MONTREAL – The annual general meeting (AGM) of the Montreal branch of the Ukrainian National Federation (UNF) was held March 20, 2016, re-electing for Dr. Artem Luhovy as president for 2016-2017.
This year, branches of UNF across Canada scheduled their AGMs abiding by the new UNF Constitution adopted at the 38th national convention held in Winnipeg. Attending the Montreal AGM was UNF President Taras Pidzamecky, who chaired the proceedings.
The Montreal meeting was officially opened by president Dr. Luhovy, who welcomed all members and guests present. Many of the new members as youths were members of the then flourishing dance, theater or choir groups or had parents active in the organization. A revival of the branch is evident from the membership.
Dr. Luhovy prepared a keynote presentation detailing the past year’s work coordinated by him with his outgoing executive. Some of the activities highlighted by Dr. Luhovy included: sending delegates to the UNF national convention held in Winnipeg in October 2015; participating in the Paul Yuzyk Institute for Youth Leadership Networking event in Ottawa; hosting the Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter exhibit supported by James Termerty; supporting the McGill Ukrainian Students’ Association and their outstanding initiative and fund-raising event for the Canadian medical mission in Ukraine; providing support for and participation in a two-day bus excursion to visit the award-winning Spirit Lake Internment Center and museum in northern Quebec; continuing efforts in organizing the branch library and archives, which include many early publications donated by Prosvita of Verdun dating from the beginning of the 20th century; supporting Montreal events of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress; and establishing meetings of a literary circle to provide a regular forum for discussion on various aspects of Ukrainian literature. The president thanked his hard-working executive.
The financial report was presented by treasurer Adrian Kowryha. Andrij Hovorun presented the UCC Montreal delegate report and a report from the Ukrainian Women’s Organization was presented by newly elected President Natalia Shulga for outgoing President Natalia Kisil.
A lengthy reading of the secretary’s minutes of the 2015 AGM revealed many inaccuracies, as a result of which a major amendment to the report was presented and an overwhelming majority passed the revised minutes.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Luhovy shared his vision for the future and emphasized that the Montreal UNF branch must continue to revive and build on the positive foundations the branch stands for. He stressed the need to strengthen the work of the branch and the community at large and to continue to be inclusive and he reaffirmed his willingness to work together with all well-intentioned members.
Flowers were presented to Orysia Korol and a big thank you was given to Evhen Struminsky for their volunteer work in caring for the UNF hall and managing rentals.
The president reminded members of the two active Quebec branches that once existed from the 1930s in Rouyn-Noranda and Val D’or, where descendants still live, and pointed out the historic importance of the Montreal building, which became even more famous when a scene in the recent Oscar-nominated movie “Brooklyn” was filmed in the hall where the AGM was held.
This was followed by remarks from UNF National President Pidzamecky.
The AGM concluded with sandwiches prepared by Montreal’s Zhytynsky Deli and a coffee reception, with ideas shared for the future.
The new expanded executive for 2016-2017 includes Ewhen Osidacz, Adrian Kowryha, Volodymyr Zelenko, Yaroslaw Holowko, Andrij Hovorun, Anastasia Kyva, Rostyslav Nemtsev and Katrusia Smolynec. Several working committees were formed, including the archive preservation committee.