47th Annual Shchedry Vechir unites generations

Verkhovyna Choir of the Ukrainian Youth Association under the baton of Orest Soltykevych, performing during the evening

Lidia M. Wasylyn for New Pathway – Ukrainian News.

The Board of Directors of the Ukrainian Youth Unity Complex in Edmonton, known at the Domivka, hosted their 47th Annual Shchedry Vechir dinner on Jan. 18, 2020.

About 300 community members braved bitterly cold temperatures and icy roads to enjoy a traditional community gathering that is one of the final feasts of the Ukrainian Christmas cycle. A truly family event, Shchedry Vechir unites young and old, Canadian born and recent immigrant to share a traditional meatless meal.

The evening’s program was opened by Vasyl Yavorsky and Ivanka Soletsky, both Druzhynnyky of the Edmonton Branch of the Ukrainian Youth Association. The ceremonial didukh was presented by Ihor Krys on behalf of the Board who welcomed everyone and very briefly highlighted the significance of the evening’s event. Bishop David Motiuk, Eparch of Edmonton and the newly appointed Apostolic Administrator of New Westminster, British Columbia along with Reverend Danylo Kuc, Pastor of St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Parish, led the opening prayer. Joining the prayer was the Verkhovyna Choir of the Ukrainian Youth Association under the baton of Orest Soltykevych.

Yunatstvo of the Edmonton Branch of the Ukrainian Youth Association CYM performed Ukrainian carols, accompanied by Ivan Soletsky on the accordion. Their joyful performance brought smiles to all. To begin the dinner, traditional prosfora was distributed by presidents or representatives of all the organizations affiliated with the Ukrainian Youth Unity Complex. These included Ihor Krys on behalf of the Edmonton Branch of the League of Ukrainian Canadians, Ivanna Szewczuk President of the League of Ukrainian Canadian Women, Edmonton Branch, Ivanka Soletsky, President of the Edmonton Branch of the Ukrainian Youth Association and Ulana Soletsky for the Board of Directors.

Bishop David Motiuk delivered a short but meaningful pastoral message in which he highlighted the Divine gifts bestowed upon us as part of the Feast of Epiphany. The singing of carols led by the Verkhovyna Choir followed.

Special guests for the evening included the Consul General of Ukraine Oleksandr Danyleiko who attended with his family. In his remarks, Consul Danyleyko noted that when he and his family arrived in Edmonton about one year ago, Shchedry Vechir was the very first official event they attended. Any apprehensions they may have had about moving to Edmonton known for its bitterly cold winters have been completely erased by the warm and welcoming community that has embraced them. He noted that the hromada comes together and he and his own family appreciate feeling a part of this kind and warm family.

Kerry Diotte, Member of Parliament for the riding of Edmonton-Griesbach and his wife once again made time to attend Shchedry Vechir. A frequent guest at the Domivka and at other events in Edmonton’s Ukrainian community, Mr. Diotte was pleased to be invited again to this happy annual event. He reminisced about how his own nomination meeting was held at the Domivka several years ago. Mr. Diotte is proud to have participated in of the election observer mission during the last presidential elections in Ukraine and noted that he did not observe or experience any problems with the voting process. He was particularly impressed with the beauty of Ukraine and the warmth of the people. He looks forward to participating in future election observer missions to Ukraine.

A surprise guest, vocalist Ihor Bohdan performed two Ukrainian carols. In his inimitable style, he engaged all present to join him in singing. Bohdan concluded with heartfelt wishes and beautiful vinshuvannia and invited all to attend his upcoming farewell tour concert.

The evening’s program wound down with a few more carols sung by all present under the guidance of Orest Soltykevych and vinchuvannia by Vasyl Yavorsky. Bishop David led the closing prayer.

Shchedry Vechir 2020 was a successful and welcoming community event with a long history and bright future.

Христос Хрещається! В ріці Йордані!