Workshops for the XXVII Triennial Congress
Please browse all the amazing speakers and moderators for each of the workshops that will be hosted at the Triennial.
Workshop 1 – The Future of Ukrainian Education in Canada
Oksana Levytska started her teaching career in 1989 in Ukraine, where she worked as a teacher of English and served as the Vice-Principal of a secondary school. Oksana‘s teaching vocation goes back to Ukraine, and currently, she is TESL and OCT certified.
Oksana has more than ten years’ of experience in both public education and in heritage school systems in Ontario. She is currently a guidance teacher while also developing secondary level credit courses at the DPCDSB. She is also a principal of the Ukrainian Saturday School Ridna Shkola in Oakville, Ontario and leading the International Languages/Ukrainian Credit Course program with the HCDSB.
Oksana’s active participation in the Ukrainian community involves serving in the educational committees and on the boards of directors of the organizations which led her through various levels of her journey in Ukrainian education in Canada. She has performed leading roles at the UNF Canada Ukrainian Schools Initiatives Committee (since 2010) and UCC Ukrainian-Canadian School Board (since 2007) with further chairing the UCC National Ukrainian Educational Council (since 2016). In her role she has been involved in reviving, initiating and supporting UNF heritage schools and the schools across Canada as well as in providing professional development conferences, workshops and webinars for educators across Canada and internationally.
Recently Oksana chaired the UCC National Ukrainian Education Council. The NUEC activities include creating public awareness of Ukrainian schools in Canada and promoting enrolment in them as well as facilitating communication between Ukrainian language schools in order to enable sharing of resources and information and to continue the work of the networking projects undertaken at the initiative of the UCC.
Most recent appointments of Oksana are chairing the UWC International Educational Coordinating Council (2019) aimed to continue with the development of Ukrainian education and nurturing the Ukrainian national identity outside Ukraine. She is a board member of the UCC Ontario Provincial Council with her role in supporting Ukrainian communities in Ontario to start heritage Ukrainian schools.
Tetiana’s extensive leadership experience includes working as the principal of Novopecherska School in Kyiv, Saturday Ukrainian school in Toronto, and vice-principal of multiple high schools in the Toronto District School Board.
As president of the Ukrainian Canadian School Board in Toronto and chair of the National Ukrainian Education Council, Tetiana leads the development of Ukrainian as a foreign language program, including the writing and approbation of textbooks “Let’s Speak Ukrainian” for grades 1-11 students. When the war in Ukraine started, Tetiana initiated the “Learning to Be” project with the Ministry of Education and Science in Ukraine. She gathered over 200 teachers worldwide who supported Ukrainian children by working with them online.
Tetiana has organized and facilitated professional workshops for Ukrainian teachers and has chaired the organizing committee of 3 Canadian National Conferences and an online World Conference for Ukrainian Teachers.
Tetiana’s favourite quotation is by Roy T. Bennett: “Believe in your infinite potential. Your only limitations are those you set upon yourself.” She strives to challenge herself but also aims to deliver a professional experience that will energize and empower others.
Nataliya Sovinska is an author and researcher of works focusing on the lives and activities of Ukrainians in the diaspora. As a researcher and teacher, Nataliya Sovinska began her work in Ukraine. She continued her studies in Winnipeg, Canada, and currently works as a middle school teacher in the English-Ukrainian Bilingual Program in the public school system in Winnipeg. Her experience also includes teaching adults Ukrainian as a foreign language at the Ukrainian Heritage School of Prosvita Reading Association in Winnipeg. Nataliya is a Vice-President of the National Ukrainian Education Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and volunteers on the committees for the Reading Room of the Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre and the Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences in Canada (UVAN). She is on the Manitoba Parents for Ukrainian Education (MPUE) advisory committee. Nataliya actively participates in the Ukrainian community and on organizing committees, including the National Conferences for Ukrainian Educators in Canada in 2018, 2019, and 2021 and the U-WIN Summer Day Camp for Ukrainian Newcomer Children.
From her early days at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, to her establishment of the first Ukrainian Bilingual program as a Second Language Supervisor, and on to her appointment as a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta and now also the Acting Director of the Ukrainian Language Education Centre – Dr. Bilash has been committed to developing professionalism in second language education, the teaching and learning of Ukrainian in particular, and global citizenship and youth leadership in all aspects of her professional and community endeavours.
Olenka has led a number of initiatives throughout her career and service as an award-winning professor, researcher and administrator including: the Research Initiative on Democratic Reform in Ukraine (RIDRU), for which she partnered to lead following Ukraine’s tumultuous Revolution of Dignity; and more recently the development of educational videos about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) for learners of different levels of Ukrainian competence with a team consisting of two MITACS students from Ukraine and Ukrainian language educators across the country.
Professor Bilash draws on her learning resource development (author of the Nova series) and professional development experience with heritage, indigenous and official language educators to advocate for linguistic equality at national and international levels.
