On 10-12 November 2017 in Toronto, Canada, commemorative events marked the 50th anniversary of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) including a two-day international conference, commemorative banquet and gala concert.
The International Conference “UWC at 50 and Beyond: The Roadmap” held 10-11 November 2017 summarized one half century of UWC work and contributed to the development of the main priorities for future activity. Participating were religious, state high-ranking officials and diplomatic representatives of Ukraine and Canada, politicians, the leadership and representatives of UWC member organizations from 10 countries and leaders of UWC partner organizations – the International Institute for Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations of Lviv Polytechnic National University in Ukraine and the Atlantic Council of the United States.
A commemorative banquet concluded the first day of the conference on 10 November 2017. The program opened with the national anthems sung by the Prometheus male chorus of the Ukrainian Youth Association Toronto Branch, followed by a prayer offered by Fr. Bohdan Choly of St. Cyril and Methodius Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in St. Catharines, Ontario, with a benediction from Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate Yevstratiy (Zorya).
Greetings were presented by UWC Vice President and Ukrainian Canadian Congress President Paul Grod, Member of Parliament of Canada Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Canadian Senator Raynell Andreychuk, Consul General of Ukraine in Toronto Andriy Veselovsky, UWC Second Vice President and President of the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations Orysia Sushko, Director of the International Institute of Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations Iryna Kluchkovska, and Member of Parliament of Ukraine Viktor Kryvenko. A letter of greetings from Minister of Science and Education of Ukraine Lilia Hrynevych was read by Chair of the UWC International Educational Coordinating Council Oksana Wynnyckyj-Yusypovych.
The keynote address at the banquet was delivered by Acting Minister of Health of Ukraine Dr. Ulana Suprun who focused on the positive changes in Ukraine over recent years and the country’s path of reform in the healthcare system.
UWC President Eugene Czolij delivered the closing remarks calling for the continued support of the work of the UWC in the defence of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the UWC Archbishop Yevstratiy presented to Eugene Czolij a medal of recognition for the UWC from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate – the Order of St. Apostolic Prince Volodymyr the Great II Rank.
The President of the Association of Ukrainians “Zakerzonnia” Alla Kobeliak and President of the Lemko Association of Canada Roman Kolos presented Eugene Czolij with a commemorative medal for the UWC issued on the 70th anniversary of Akcija Wisla.
Chair of the International UWC 50th Anniversary Committee Iryna Mycak expressed gratitude to all who contributed to the success of commemorative events throughout the world during the course of the year.
The banquet also included a screening of the documentary film “50 years of the Ukrainian World Congress.”
On 11 November 2017 a Gala Concert included performances by world renowned Taras Shevchenko Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus of North America, Canadian mezzo soprano Stephania Romaniuk and virtuoso violinist Vasyl Popadiuk with the Papa Duke band.
The concert program also featured brief historical facts about the UWC, scenes from 50th anniverary cmmemorations around the world, a video produced by students of Lviv Polytechnic National University titled “What do you know about the Ukrainian World Congress?”, and video excerpts from the Ballet of Life performed by Reminiscencii.UA.
Commemorative events in Toronto were concluded with a meeting of the UWC Board of Directors and a social evening with current and former members of the UWC leadership on 12 November 2017, the 50th anniversary of the first day of the First World Congress of Free Ukrainians.
“Commemorative events in Toronto were part of the very successful worldwide eventsmarking the 50th anniversary of the Ukrainian World Congress,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
The keynote address during the banquet by Acting Minister of Health can be viewed HERE.
The closing remarks during the banquet by the UWC President can be viewed HERE.
In the photo: Acting Minister of Health of Ukraine Dr. U. Suprun