Originally compiled by Stepha Dmytriw based on archival information and interviews, on the occasion of UCPBA’s 70th anniversary.
1933: An association for Ukrainian Canadian professionals and businessmen is proposed.
1935: Some 400 people attend a summer outing in a West End park marking the inception of the Ukrainian Professional & Business Club of Toronto Inc. It is chartered, with Nicholas Paraschuk named its first President, and completing three years in office.
1945: John Ellis is elected President, eventually serving throughout three terms (1945-46, 1947-53, and 1966-68) for a total of 8 years in this capacity alone. Recognized as one of the earliest organizers of Ukrainian Canadians (and honoured formally for 55 years of community service), Ellis is the Association’s longest-serving President.
1947: Poltava, a charming four-seasons resort at Terra Cotta, Ontario, is purchased for the benefit of Association members.
1940s: The tradition of annual golf tournaments commences, ultimately creating a vehicle for one of the Association’s most popular and successful fundraising drives, decades later.
1950s: There is a noteworthy effort to raise $100,000 in order to install Canada’s first endowed Chair at a Canadian University. As a total of $10,000 is raised by John Wasylenko, it is turned over to the University of Toronto to create the Shevchenko Scholarship.
1957: Under the direction of Messrs. Bilius and Borys, funding is provided for a dormitory at Plastova Sich, located in Grafton, Ontario, summer camp for the Plast Ukrainian Youth Association. In addition, a donation is made towards acquisition of new Plast headquarters in an architecturally significant building on Bloor Street West in Toronto, now part of the trendy Bloor West Village.
1958: The Honourable John Yaremko is appointed Minister without Portfolio, and is the first person of Ukrainian descent in Ontario’s Parliament (1951) and cabinet. In 1960 he is appointed Provincial Secretary and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
1960: Dr. Ostap Wynnyckyj sets about to consolidate varied members of the Association, uniting professional and business factions.
1961: Together with 11 of its counterparts across the country, the Association forms the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Federation (UCPBF) at a meeting held in conjunction with the congress of the Ukrainian Canadian Committee in Winnipeg. The Toronto Association initiated the move and sent Dr. Stephen Rosocha as its representative.
1965: National delegates attend the first Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Federation Convention held in Winnipeg during October.
1970: Association members Mr. Justice Walter Tarnopolsky, Stanley Frolick, and Michael Starr, together with Western colleagues, lobby the Government of Canada on important policies such as multiculturalism and immigration. This results in the adoption of the Policy of Multiculturalism by the Government of Canada. Association requests and UCPBF endorses awarding of honorary doctorates to Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. John Diefenbaker and Minister of Multiculturalism, The Hon. Norman Cafik. The honorary degrees are conferred at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, and the Ukrainian Free University in Munich respectively.
1971: Toronto President Stanley Frolick organizes the first Eastern Regional Conference for Ontario and Quebec member associations, effectively restructuring and revitalizing the UCPBF. The Federation convention takes place at the former Seaway Towers in Toronto. Ukrainian Professional and Business Investments Limited is created as a holding company for the Association’s finances and an advisory body regarding investment proposals.
1973-5: First editions of the biennial UCPBF Review, and Panorama are issued. Toronto Association member Andrew Gregorovich is founding editor of the interim publication Panorama. He also edits the Review, followed in later years by Sonia Holiad.
1975-6: The Association helps establish the Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies, which funds publication of the highIy acclaimed Encyclopedia of Ukraine and other resource materials. The Foundation is incorporated as a charitable organization, offering fellowships and support of research and Ukrainian-studies chairs at universities.
1975-9: Prominent Speakers Meetings, and Dinners (held quarterly) are initiated. Highlights include Rabbi Gunther Plaut, Bill Davis, Stephen Lewis, Dr. Stuart Smith, Bob Rae, David Peterson, Roy Romanow, William Terron, and Wolodymyr Klish. In addition, Granite Club Cabarets are introduced as a platform for Ukrainian-Canadian and -American performing artists, starring Singer Luba (Kowalchuk) Taras Shipowick, Virko Baley, and Rushnychok. Following an aggressive membership drive, the Association’s base expands to 700 active members, over 500 of which are paid.
1978: As a tribute to the universally regarded artist and its honorary member, the Association joins the University of Toronto in sponsoring the William Kurelek Memorial Lecture Series. Here discourse provides a forum for scholars prominent in the arts and politics annually through to 1992, and intermittently thereafter. York University Prof. Ramsay Cook and University of British Columbia Dean Kenneth M. Lysyk inaugurate the lectures.