Vlodko (Volodymyr) Boychuk has been involved in Canada’s Ukrainian language education system for the past 23 years. At first, V. Boychuk was an instructor of an Oral Ukrainian course at the University of Alberta, where he was working on his Master’s degree. Later, Vlodko taught evening adult Ukrainian classes and Ridna Shkola Saturday Heritage school in Edmonton. For the past two decades, V. Boychuk has taught Ukrainian Language Arts classes in Junior High and High Schools in Sherwood Park, Alberta. He is also actively involved in the Ukrainian Canadian community life: from 2010-2016, Vlodko was the National President of the Ukrainian Education Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. For the past eight years, he has been the President of the Alberta Foundation for Ukrainian Education Society (AFUES) and Alberta Ukrainian Media Association (AUMA).
Elena Krueger is the president of the Saskatchewan Provincial Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. She is a second-generation Ukrainian-Canadian born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, with strong ties to her Ukrainian culture, language, and faith background. Having taught elementary and high school in Dauphin, MB; Okotoks, AB; and Nagoya, Japan, Elena and her husband, Rob, now live in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. They both teach at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, where they have been for the past 22 years. Together, they have raised five beautiful children and continue to instil in them a love for Ukrainian culture by practicing various Ukrainian traditions, customs, and community activities, including Ukrainian dance. Elena enjoys reading, gardening, running, and spending time with her family in her spare time.
Workshop 2 – Our Ukrainian Culture – Stronger Than Ever
Yulia Zmerzla (MA, PMP) is an internationally educated Project Management professional with extensive experience in planning and execution of business development and fundraising projects.
Her work experience and the leadership role at her current position as Executive Director at Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre, a non-for-profit Ukrainian heritage institution, includes managing museum, library, gallery, boutique and archival collection.
Prior to Oseredok UCEC Yulia worked at the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU), an intergovernmental non-for-profit organization financed by the Canadian, US and European Union governments. During her work at the STCU, Yulia successfully carried out a number of international business development projects in the aerospace and environmental industries.
“Emerging as a folk-music trendsetter in a multicultural boiling pot like Canada demands more than mere talent and determination – you’ve got to have the key to the realm of inspiration and creativity. Alexis Kochan, a Winnipeg- born singer whose roots run back to Ukraine fits this category. In an attempt to embrace her Ukrainian ancestry, she sings wonderful folk songs from her homeland. Kochan’s compositions bridge cultures and peoples. In her music, folk songs, Gregorian chants and Slavic tales are wed to give birth to a yearning for roots. With four albums to their credit, her renowned group Paris To Kyiv looks poised to spark an implosion in the musical kingdom.” SIMON MOL, WARSAW VOICE
Mark & Marichka Marczyk
Balaklava Blues is the brainchild of Mark and Marichka Marczyk, creators of the multi-award winning guerrilla-folk-opera Counting Sheep and leaders of the mighty Lemon Bucket Orkestra – Canada’s notorious 12 piece balkan-party-punk-massive. Falling somewhere between a traditional song cycle and a full blown multimedia techno show, the duo fuses Ukrainian polyphony and other folk traditions with EDM, trap, dub step, and more as a launching pad to explore the seemingly never-ending blues that have long emanated from the Ukrainian steppe.
The two met there during the 2014 revolution of dignity and ever since, have dedicated their creative energy to telling the stories of their home country to the world. Their 2015 play Counting Sheep garnered major critical acclaim winning several awards at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe – including a Fringe First award and Amnesty International’s Freedom of Speech award. It has since had multiple successful runs in The US, UK and Germany and is currently in the middle of a 2 month run headlining the Vault Festival in London until March 17th.
Mark and Marichka composed all the music for Counting Sheep – a story of love and revolution – and four of the songs are on this debut release. “Balaklava Blues music is a reclamation of the violence perpetrated on my home country,” says Mark Marczyk, who spent years back and forth between Ukraine and Canada before meeting Marichka there. “We want to redesign and remix physical and psychological oppression and question how and why it continues to inform who we are and what we can become.”
Bohdana is the Executive Director of the Shevchenko Foundation with nearly 20 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector in culture and heritage administration. Prior to joining the Shevchenko Foundation in 2003, she worked as an administrator at Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre, Winnipeg. She serves on the Board of Belgian-Alliance Credit Union, Winnipeg.
A veteran television and radio broadcaster, Bohdana was the host-moderator of Open for Discussion, a national weekly show on the Women’s Television Network (WTN), and for over twenty years she produced and hosted a daily Ukrainian radio program at CKJS Radio, Winnipeg. She has narrated films, and produced and directed live-event shows and festivals in Canada.
Daria Kowalyk is Executive Director at St. Volodymyr Institute (SVI), a student residence and cultural centre, where she is responsible for the daily operations, fundraising, and support of the Board. Prior to SVI, she was Executive Director at Plast Huculak Centre for almost six years, providing leadership to the organization’s administration, facility and revenue generating programs. Having spent many years in the private sector promoting and building inclusive workplaces, Daria was recognized as a diversity and inclusion subject matter expert and has been a speaker and presenter to a variety of audiences.
