The UCC National Leadership Banquet was held at the Sheraton-Montreal Hotel, at which five recipients were bestowed the UCC National Award. Keynote speaker at the banquet was Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Federal Minister of International Development. Also speaking were newly elected Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) president Paul Grod, outgoing UWC president Eugene Czolij and newly elected National UCC president Alexandra Chyczij. The evening’s Master of Ceremonies was Orest Humenny, with 160 people in attendance, including UCC delegates from all over Canada to Montreal.
The National Leadership Award, established in 2010, is a centerpiece of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) honors system. It recognizes “outstanding contribution, dedication to the Ukrainian Canadian community and service to Canada and Ukraine. Their contributions are varied, yet have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to our community”.
The following five individuals in Quebec were presented the UCC National Award on December 8, with the following introductions:
Gregory Bedik, for his outstanding contribution to the development of the Ukrainian community in Quebec, in particular, his years of voluntary work in Plast-Montreal, and years as president of the Montreal’s St. Volodymyr Cultural Association, which organizes the Annual Montreal Ukrainian Festival promoting Ukrainian Culture in Quebec. Under his leadership the Festival now has over 20,000 participants, coordinated by over 80 volunteers, contributing over 800 voluntary man-hours of preparation.
Bohdanna Klecor-Hawryluk, for her outstanding dedication to the development of the Ukrainian community in Montreal, serving almost 25 years on the executive of UCC-Montreal/Quebec Provincial Council, co-coordinating cultural programs and major commemorations for the Montreal Ukrainian community and community at large, ensuring events in Montreal are part of the commemorative efforts with the Ukrainian community across Canada.
Volodymr Hayduk, for his outstanding dedication and contribution to the Ukrainian Canadian community, contributing to bring attention to major issues in Montreal and Canada in areas including: work in the defense of Soviet Ukrainian political prisoners (1970-1980’s) thereby exposing human rights abuses in communist-controlled Soviet Ukraine; work on the 1932-1933 Holodomor-Genocide from the early 1970’s and establishing the Montreal community newspaper “OKO”.
Adriana Luhovy, for individual excellence on a national scale in the area of Arts – film and media. Particularly for her outstanding, multi-award winning feature documentary film “ Recovery Room” in bringing public awareness, nationally and internationally, to Russia’s ongoing war in eastern Ukraine, its far-reaching impact, and to CUF’s work in humanitarian medical mission to Ukraine. She was also producer, director, editor of her documentary film “Second Chance” and main cinematographer for the award-winning feature documentary “Genocide Revealed”.
James Slobodian (award accepted on his behalf by cousin Olia Senkus-Horge) for his outstanding contribution in raising awareness of the unjust internment of Ukrainians in Canada, 1914-1920 provincially and nationally within the Francophone community, and his work with Spirit Lake Internment Centre which attracted 40,000 visitors from Quebec and abroad, establishing outreach educational programs with Quebec schools, conducting over 150 interviews with mainstream media, and inspiring 4 books in French, and 2 music compositions about internment at Spirit Lake.
The Banquet’s opening prayer was given by Right Rev. Ihor Kutash, president of UCC-Montreal/Quebec Provincial Council, and with closing prayer by Father Evhen Ruditch. Montreal previously hosted the in-person UCC National Board meeting in 2012 at the Delta Hotel.