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Annual Holodomor Commemoration takes place at Winnipeg City Hall

The annual commemoration of the Holodomor Famine-Genocide in Ukraine 1932-33 organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Provincial Council (UCC-MPC) took place according to  long-standing tradition at Winnipeg City Hall on November 25, 2017.

The Holodomor took place in Ukraine in 1932-33 and was one of the most heinous crimes in the history of mankind. This tragedy was the result of a deliberate political strategy masterminded by Stalin and his totalitarian communist regime to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry and was part of a plan to destroy Ukrainian national resistance to the Soviet state. By sheer magnitude, losses during the Holodomor surpassed those of the Ukrainian nation during the Second World War. The Holodomor is recognised by most objective historians as an act of genocide.  Many countries, including Canada, have formally declared the Holodomor as a genocide against the Ukrainian people.

The event began with a panakhyda – ecumenical memorial service con-celebrated by His Eminence Metropolitan Yurij (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada) and  His Excellency Metropolitan Lawrence (Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg) along with attendant clergy.

After the service, all in attendance moved inside the Council Building where the Master of Ceremonies for the event Myroslava Pidhirnyj continued with the program. Official greetings were brought on behalf of the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada by Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North and Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Kevin Lamoureux, on behalf of the Premier and the Government of Manitoba Minister of of Sport, Culture and Heritage Hon. Cathy Cox, and on behalf of the Mayor and City of Winnipeg Acting Deputy Mayor Matt Allard.  

Survivors of the Holodomor Sonia Kushliak, Luba Semeniuk and Zina Dlugosh were introduced along with Halyna Kowal, the wife of the late Roman Kowal who is the artist responsible for the Holodomor monument in front of City Hall.

Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake and Eastman and  Opposition Critic for National Defence and the Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence James Bezan also brought greetings and remarks. Other politicians in attendance were Members of the Legislative Assembly Nic Curry (Kildonan), Blair Yakimoski (Transcona), Andrew Micklefield (Rossmere) and City Councillor Ross Eadie (Mynarski Ward).

During a short cultural program members of PLAST Ukrainian Youth Association led the gathered youth in singing of a song about the Holodomor, Svicha. Pupils from the Ukrainian Schools at Sts.  Volodymyr & Olha Cathedral and Chytalnya Prosvita read poems dedicated to the survivors of the Famine-Genocide.

Prof. Myroslav Shkandrij (University of Manitoba) introduced the guest speaker –  Dr. Bohdan Klid (Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta), which concluded the commemoration program.

The commemoration organising group consisted of UCC-MPC 1st Vice President Joan Lewandowsky, Holodomor Education Committee Chair Valia Noseworthy, Holodomor Awareness Committee Chair Irka Balan, and Myroslava Pidhirnyj.

UCC-MPC is grateful to His Worship Brian Bowman for allowing us use of City Hall for this annual event as well as the City staff for their assistance. We also thank the Hierarchs of our Churches, local clergy, Ukrainian youth groups and schools for their participation and support of this important endeavour.

Norbert K. Iwan’s beautiful photographs of the event can be viewed here:

Hierarchs lead memorial prayers for the victims of the Holodomor

Ukrainian Canadian youth honour victims and survivors of the Holodomor





Province Of Manitoba Commemorates Holodomor with Ukrainian Community

On November 23, 2017 at a ceremony at the Manitoba Provincial Legislature Building, Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Hon. Cathy Cox  and Infrastructure Minister Hon. Ron Schuler, joined with community members and Members of the Legislative Assembly, to commemorate the victims of the Holodomor Famine Genocide in Ukraine, 1932-33. 

Mrs Sonia Kushliak of Winnipeg represented the survivors of the Holodomor. Mrs. Kushliak spoke about the trauma that she and her family lived through during those horrible times. 

