UCC AGM in Vancouver Report – Liza Zienchuk, Past President, CYMK National Executive

I spent 3 days in Vancouver for the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Annual General Meeting Conference.

The conference began on the Friday. We began the gathering with the first part of the Board of Directors meeting. We welcomed and accepted new board members, accepted the education trust trustees, and listened about the Taras Shevchenko Foundation. We then heard an introduction to a new project by the UCC National for a Capital Campaign which will be headed by the UCC National Fundraising committee. This peaked my interest and I have since volunteered to be part of the fundraising committee and to be an active contributor to the campaign and its implementation. Following this introduction, we participated in a roundtable discussion with Ambassador Veselovsky.

The next day was a dedicated to the UCC National AGM. Here we heard the Presidents, Treasurers, Audit Committees, Executive Directors, CEOs, Taras Shevchenko Foundations, and the subsequent committees reports, which included the Holodomor Education; Holodomor Awareness; Canada-Ukraine Stakeholder Advisory Council; Awards and Recognition; Fundraising; Invictus Host; Religious Affairs; Museums, Archives, and Research Institutions; National Arts Council; National Education& School Council; and Ukraine Appeal committees. We further discussed priority business topics which included the Ukrainian World Congress (this was just held in Toronto from November 10th-12th), Project Link, and the Parliamentary Internship Program. The provincial council reports followed, as well as the workshops of the weekend. These included “Communications and Digital Media” led by Connor Moen and Cassian Soltykevych, and “Community Advocacy and Government Relations” led by Markian Shwec and Ihor Michalchyshyn.

In the evening we attended the UCC Leadership Gala during which I made many connections with youth in Vancouver. What I found very interesting was that the youth in Vancouver are their own organization, and they are not formally governed by any executive. They do not belong to any already existing youth organizations such as PLAST, CYM, UNO, SUSK, CYMK etc. They simply are a group of young Ukrainians who live in in close proximity and who want to spend more time together by keeping close to their culture, language, and traditions. This gives us a clear-cut group of people that we can target in terms of marketing CYMK and generating interest in opening a new local in the area. The challenge that will be most prominent is the lack of youth in Vancouver Ukrainian Orthodox churches. I had a chance to meet with Daniel Huzyk (huzyk@shaw.ca), who suggested we get in touch with Daniel Lisk (daniellisk@hotmail.com) as he has the most interest in establishing a Vancouver CYMK local, but despite attempted communication, there have been no further developments.

The last day was Sunday, during which we held the second part of the Board of the Directors meeting. Here we participated in a Canada Ukraine Strategy Discussion and another discussion regarding the Capital Campaign in a roundtable format instead of a presentation format like on Friday. We then reviewed the current committees and their responsibilities, where I endorsed and supported the continuance of the Religious Affairs committee. Finally, we discussed the location of the next Triennial Congress. After the conference wrapped up, I met with some of the youth once again for some true Vancouver sushi to connect with them on a more personal level. I now consider many of them my friends and am looking forward to the relationship we will continue to build.

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