NP-UN Western Bureau.
Twelve individuals were honoured with Hetman Awards and another seven cited as Exemplary Volunteers as the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Alberta Provincial Council celebrated its 20th annual such awards with a banquet held at St. Stephen’s Protomartyr Ukrainian Catholic Church in Calgary, October 20.
This was the first time these awards were presented in Calgary. Previously the presentations were either made at an Edmonton facility or at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, located 50 kilometres east of Edmonton.
In 1998, the UCC-Alberta Provincial Council initiated an Annual Hetman Awards to acknowledge significant volunteer achievements of outstanding Ukrainian Albertans. The Annual Hetman Awards are dedicated to the celebration of all volunteers who have chosen to give their time, effort and expertise in order to keep our Ukrainian Canadian community in Alberta strong, vibrant and active.
“This is an evening to honour you and your families by saying ‘thanks’ for your leadership and volunteer commitment. Without you, our active organizations, celebrations, and commemorations would not be possible; you are the backbone of our community,” said UCC-APC President Olesia Luciw-Andryjowycz in welcoming the awardees.
“These Hetman Awards are dedicated to the celebration of volunteers who have chosen to give their time, effort and expertise in order to keep our Ukrainian Canadian community in Alberta strong, vibrant and active,” she added.
The 2018 awardees are as follows:
A longstanding member of the Ukrainian Youth Association (CYM) Edmonton Branch, Daniel Feculak enthusiastically joined many committees and helped with the execution of major community events.
His passion and love for Ukrainian culture pushed him to join the cultural arm of the CYM, the Verkhovyna Ukrainian Song & Dance Ensemble where he has been an active dancer and choir member since 2007. Daniel has held several positions, such as grants, special projects and most recently, President. His passion has not stopped there; his personal interest to learn about the administration workings of a staple building in our community, the Ukrainian Youth Unity Complex.
Born and raised in Edmonton, Stephanie Nedoshytko completed Ivan Franko School of Ukrainian Studies, graduated from the Ukrainian Bilingual program at Austin O’Brien High School and convocated from MacEwan University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She is currently enrolled in the Juris Doctor program in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa, specializing in international law in hopes of working on judicial and democratic reform in Ukraine.
Stephanie is currently in her second term as the President of the Ukrainian Canadian Students Union (SUSK). With a passion for governance, Stephanie has worked at the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, the Government of Alberta, and led the Students’ Association of MacEwan University. Founding the MacEwan University Ukrainian Students Club, Stephanie has brought forward her expertise of grassroots organization to a national level.
Award winning classical singer Stephania Romaniuk has demonstrated exceptional community leadership and vision, profound compassion and care for others, incredible artistic and music education talent, organizational and management skills, which continue to inspire and strengthen our Ukrainian Canadian community in Alberta. Stephania taught music at Ukrainian Youth Association (CYM) summer camps and instilled the love and passion for Ukrainian art and culture not only among Ukrainian Canadian youth but also among Canadians of other backgrounds.
Her humanitarian work for Ukraine provides a valuable example in effective public outreach, advocacy and fundraising for important causes. She organized a number of singing charitable productions in collaboration with other young artists in order to raise awareness about the war and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine while gathering thousands of dollars in humanitarian support to those who have been affected by the war.
Brett Strutynski is an active member and volunteer of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church since he moved to Calgary in 2013 from Saskatchewan. With his angelic vibrato voice, Brett has quickly become the youngest cantor in the parish. He fills in as cantor at weddings and funerals and sings in the Surma choir each Sunday morning, as well as for community events.
Brett devotes much time to the overseeing and the carrying out of many volunteer duties at both the Parish office as well as in the Parish itself. Brett has been a volunteer on ABVM Parish Council as the financial secretary, for the last five years. He has been instrumental in revamping and updating the accounting practices, archiving and mentoring those around him.
Dr. Linda Dudar is the director of St. Stephen’s Ukrainian Catholic church choir for the past 35 years. This included various recordings, travel within, outside of Alberta and internationally. The Annual Calgary Carol Festival has been a highlight for the choir each Christmas as the choir members gathered to celebrate “Rizdvo”. These performances were also recorded and played on Cable TV between both Christmases.
Dr. Linda Dudar was the Director and Dean of Education at St. Mary’s University in Calgary, for 7 years, retiring a year ago. She has over 25 years of experience in both Catholic and Public School districts in Western Canada and has led Canada’s only Bachelor of Education program uniquely designed to prepare teachers for Catholic as well as Non-Catholic schools.
Oleksandr Melysh has been an active leader in the Ukrainian Youth Association of Canada (CYM) Calgary since arriving to Canada in 2002. He has been President, Vice President, and Treasurer all while being a youth counselor for the weekly program. He has also continuously managed their webpage, photo gallery, and social media platforms.
Oleksandr has also been actively involved in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Parish (ABVM). He is currently the President of the ‘SURMA’ Church Choir, a cantor and lector for the church, leading the parishioners in prayer and blessing them with Holy Communion.
Dr. Alla Nedashkivska is Professor of Slavic Applied Linguistics at the University of Alberta. She is unconditionally dedicated to the modernization, betterment and success of Ukrainian language studies. Through her volunteer work at the Ukrainian Language Education Centre, Alla displays her commitment to the learning community. She devotes herself to work, lead and volunteer with stakeholders at all levels, including community organizations, teachers, professors, scholars, administrators, and above all else, students. Through her efforts locally, nationally and internationally, Dr. Nedashkivska brings a level of leadership and dedication rarely seen in Ukrainian studies.