There was a short ceremony which included a prayer led by Fr. Monsignor Michael Buychok of Sts Vladimir and Olga Cathedral in front of the  ‘Bitter Memories of Childhood’ monument on the Legislative Building Grounds. Later during Question Period, the Minister introduced a moment of silence. Stalks of wheat, tied with a black ribbon, were placed on the desk of every member of the Legislative Assembly.

The text of Minister Cox’s press release on the occasion can be read here: MANITOBA COMMEMORATES HOLODOMOR WITH UKRAINIAN COMMUNITY. Ukrainian Famine and Genocide Memorial Day Is Nov. 25

Container of Manitoba Aid arrives in Mariupol!

A container of medical supplies sent in June of this year to Ukraine by the UCC-MPC Euromaidan Committee has safely arrived in Mariupol, a city on the front lines in Eastern Ukraine. This shipment will assist wounded and displaced victims of Russian aggression. The bulk of the medical equipment was collected and donated by International Hope Canada. Costs for shipping the container to Ukraine were covered by a $5000 donation from the  Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada branch at St. Anne’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Winnipeg, as well as from proceeds of the Ukrainian Women in Politics dinner sponsored by the Winnipeg branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Women’s Council. Additional items included in the shipment were supplied by volunteers in Toronto.  The complicated logistics for the transportation of the container including suggesting its ultimate destination where coordinated by the National UCC’s Ukraine Appeal.

The container arrived at the Mariupol Territorial Hospital of Woman’s and Children’s Health, where the contents were offloaded and  from there distributed to other medical facilities in the city.

Mariupol is on the front lines of the war in Eastern Ukraine. It is of important strategic value, and fighting – including frequent shelling and mortar attacks by Russian-backed forces – is causing injury and death to Ukrainian soldiers as well as to the civilian population on a daily basis.


25th Anniversary of Leo Mol Sculpture Garden

June 18, 2017 marked the 25th Anniversary of the official opening of the 1.2 hectare Leo Mol Sculpture Garden in Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg.  Below is an article by Luba Fedorkiw, which appeared in the June issue of Ukrainian Winnipeg  about the life of Leo Mol and the creation of this unique artistic landmark.

You can view the article as it appeared in the magazine by clicking here:

Leo Mol: world class artist who lived in our midst

25th Anniversary of Leo Mol Sculpture Garden

Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg

Born Leonid (Hryhorijevich) Molodozhanyn on January 15, 1915 in the village of  Polonne, Ukraine to a long line of family potters,*  and at his father’s side and within the community, Leonid apprenticed and acquired the craft of modeling clay, using the potter’s wheel  and firing clay, to create  ceramics. 

Breaking from tradition, Leonid decided that he wanted to study painting in Vienna, Austria. At age 15, he became fluent in German and exposed  himself to the  rich history of world art, music and theater, while working  with sculptor Frans  Klimsh,  who specialized in  plasticine and terra cotta. The talented youth was accepted into Kunst Akademie [Berlin, Germany].* His formal art education was at the Leningrad Academy of Arts.  He married his wife Margareth in 1943.  By 1945 both resettled in Holland, where he changed his name to Leo Mol (nom de plume). Leo  attended the Academy of Art in The Hague.*

Leonid Molodozhanyn  and his wife immigrated to Canada in 1948, at a time when  Canada needed farmers not artists.  Mol persuaded the reluctant immigration  officer  in the Hague that he would be an asset to Canada, since his sponsors were grain farmers and he originated from a humble farming  village in Ukraine.

Arriving at Hudson Bay Junction near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan  during a harsh winter on the Canadian prairies was a stark awakening in itself.  Mol looked for immediate  work and found it in Winnipeg, where he befriended  Yakiw Maydanyk , also a painter, cartoonist and teacher. Initially, the newly naturalized artist assisted Maydanyk in painting  and decorating the interiors of  churches.

Local success for this soft spoken artist/sculptor  gained momentum through his talents as a figurine artist, focusing on Canadian themes in ceramic. Further, his 1950s modeling originals  in terra cotta and baked in a kiln, gained him the respected recognition of his fellow Manitoba artists. As he advanced his art, he received  major commissions from:1) the Canadian government 2) the  Provincial governments of Manitoba and  Alberta, 3) The University of Manitoba, 4) international universities, 5) Churches, 6) Communities and 7) private sponsors.

