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Toronto, ON – June 26, 2017. Over two hundred community members and friends attended Canada 150: Building the Ukrainian Story Gala and Live Auction on Friday, June 16th at the Old Mill Toronto.

The evening was a celebration of this extraordinary milestone and to launch a new initiative of the BCU Foundation, the Canada 150 Fund, which will provide scholarship opportunities for Ukrainian-Canadian graduate students and young scholars encouraging research in science, technology, business, finance and other disciplines.

 The celebration started off with a cocktail reception featuring a “build your own” Caesar bar and art auction preview, along with musical entertainment by Carissa Klopoushak.  The anthems and Lord’s Prayer were delightfully performed by the Children’s Choir Zajvir with Olesia Konyk conducting. The opening remarks were delivered by BCU Board of Directors chairperson Michael Szepetyk.  Master   of   Ceremonies Olia Lishchyna proposed a toast to Canada which was followed by a mouthwatering 5-course Canadian themed dinner experience with select wine pairings.

 Guests enjoyed a special presentation about the newly built Canadian Museum of History by its President and CEO, Mark O’Neill, where he described the invaluable contributions Ukrainians made in the development of Canada going back 125 years. He also touched on some exhibits, such as photographs and a cross fashioned from barbed wire, which are painful reminders of when the Canadian Government was not so gracious to its citizens and interned thousands of Ukrainians in internment camps throughout Canada during WWI. Mr. O’Neill also highlighted the focal point of the Canadian History Hall within the Museum - the St. Onuphrius Ukrainian Catholic Church, a powerful symbol of late 19th and early 20th century settlement across the Prairies. Mr. O’Neill took this opportunity to thank the BCU Foundation for its generous donation of $100,000 to the Museum. “BCU Foundation’s gift is our tribute to Canada, the country the Ukrainian-Canadian community has called home for over 125 years,” stated BCUF Chair Roman Medyk. “This is a celebration of a Ukrainian-Canadian story and a symbolic mark of our ongoing contribution to the enrichment of Canada’s diversity and prosperity.”

 The highlight of evening was the live auction conducted by Maria Huska, which incorporated unique experiences and works of art of renowned Canadian and Ukrainian, and international masters such as: Alexander Archipenko, Natalka Husar, Jacques Hnizdovsky, Vasyl Kondratiuk, Gregor Kruk, Peter Shostak, Myron Levytsky and many others. Over $30,000  was  raised  for the Canada  150  Fund  through  sponsorships and auction item sales.

Canada 150: Building the Ukrainian Story Gala and Live Auction was truly a unique and extraordinary evening for all who attended.

Lada Kozak



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