As the church choir director and cantor at St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Sobor in Calgary, Greg Syrnick notated and rewrote over 225 pieces of church music to reflect the bilingual nature of our Divine Liturgy. This eased the transition to singing the Liturgy in both Ukrainian and English and encouraged new members to join the choir.
As President of the Parish Council from 2011 to 2013, Greg initiated strategic planning, focusing on four pillars: building community, providing stewardship, increasing participation, and demonstrating leadership. Greg has also served on the Parish Council in various other executive positions, as well as on several committees. Twenty years ago, he was instrumental in initiating the Graduate Recognition Event at St. Vladimir’s Sobor.
Evelyn Eveneshen is a kind, compassionate and hard-working member of the Ukrainian Catholic community and a dedicated member of the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada, Edmonton Eparchy where she continues to serve in a leadership and volunteer capacity.
She has served as Eparchial Vice President 2005-2007, Organizational Committee member 2009-2011, Eparchial President 2011-2013, Past Eparchial President 2013 -2017 and on the Archives & Fundraising Committee 2017-2019.
Zennovia Haydey’s profound love for her Ukrainian heritage and her fervent effort to share its culture and traditions within and beyond the Ukrainian community have made her an invaluable asset to St. Vladimir’s Parish in Calgary.
Through her efforts the UMC Calgary Collection has introduced literally thousands of adults and children to the unique experiences of Ukrainian pioneers, their sacrifices and contributions to their adopted homeland, and to their proud legacy that lives on today.
After years of dedicated work in St. Andrew’s Parish in Edmonton, the 12 years Zennovia has spent in Calgary have brought our Ukrainian culture to a broad cross-section of Calgary’s population.
In 1990, Bohdan Pivovarchuk made his way to Canada with his family from Lviv, Ukraine. Upon settling in Mundare, his love of his native culture and language led him to organize the first annual Ukrainian Independence Day in Mundare in 1995. This led to the formation of the Zustreech Ukrainian Society, whose goal is to promote, maintain and enrich Ukrainian culture.
Bohdan’s deep Christian faith and his national pride called him to action as he followed the aggressive acts of Russia on Ukraine. Bohdan, along with Zustreech members immediately took steps to provide, financial, material and moral support to Ukrainian volunteer soldiers in the war against Russia. He is currently engaged in a project that he initiated to support a rehabilitative hospital in Kirovohrad Region providing medical, rehabilitative, psychological and social support to injured veterans and families.
Anna Zwozdesky first recorded minutes of Olena Pchilka Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada (UWAC) in, Saskatchewan at the age of 14 and has worked tirelessly to fulfill the UWAC objectives of promoting, sustaining and preserving the Ukrainian Orthodox faith, culture, language and heritage. One of Anna’s hallmarks is her leadership, dedication, and devotion of engaging youth. Examples include organizing Sangudo CYMK Branch, promoting Ukrainian language classes, as Ukrainian Language Convenor and teaching Sadochuk at St. John’s Cathedral for six years.
Throughout her life Anna Zwozdesky has served in many capacities such as National UWAC President Alberta Provincial Executive President, UWAC-APE Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Educational/Cultural Convenor, and Ukrainian Education Convenor.
Evelyn Cook has been a dedicated volunteer with the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada, St. Basil Branch and Edmonton Eparchy Executive, mainly Museum Committee as well as St. Basil Parish. The members of the UCWLC, Eparchial Executive feel that Evelyn Cook continues to volunteer her time, talents, effort and expertise in order to keep the Ukrainian Canadian Community in Alberta strong, vibrant, and active.
Darlene Jasinski has set the foundations in place for the Barvinok Ukrainian Dance Society with her years of dedication to the organization as a volunteer. Joining the school one year after its establishment in 1990, she began her 21-year journey as an integral member of this Calgary dance institution. Darlene’s dedication to the Ukrainian dance community is the reason that Barvinok is as successful as it is today.
Deborah Johnson became a member of the Calgary Friends of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) about 6 years ago and became their Treasurer. In addition in assisting in organizing fundraisers and Gala’s, Deborah also taught English (ESS) for 3 years in Ukraine. Deborah has been a faithful member of St. Stephen’s since moving to Calgary in 1999, she also is a member of the Calgary Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association.
Marcia Maluta has been a director of Sadochok with St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox church. Later, she assisted to re-establish the Saturday morning Ridna Shkola program. Marcia has a deep passion for Ukrainian music and enjoys singing with Korinnya. She has served many years on Korinnya’s board of directors; Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and Constume Director. She is a dedicated vibrant volunteer and motivates others.
Ivan Mohyla has distinguished himself as a very humble servant and unsung hero of the Ukrainian Catholic Community of the Assumption of the BVM in Calgary. For many years he served on the parish pastoral council and volunteered for many parish projects, whether they involved physical help around the church, or running various errands and tasks. For over 50 years he has served as the sacristan (“palamar”) faithfully helping seven successive parish priests.
Anne Pawelek (nee Kowal) has been an active and faithful member of the Assumption of the BVM Ukrainian Catholic Parish for over 50 years. She has been the president of the parish Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League (UCWL) for over 30 years. In this role she has been the face of the UCWL to the parish community. Under her leadership the UCWL has been a large supporter of parish projects and played a vital role in the church Community.
Virginia Sharek is a dedicated member of the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League for over 25 years serving on all three levels of the organization – Branch, Eparchial and national. She introduced the organization to the “No Room at the Inn” projects dedicated to providing affordable housing for those in the greatest need in the Edmonton area. Virginia is a generous volunteer sharing her personal time, helping out whenever needed in numerous organizations in our community.