NP-UN Western Bureau.
Long-time Ukrainian Canadian community activist Bohdan Romaniuk was honoured with a special Executive Award at the 2018 Hetman Awards Volunteer Recognition, presented by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Alberta Provincial Council at a banquet held at St. Stephen’s Protomartyr Ukrainian Catholic Church in Calgary, October 20.
Romaniuk, who was unable to attend the event due to the funeral of his mother Maria Romaniuk, sent a thank you message which was read out by UCC – APC President Olesia Luciw-Andryjowycz.
In it, he noted volunteers share six fundamental characteristics and/or beliefs which are as follows:
- Volunteers are people who see community as an extension of family.
- Volunteers understand that without vibrant organizations, communities wither and die. Communities, especially minority and diaspora communities, need structure and organization to, among other things, advance their collective interests; preserve and celebrate their history, language, and culture; perform charitable works for the benefit of the weakest and most disadvantaged among them; fight for justice; build civil society; and advocate for social progress and political reform.
- Volunteers want to make the world a better place, if only that small part of the world in which they live.
- Volunteers believe that no act of kindness or goodwill is so small or insignificant as to not make a meaningful difference to someone.
- Volunteers enjoy the camaraderie that springs from shared sacrifice and accomplishment for the greater good.
- Finally, volunteers are people who find it difficult, if not impossible, to say “no” when asked to lend a helping hand to others. They are people who are inclined to say “If not me, then who? And if not now, then when?”
Executive Awards, which have only been presented three times before, are special recognitions of outstanding service to the community. Last year they were focussed on actions which gave exemplary support to Ukraine in its current crisis.
The recipients were:
- Commander of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), Lieutenant General Paul Wynnyk, for the support the Canadian Army has given Ukraine in providing training, under Operation Unifier, to Ukrainian troops fighting pro-Russian terrorists in the Donbas;
- Edmonton firefighter Kevin Royle for organizing the provision of retired fire-fighting equipment and gear to Ukrainian firefighters.
- Iryna and Oleksiy Karpenko, prominent artists from the Edmonton community, who organized the ”Art for Aid” Project, in which over 23 artists participated, donating their works to be sold at special events to purchase much needed humanitarian aid and supplies to volunteer Ukrainian soldiers.
In 2011 these awards were presented to just-retired Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach and his wife Marie, “to honour contributions to the sphere of politics by the former Premier, Ed Stelmach, as well as the dedicated volunteer activities of Marie Stelmach.”
In 2007, they were presented to Roman Brytan and Marco Levytsky in honour of their then-25 years of service to the Ukrainian media in Edmonton – Brytan as producer of the Ukrainian Program on World FM Radio, and Levytsky as editor of Ukrainian News.
Romaniuk has served on the Executive of the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association (UCPBA) of Calgary for 11 years, six of them as President. He was also a member of the Advisory Council on Alberta Ukraine Relations (ACAUR) helping to advise on issues influencing Ukrainians in the Alberta Diaspora and in Ukraine. He is also Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of New Pathway – Ukrainian News.
Bohdan previously served on the Investment Committee of the Shevchenko Foundation and has been a member of various other Ukrainian Canadian organizations (including CYM and SUSK) in numerous capacities.
Romaniuk is a lawyer, economist and an experienced business executive. He currently serves on the Boards of several private and publicly listed companies involved in oil and gas exploration; high performance seismic imaging and modelling and technology for use in radio frequency heating; and biotechnology and regenerative medicine. He was appointed to a five-year term as a part-time Commissioner of the Alberta Utilities Commission in October 2012 pursuant to an Order-in-Council of the Alberta government, and was re-appointed to a second five-year term in June 2018. He also serves as Secretariat for the International Telecommunications Society (ITS), a position he has held for 13 years (after having served for ten years on the ITS Board between 1995 and 2005).
Romaniuk received his B.A. (Honours) in Economics from the University of Alberta, an M.A. in Economics from Queen’s University (where he also completed his Ph.D. coursework and Ph.D. comprehensive examinations in Economics), and received an LL.B. from the University of Toronto.