To: Board of Directors, Ukrainian Canadian Congress
June 24-26, 2011, AGM, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
From: UCC Montreal Branch/ Quebec Provincial Council.
(Activities From June 5, 2010 to June 25, 2011)
General Information: The UCC Montreal branch has 34 member organizations,
including church organizations, each able to designate two delegates to UCC
Montreal. An annual membership is paid to UCC Montreal branch, which assists in
creating a working budget for the branch’s activities. An exception is made for the
Ukrainian university student associations at McGill and Concordia, which pay no
membership dues. The UCC Quebec Provincial Council has representation on its
executive from Northern Quebec area, which has a sizeable, scattered Ukrainian
population, but no longer has any active organization. However, the recent opening
of Spirit Lake Internment Interpretive Centre has changed this.
Meetings of UCC Montreal are held once a month, alternating between an
executive meeting and an all-delegates meeting. UCC Montreal held 5 executive
meetings and 6 delegates meetings, as well as, one special committee meeting.
Ongoing matters are handled by phone throughput the year, and by e-mail on a daily
SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS OF MAJOR UCC MONTREAL PROJECTS
Spirit Lake Internment Interpretive Center
UCC Montreal has worked closely with this project for several years.
The opening of the First Internment Interpretive Centre, costing 1.2 million
dollars, was open to the public Saturday, June 28, 2011 at La Ferme, Northern
Quebec. Spirit Lake was the 2nd largest Internment camp established during
Canada’s First National Internment Operations 1914-20. Mainly Ukrainians were
interned. This Centre will be open throughout the year to schools and tourists.
This project was 10 years in the making, with remarkable headway made the last
3 years. This was accomplished due to the tireless dedication of Camp Spirit Lake
Corporation (CSLC) board members, chaired by James Slobodian and his team of
volunteers. This project was made possible with the help of a major grant from the
Canadian WW1 Internment Recognition Fund settled with the Federal Government,
administered under the Shevchenko Foundation, chaired by Andrij Hladyshevsky.
In the last several months, over one million brochures were distributed across
Canada and throughout Quebec, highlighting Spirit Lake Centre and inviting visitors
to come. (Despite many hurdles, the Centre finally opened to tourists end of June.)
The official gala opening of Spirit Lake Centre will be held in the Fall of 2011
with dignitaries present. Everyone welcome. This Centre brings awareness to and
integrates the internment story into Quebec society as a whole.
July 8, 2010 Was the official construction launch of the Sprit Lake Internment
Interpretive Centre. A former church building was acquired at La Ferme, gutted out,
and rebuilt into a modern internment museum, with display, educational facility,
boutique. Representatives from the municipal, provincial and federal governments
were present at the Launch, including Mr. Andrij Hladyshevsky, president of the
August 29, 2010 UCC’s annual Banquet marking 19th Anniversary of renewed
Independence of Ukraine and 70th Anniversary of UCC National. Guest speaker was
UCC National president, Pavlo Grod. Special UCC National Awards and certificates
were presented to Mdme. Louise Beaudoin, Deputy of Rosemount; UCC past
president Marika Putko; historian Prof. Roman Serbyn; filmmaker Yurij Luhovy,
Canadian Museum for Human Rights: UCC Montreal responded to UCC’s call to
action to ensure that the Holodomor and Internment be included prominently.
Issue was frequently discussed. Prof. Roman Serbyn recommended another
approach, that of having “human rights” as the central theme of the museum, from
which all human rights abuses would be addressed. His analysis and paper can be
accessed on the internet.
Prof. Serbyn also prepared a response to the defamatory “Open Letter” signed by
over 100 academics attacking the Ukrainian community on this issue. This open
letter, signed by several known members of the community, creating more reaction.
February, 2011 UCC Montreal marked the 120th anniversary of Ukrainians in
Canada. The premiere of the newly remastered (from 16mm film) documentary
film Ukrainians in Quebec 1891-1945, produced and directed by Yurij Luhovy.
Film captures the early history based on old, salvaged photographs, documents and
interviews. Most of those interviewed about the beginnings of the Montreal and
Northern Quebec communities, have since passed away. Their story remains. A
section also includes Spirit Lake internment (see: www.yluhovy.com)
June 15, 2011 The Montreal premiere held of the multi-award winning feature
documentary Genocide Revealed directed by filmmaker Yurij Luhovy on the
Kremlin-engineered genocide of the Ukrainian nation, at “Dim Molodi”. Narrated by
actor Graham Greene and voice over by Jill Hennessy and Lubomir Mykytiuk. This is
the 75min English version of Okradena Zemlya. The film captures the catastrophic
human tragedy that befell the Ukrainian nation during the 1932-33 Soviet man-
made famine genocide and the decimation of its national elite.
(The documentary was incorporated in the University of Manitoba 6-credit course
this summer on the Teaching of the Holodomor and Internment (“Social Justice-
Pedagogy-Technology”), organized by Prof. Denis Hlynka and Prof. Orest Cap.)
