Report on June 2017 working visit to Prairie provinces
Ihor Michalchyshyn, CEO and Executive Director
I was very pleased to recently undertake a working visit of the three prairie provinces. It was an excellent opportunity to meet with community leaders to learn about their projects and to update them on the latest projects and priorities of UCC at the national level. These include the new Parliamentary Internship Program slated to start this fall and the ongoing work of our UCC Canada 150 Youth Engagement project.
I started in Edmonton with a busy series of meetings at the University of Alberta campus including at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS), the Kule Folklore Centre, as well as with leaders of the St. John’s Institute to learn about their programs. I met with many others including the newly elected SUSK President Stephanie Nedoshytko, UCC Alberta staff and the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. My time in Edmonton was complete with a community leadership reception at the Alberta Centre for Ukrainian Arts (ACUA).
From there I headed to Calgary, where I participated in a meeting with UCC Calgary and a meeting of UCC Alberta’s Provincial Council. Following the meeting everyone went down to the Calgary Ukrainian Festival, now in it’s eighth year!
I had several great days in Saskatoon where I was able to learn more about the immigration and settlement services work done by UCC Saskatchewan, meet with the Prairie Centre for Ukrainian Studies. I was able to tour the newly constructed Musee Ukrainian Museum, as well as the Ukrainian Museum of Canada in downtown Saskatoon.
I was fortunate to be able to get to Regina for a day as well, where in addition to individual meetings I had an opportunity to thank the organizing committee of this fall’s very successful Triennial Congress and get their recommendations for the next Congress. Finally it was on to Winnipeg, my home town, for a quick two day visit. I attended a very informative briefing on Operation Unifier by Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Niven, former commander of Joint Task Force Ukraine, and there was just enough time to organize a breakfast with UCC Manitoba leadership.
Everywhere I went it was easy to see the tremendous impact that our Ukrainian Canadian organizations have in the daily lives of our community members and indeed all Canadians. Most of our community members have a high level of interest and awareness of current events in Ukraine, and are eager to hear more from us about the work we do across Canada. This can be seen most directly through the tremendous positive social and economic impact our community makes with thousands of volunteer hours and thousands of dollars in charitable donations for good causes in Canada and Ukraine.
Many individuals and institutions are looking at ways to preserve historic materials inherited from family members and community organizations, and there are many interesting projects working to preserve and safeguard our collective history. A deep commitment to Ukrainian education at the early, middle and post-secondary levels continues, and we can be proud of the thriving arts and cultural sector, which continues to be a powerful way to reach out within our community and beyond.
We can be very proud of the strong dynamic work of the UCC Provincial Councils in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, who work closely with their respective provincial governments and provide services to community members.
A special thank you to the Presidents’ of the respective Provincial Councils Olesia Luciw-Andryjowycz (Alberta) , MaryAnn Trischuk (Saskatchewan) and Oksana Bondarchurk (Manitoba) and their teams for their assistance in organizing meetings and events and hosting me.