With an ability to communicate in several languages, Daria understands the importance of culture, community engagement and partnership. Her active volunteer work has included positions of President, St. Demetrius Ukrainian Catholic Development Corporation, President, Plast Ukrainian Youth Association, Toronto Branch, and President, Financial Women International in Canada. Daria holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto and is a Certified Human Resources Leader.
Workshop 3 – Best Practices for Community Leadership
Kateryna Navrotska Rohowska was born in Odesa, Ukraine. She received a Master’s Degree in Finance and a Master’s Degree in International Relations in Kyiv.
From 2004, Kateryna was working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine as a secretary and from 2009 – 2013 in the Consulate General of Ukraine in Toronto as an assistant to the Consul General.
In Toronto she met her husband, Oleh Rohowsky and they were married in 2012. Now they are the happy parents of five children.
In 2020 she became Principal of the Ivan Franko Ukrainian School in Oshawa.
In 2021 on the initiative of the UCC – OPC, she became a Head of the restored UCC – Durham region branch.
In 2022, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kateryna and other Ukrainian community leaders established the Durham Ukrainian Relief Project to help Ukrainian newcomers settle in the Durham region.
Gordon Gordey is a seven-year board member and 1st Vice President of the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko. He is an internationally recognized leader as a professional arts stage director, and librettist/writer of 25 dance works for Shumka Dancers. These dance works have been seen by more audiences than any other Canadian born dance creator.
Through his 20 years in provincial arts council work he wrote government funding policies in theatre, film, and sound recording, and produced the official welcome to Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II at the Alberta Centennial event featuring 1,500 performers.
Committed to sharing his experiences, Gordon has taught acting, directing, play analysis, and contemporary drama at Dalhousie and MacEwan universities for 40 years.
His creative biography, librettos, and video excerpts of his dance works are available at: firstname.lastname@example.org, archives.ukrfolk.ca (Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives, Kule Folklore Centre, University of Alberta) and Google Scholar.
Krystina Waler is the Director of Ukrainian Initiatives at the Temerty Foundation. She grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario where she was part of the Dunai dance group, an active member of St. George’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and a member of Plast. In 2019 and 2021, Krystina was a candidate in the federal election.
She has volunteered, lived, and worked in Ukraine for various periods of time since 2005. In Canada, she has served as a member of the board of directors for the Children of Chornobyl Fund, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – National, the Canada-Ukraine Foundation, and the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association in Toronto, among others.
In 2014, Krystina began to work with the Canada-Ukraine Foundation and Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn to arrange medical missions to help wounded soldiers. Most recently, Krystina was the Executive Director of Help Us Help Charity. She is passionate about the Ukrainian Canadian Community and supporting a free Ukraine.
Slawko Borys was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario where he lives with his beautiful wife Oksana and their amazing children Alex and Julia. Growing up in the Greater Toronto Area, Slawko took part in many Ukrainian-Canadian activities including participating in Ukrainian dancing and attending Ukrainian School. However the most significant influence in his Ukrainian-Canadian upbringing was spending summers at the family cottage at the Ukrainian National Federation’s Camp Sokil north of Toronto, where he continues to volunteer his time and where he hopes to instill his love for community in his children.
Over the last 15 years Slawko has been an active member of the Ukrainian National Federation of Canada, initially joining as a member of the Camp Sokil Committee helping to revitalize the children’s camp program and facilities. He later served as UNF Toronto Branch President from 2010-2015 and then as UNF’s National Secretary from 2014 to 2016. Slawko continues to volunteer with the UNF as Treasurer of UNF Toronto Branch.
In 2013 Slawko was elected to the Board of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and served as board member (2013-16) and then National Secretary (2016-18). Slawko was also a member of UCC Toronto’s board of directors from 2010-2013. Slawko continues to serve on the UCC’s Advisory Council.
At the outset of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine in 2014, Slawko was part of the UCC Toronto’s “Euromaidan Canada” organizing committee and helped to establish and organize the many protests and social media campaigns that took place in in the GTA between 2014 and 2016.
Slawko currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Ukrainian Credit Union Ltd. Having joined the UCU board in 2013, Slawko has served on many of the board’s committees, helping to develop and implement UCU’s strategic objectives, of which the primary one is “Building Community”. In 2022 Slawko was added to the Russian federation’s sanctions list for his work with UCU, and UCU’s support for Ukraine and the global Ukrainian community.
Iryna Shyroka is a Senior Project Coordinator at British Columbia Institute of Technologies. She holds a Masters degree in Business Administration.
Her career started as an intern at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine. Once accepted to the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Iryna moved to Vancouver, Canada and has been living there since. She had a privilege to work with such global international organizations as Peace Corp, USA-Ukraine Foundation and AIESEC.