A shorter, 52min, educational version of Genocide Revealed is being produced for
schools and universities.
July-August 2010: Assisted in seeking Holodomor survivors living in Montreal and
area, at the request of UCRDC of Toronto for their project’s filming of the last
remaining survivors in Canada.
September 2010 Participated at the Annual Montreal Ukrainian Festival. UCC had
its information table on activities of UCC, Holodomor, Internment and other issues.
Taras Zalucky, executive director of UCC National, attended from Ottawa and was
part of Montreal UCC’s information kiosk regarding the work of the National.
September 26, 2010 Montreal premiere of the award-winning English version of
the feature documentary film Bereza Kartuzka by filmmaker Yurij Luhovy. Present
was one of the last survivors of Bereza Kartuzka, as well as others, whose family
members were unjustly imprisoned between 1934-39. This is a story of the many
Ukrainian Canadians that were taken to Bereza Katuzka, These survivors, later
helped build many Ukrainian Canadian organizations, upon their arrival after WW2.
November 27, 2010 UCC’s Annual Holodomor Commemoration. Guest speaker
was Prof. Roman Serbyn, Participants from other Montreal communities,
government representatives and from Ottawa’s Ukraine Embassy also present.
November 25, 2010 Participated in “Intercultural Dialogue Institute”, guest speaker
Dr.Jack Jedwab, executive director, Association for Canadian Studies. His topic,
“Quebec One Big Family”. Representatives from various cultural groups attended.
November 30, 2010 Holodomor Commemoration Ceremony in Ottawa.
January, 2011 Launch of new UCC Montreal web site: uccmontreal.org
January 23, 2011 UCC’s annual “Sviato Sobornosty” (1919-2011). Prof. Roman
Serbyn guest speaker, re-capping historical events then and their ramifications for
today, commenting on what is occurring in today’s current government.
March 13, 2011 UCC’s annual Shevchenko Concert with guest speaker, Mgr. Orest
Pawliw (long-time UCC cultural-educational chairperson).
March 21, 2011 The Annual Syrnick Journalism Award, held at McGill Faculty Club.
Award was presented to journalist Frederick Lavoie of La Presse. Over 100
representatives from various Montreal organizations attended. Very successful
event. Co-ordinated by Dr. Chrystia Turkewych for the Shevchenko Foundation.
June 25, 2011 The Historical Train of Ukrainian Pioneers organized by the Embassy
of Ukraine in Canada (Ottawa), marking the 120th anniversary of Ukrainian
immigration to Canada, visit to Montreal. UCC Montreal adhered to UCC National’s
decision, following discussions via Teleconference with UCC’s Board of Directors,
not to be officially involved in the project. However, individuals could make their
This ignited an ongoing discussion-debate as to whether Ukrainian Canadians
should participate in this project, in view of the present political repressions and
anti-Ukrainian policies of the current Ukrainian Government, which is part of this
UCPBFederation wrote a letter on June 22, 2011 to UCC National, in this regard.
UCC Montreal is marking various important historic dates in the Montreal
community a) the 100th anniversary of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Parish. It is
from this church that 60 families were taken to be interned at Sprit Lake b) the 65th
anniversary of St. Yurij Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Lachine, some members were
also affected by internment c) 50th anniversary of “Zhinocha Lanka”
UCC Montreal members participated on all the various teleconference meetings
throughout the year, on the following UCC National Committees: Holodomor
Education, Holodomor Awareness, 120th Commemoration of Ukrainians in Canada,
Ukrainian schools in Canada, Internment. (It is difficult to appoint or find
volunteers to work on these Committees.)
Students/Youth: Efforts are made to continue working with the McGill Ukrainian
Students Association (MUSA) and the Concordia Ukrainian Students Club (CUSC).
Special thank you to:
UCC Montreal executive members and UCC Montreal delegates, who make this very
time-consuming work, possible to handle.
Special thank you to Marika Putko, Bohdanna Klecor-Hawryluk, Olena Kulishova,
Yourko Kulychyj, Pavlo Showhaniuk, as well as Artem Luhovy, Simon Kouklewsky,
To UCC National for their hard work on the many issues confronting the community;
for setting up the various National Committees ex. Holodomor Education
Committee, as an effective way to implement coordination of these important
programs, vital to the community.
Thank you to the staff at UCC National in Winnipeg. For their quick response to any
questions Montreal may have.
i) A UCC Montreal “Round Table Discussion” being planned for September to
address a) how to motivate more members of the community to become involved in
issues and b) to reflect on other aspects regarding the future, past and present of the
ii) UCC to invite Valentina Kuryliw, Chair, Holodomor Education, to speak in Mtl.
Montreal would be interesting to hear how other branches are approaching the
need to revitalize UCC, mobilize commitment to work on various issues and make
UCC more relevant within the local communities and their respective province. This
is turn will strengthen the National and make us more visible in Canadian affairs.
Web site: uccmontreal.org
Tel no: 514 481 5871 or 514 725 0812