International success arrived  with Leo Mol’s  magnificent executions of classic portrait sculpture. “His understanding of and portraying the essence of each subject, led to major commissioned portraits”** placed in  capitals of the world.

In his  extensive collection, illustrious are the portrait busts of prominent people such as:  Prime Minister J. Diefenbaker, Dwight E. Eisenhower, Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth II,  Pope Paul VI, Pope John XXII, Pope John Paul II, Cardinals Slipyj and Tisserant, the Group of Seven painters – A.Y. Jackson, Fred Varley and  A.J. Casson.  Additionally, he created monuments to Ukraine’s beloved  poet/bard  Taras Shewchenko, located in Washington, D.C., Buenos Aires, Argentina and  Prudentpolis, Brasil.

In addition, Leo Mol’s   priceless art  is  housed in permanent collections in North America,  international museums/galleries,  private  and corporate collections. There are over ninety (90) magnificent  stained glass windows inside Winnipeg churches, most notably, the Metropolitan Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of Sts. Vladimir and Olga (1959-70) which feature the detailed masterpieces celebrating the Christian inheritance . Other  significant locations include:  St. Demetrios Orthodox Church, Winnipeg, (1982), Holy Cross Parish, St. Boniface (1964), Westworth  United Church, Winnipeg,(1959), St. Patrick’s Anglican Church, Winnipeg (1961) and too many to list.

Dr. Leo Mol received multiple honours. He was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada (1989), the Order of the Buffalo Hunt (1997), Order of Manitoba (2000).  Additionally, he received: 1) Honorary Degrees from the University of Winnipeg (1974), Alberta (1985), Manitoba (1988)  and Sudbury (2002), 2) Laureate of Excellence, Health Sciences Foundation (1995), 3) Citizens Hall of Fame (1998) and 4) well more than 25 distinguished acknowledgements of honor.

Leo Mol generously donated his personal collection of 300 pieces of art which included paintings, sculptures, drawings and ceramics to the City of Winnipeg, on condition, a sculpture garden be built in Assiniboine Park to display his work.

June 18, 2017 marks the 25th Anniversary of the official opening of the 1.2 hectare Leo Mol Sculpture Garden.  It comprises a gallery, outdoor display of  sculptures,  School House Studio where visitors can view the creation of a bronze sculpture and a sitting area.

Very European in appeal, the natural ambience and calm retreat   provides the opportunity to pause and reflect on the talent of an humble artist and his craft.  The magnificent statue of a Hutzul playing his trembita (trumpet) welcomes visitors  to rediscover and appreciate the gift of one man who  loved  Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Carpathia Credit Union and the Wasyl Topolnicky Memorial Foundation proudly contributed/sponsored  to the  sculpture garden collection, specifically, the cultural icons of “Taras Shewchenko”, “Haydamaky”, the “Trumpeter”  and the “Blind Bandurist” that represent the profound rooted Ukrainian  culture.

As we commemorate the 125th   Anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Canada, let us proudly and respectfully re-acknowledge the prominence and significance of Leo Mol’s contribution to the tapestry of our Canadian Ukrainian culture and history. Let his  legacy of art remind us of his remarkable talent.

On June 18th  let us wear our Ukrainian best and with our families, find  time to visit  Leo Mol’s Sculpture Garden in Assiniboine Park and  honor his  memory – an internationally acclaimed sculptor.

Leonid Molodozhanyn died on July 4, 2009 at the age of 94.

