UCC eNewsletter – June Newsletter 2015


In this Issue:

  • UCC Welcomes PM Visit to Ukraine
  • UCC Statement on Russia Banning 89 ‘Hostile’ EU Citizens
  • Atlantic Council Report – Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin’s War in Ukraine
  • Endowment Council Members of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund meet and attend rededication ceremony in Vernon, B.C
  • FIFA Petition to Revoke Russia’s Hosting of the 2018 World Cup
  • 2015 Ukrainian Festivals in Canada
  • “Grains of Wheat and the Maple Leaf” – Solomiya Ostapyk
  • Upcoming Events


UCC Welcomes PM Visit to Ukraine 


1 June 2015 – OTTAWA – The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) welcomes today’s announcement that the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, will visit Ukraine on June 6, in advance of the G-7 Summit being held in Schloss Elmau, Germany,on June 7-8.

Prime Minister Harper stated, “Canada continues to stand with the Ukrainian people against Russian aggression. We will continue to support the country as it takes the necessary steps towards freedom, security and prosperity. I look forward to receiving a personal update on the situation in Ukraine from President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk prior to attending the G-7 Summit.” This is the third visit of Prime Minister Harper to Ukraine since January 2014.

“I am pleased to take part in this historic delegation with Prime Minister Harper one year after accompanying the Prime Minister to President Poroshenko’s inauguration.  The Ukrainian Canadian community applauds Prime Minister Harper’s visit to Kyiv. His visit will underline Canada’s unwavering support for the people of Ukraine,” stated Paul Grod, National President of the UCC. “It is particularly timely that the Prime Minister’s visit comes on the eve of the G-7 Summit, at which he will be able to provide a first-hand account to the leaders of the seven most powerful countries in the free world of Russia’s continuing war against Ukraine.”

Prime Minister Harper’s press release may be found at: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2015/06/01/pm-attend-g-7-summit-germany-and-travel-ukraine-poland-vatican-city-and-rome



UCC Statement on Russia Banning 89 ‘Hostile’ EU Citizens


2 June 2015 – OTTAWA – The Ukrainian Canadian Congress welcomed 89 European Union citizens into the honour roll of people  banned by the Russian Federation.

“I would like to acknowledge and welcome the most recent additions to Putin’s persona non grata list,” stated UCC National President Paul Grod.  “To be banned from Russia by the autocratic and imperialist regime of Vladimir Putin for speaking out against Russia’s aggression is surely a badge of honour, one which I wear with pride.”

The thirteen Canadians banned from Russia on March 24, 2014 are: Hon Andrew Scheer, MP; Hon. Peter Van Loan, PC, MP;  Ted Opitz, MP; Dean Allison, MP; James Bezan, MP; Paul Dewar, MP; Hon. Irwin Cotler, MP; Chrystia Freeland, MP;  and Senator Raynell Andreychuk. Also sanctioned were public servants Wayne Wouters, Christine Hogan, and Jean-Francois Tremblay; and Paul Grod, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

“Given that these Europeans will not be able to summer in sunny Siberia, we welcome them to visit Canada instead and see Canada’s majestic natural beauty: Niagara Falls, the Rocky Mountains, the Muskokas or any number of Canada’s wondrous natural attractions,” said Grod.

A comprehensive list without the 89 Europeans is available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_individuals_sanctioned_during_the_Ukrainian_crisis


To view this on our website, please click here


Atlantic Council Report 

Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin’s War in Ukraine

28 May 2015 – WASHINGTON – Russia is at war with Ukraine. Russian citizens and soldiers are fighting and dying in a war of their government’s own making. Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to deny Russian involvement in the fighting, but the evidence is overwhelming and indisputable. Drawing upon open source information, Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin’s War in Ukraine provides irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine.

