28 – 30 April, 2017, the League of Ukrainian Canadian Women (LUCW) held its XXI National Convention. Stephanie Savyn and Maria Shysh represented Calgary at this event. Oksana Kuzyshyn who led the Calgary League for the last five years was elected as the new President of the National League. We congratulate Oksana and wish her success in her new role.
While growing up in Montreal, Oksana Kuzyshyn was an active member of the Ukrainian Youth Association of Canada (CYM). While living in Calgary, she remained an active member of the Ukrainian community. She continued to participate in the local chapter of CYM, and has served on her local church committee. Her extensive community involvement will undoubtedly prove to be invaluable for the further development of the League of Ukrainian Canadian Women. Oksana has a degree in economics from McGill University, and has served Canada for 27 years as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, retired with the rank of Major.
In her address to the delegates, as well as honourable guests from Australia, the United States and Ukraine, she emphasized the importance of the League of Ukrainian Canadian Women continuing to be relevant and effective in the Ukrainian Canadian community through transparency, cooperation, and a clear vision going forward.
On Palm Sunday – 9 April, 2017 – League of Ukrainian Women in Canada: Calgary branch took part in St. Stephen Protomartyr and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Churches Easter Bazaars. Our members baked traditional Ukrainian Easter sweets and sold them to members of our community. We are grateful to Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League and ABVM church council for inviting us to participate.
This was an energetic way of meeting new people – several hundred visited the two churches that day – and promoting our activities in the Ukrainian community. We were happy to discover that both church communities were pleased with the items we were selling.
Started by Oksana Kuzyshyn in December 2015, this activity became a weekly entertainment for League members. We learn from each other, socialize, and relax while creating our personal masterpieces – hand painted silk scarves. This is a great opportunity to learn a new hobby and apply Ukrainian traditional designs.
On March 19, 2017 Oksana Kuzyshyn and Maria Shysh organized a Pysanka workshop for everyone who wanted to master the ancient art of painting Ukrainian Easter eggs. They set up the room and prepared the dyes, so that ten community members could come and create their own unique masterpieces.
Special thanks to CYM Calgary for the use of the main hall and some of the pysanka-making supplies.
The Calgary chapter of the League of Ukrainian Women in Canada started celebrating International Women’s Day in 2016. Tetiana Chekhovych in 2016 and Hanna Zavrazhyna in 2017 prepared and presented well researched briefings on our past and present Ukrainian heroines and their contributions towards a free and democratic nation. Other League members prepared delicacies for the receptions held after the presentations. Our guests were impressed with the event and said that it should be held yearly, and opened up to the larger Ukrainian community.
This monthly training for League members is led by Cynthia Palahniuk, a highly qualified instructor, appreciated by all the participants. Please let us know if you would like to join. New participants are always welcome!
In December 2016, our League took part in two Christmas Bazaars. The first one – Snowflake Bazaar – organized by Stacey Bobyn of the St. Stephen Protomartyr Ukrainian Catholic Church on November 27, 2016 was attended by several hundred people. The second Christmas Bazaar was held at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church on December 18th. Both events were for resounding successes for us.
League members sold baked goods, hand-made Christmas decorations and other festive items.
In December 2016, Oksana Kuzyshyn started a new fitness program for League members. She developed a circuit training program, purchased necessary equipment (weights, step, skipping rope, etc.), and taught us new ways of working out. We greatly enjoyed the opportunity to meet each other and participate in a fun activity during winter and spring 2017, while building our physical capacities, each at their own pace. Special thanks to Teresa Zalucky for her baking and giving us the incentive to keep working out!
Annually, on the third Saturday in November Ukrainians all over the world honour the memory of persons tortured and killed by the socialist totalitarian regime of the Soviet Union. Ukrainian Calgarians usually gather in St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church Cultural Centre to pay tribute to the memory of their ancestors starved to death by the communist regime. This event brings awareness of this national tragedy to our community and the Canadian public.
League members prepare either a chicken broth or borscht for the “Hungry Lunch” for all participants of the commemoration. Every year this event is attended by hundreds of people, and many of them choose to donate to the League to support various charities in Ukraine. We always receive nice comments about the lunch we provide and books we sell about the Holodomor.
In the fall of 2016, Saskatchewan became the centre of national celebrations for the 125th anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Canada. Between September 29 and October 2, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress National and UCC Saskatchewan co-hosted the XXV Triennial Congress of Ukrainian Canadians in Regina. Over 250 delegates set the agenda and priorities for the Ukrainian Canadian community for the next three years and elected the leadership of the UCC. High-level delegations from both Canada and Ukraine participated in the Congress discussing the support that Canada provides to Ukraine in different areas.
Tetiana Chekhovych and Stephanie Savyn were delegates from League of Ukrainian Women in Canada, Calgary branch. For our delegation it was an excellent opportunity to meet members of UCC APC Olesia Luciw-Andryjowycz, UCC National Andrea Kopylech, and LUCW National Lisa Shymko.