Having worked for Canada’s largest multinational companies – SNC-Lavalin and Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions, Iryna continues to pursue her career in Project Management on a global scale.
As a Vancouver-based activist who has been a strong advocate of the Ukrainian affairs, she is currently involved with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress as a President of the British Columbia Provincial Council. Since the beginning of the war Iryna has been representing the interests of Ukrainians in BC at the Government. She continues to inspire by changing the community and making British Columbia a new home to many newcomers fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Iryna is a loving wife and a mother of two beautiful daughters. She leads by example and sets high standards to future leaders of tomorrow.
Cassian is the owner of Urban Block Media – a web development company providing web design solutions and marketing consulting services for small and medium businesses across Canada and the United States. Cassian also runs Canadian Webinar Solutions – a webinar and conference production and facilitation company that helps companies and organizations deliver memorable and high quality webinars, hybrid events, and conferences.
Cassian volunteers his time as National Secretary of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Chair of the Ukraine Crisis Committee of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Ottawa Branch, as Past President of the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association (UCPBA) of Ottawa, and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Ukrainian Canadian Professionals and Business Federation (UCPBF). As a result of his community activism, Cassian was banned from entering the Russian Federation in 2022.
Workshop 4 – Meeting the Needs of Displaced Ukrainians
Chris has been at the forefront of Canada’s settlement sector for over 30 years. Besides his role as Chief Operating Officer for ISSofBC, Mr. Friesen is presently the Interim Co-Executive Director of the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance (CISSA-ACSEI), a founder of Operation Ukrainian Safe Haven (OUSH) National Secretariat, Co-chair of the OUSH National Steering Committee as well as Co-Chair of Canada’s National Settlement and Integration Council. Mr. Friesen was an instrumental member of the concept and design of the ISSofBC Welcome Centre building in Vancouver, a social purpose-built facility that has redefined a new international model for newcomer integration. Prior to ISSofBC, Mr. Friesen coordinated the Windle Charitable Trust based in Nairobi, Kenya. As a UBC student, Chris successfully led a referendum on campus to establish a permanent WUSC student refugee scholarship program. This referendum concept has now spread to over 90 post-secondary institutions across Canada and has recently been embraced globally as part of alternative resettlement pathways (through education) for refugees.
Currently serving as Project and Capacity Developer at the Canadian UKrainian Immigrant Aid Society (CUIAS), Eugen Duvalko has been involved with assisting Ukrainian immigrants since 1985. He has worked as an interpreter, settlement counsellor, immigration consultant, former Executive Director of the CUIAS, former Board member of CUIAS and past President. As a member of the UCC National Immigration Committee, Eugen represented our community’s immigration issues before the federal and provincial governments. Beekeeping helps Eugen maintain a work-life balance.
Jack is President and CEO of the Association for Canadian Studies and the Metropolis Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Canadian History from Concordia University. Prior to 1998, he served as Executive Director of the Quebec branch of the Canadian Jewish Congress. He is an author and contributor to academic publications, government reports and newspapers across the country in the fields of immigration, multiculturalism, diversity, human rights and official languages. Following three decades of wide-ranging research on public opinion and demographics, he is regularly consulted by media and government bodies alike for his expertise and insights on issues of import in the public sphere. He has taught and lectured at McGill University, the Université du Québec à Montréal and Concordia University, offering courses ranging from public policy to the history of immigration and minority groups in Canada.
Biography coming soon.
Workshop 5 – Best Practices for Non-Profit Governance
Margaret Mason, K.C., is a charities lawyer with more than 30 years of experience advising donors, charities and other tax-exempt organizations and their boards, often on highly sensitive and complex matters. In addition to advising on gift plans, incorporations, charitable registration, governance, fundraising and Canada Revenue Agency audit matters, she helps clients consider operational structures that allow them to navigate complex legal and regulatory environments particularly regarding the creation of multi-use affordable housing projects, social enterprises and international development. She has worked extensively with healthcare, environmental, sport and housing organizations.
She speaks and teaches widely in the areas of governance, regulatory compliance and board skill development.
John Stefaniuk is a partner with the Manitoba law firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP. John engages in a broad practice with emphasis on environmental law, development, natural resources and energy, and municipal law matters. He has particular experience in relation to contaminated sites, mining and mine rehabilitation, Indigenous consultation and accommodation, wind power development, natural resource development, environmental approvals and licensing, and property and project development.
John has been repeatedly named to the Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the 500 Leading Lawyers in Canada. He is listed in the Chambers Global Guide to the World’s Leading Business Lawyers, the Legal LEXPERT Directory under Environmental Law and Property Development and has been included in the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers among the World’s “Thought Leaders” in Environmental Law.