“Leo Mol was one of Manitoba’s brightest stars. Through his work, he gave the Manitoba art world a gift that will enrich our province for generations.” Hon. Eric Robinson, Minister of Culture and Heritage ***



CBC News: Posted July 6, 2009 9:48 AM CT

Duval,Paul “Leo Mol” Limited Edition (1982)


Carpathia News, Winnipeg, Mb. Vol 17, No.2, Fall, 2005

*Zyla,W.T. The Extraordinary Success of Sculptor Leo Mol

The Ukrainian Weekly, October 13, 2002, No. 41, Vol. LXX


UCC Launches Parliamentary Internship Program


UCC Launches Parliamentary Internship Program
for Canadian Youth

June 15, 2017. OTTAWA. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) today announced the renewal of the UCC Parliamentary Internship Program aimed at providing Ukrainian Canadian youth with meaningful political experience. UCC is pleased that the Ukrainian National Federation of Canada (UNF) is a founding sponsor and will provide the interns training through the Paul Yuzyk Institute for Youth Leadership.
Interns will work in Ottawa with Members of Parliament for 10 months on policy research, communications, legislative affairs and constituency work. They will learn firsthand about Canada’s Parliament and all aspects of the legislative and governmental process. Upon completion of the internship, UCC will work to place the interns in full-time rolls with MPs, in Ministerial Departments, or other public service roles within Government of Canada.
“We are very proud to launch our internship program, which will provide young Ukrainian Canadians with the opportunity to work with Members of Parliament and learn about public service,” stated Paul Grod, National President of the UCC. 
“I’m very pleased that the Ukrainian National Federation has agreed to be a founding sponsor of this program, and provide the necessary training and support to best prepare the interns for their work on Parliament Hill. Our objective with this program is to help ensure that the Ukrainian Canadian community continues to play a significant roll in shaping Canada’s political landscape and policies for decades to come.”
“UNF is proud to partner with UCC National as a founding sponsor of its Internship Program,” said Taras Pidzamecky, UNF National President. “As part of our commitment, we look forward to taking on the task of intern orientation through the UNF’s Paul Yuzyk Institute for Youth Leadership (PYI), named after the revered Ukrainian Canadian Senator who was a founding leader of our organization.”
UNF Canada will be making a $25,000 contribution to the Parliamentary Internship Program in its first year, in addition to providing training for the interns.
In order to bring more interns to Parliament Hill, we ask individuals and organizations to assist with financially support the UCC Parliamentary Internship Program. We estimate the cost to be $28,000/intern/year. You can make an online tax-deductible contribution byclicking here or at or by mailing at cheque to UCC C&E Trust (re Internship) to 203-952 Main Street, Winnipeg MB, R2W 3P4.
Beginning in September, this program will provide Members of Parliament with 
highly qualified assistants, and gives post-secondary graduates an opportunity to supplement their knowledge of Parliament with practical, hands-on experience. In the months of December and January, interns will work at the UCC National Office in Ottawa, learning about community advocacy.
Intern responsibilities include working with Members of Parliament in a variety of areas, including parliamentary committees, correspondence and constituency duties. Graduates of the program will be better able to significantly contribute to Canadian public life.
This internship program is for recent post-secondary graduates. To be eligible you must be a permanent resident or citizen of Canada, have recently completed a post-secondary degree and have a demonstrated interest in public affairs. 
Compensation is $20,000 for the 10 month program.
Interested candidates must complete the application form which is available on the program website and follow instructions in the form.
Application Deadline – June 30, 2017 
For any questions 
– email 
– call 613-232-8822 
– visit our website at the  UCC Parliamentary Internship Program website 

UCC-MPC provides assistance to wounded Ukrainian Veteran

The UCC-MPC Euromaidan Committee, using donations from the community, is proud to support the Ukraine War Amps Adopt a Soldier project. Community groups or individuals wishing to participate, can contact the UWA through the information noted below.


“Adopt a Soldier” provides monthly stipends of approximately $50 USD to as many Ukrainian heroes as it can. One hundred percent of the proceeds go towards Ukrainian veterans. “Adopt a Soldier” establishes a unique bridge between the donor and the amputee. The donor helps on a monthly basis and both parties are always connected!

