“Ukrainian Diaspora Days” in Lviv mark 50 years of the Ukrainian World Congress
On 27-29 August 2017, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) continued its 50th anniversary commemorations in Ukraine with Ukrainian Diaspora Days organized in Lviv by its partner, the International Institute for Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations (IIECDR) of Lviv Polytechnic National University, and an organizing committee chaired by Head of the Lviv Oblast State Administration Oleh Syniutka.
The three-day program began with opening ceremonies on 27 August 2017 at the monument to Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky where hundreds gathered to hear greetings from the UWC President Eugene Czolij, Head of the Lviv Oblast State Administration Oleh Syniutka, Metropolitan Ihor (Vozniak), Rector of the Lviv Polytechnic National University Yuriy Bobalo, Deputy Mayor of Lviv Andrii Moskalenko, and IIECDR Director Iryna Kluchkovska.
The opening ceremonies were followed by an evening prayer service at St. George Cathedral celebrated by Metropolitan Ihor (Vozniak) of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
The evening culminated with a Gala at Lviv Polytechnic National University during which the travelling exhibit “Ukrainian World Congress: Yesterday, today, tomorrow”, dedicated to the UWC 50th anniversary, was officially launched. The exhibit, produced by IIECDR, will be travelling throughout Ukraine in 2017 and 2018 visiting university and educational institutions, and engaging students in discussion about the UWC and the role of the Ukrainian diaspora.
28 August 2017 was devoted to the conference “UWC at 50 and Beyond: The European Context” – one in a series of conferences taking place in different regions of the world to examine the role of the UWC throughout its history and develop a roadmap for the future. Over 400 guests from 40 countries attended the full-day conference which examined the topics: a) “Strengthening Ukrainian communities in shaping public opinion in countries of residence”; b) “Ukrainian education as a factor in preserving national identity beyond Ukraine’s borders”; c) “Furthering the image of the new Ukraine in the world”; and d) “Defence of human rights: Humanitarian challenges facing Ukraine.”
The conference concluded with a presentation of a publication: Facts from the Archeparchy on “Ukrainian-Polish reconciliation in documents of the Hierarchy and Clergy.” The presentation was moderated by Vice Rector for Program Development of the Ukrainian Catholic University Oleh Turiy, and the speakers were UWC President Eugene Czolij, Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University Fr. Bohdan Prach, Chair of the Subcommittee on Regional and Transborder Cooperation between Ukraine and EU Member States of the European Integration Committee of the Parliament of Ukraine Oksana Yurynets and President of the Association of Ukrainians in Poland Petro Tyma.
That evening guests from the diaspora were treated to a reception hosted by the Head of the Lviv Oblast State Administration Oleh Syniutka.
The third day, 29 August 2017, filled participants with a range of emotions and cultural experiences. The day began at the historic Lychakiv Cemetery with a Tribute to Heroes from past and contemporary history who laid down their lives for Ukraine’s independence.
A visit to the Global Ukrainian Orchard at the Klymentii Sheptytsky Museum of National Architecture and Rural Life “Shevchenkivskyi Hai” followed with a ribbon-tying ceremony under the slogan “Ukrainians together – the future is ours!” Ribbons with the flags of the 53 countries in the UWC network were tied on a tree dedicated to the UWC symbolizing the unity of Ukrainians around the world.
In Lviv’s main square flowers were laid at the monument to the great poet Taras Shevchenko.
An exhibit of “Ukrainian artists of the diaspora in the collections of the National Museum in Lviv” was officially opened in conjunction with Ukrainian Diaspora Days.
The day culminated with a concert presentation on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the UWC, Reminiscencii.UA, at the Solomiya Krushelnytsky National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet produced by artistic director Iryna Маsur. Viewers were taken on an intensive journey across the tragic pages of the history of Ukraine through music, song, poetry and dance.
Throughout the three days guests were entertained by a host of cultural ensembles native to Lviv including: Galician Academic Chamber Choir, Artistic Director Vasyl Iatseniak; Capella Choir Dudaryk, Artistic Director Dmytro Katsal; Folk Chamber Orchestra “Polyphonia” of the people’s home “Prosvita” of Lviv Polytechnic National University, Artistic Director Roman Kryslenko; “Vysokyi Zamok” Academic Instrumental Ensemble of Lviv National Philharmonic, Artistic Director Andriy Iatskiv; Male Folk Chorus “Orpheus” of Lviv Polytechnic National University, Conductor Volodymyr Vivcharyk and Artistic Director Stepan Shalata; Petro Sahaidachnyi Land Forces Academy Band; Academic Capella of Ukraine “Trembita”, Artistic Director Mykola Kulyk; Folk Music Ensemble “Pervotsvit”, Prosvita, Lviv Polytechnic, Director Stepan Shalata; Iryna Ziabchyk, soloist of the Kyiv National Presidential Orchestra, Kyiv Opera and Ballet Theatre for Young People; Ballet “Life”, Artistic Director Iryna Masur with artists Iryna Dolia, Liliia Vavryn, Sofia Fedyna, Bria Blessing, Petro Radejk, Vasyl Popadiuk.
Organizers of Ukrainian Diaspora Days included the IIECDR, Lviv Oblast State Administration, Lviv Polytechnic National University, Solomiya Krushelnytskyi Lviv National Academic Theatre for Opera and Ballet, Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum in Lviv, Lviv Archeparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, with individual events being organized by Lviv Oblast Council, City of Lviv, Klymentii Sheptytsky Museum of National Architecture and Rural Life “Shevchenkivskyi Hai”, and Petro Sahaydachny National Land Forces Academy.
“The Ukrainian World Congress wholeheartedly thanks all of the organizers of Ukrainian Diaspora Days in Lviv, which further enhanced awareness of the UWC and its activities in our 50th anniversary year, and calls for further strengthening of cooperation with the UWC in pursuit of common goals,” said UWC President Eugene Czolij.
In the photo: “Tribute to Heroes” in the Lychakiv Cemetery – E. Czolij delivers address