John has extensive volunteer board experience. He is Vice-President and a board member of the Canadian Bar Association, representing some 37,000 lawyers, jurists and law students in Canada, where he chairs its Governance and Equality Committee. For six years he chaired the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights during its $150 Million capital campaign to fund its construction, among other volunteer activities.
A partner at Stewart McKelvey’s Halifax office, Jason was recently appointed President of the Ukrainian Canadian Bar Association. His broad legal practice focuses on litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution. Jason has represented clients nationally and internationally in matters across multiple sectors including aerospace, agribusiness, aquaculture, securities and banking.
Admitted to the Bar in Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia, he has extensive trial and appellate experience in courts across Canada. A former Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, he has been recognized nationally by Lexpert as both a Rising Star: Leading Lawyer Under 40, and A Cross-Border Litigator to Watch.
In addition to his busy practice, and a busy house full of our small children, Jason currently sits on the Board of Directors of Athletics Canada (the national governing body for track and field and road running).
Workshop 6 – Developing Community Supports for Displaced Ukrainians
Bruce Lilly is the founding President of the Ukrainian Cultural Organization of Newfoundland and Labrador (“Ukrainian NL”). He advances the Board’s goal of promoting and preserving Ukrainian culture in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). Bruce is also principal consultant at Killick Insights, who specialize in program management, communications, strategic planning, and funding development. They work with organizations in the private and public sector across Canada to build critical capacity.
Bruce has experience shaping projects and proposals for programs that support the preservation and promotion of diverse cultures. He recently served as Director of Communications for Project Management Institute (PMI) Newfoundland branch. As technical project manager, he managed the development, protection, and in some cases commercialization of innovative solutions in the Oil & Gas, Space, and Information Communications Technology (ICT) sectors. Bruce has also helped shape innovative marketing and communication projects for small- and medium-sized enterprises as well as for companies like Google, Teachable, and the United Nations Development Programme.
His vision is for the emerging Ukrainian community and its cultural representation in Newfoundland and Labrador to grow and prosper in a sustainable manner.
Dmytro Malyk is the 2nd Vice President of UCC Manitoba, a Plast Manitoba board member, and an active community advocate.
Dmytro and his family immigrated to Canada from Ukraine in 2014. Shortly after his arrival, Dmytro became involved in Manitoba Ukrainian organizations, Plast and UCC. Along with a few other volunteers, Dmytro initiated an Immigration Committee at UCC Manitoba and started a productive collaboration between UCC Manitoba and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. In the last six years, this initiative has provided support for hundreds of Ukrainians who wanted to settle in Manitoba.
Dmytro is also a moderator of one of the largest Ukrainian Canadian communities on social media, where he continues providing informational support to more than 100,000 Ukrainians who have arrived in Canada or plan on coming to Canada soon.
Dmytro works as a Technology Advisor helping businesses with digital transformation.
Danylo Puderak is the son and grandson of post-World War II displaced person immigrants who arrived to Canada in the late 1940’s and 1950’s.
Danylo was born and grew up in Saskatoon. He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Degree in History and Ukrainian Studies. Danylo studied on two different occasions at the Yuri Fedkovych State University in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. He later completed his CERTESL enabling him to teach English as a Second Language overseas in Ukraine, at the University of Saskatchewan Centre for Second Language Instruction as well as the Saskatoon Open Door Society.
During his professional career, Danylo has managed projects in Chernivtsi and Ivano-Frankivsk and was a Project Supervisor with Canada World Youth’s NetCorps program at the National University of Ostroh Academy, Rivne oblast.
As a volunteer, he has served in many capacities including President of SUSK, President of Ukrainian Canadian Social Services – Saskatchewan Branch and Chair of UCC Saskatoon’s Ukrainian Day in the Park festival.
Danylo’s connection to his Ukrainian Canadian identity is strong. For the past nearly 20 years, has served as the Executive Director of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress of Saskatchewan.
Biography coming soon.
Workshop 7 – Excellence in Donor Stewardship: Building Fundraising Capacity
Based in Toronto, Raya is a consulting analyst at McKinsey and previously worked as an investment banking analyst at TD Securities. She completed university in 2021 with an Honours Business Administration degree, focused on Finance, and a Bachelor of Science, focused on Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
Raya was involved in the Western Ukrainian Student’s Club and SUSK throughout university. Within SUSK, she was External Relations Director where she led SUSK’s Postcards for Prisoners campaign that sent over 200 postcards to Ukrainian political prisoners. Later, she organized a national buddy program for 59 Ukrainian Mitacs students completing internships in Canada. In her last two years on the SUSK board, Raya acted as Alumni Director leading various initiatives. Some of her initiatives included initiating a monthly video series with SUSK alumni highlighting accomplishments and capturing institutional memories, and leading a team of eight in organizing SUSK’s 2021 National Congress. Raya’s main role, however, was leading the SUSK Endowment Fund, designing the strategy, preparing donor materials, and presenting to potential donors, raising over C$120,000.