Thanks to the financial aid coming from UCC Manitoba Provincial Council – КУК Манітоба with Lesia Szwaluk,Ostap Skrypnyk, Yuriy Hlukh, Den Volk, Іванка Баб’якand many others Ukraine War Amps had an opportunity to deliver $600 to Hero Oleksandr Darmoros! This is Oleksandr’s January – December 2017 stipends. Oleksandr and his family thank to UCC MPC for the support as it will help for the blind amputee, who last his leg and sight defending our beloved Ukraine, to go through difficult times and get better treatment.
“Daddy, I just wanna you to see again”, telling their heartbreaking story Olena, the Hero’s wife recalling their small daughter’s words.

Please spread the word about Ukraine War Amps, its deeds, as well as share UWA’s page with your contacts, friends, and family!
To join UWA and support wounded HEROES of Ukraine please visit the following link: or get in touch with us here or through the following email:

Container of Aid Sent to Ukraine

On June 3, 2017 a container of medical supplies to assist wounded and displaced victims of Russian aggression was sent to Ukraine by the UCC-MPC Euromaidan Committee. The bulk of the medical equipment was collected and donated by International Hope Canada. Costs for shipping the container to Ukraine were covered by a $5000 donation from the  Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada branch at St. Anne’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Winnipeg, as well as from proceeds of the Ukrainian Women in Politics dinner sponsored by the Winnipeg branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Women’s Council. The container will stop in Toronto where additional supplies will be added, and then sent to a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine.  Mariupol is located on the front lines of the current war and is an important strategic center.

UCC-MPC thanks everyone involved in the shipping of the this, the second container of aid it has sent to Ukraine, but especially is grateful UCWLC for their generous gift. UCC-MPC also highly values its close relationship with IHC without which the much needed medical assistance would not be able to reach Ukraine.

UCC-MPC Statement on the Anniversary of the Deportation by Joseph Stalin of the Crimean Tatars

Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Provincial Council Statement on the Anniversary of the Deportation by Joseph Stalin of the Crimean Tatars 

On May 18, 2017 the world marks the 73rd anniversary of the 1944 deportation of the entire Crimean Tatar – the indigenous people of the Crimean Peninsula – population from their homeland to far-flung regions of the Soviet Union. This criminal act of ethnic cleansing was initiated on the orders of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin as punishment for their alleged collaboration with the Germans during the Second World War. Of the 230,000 Tatars subjected to this crime, some 100,000 perished as a result.

Despite the injustice of the charges leveled against them as a group, and the horrific suffering they had to endure in exile, the Crimean Tatars were only allowed to return to their ancestral homeland in the late 1980s. Upon Ukraine gaining independence in 1991, the Crimean Tatars achieved a level of cultural and ethnic equality they had not experienced under Soviet rule.

With the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014, the fate of the Crimean Tatars has once again become tenuous. Persecution based on ethnic, social and religious grounds has become common, with Tatar language media outlets being banned and local self-government institutions curtailed. Thousands of Crimean Tatars have fled to safe haven in Ukraine. Many leading members of the Crimean Tatar community have been subjected to harassment and even imprisonment.

An extremely disturbing development, according to Amnesty International, is that the Crimean Tartar’s principle representative organisation, the Mejlis, has been banned arbitrarily by the Russian occupational government as an “extremist organisation” and any association with it has been criminalized. 

On November 12, 2015, the parliament of Ukraine adopted a resolution recognizing the deportation of the Crimean Tatars as genocide and declared 18 May as a Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Crimean Tatar genocide.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Provincial Council (UCC-MPC) urges all Canadians to remember at this time the injustices suffered by the Crimean Tatars during their deportation and exile. Additionally, we call upon the Canadian Government to maintain sanctions against the Russian Federation until such time that the Russians end their illegal occupation of Crimea. The UCC-MPC also demands that the Russian authorities respect the ethnic and community rights of the Tatar population of Crimea and that they immediately cease the policy of discrimination and repression of the indigenous population of this occupied Ukrainian region.