1978-9: An instrumental role is assumed in helping to found the first Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Toronto. Mr. Justice Walter Tarnopolsky, Stanley Frolick, Prof. George Luckyj, Bohdan Onyschuk and Ihor Bardyn spearhead this initiative. With support of the Hamilton and Oshawa Associations, and Minister of Multiculturalism The Hon. Norman Cafik’s assistance, an agreement is signed with the University of Toronto. The UPBC of Toronto sets up and finances the Chair of Ukrainian Studies Foundation to serve as the funding and liaison group with the University of Toronto. The Government of Canada and the Chair of Ukrainian Studies Foundation work together to create the Chair of Ukrainian History at the University of Toronto. Canada’s first Chair of Ukrainian History opens its doors at the University of Toronto in October of the following year.
1979: Investment Club is initiated for the purpose of securities purchases. Halya Kuclunij’s Genie award-winning documentary, The Strongest Man in the World, is sponsored through the impetus of the Association. A group of patrons helps bring the film to the screen. First tabloid edition of the Newsletter is printed, edited by journalist and current Ukrainian News editor Marco Levytsky. The newsletter evolves into the informative Update, edited primarily by Sonia Holiad. Current paper and electronic version OnLine, with new editorial features and layout, is introduced by Stepha Dmytriw. Its polished signature look is arranged by Myron Dylynsky, with logo design by Claudia Shadursky. All save the latter also produce UCPBA directories.
1981-5: Comprehensive study of relations between the Ukrainian community and the Canadian government is prepared. Recommendations are adopted by the UCPBF. Strategies for coping with anti-Ukrainianism, and a position paper on the Progressive Conservative Multiculturalism Platform of 1984 are submitted to the UCPBF.
1982: The Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre (UCRDC) is established by Association members. By 1985, it releases its first film, Harvest of Despair, documenting the Soviet-fabricated genocidal famine of 1933 in Ukraine.
1986: Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Association members gather for a gala banquet at the Four Seasons Hotel on February 14.
1989: Substantial funds are provided for the UCRDC film, Between Hitler and Stalin: Ukraine in World War II. Soon to be released, it will be available in two languages. Film coordinator and senior researcher is Andrew Gregorovich. Media Nights are arranged by Roman Melnyk and Walter Maceluch of the CBC, and Olya Kuplowska of TVO, as a tribute to our brightest stars. Honourees include CBC executive Ivan Fecan, Victor Malarek of the fifth estate, and the Royal Canadian Air Farce’s resident diva Luba Goy. Sparkling in supporting roles as friends: CBC head Slawko Klymkiw, filmmaker Halya Kuchlnij, Canada’s top morning man Ted Woloshyn, and constellations too numerous to mention.
1991: Canadian Ukrainian Management Institute is launched. Project coordinator is Gerald Fedchun. The intensive six-week workstudy programme hosts 15 participants from various fields in Ukraine, and allows them to gather invaluable work experience in Canada.
1991: Raya Shadursky is named the first woman and 21st president of the Toronto UCPBA. Olya Kuplowska and Dr. Lelia Sulyma soon follow in her footsteps. A number of our Presidents go on to become UCPB Federation Presidents. Shadursky is one of these.
1992: Seed money is provided for a Toastmasters International branch at St. Vladimir Institute. Speakers go on to win awards for their oratory.
1993: In order to standardize elements of the UCPB Federation member organizations, it is resolved that Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association of Toronto is adopted as our new name.
1994: Advocacy group Media Watch Ukraine, formed following 60 Minutes’ fallacious 1994 segment on Ukraine, is provided with a donation and physical resources. Founding chair Stepha Dmytriw and members organize a Media Forum with panelists including investigative journalist Victor Malarek of the fifth estate, and drawing 200 people. MWU Awards are presented to those making noteworthy contributions to the public’s understanding of Ukrainian issues, including: Victor Malarek, Dr. Lubomyr Luciuk, Yuriy Luhovey, and Danylo Shumuk. Activities include meeting with television studio executives. Media kits are prepared and distributed regarding World War II in Ukraine, and the Soviet-fabricated Genocidal Famine of 1933 in Ukraine, including a 65-page booklet. Famine survivors speak at a press conference in order to get their stories told.
1995: Past Presidents’ Council creates Presidents’ Awards to commemorate the UCPBA of Toronto’s 60th Anniversary. The gala black tie dinner is hosted by Christina Pochmursky, Executive Producer of Business World. Honourees are ITT Canada Limited Chairman and CEO Gerald Fedchun, and Topper Linen Supply Limited and Allied Uniform Inc. Owner and President Edward Topornicki. Ontario premier The Hon. Bob Rae is in attendance.
1995: Architect Bohdan Kushnir coordinates the Student Mentorship Program. Student development is fostered in numerous disciplines. Over 100 students have benefited from the programme, as well as preceding Career Nights run by Roman Dubczak and Prof. Adonis Yatchew.
1995: A Variety Village Sunshine Coach to help transport handicapped children is donated to St. John the Compassionate Mission.
