenko and Chaliy addressed the gathering, offering insightful and timely commentary. Angelika Pidzamecky, Vice President of UCC Niagara offered closing comments.
“Most of all, I would like to thank the two Ambassadors from Ukraine to Canada and the United States, Mr. Andriy Shevchenko and Mr. Valeriy Chaly, our National UCC President Pavlo Grod and their families, for joining us and making our evening a very special one. Their enthusiastic speeches gave us all hope and optimism that our work in Canada and in Ukraine is important, and that with our help a great deal can be done to improve the lives of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters. A sincere and warm thank you to everyone in our community!”
President UCC Niagara
For an article on the event by the St. Catharines Standard, please see
“On behalf of the UCC, I would like to thank all the organizers, sponsors and attendees of the events in Toronto and Niagara for fantastic and engaging evenings,” stated Grod. “Together as a community we have accomplished so much, and your generosity and support will allow the UCC to continue to work tirelessly in support of our community here in Canada, and in support of our brothers and sisters in Ukraine for years and decades to come.”
The President/Ambassador Tour celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress continues. The next stop is Alberta – Edmonton, Calgary & Red Deer!