August 2, 2013
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the opening of Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival, taking place from August 2 to 4, 2013, in Dauphin, Manitoba:
“Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival is a celebration of our country’s rich Ukrainian heritage and the immense contributions of this community – both past and present – to the fabric of our great nation.
“Today, Canada is home to a vibrant and active community of more than 1.2 million Canadians of Ukrainian origin. They have built an extraordinarily rich heritage here with cultural centers, schools, libraries, museums and churches dotting the Canadian landscape.
“The festival is also an opportunity to highlight Canada’s long-standing ties to Ukraine and its people. Canada was the first Western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. As well, since 2004 Canada has contributed hundreds of election observers to five successive Ukrainian elections, to help further strengthen democracy in that country.
“I encourage all Canadians to share in our country’s rich Ukrainian cultural heritage, and I extend my best wishes to the organizers and participants of this year’s festivities.”
The Prime Minister’s Office – Communications