Within PLAST, Raya has been a leader for 6-18 year old girls, both during the year and at summer camp. Further, she was head counsellor (бунчужна) for PLAST’s overnight camp for 6-11 year old girls and later managed the pioneering and camping program teaching 11-year old girls skills required for PLAST’s next level. She is a member as the Zeleni Husky group (курін) within PLAST.
Raya’s main involvement in the Ukrainian community has been through PLAST and SUSK; however, she has been involved in other initiatives including organizing a clothing drive at TD to benefit UCC Toronto’s Ukrainian Canadian Parachute store. Throughout university, Raya was also significantly involved in the Western Triathlon Club, student council, and consulted for non-profit corporations.
Janine Kuzma, BA, CFRE, is a fundraising professional with a long-standing background experience in the not-for-profit industry.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto and a post-graduate degree in Fundraising Management. In addition, she holds the CFRE designation and is a member of the AFP, CAPG and the International Society of Female Professionals. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Kalyna Foundation.
Janine has worked on various successful campaigns and projects, including a capital campaign to raise 60 million dollars at the University of Toronto Schools and has also worked for Childhood Cancer, Jack.org, and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress as a National Fund Development Manager. While there, she was responsible for developing, managing and overseeing fundraising programs. In addition, she developed policies, wrote communications, participated in major solicitations, and conducted educational webinars.
Recently Janine joined the St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation as a Planned Giving Manager. Her duties include growing the revenue and prospect pool, developing marketing, cultivation, and stewardship strategies, and collaborating with Advisory Councils.
Janine also consults NP organizations on specific projects. For more information, please visit her portfolio at Janine Kuzma.weebly.com
With over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector, Donna has a comprehensive background in volunteer management, major gift acquisition, legacy giving, marketing, events, and working with cross-functional teams to ensure success and achieve goals on a national level. She has a passion for building lasting relationships with donors and connecting them with meaningful opportunities to create a positive impact through philanthropy. She joined the Shevchenko Foundation in 2018 as Development Officer.
Donna is a Board Member for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Manitoba Chapter, an Executive Committee Member for the Holy Family Home Ladies Auxiliary, and a former planning committee member for National Philanthropy Day awards in Manitoba.
Currently with the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, Andrea Kopylech supports development of institutional strategy, communications and public relations. With over 15 years in communications, and 12 years as a fund development professional, Andrea enhances donor relations at the Institute and continues to work with organizations locally, nationally and internationally as a fundraising coach.
An active volunteer in the community, Andrea has worked with many organizations, including 9 years with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress National. Currently she is VP at Change for Children Association - a Canadian international development organization with a 45-year history of collaborating with grassroots partners in the global south to facilitate rights-based development. When not engaged in work, she makes time for creative side projects – ask her about her latest arts & culture venture.
Andrea lives in Edmonton with her husband and 3 children.
Workshop 8 – Disinformation in the Russian War on Ukraine
Alexandra Pavliuc is a PhD candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute and a researcher on the Programme on Democracy and Technology. Her PhD research examines the gendered dimensions of political communication in Ukraine to understand how women and men public figures utilize social media during wartime. She also studies Russian and Chinese disinformation, and possible countermeasures to online falsehoods. Ms. Pavliuc has researched the prevalence of gendered disinformation in the 2020 U.S. presidential election with The Wilson Centre, and how state-backed information operations have targeted France with Institut Montaigne. Her work mapping Russian information operations through network visualization has been published by the Defence Strategic Communications Journal and featured on CBC News, the LA Times, and Jane’s Intelligence Review. Her research and expertise has been utilized by the Canadian and British governments. Alexandra holds degrees in data science and communication studies from City, University of London and Toronto Metropolitan University.
Marcus Kolga is the founder and director of DisinfoWatch and a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier and CDA institutes. He is a journalist, filmmaker, digital communications developer and human rights activist. He led the Canadian civil society campaign for Magnitsky legislation and continues to advocate for global human rights and democracy activists. Marcus is a regular commentator on international affairs and human rights and his articles have been published by The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The National Post, The New York Daily Mail, Macleans, The EU Observer and other international publications. He was named to The Kremlin’s sanctions blacklist in March 2022.
Megan is a lawyer; she graduated from the University of Alberta Faculty of Law in 2012, and maintains a general solicitor’s practice in Alberta. In her spare time, she is passionate about issues involving access to justice, the election process, and legislative interpretation. Among her various volunteer activities, Megan served as an independent election observer with CANADEM in the 2019 Ukrainian Parliamentary Elections, and presently works with the Ukrainian Canadian Bar Association (“UCBA”) on the Advocacy and Asset Recovery Committees, and with the Canadian Bar Association on the Agenda for Justice and Legislative Review Committees. As part of the UCBA Advocacy Committee, she sits on the Disinformation Subcommittee, whose goal is to target Russian propaganda and myths surrounding Ukraine.
