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February 24th marks one year since the full-scale russian aggression against Ukraine. The UCC organized a nation-wide candle-lit vigil to recognize 365 days of Ukraine’s resistance, to commemorate fallen soldiers and tens of thousands of civilians who died in the war.
The snow and cold did not prevent Ukrainians and friends of Ukraine from gathering together in Halifax to mark the year of the full-scale, genocidal war of russia against Ukraine. We thank everyone who showed up and sent messages of strong support to Ukrainians defending their land: Mayor Mike Savage, Minister Barbara Adams, MLA Zach Churchill, MLA John MacDonald, MP Andy Fillmore, MP Lena Metlege-Diab, MP Darren Fischer, and US Consul General Lyra Carr.
Observing Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day
Saturday, November 26, 5pm-6:30pm – “Food as a Weapon: Hunger Politics”. Presentation and documentary screening “Stalin’s Secret Genocide” (Saint Mary’s University, Atrium 101923 Robie Street). This event is organized by UCC and Ukrainian Canadian association Halifax-Dartmouth Region)
Saturday, November 26, 7:00pm – a Candlelight Vigil at Peace and Friendship Park organized by UCC and Ukrainian Canadian association Halifax-Dartmouth Region. Candles will be lit until 19:32-19:33 (military time) to commemorate the deadly Holodomor years of 1932-1933.
Sunday, November 27, 4:00pm — a Commemorative Panakhyda (Memorial Service) for Holodomor Victims at Saint Anthony’s Church, 26 Courtney Road, Dartmouth (organized by Saint Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Mission).
FOOD BANK DONATIONS ARE WELCOME
Holodomor Descendants’ Network was launched by the Ukrainian World Congress to continue the mission of our survivors for truth and recognition.
Unite Against Tyrannies Rally November 19, 2022.
Hundreds of people came to the Peace and Friendship park to protest against the oppressive regimes in russia and Iran which target people of Ukraine and Iran. They chanted “All together we will win! All together we will win!” This was also a message for the delegates of the international security forum taking place in Halifax. Representatives of the local Ukrainian and Iranian communities, the members of the provincial and federal government, and forum delegates who took the stage highlighted the importance of international efforts in standing united against tyrannies and supporting the ongoing fight for freedom of Ukrainian and Iranian people.
Support Rally for Ukraine
On October 15th, Ukrainians of Halifax protested the recent barbaric attacks by the terrorist russian state on Ukrainian cities. The attacks caused multiple deaths, injuries, and damage to the civil infrastructure. The protesters held photos of destruction in Zaporizhzhia and Kyiv and their message was clear — russia is using terror against Ukrainian civilians as one of its war tactics. While the Ukrainian community will always come together to show our position and support, we need a much stronger reaction from the Canadian government as well. The Nova Scotia branch of Ukrainian-Canadian Congress joins our voices with the protesters and urges the Canadian Parliament to recognize russia is a state sponsor of terrorism.
Independence Day Proclamation, Halifax, August 24, 2022
On August 24, Ukraine’s modern independent state is turning 31. It is also a day with a grim milestone — 6 months of russian genocidal war against Ukraine. UCC NS Branch will mark this day in Halifax by proudly raising Ukrainian flag with @Mayor Mike Savage and gathering together as the community to celebrate the resistance and bravery of the Ukrainian people.
Nova Scotians, let’s show our solidarity with Ukraine by flying its flag on our homes and businesses on August 24.
Glory to Ukraine!
Supporting Ukrainian Paracanoe Team at Canoe’22
Congratulations to Ukrainian Canoe and Paracanoe teams! The Ukrainian Paracanoe team is in the second place with two Gold and one Silver medals and the Ukrainian Canoe team is in the seventh play with two Gold, one Silver, and two Bronze metals. Thank you for all who came to support our Ukrainian athletes. We also thank Nova Scotians who stopped by our booth and made donations to support the Olympic Circle, the charitable fund created by Ukrainian athletes to support those affected by war, including athletes who volunteered to go to the frontlines and defend Ukraine on a battlefield.
