January 9, 2019. OTTAWA. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) expresses its deep sorrow on the passing of Hon. Gene Zwozdesky, former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, former Member of the Legislative Assembly, and long-time Ukrainian Canadian community leader and volunteer. Mr. Zwozdesky died on January 6, 2019. He was 70 years old.
Mr. Zwozdesky was a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1993-2015. He served as a Minister in Alberta’s Cabinet in several portfolios. From 2012-2015, he was Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Mr. Zwozdesky spearheaded the recognition in Alberta of the Holodomor as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people, a significant contribution to increasing education and knowledge about the Holodomor in Canada.
Mr. Zwozdesky’s passion for Ukrainian culture, dance and music was combined with a deep dedication to community service. For many years, he was the musical director of the Shumka Dancers and the Cheremosh Dance Company and volunteered in service to our community in many roles throughout his life.
“It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Mr. Zwozdesky. He was a true leader and trail blazer for our community,” stated Alexandra Chyczij, President of the UCC. “Mr. Zwozdesky’s accomplishments are a source of great pride for the Ukrainian Canadian community. The example he set through his commitment to public service and to Ukrainian Canadian causes lives on in the many lives he impacted so positively. Mr. Zwozdesky will be remembered forever for his sense of humour, generosity of spirit and enthusiasm.”
Olesia Luciw-Andryjowycz, President of the UCC Alberta Provincial Council (UCC-APC), stated, “UCC-APC and the Ukrainian community of Alberta will deeply miss Gene’s passion, courage, dedication and commitment to our community. His continuous love and support of our homeland and its arts, culture, and religion could be felt throughout his work in the various projects and committees that he served. He cared deeply about his family, his community and his province. Our entire community is deeply shaken by Gene’s passing. May his memory be Eternal. Вічная Пам’ять.”
Mr. Zwozdesky is survived by his wife, Ms. Christine Zwozdesky, two children, three grandchildren and his mother Anna. We ask God to remember Mr. Zwozdesky’s family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time.
May His Memory Be Eternal. Вічная Пам’ять.
The statement from the UCC Alberta Provincial Council is available here
The Government of Alberta has created a Gene Zwozdesky Memorial book of condolences, available here
Information about memorial services for Mr. Zwozdesky is available here