Andriy Shevchenko is a prominent Ukrainian politician, diplomat, journalist, and civil activist. In 2015-21 he served as the Ukrainian Ambassador to Canada. Prior to that, he was a Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, winning seats in 2006, 2007, and 2012. He served as the Chairman of the Free Speech Committee and the 1st Deputy Chairman of the Human Rights Committee.
Andriy is the author of the Law on Access to Public Information and was an active participant of the Euromaidan Revolution of 2013-14. As a seasoned journalist, he helped to establish the 5th Channel, the first 24/7-news channel in Ukraine, and became the face of the 2004 Orange Revolution for viewers.
After Russia re-invaded Ukraine in 2022 Mr. Shevchenko co-founded Media Center Ukraine, assisting foreign journalists, covering the war.
Workshop 9 – The Future of Slavic Studies in the Post-War Context
Natalia Khanenko–Friesen is the director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies and Huculak Chair in Ukrainian Culture and Ethnography, Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta. Her research interests include Ukraine and post-socialism in Europe, diasporic identities, labor migration, and Ukrainian Canadian culture. She authored two monographs, “Ukrainian Otherlands: Diaspora, Homeland and Folk Imagination in the 20th Century (U of Wisconsin Press, 2015) and “The other world, or ethnicity in action: Canadian Ukrainianness at the end of the 20th century” (Smoloskyp Press, 2011) and co-edited three collections, including “Orality and Literacy: Reflections Across Disciplines” (U of Toronto Press, 2011) and “Reclaiming the Personal: Oral History in Post-Socialist Europe” (U of Toronto Press, 2015). Dr. Khanenko–Friesen is the founding editor of the Canadian Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching and Learning. Her current book project has the working title “Decollectivized: The Last Generation of Soviet Farmers Speak Out.”
Biography coming soon.
Henry is the 2022-23 Temerty Postdoctoral Fellow in Holodomor Studies with the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC) at the University of Alberta. He received his doctorate in American Studies from William & Mary this May for a dissertation focused on the Daily Worker – the “Central Organ” of the Communist Party of the United States during the Great Depression and beyond. Through close examination of previously classified Soviet archives, he has documented the existence of a collaborative, Moscow-driven pro-Stalinist propaganda campaign aimed at American audiences, which prominently featured apologia for, and denial of, Bolshevik atrocities. Henry’s current research concentrates on the suppression, manipulation, and misinterpretation of information about the Holodomor at the time of its initial international reception
Jaroslaw “Jars” Balan was born and raised in Toronto, where from an early age he took part in Ukrainian community organizations affiliated with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. After obtaining an Honours B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1975 he moved to Edmonton, where in 1981 he completed an M.A. in English (Creative Writing) at the University of Alberta. As a member of SUSK during his student days he was involved in dissident support work, promoting multiculturalism, and especially active in the publishing collective responsible for putting out Student. For seven summers he was part of the leadership and a lecturer at the Selo Cultural Immersion Camp sponsored by the Canadian Ukrainian Youth Association (CYMK). In the mid-1970s he was gradually drawn into the scholarly activities of the newly established Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIIUS), developing a special interest in the history of Ukrainians in Canada. In addition to editing books, translating literature, and organizing conferences on Ukrainian Canadian themes, he is the author of a best-selling illustrated history, Salt and Braided Bread: Ukrainian Life in Canada, published in 1984 by Oxford University Press. In 1988-1989 he taught several courses on Ukrainian history and civilization for the Ukrainian Studies Centre at Macquarie University, in Sydney, Australia. In 1991-1992, on behalf of the CIUS he spearheaded the creation of the Kalyna Country Ecomuseum on the territory of Canada’s oldest and largest Ukrainian bloc settlement. In 2000 he was asked to become the coordinator the Ukrainian Canadian Program at CIUS, renamed the Kule Ukrainian Canadian Studies Centre in 2007. Over the years, he has written numerous articles on various aspects of the Ukrainian experience in Canada and overseen research initiatives on a wide range of topics. From 2018-2020 he also served as the Director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies.
Workshop 10 – Ukrainian Humanitarian and Health Sector
Orest was elected president of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation in June 2020, joining as one of thirty volunteers on CUF’s board of directors. Orest’s mandate is to shape and activate CUF’s strategic plan as it continues on its mission as the recognized leader in the delivery of humanitarian aid from Canada to Ukraine. Priorities include capacity building fundraising to support a growing office, growing the CUF brand and relationships in Canada and Ukraine, as well as establishing long term objectives in each of the major programming areas of healthcare, education and civil society. Orest looks forward to leading this important institution as it sets its course for future generations of continued success. In early 2022, CUF partnered with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress to launch the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal in response to the humanitarian crisis emerging from Russia’s attacks on Ukraine and its people. The appeal had raised almost $50M CAD as of October 2022, the largest appeal in the history of the Ukrainian Canadian community.