This report, the result of an Atlantic Council Working Group launched to examine direct Russian military involvement in Ukraine, has five key findings:

  1. Satellite images confirm the movement of Russian troops and camp buildups along the Ukrainian border.
  2. Russian training camps stationed along the Ukrainian border are the launching points of Russia’s war in Ukraine. These camps are the staging ground for Russian military equipment transported into Ukraine, soon to join the separatist arsenal, and for Russian soldiers mobilized across Russia to cross into Ukraine.
  3. Commanders order Russian soldiers to conceal the identifying features of military vehicles, remove insignia from uniforms, and travel across the border to join separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.
  4. A variety of Russian manufactured arms and munitions-not used by the Ukrainian military-have appeared in the hands of separatists, including shoulder launched surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS), various types of rocket launchers, anti-tank guided missiles, landmines, and various small arms.
  5. During key offensives, Russian forces in Ukraine have received cover from Russian territory. A combination of satellite data, crater analysis, and open source materials confirms that many attacks originated in Russia.

To read the full report, please click here.


Endowment Council Members of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund meet and attend rededication ceremony in Vernon, B.C

On May 22 and 23, 2015, the Endowment Council of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund (CFWWIRF) held a meeting in Vernon, British Columbia, site of the central permanent internment camp of British Columbia, which once imprisoned hundreds of so-called “enemy aliens” during Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914 to 1920.

Earlier today, the Endowment Council of the CFWWIRF also took part in a Rededication Ceremony organized by the Vernon & District History Society (VDHS) and funded by a grant of the CFWWIRF to honor the eleven internees who died while interned in the Vernon Internment Camp during the Great War. A commemorative marker was unveiled in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery before a group of over a hundred people by the Honorable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defense and Minister of Multiculturalism, Jerry Thompson, the President of the VDHS, and Ivan Grbesic, the Chair of the CFWWIRF.

Speaking on behalf of the Endowment Council of the CFWWIRF, the Chair, Ivan Grbesic, said: “We gathered today to recall Canada’s first national internment operations, when thousands of men, women and children were rounded up and transported to 24 camps across our country, including one of the longest operating camps, that at Vernon, whose gates did not close until 1920. We have also provided a voice to those who perished at the Vernon Internment Camp. This was a historic injustice and one that forms an integral part of the historical narrative of Canada.”


The Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund was established to support projects that commemorate and recognize the experiences of all of the ethno-cultural communities affected by Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914 to 1920.

8,579 so-called “enemy aliens”, including women and children, were interned, including Ukrainians, Alevi Kurds, Armenians, Bulgarians, Croatians, Czechs, Germans, Hungarians, Italians, Jews, Ottoman Turks, Polish, Romanians, Russians, Serbians, Slovaks, and Slovenes, among others, of which most were Ukrainians and most were civilians.

For more information on the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund

contact the Program Manager, Andrea Malysh, toll free at 1-866-288-7931.


Follow Internment Canada on Facebook and Twitter: @InternmentCda



UCC Calls on FIFA to Revoke 2018 World Cup from Russia

27 May 2015 – OTTAWA – The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) called on the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to revoke the hosting of the 2018 World Cup from the Russian Federation.

The UCC launched a petition to have Russia’s hosting privileges for the 2018 FIFA World Cup revoked. Please sign the petition here.

The Russian Federation is engaged in an invasion of Ukraine that has cost thousands of lives. More than a million people have been displaced as a result of Russia’s aggression. The Russian Federation has invaded and illegally occupies the Crimean Peninsula of Ukraine, where it is carrying out a campaign of intimidation and suppression of dissent, targeted especially against the indigenous Crimean Tatar People.

As an aggressor state, and a state that coordinates, sponsors and supplies the terrorist organizations of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “Peoples’ Republic,” the Russian Federation must not be allowed to hold an international event that symbolizes peace and the unity of peoples.