Nova Multifest 2022, July 22, 23 & 24
Thank you everyone who supported our Fundraiser: all sponsors, visitors, and the organizer, Nova Multifest Society, for their support! The Ukrainian booth saw many visitors over three days. The festival was filled with music, food, and cultural activities. We are grateful to our sponsors for their support and donations, and we congratulate our raffle winners! All collected funds (close to $6000 CAD) will be sent to the volunteer paramedic organization, Medical Batallion Hospitallers, helping on the frontlines in Ukraine.
SALUTE TO UKRAINE — rain or shine!
SALUTE TO UKRAINE, a fundraiser to support Ukraine, was planned to be held during the final day of The Royal International Tattoo Festival on July 2 at the Grand Parade. Unfortunately, the festival got cancelled 2 hours before the start due to the weather forecast. However, it didn’t stop the team of Ukrainian volunteers to proceed with their fundraiser. Musicians from Balaklava Blues gave a short live performance to the cheers of the small crowd. Delicious traditional pies and cookies were popular! Besides baked goods, we also sold quite a few t-shirts with awesome and inspiring designs by Andriy Yermolenko. Next day, thanks to the organizers of the Harbourside Ribfest, we were able to set up a booth at Alderney Landing on July 3rd. Thank you, Chris and Ashley! In two days we collected $8,000 dollars that will be sent to the Medical Batallion Hospitallers, a volunteer organization of paramedics that works directly on the front lines since 2014. Thank you everyone for your support!
Local Community Opens a Ukrainian Store with Donated Items
A huge thank-you to Rick Langille and his team of dedicated volunteers for helping people who arrived from Ukraine to obtain necessities for their new homes in Nova Scotia. On Saturday June 18th, a team of volunteers transformed storage spaces filled with boxes of various items donated by Nova Scotians into a store of ‘previously loved’ and new items for the war-displaced Ukrainians. Thank you to all who worked behind the scenes to provide the space for the Ukrainian Store. The items are free and the pick up is by appointment that can be arranged one the store’s website. If you wish to donate any items, please contact Rick Langille using this form. The space is limited and items will be accepted based on the current needs. A UCC representative will be supervising the store on Thursdays.
Vyshyvanka Day and #SaveMariupol
Third Thursday of May is a Vyshyvanka Day (Vyshyvanka is a traditional Ukrainian embroidered shirt). It celebrates the deep symbolism, the mastery, and the beauty of this ancient Ukrainian art and its use in modern Ukraine. Wearing our vyshyvankas in these times of russia’s war against Ukraine frequently serves as an emotional chainmail, as if the colorful threads connect us to our ancestors and remind us about their resilience in keeping the traditions and culture alive during centuries of oppression. On May 15, we came together to show our support to the courageous defenders of Mariupol, who were fighting in a besieged city for over two months. There is famous Ukrainian song that references the embroidery’s symbolism — “the red thread is love, and the black one is sorrow”, which are so often intertwined in Ukrainian history.
After weeks of intense preparations, HalifaxStandWithUkraine fundraiser event on April 23, was a great success. We appreciate the enormous support from local artists, crafters, and businesses who donated their time, their works and products as in-kind donations. A team of extraordinary volunteers who planned, coordinated, baked traditional Ukrainian sweets, purchased or crafted traditional items, designed websites, communicated with local media, run an online auction, sang, danced, played music, and managed the booths made this event a success. We thank the YMCA for providing a location and everyone who attended this event and made donations. Together, we collected over $58000 to send to the Come Back Alive foundation, an organizations that works since 2014 to save lives of Ukrainian soldiers on the frontlines.