Orest is also currently a director of the Board of Ukrainian Credit Union Limited, and served on the Board of the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko for six years (2016-2022), where he played a central role on the governance, nominating, and communications committees, as well as the launch of several novel initiatives including the MITACS and REACH programs, and the TRYZUB Awards Gala.
In his professional career, Orest is well respected for his leadership, strategic planning expertise, launch successes and passion for delivering results. For over two decades, Orest has worked at global leaders in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, mostly in the areas of launching innovative treatments in oncology and hematology over the past fifteen years. Orest has also worked as a healthcare consultant, helping clients evaluate and re-focus their strategic plans and programs. His past clients include multi-national pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, professional associations, healthcare start-ups, specialty and community pharmacies, and medical partnerships as well as individual healthcare practitioners.
Oksana Kuzyshyn graduated from McGill University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts (Economics). She joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1985 and completed her training as a Logistics Supply Officer. Oksana deployed on several missions with the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. She served with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), Israel from 1998 – 1999, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2004 where Major Kuzyshyn worked as the Logistics Plans Officer with the Stabilization Force (SFOR) Headquarters in Sarajevo. After the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti in 2010, she deployed to the military headquarters of United Nations Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH) as the Logistics Operations Officer. Oksana is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. After retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces in May 2014 after 28 years of honorable service, Oksana worked for the Public Service as a procurement officer.
From childhood Oksana has been an active member of the Ukrainian Youth Association CYM where she held several leadership positions. While posted to Calgary, she served on the church committee of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic church and was Branch President of the League of Ukrainian Canadian Women. She was the National President of the League of Ukrainian Canadian Women from 2016 – 2019 and then joined the Canada-Ukraine Foundation as their Chief Operating Officer. Oksana is the vice-chair of the joint CUF-UCC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal Committee established in response to the humanitarian crisis brought on by Russia’s illegal and brutal war against Ukraine. She plays a key role in the provision of humanitarian aid in the form of food security, hygiene and medical supplies, shelter to displaced Ukrainians in Ukraine and bordering countries. Oksana is married to John Kushnir, and is the proud mother of two children: Zachary Kushnir and Julia Kushnir (husband Mariusz Moskal).
Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn is a Professor in the Division of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery at the University of Toronto, with a subspecialty practice in craniomaxillofacial surgery. He earned his medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1980, and completed his surgical residency at the University of Western Ontario in 1985. Following his certification in Plastic Surgery, he pursued an additional 4 years of subspecialty fellowship training in craniofacial surgery including a traveling fellowship in Europe and Mexico City.
Dr Antonyshyn began his clinical practice in The Division of Plastic Surgery at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1989, where he established a pediatric and adult craniofacial program.
In 1992, he assumed the position of Head, Division of Plastic Surgery, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and in 1996, established the Adult Craniofacial Program to address the specific needs of adult patients with post-traumatic, post-ablative, and developmental craniofacial deformities.
Dr. Antonyshyn was appointed Associate Scientist, Imaging and Trauma Research at Sunnybrook Research Institute in 2004. His research focus is in 3D craniofacial imaging and computer assisted modeling. He has secured a patent for an innovative technique of manufacturing patient specific implants intraoperatively and is a cofounder and partner in a surgical device startup company called Calavera Surgical Design.
Dr Antonyshyn is actively engaged in humanitarian surgery initiatives and global surgery education. April 2014, he travelled to Ukraine as part of a Medical Needs Assessment team to assess the capacity to manage trauma following Maidan. Since then, he has led 6 Canadian surgical missions to Ukraine, to teach and perform reconstructive procedures in both civilian and military war casualties. Feb 2016, he received the Order of Merit from the president of Ukraine, and Nov 2018, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada for his efforts. January 2019 Dr Antonyshyn launched the Sunnybrook Ukraine Surgery Education Partnership: a multispecialty surgery education initiative comprising telemedicine, symposia, live surgery demonstrations and sponsored observerships.
Over the last 50 years, Victor has taken on many leadership challenges in the Ukrainian Canadian Community.
He was elected to 20 years on the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada – 10 of them as Treasurer.
He was the Founding President of the UOCC Foundation (2002-2009).
Served as President of the St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cultural Centre in Oakville (1990-1995).
Elected as Treasurer of the Ukrainian World Foundation (2011-2016). Was a Board member of the Ukrainian Care Centre in Toronto.
During his term as President of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (2013-2020), he organized and financed seven medical missions from Canada to Ukraine staffed by volunteer Canadian medical professionals to treat wounded soldiers injured from the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Oversaw the management of the Holodomor Awareness Tour – a mobile classroom that travelled across Canada visited by over 54,000 students and adults.
He is serving as Chair of CUF at the present time.
None of this could have happened, without the understanding and support of his wife Alexandra, children Taras(Laryssa), Alexander(Emily), Natalie(Alexander) and their five grandchildren.