“As many world leaders have stated, there can be no ‘business as usual’ with the Russian Federation until the Putin regime ceases its invasion of Ukraine, withdraws from Crimea and desists in meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs,” stated Paul Grod, National President of the UCC. “FIFA should immediately revoke from Russia the privilege of hosting the 2018 World Cup, as a state that continues to violate the basic principles of international law. To allow the Russian Federation to host such a prestigious event would be tantamount to endorsing the Putin regime’s attack on Ukraine. ”

The UCC applauds the position of United States Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and John McCain (R-Ariz), who wrote to the FIFA Congress, which is taking place on 29 May:

More than 40 countries, all FIFA members, have imposed sanctions on Russia in an effort to influence events on the ground in Ukraine. By allowing Russia to host the tournament, FIFA would offer an economic lifeline to the Putin regime in contravention of the multilateral sanctions that have been imposed by the international community.”

The next president of FIFA has a responsibility to ensure not only a safe and successful 2018 World Cup, but the endurance of the FIFA mission that claims to promote football “globally in the light of its unifying, educational, cultural and humanitarian values.” We strongly encourage you to elect a president who will uphold these values and work to deny the Putin regime the privilege of hosting the 2018 World Cup.

The UCC joins the international community in its concern over serious allegations of criminal mismanagement in the allocation of the 2018 World Cup to Russia. Today, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland stated that they have seized documents at FIFA and “opened criminal proceedings against persons unknown on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and of money laundering in connection with the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 Football World Cups.”

The US Justice Department announced indictments charging 14 defendants – nine FIFA officials (including two current FIFA Vice Presidents), and five corporate executives “with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offenses, in connection with the defendants’ participation in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer.”

To view the UCC letter to FIFA President Sepp Blatter on the UCC website, please click here.




Ukrainian Festivals in Canada

Summer is here and that means that Ukrainian Canadians across this great nation are celebrating their heritage with weekends of music, dancing, art and cuisine. Canada’s major cities, from west to east will host a Ukrainian Festival put on by the local Ukrainian Canadian community and they invite everyone to come out and celebrate the joys and pride of being Ukrainian!

Upcoming Festivals:

Calgary Ukrainian FestivalJune 6,7 – Calgary, AB

Prince Albert Veselka Ukrainian FestivalJune 13,14 – Prince Albert, SK

Zolotyj Klen (Golden Maple) Ukrainian Canadian Music FestivalJune 27 – Acton, ON

Vegreville Ukrainian Pysanka FestivalJuly 3-5 – Vegreville, AB

Capital Ukrainian Festival  – July 24-26 – Ottawa, ON

Gardenton Ukrainian Festival – July 11,12 – Gardenton, MB

Canada’s National Ukrainian FestivalAugust 1,2 – Dauphin, MB

Folklorama August 2-8 [Spirit of Ukraine Pavilion] August 9-15 [Ukraine-Kyiv Pavilion] – Winnipeg, MB

Saskatoon Folk FestivalAugust 13-15 – Saskatoon, SK

Babas and Borshch Ukrainian FestivalAugust 22-23 – Andrew, AB

Friends Ukrainian Music Fest – August 23 – Edmonton, AB (Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village)

Montreal Ukrainian FestivalSeptember 11-13 – Montreal, QC

Harvest of the Past & Harvest Food Festival – September 13 – Edmonton, AB (Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village)

Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian FestivalSeptember 18-20 – Toronto, ON


May 29 2015

 Grains of Wheat and the Maple Leaf 

Solomiya Ostapyk

As a country largely shaped by the experiences, backgrounds, and contributions of the members of its population, Canada owes much to the countless groups of people who immigrated to its lands over the past decades and centuries. Ukrainians, one such ethnocultural group, have established a strong presence in Canada which has given birth to a particular identity: Ukrainian Canadian. This population has persevered, evolved, and progressed over the years, and in so doing, has made a distinctive mark on Canadian society. For diverse reasons ranging from resilience in the face of discrimination to a will for cultural preservation, Ukrainian Canadians have succeeded, both collectively and individually, to project their voices across the country.