Commemorating victims of war
On March 26, the Ukrainian community of Halifax came together to commemorate the victims of putin’s war in Ukraine, including more than 100 children who died during the first month of invasion. It was a quiet and somber gathering. The bright colours of children’s toys, each representing a child’s life cut short by the Russian aggression, were in sharp contrast with the heavy atmosphere, muffled conversations, and long periods of silence. Printed posters showed schools, libraries, and cultural centres that turned to rubble by Russian bombs. Even here in Nova Scotia, if felt that the whole nation is under attack and no life will be spared in Putin’s attempts to take over Ukraine.
#No Fly Zone!
On March 13, the chilling wind didn’t stop about fifty UCC members and supporters from walking around downtown Halifax chanting “No Fly Zone!” The political rhetoric of world’s leaders didn’t leave much hope for it to happen, yet we desperately need coordinated action to stop killing of Ukrainian civilians by Russian air bombardments! At the very least, coming together as a community and chanting “NoFlyZone!” helped us endure those days filled with terrible, unbearable news. Whether with hope or without, we were determined to come to the streets to share the message and demand actions.
Ukraine’s Support Rally
On March 5, UCC organized a rally appealing to Canadian politicians to support Ukraine and establish No Fly Zone over Ukraine to stop Russian air strikes that were taking lives of many civilians and destroying Ukrainian cities and villages. Mayor Mike Savage, Members of Parliament Lena Metlege Diab and Andy Fillmore, Minister of Labour, Skills, and Immigration Jill Balser, MLAs Gary Burrill, Kelly Regan, and Ben Jessome attended the rally to demonstrate their solidarity with Ukrainian people and support their resistance against the russian aggression. And it wasn’t just encouraging words. On February 26, the Province of Nova Scotia donated $100 000 to the UCC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal to provide immediate help to people of Ukraine displaced by the war. With the growing number of refugees, it was clear that some would come to Canada. We heard the reassurance that they will be supported when they arrive to Nova Scotia. UPDATE: In May, Halifax Regional Council donated $50 000 for UCC’s Humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine.
Around 4am, on February 24, 2022, first Russian bombs fell on the Ukrainian land bringing death and destruction. The war has began. Two days later, on February 26, hundreds of Nova Scotians came to Grand Parade to protest the Russian invasion and occupation. Many held signs “Stop Putin, Stop War”, “Canada Supports Ukraine”, and “We stand with Ukraine”. Despite the feelings of shock and disbelief, there was a growing demonstration of support from Nova Scotians, the Canadian Government, and people around the world who also came to the streets to show their protest. This was the first of many rallies that Ukrainian-Canadian Congress of NS organized to make our message clear — we all need to work together to support people of Ukraine in their fight for their land, their freedom, and their future.
Holodomor Commemoration Day
On November 27, 2021, following a campaign of letter writing to provincial politicians, the Government of Nova Scotia issued a Proclamation for Ukrainian Famine and Genocide Memorial Day to be commemorated each November 27th. The framed proclamation was signed by Honourable Premier Tim Houston and presented to the community by Steve Craig, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, at the Holodomor Commemoration event held on November 27 at the Halifax Central Library. After welcoming remarks and presentation of the proclamation, the audience viewed a documentary “Hunger for Truth: The Rhea Clyman Story”. It is a story about a Canadian journalist, who tried to shed light on the horrific effects of the famine in 1932-1933. The documentary was followed by a panel discussion with Jars Balan and Dr. Elizabeth Haigh, moderated by Dr. Lyubov Zhyznomirska (Department of Political Science, Saint Mary’s University). During the event, Fr. Roman Dusanowskyj, priest at the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church, said a prayer for the victims and survivors of the Holodomor.
Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day Act
In August 2021, representatives from the national and local UCC branches and members of the Ukrainian community called onto local politicians to recognize Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor). Ben Jessome, an MLA for Hammonds Plains and Lucasville, answered the call and introduced Bill 94 to establish the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day in Nova Scotia, which passed all three readings. An Act to Establish a Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day was assented by the Lieutenant Governor on April 22. As a result, “Throughout the Province, in each and every year, the fourth Saturday in November shall be kept and observed under the name Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day.”