2016 Proclaimed Year of Manitoba’s Ukrainian-Canadian Cultural Heritage

Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

To mark the 125th Anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Canada, on March 10, 2016 the Province of Manitoba proclaimed 2016 The Year of Manitoba’s Ukrainian-Canadian Cultural Heritage. At the March 10th session of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, the Premier of Manitoba Hon. Greg Selinger, read a proclamation which had the support of all parties represented in the Assembly.

Brian Pallister, Progressive Conservative Party leader, and Liberal Party MLA Hon. Jon Gerrard rose to lend support to the proclamation.

The proclamation was made in the presence of representatives of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Provincial Council, including President Oksana Bondarchuk, Vice President Myroslava Pidhirnyj, Treasurer Lesia Szwaluk, and UCC-MPC 125 Anniversary Committee Co-Chairs Joan Lewandowsky and Dr. Roman Yereniuk. A distinguished special guest was the Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada, His Excellency Andriy Shevchenko, who was accompanied by his spouse Ms. Hanna Homonai.

“This Proclamation is an important beginning to the year-long celebrations planned by UCC-MPC to mark the 125th Anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Canada,” said UCC-MPC President Oksana Bondarchuk. “It points out the contribution that Ukrainian Canadians have made, and continue to make, to the vibrancy and success of Manitoba. I am especially pleased that Ambassador Shevchenko was present to participate in this significant event. As well, I wish to thank Minister David Chomiak for his leadership in facilitating the announcement of the Proclamation, along with representatives of all political parties who – in the best traditions of Manitoba – made this proclamation a unifying gesture.”

The full text of the Proclamation follows below:

Year of Manitoba’s Ukrainian-Canadian Cultural Heritage

Whereas 2016 marks the 125th year since the arrival of the first Ukrainians to Canada; and
Whereas Ukrainian-Manitobans have greatly contributed to the province of Manitoba, initially through agriculture, forestry, railways and mining and, presently, in most professional fields of the workplace; and

Whereas Ukrainian-Manitobans assisted in the creation and the promotion of multiculturalism in Canada and in Manitoba; and

Whereas Winnipeg was the first major urban centre of Ukrainian-Canadians, where many of the earliest religious cultural institutions were founded, including the Canada-wide co-ordinating body known as the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, established 75 years ago; and
Whereas Winnipeg is the first city outside of Ukraine to dedicate a statue honouring the bard and freedom fighter of Ukraine, Taras Shevchenko, built on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress; and

Whereas 2016 marks the 55th anniversary of the Ukrainian education program in Manitoba, a program that was taught in the early decades until it was disallowed in 1916 and was reinstated in 1961; and

Whereas higher education is deeply important to Ukrainian-Manitobans, and the community has established three institutions at the University of Manitoba, including St. Andrew’s College in 1946, the Ukrainian Studies in the Department of German and Slavic Studies in 1949 and the Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies, 1981; and

Whereas Ukrainian-Manitobans have contributed to Manitoba’s rich cultural heritage through the arts, including choral and instrumental music, folkloric and performing dance, fine art, fibre art, literature, architecture, libraries, museums and archival collections and cuisine.
Now, therefore, be it known that I, Greg Selinger, Premier of the Province of Manitoba, proclaim 2016 be designated as the year of Manitoba’s Ukrainian-Canadian cultural heritage in Manitoba, and do commend its thoughtful observance to all citizens of our province.