1996: Bob Matys orchestrates and co-chairs The Children’s Challenge ’96 golf tournament. Oscar and Golden Globe award winner Jack Palance flies in to act as Honorary Chair. Ted Woloshyn, now Canada’s top morning man on the airwaves, is MC. Over $50,000 is collected for the Children of Chornobyl and Kids Help Phone. Some $75,000 raised through golf tournaments over the years culminates in donation of a special care unit, in the name of the Children of Chornobyl, to the Hospital for Sick Children. Second and third units are added with support from local Ukrainian credit unions.
1996: A succession of successful Networking events, the bulk of which are planned by Eugene Yakovitch, begins. An estimated 3,000 guests attend 35 evenings over the next five years. Book and magazine launches, tours showcasing UCPBA member establishments, hands-on workshops, panel discussions, AV presentations, and unique speakers are featured. Highlights include Discovery Channel astronomer Ivan Semeniuk’s take on our expanding universe, and Opera Atelier Artistic Director Marshall Pynkoski’s view from his world stage.
1997: Past Presidents’ Council Awards go to James Temerty, President and CEO of Northland Power Inc., and Ihor Walter Bardyn, Barrister and Solicitor with the Toronto law firm of Mitchell, Bardyn and Zalucky, in recognition of outstanding service to the Ukrainian Canadian community. Awards are presented at The Old Mill Restaurant in Toronto.
1997-8: Andrew Ukrainec boldly takes the UCPBA of Toronto online. Electronic pages of our newsletters are posted along with membership forms and information about the Association’s activities. Together with Terry Skomorowski and Ihor Pidlisny before him, he is responsible for automating UCPBA’s operations.
1998: Saskatchewan’s association is reinstated by long-term Toronto member Zenia Stechishin. She builds on her past experience, having won awards for attracting the greatest number of new members in Toronto.
1999: Toronto and Hamilton-Wentworth associations host the UCPBF convention in Toronto, with astronaut Dr. Roberta Bondar featured as keynote speaker.
2000: UCPBA of Toronto President Bohdan Chwyl delivers a blue chip panel consisting of Mackenzie Financial Corp VP Richard Sambrook, Acuity Investment Management Inc. President Ihor Ihnatowycz, Nesbitt Burns Portfolio Management VP Dana Boyko, and Roman Franko, Technical Analyst with Dundee Securities Corp. and a contributor to the National Post. Members receive insight into market trends and analysis.
2001: Over 150 people attend a private UCPBA tour of Legacy in Gold: Scythian Treasures from Ancient Ukraine at the Royal Ontario Museum. ROM Director James Temerty is key in bringing the traveling exhibition to Toronto. The exhibit gala, organized by many UCPBA members, features a record attendance. At a celebration of the Association’s 65thAnniversary, in appreciation of the dedication of members who have made a significant contribution to the UCPBA of Toronto, 65 volunteers are presented with a Certificate of Recognition, and receive a special coin dedicated to voluntarism issued by the Royal Canadian Mint.
2001: Roman Nazarewycz UCPBA President launches the first annual UCPBA Scholarship Awards for Ukrainian Canadian University students, enriching our future treasures. The UCPBA of Toronto along with the Canadian Friends of Ukraine National Olympic Comnrittee, award a special presentation to the ‘Stars of Sports’ including honourees; Johnny Bower-NHL, Mike Bossy-NHL, Lance Chomyk-CFL, Adam Purdy-Paraolympics and Myhailyk CharalambijOlympic Rowing Gold Medalist.
2003: The UCPBA was able to successfully launch new books by our UCPBA members including Wsevolod Sokolyk’s “Their Sporting Legacy.” It is a book tracing the participation of Canadians of Ukrainian descent in sports from 1891-1991. Victor Malarek’s “The Natasha’s”, describing the unfortunate circumstances of young trafficking victims was also presented to an enthusiastic, capacity audience. The fifth prestigious ‘Presidents Award’, which was established in 1995 to acknowledge and honour members of our community, who have made significant achievements in their professional and business careers and contributed to the Ukrainian community. President Roman Nazarewycz presented the award to the former Saskatchewan Premier and Commissioner of Health for Canada, The Honourable Roy Romanow on November 5 at the elegant Liberty Grand Centennial Ballroom at Exhibition Place.
2004: The UCPBA and the Toronto Ukrainian community held a welcoming celebration for the new Mayor of Toronto, His Worship David Miller. Special guests included Her Worship, Mayor of Mississauga, the venerable Hazel McCallion and former Premier of Ontario Bob Rae. The sold out reception was held in the new Ukrainian National Organization Trident Banquet Hall, under the masterful and hilarious comedy of Michael Curry, Luba Goy and Ted Woloshyn. It also included the artistic dance work of Barvinok. The UCPBA along with the Royal Canadian Legion, Ukrainian Branch 360 had the honour of presenting a bronze memorial plaque to the Ukrainian National Federation on November 11th in honour of Victoria Cross winner, Filip Konowal. Honoured guests included the Honourable Lt. Governor of Ontario, James Bartleman, Deputy Premier of Ontario, Laurel Broten with the keynote speaker Dr. Lubomyr Luciuk.