First-ever national survey of Ukrainian Canadians

Yuri Bilinsky, New Pathway – Ukrainian News.

UCC is undertaking to create a portrait of the Ukrainian Canadian community
and develop a vision for the future

Canada’s 1.4 million-strong Ukrainian community is one of the most active and cohesive ethno-cultural communities in Canada. With strong communities from coast-to-coast, the Ukrainian Canadian community has many volunteer-based organizations, which work in the areas of education, services for newcomers, social services, faith-based groups, and arts and culture.

The time has come to create a more detailed portrait of the community, which would help address ongoing challenges and create new opportunities for building engagement, participation and inclusion.

To this end, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, with the support of the Temerty Foundation, is undertaking the Community Engagement Project, which consists of:

• A first-ever national survey of Ukrainian Canadians (live from May 25-June 30, 2021)
• A comprehensive analysis of the results to be published on the UCC website later in 2021
• Roundtable groups exploring in-depth the themes and additional topics arising from the survey results

“We want to increase engagement across all generations, particularly with young people and newcomers,” said Alexandra Chyczij, UCC President. “We look forward to hearing from Ukrainian Canadians across the country about what they consider essential for our community to thrive. By identifying what brings us together, we will be able to develop a strategic vision to continue building a highly effective and inclusive community
across Canada.”

It would be particularly interesting to find more about the recent waves of Ukrainian immigration to Canada. The UCC’s survey distinguishes two recent waves: 4th (1990-2000) and 5th (since 2000). Mariana Savka, UCC’s National Outreach and Program Coordinator, told NP-UN about a generational shift: “Ukrainians who are coming to Canada now differ in their perspectives from the 4th wave. Following Canada’s immigration policies of the last decade, we’ve seen more students, young professionals and businesspeople who arrive to Canada to gain education, experience, start their business. We would like to see how they feel connected to the local communities and what their priorities are, to be able to create new opportunities for building engagement, participation, and inclusion.”

This project was developed with the support from the Temerty Foundation. Leah Temerty-Lord, Managing Director of the Temerty Foundation, stated, “The Temerty Foundation supports the leadership of the UCC on this very important initiative, which will bring into focus a unifying vision for the future. Our goal is to have an engaged, participatory and inclusive community with strong leaders who have access to the resources they need to succeed.”

The questionnaire includes approximately 50 questions, which are focused on what it means to be Ukrainian Canadian today—specifically

• Perceptions of identity and values;
• Patterns of volunteerism and philanthropy;
• Involvement in Ukrainian educational and artistic programs;
• Affinity to Ukraine;
• Feelings of connectedness to local Ukrainian communities, as well as exploring obstacles to connection and identifying motivating factors to increase involvement;
• Vision for the future of the Ukrainian Canadian community.

The 15-20 minute questionnaire includes primarily multiple-choice questions. In addition, some open-ended questions are integrated into survey’s thematic blocks to capture the views, feelings, and attitudes of respondents.

Eligibility for the survey extends to anyone who:

• Identifies as Ukrainian, Ukrainian Canadian, or as a Canadian with Ukrainian roots
• Is 18 years of age or older
• Resides in Canada

The whole purpose of the Community Engagement Project is to ensure that every Ukrainian Canadian feels included. The project strives to reach both community leaders and organizations already engaged and the wider Ukrainian Canadian community, those who are currently unengaged or only marginally engaged.

The initial response to the survey is encouraging: the first eight days have brought around 2,000 responses. UCC notes that people are eager to talk about their values and identity, reflect on what connects them to other individuals and to the community in general, share their experiences and vision for the future.

Each respondent who completes the survey will have an opportunity to enter a sweepstakes raffle for an iPad, a $100 gift card, or a $50 gift card.

The trilingual survey (English, French and Ukrainian) is being conducted between May 25, 2021, and June 30, 2021, online, and by telephone for those without internet access.

The survey website is: www.ucc.ca/survey

The general survey link is: www.surveymonkey.com/r/ukrainiancanadian

To access the telephone survey option, call the UCC toll-free number (1-866-942-4627), which will be answered by staff in UCC’s Winnipeg office.

** Survey responses are completely confidential and anonymous; they will not be shared with any third party. Responses will not be connected to identifying information; they will only be used for statistical purposes and will be appear only in aggregated form.
With files from Ukrainian Canadian Congress