When Ukraine briefly gained independence in 1918, members of the Ukrainian diaspora across the world celebrated their ancestral country’s newfound status. Passion and pride in the land of their heritage motivated Ukrainian Canadians to express their sentiments to diplomats and to the Canadian government, in the hopes of persuading the Allied Powers to recognize the Ukrainian National Republic. Although theiradmirable efforts did not return much success, the strong will of the Ukrainian Canadians in these matters was not futile. They proved that they could, collectively as a population, work toward a common goal, ensure their views reached an intended audience, and establish a powerful and valuable presence in Canada. This perseverance has lasted and Ukrainian Canadians continue to influence Canada politically today. All of the political advocacy, passion, and work of Ukrainian Canadians, from their initial involvement in Prairie municipal politics to their current efforts against war in Ukraine, combine to demonstrate that this population has a strong influence and an important role in Canada.

When Ukrainians immigrated to this country, they brought with them the artistic traditions and consciousness of their homeland. Traditional Ukrainian art and Canada have reciprocally influenced each other, causing the development of unique Ukrainian Canadian artistic styles which speak to all Canadians. For instance, Ukrainian dance is a vibrant, dynamic, rich art form that possesses strong roots in Canada. Numerous Ukrainian dance ensembles based in cities across the country perform to diverse crowds at diverse events, many of which are not even affiliated with Ukraine or Ukrainian Canadians. Despite its connection to a particular Canadian ethnocultural minority, Ukrainian dance speaks to members of the general Canadian society regardless of their heritage. It enhances Canadians’ appreciation of cultures, traditions, and practicesother than their own.

Individual Ukrainian Canadian artists have also influenced conceptions of their population and its traditions held by non-Ukrainian Canadians. William Kurelek, for example, a well-known Ukrainian Canadian artist, painted many works that depict aspects of Ukrainian Canadian experiences, from immigration to Canada to traditional celebrations. His paintings have brought together Canadians of many ethnic backgrounds and have helped them to recognize, through moving works of art, an integral part of their country’s story.

Over the span of their 124-year existence, Ukrainian Canadians have profoundly impacted Canada. Although perhaps a bit timid at first, this group has grown in confidence, strength, and pride to go on to significantly contribute to many aspects of this country. However, this influence does not only exist in the past – it continues today, enriching, educating, and enhancing life in Canada across all cultural backgrounds. This population embodies and enacts the richness arising out of the duality of its Ukrainian Canadian identity: the merging of the strength and endurance evoked by Ukrainian wheat with the collaboration and freedom symbolized by the Canadian maple leaf has proven endlessly beneficial to Canada.

Meet the Author

Solomiya is a second-year communications student at the University of Ottawa and is involved with several Ukrainian Canadian organizations. She teaches and performs with the Svitanok Ukrainian Dance Society, and is an Executive member of the uOttawa Ukrainian Students’ Club and secretary of the Capital Ukrainian Festival. Solomiya is passionate about her Ukrainian heritage and about sharing in it with others.


Upcoming Events

There are a number of events across Canada that are coming up this month, including concerts, fundraisers and banquets. Please view of Events Calendar on our website for more details.


Thank You to Our Donors & Corporate Sponsors
The UCC kindly thanks all sponsors for their generous donations!  Click here to visit the Carpathia Credit Union websiteClick here to visit the Ivan Franko Homes website

Click here to visit the Northland Power website

Click here to visit the Shevchenko Foundation website



Get involved in the Ukrainian community and help make a difference. The UCC depends on a network of volunteers across the country and we need you to become involved at the local, provincial and national level. You can become more involved by participating in UCC Committees.

Please sign up to volunteer with the UCC by emailing: ucc@ucc.ca


UCC Media Contact:

UCC National Office

Telephone: (613) 232-8822

Email: ucc@ucc.ca

Website: www.ucc.ca

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