UCC 24th Triennial Congress

By Walter Derzko


1 - Delegates UNF and Affiliated Organizations, guests at UCC 24th Triennial CongressThe 

UCC 24th Triennial Congress, which took place on November 8th to 10th at the Toronto Airport Marriott, was attended by almost 400 delegates, guests, speakers and media and over 50 delegates from the UNF and Affiliated Organizations – one of the largest delegate groups. It featured two days of well-planned plenary panel discussions. The first topic on Religious, Academic and Media Freedoms, was chaired by Daniel Bilak and featured Dr. Andrew Bennett (Ottawa), Dr. Serhiy Kvit (NaUKMA) and Dr. Pavlo Khobzey (Ukrainian Catholic University).

A panel on the Canadian Museum of Human Rights led to a lively discussion during question period on what next steps should be taken by UCC.

Friday night saw a new event for the Congress, the Ukrainian Dragon’s competition, were over 40 community groups from across Canada competed for prizes from the six dragons. The three finalist were SUSK, The Vesnivka Choir and the Lemon Bucket Orkestra.

The highlight of the conference was the 3d panel on Saturday afternoon on Ukraine-One Year After the Parliamentary Elections, which saw Hanna Herman (Party of Regions), Serhij Leshchenko (Ukrainksa Pravda) and Andrij Mokhnyk (Svoboda) in a lively opinionated debate.

The sold-out Gala dinner on Saturday night with 620 guests, featured the Prime Minister of Canada. Instead of a formal speech, The Right Honourable Stephan Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, sat down with the moderator of the evening, Yuri Klufas from KONTAKT TV for an informal “fireside chat” The dialogue ranged from the light-hearted to the serious. The discussion kicked off with the Prime Minister reflecting on his Ukrainian chef in Ottawa and his love of hockey with his new, long-awaited book called A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs & The Rise of Professional Hockey, which recounts the early years of professional hockey in Toronto in the early 1900’s. Ottawa Senator’s owner, Eugene Melnyk, who later thanked the Prime Minister for his appearance, was so excited by the book that he bought 350 copies and donated the book to all the UCC Congress delegates.

The Prime Minister also touched on more pressing, timely and serious matter such as redress for the internment, Canadian government support for democracy, human rights, rule of law in Ukraine, the Vilnius summit, the Tymoshenko situation, the two great evils of the 20th century, Fascism and Communism, the Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, and the proposed Tribute to Liberty memorial in Ottawa that would commemorate the millions of victims of Communism worldwide in the past century. This was followed by the presentation of the Shevchenko medals and the St. Volodymyr medals.

Numerous concurrent breakout workshops were also planned over the two days giving delegates a choice of four or five topics to choose from. The various topics were: Fundraising, Integration of the 4th wave into the community, Beyond Red Boots-Today’s Ukrainian Canadian Arts and Culture, Church and Community Roles, How can the UCC engage the next generation, Changes in Charitable Regulations, Restoring Ukraine’s Historic Memory, Ukrainian-Jewish Relations, Government Relations, Holodomor –the Canadian Story, Canada-Ukraine-People to People, Ukrainian Language Education in Canada-Successes and Challenges, Profiles of Ukrainians in Today’s Media.

The third day, Sunday was reserved for finalizing the Congress resolutions and the installation of the President of UCC, Paul Grod, who was re-elected for a third term.

The single oversight and suggestion that I heard from an Edmonton delegate from the floor was that the next triennial congress should provide some accountability for past resolutions from the last congress. The resolutions from the previous congress in Edmonton, Alberta were printed in the Delegate Program, but there was no information about who proposed each resolution, who was responsible for carrying it out and how much of each resolution was actually implemented-all, partial implementation or none.

Overall most delegates and guests were extremely pleased with the organization and running of the Congress. Students and delegates will especially remember the 2 days of fun, singing, the live band Zapovid and the merriment which stretched well into the night in Room 916. This Hospitality suite was hosted by the UNF of Canada and The New Pathway Newspaper and sponsored by Les Salnick.

The entire community wishes the new Board of Directors continued success in all their endeavors.

2 – New UCC Board of Directors


1 - Delegates UNF and Affiliated Organizations, guests at UCC 24th Triennial Congress

2 – New UCC Board of Directors