Friday, April 29, 2011

Cheers to hats (and winners of prizes)

So we've finally had a chance to get around to posting some pictures of the celebration of hats, Canadian champagne (Canada Dry Ginger Ale), royal weddings and other miscellaneous things going on at our branch.

Staff and members toast Wills and Kate(with Ginger Ale of course
we may like to have fun, but we aren't that naughty). Left to right:
Olena, Ludmila, Kateryna, two of our very sporting members, Irena, Lydia and Mary
So who won the mini contest from yesterday you ask? Well, we got a number of entries, but only one person was able to correctly guess who got to wear the tiara and play the role of the Guest-of-Honour at our celebration.

The winner of the contest is: Alison Conroy! And the Guest-of-Honour (and he swears that he was coerced into putting it on) is pictured below (centre) along with some branch staff and So-Use member Roxolana (on the right)

Mary, Ludmila, Yuriy, Kateryna, Roxolana.
Okay, so now that we got the formal stuff out of the way, here are some more close-ups of the real stars of this event: THE HATS!!!!


These and more photos from the event are now also available on our blog: Hat Fest on Bloor

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wills and Kate and So-Use Bloor - and prizes too!

Come to our branch at Bloor and Durie tomorrow (April 29th) to see the best hat show this side of the Westminster Abbey! Bring your own hat and join the fun!

Forget the Ladies, Countessas and Baronesses who will be cramming into Westminster Abbey,
our staff know a good millenery product when they see one.

Plus if you can guess who will be our "Princess" wearing the tiara below, you could win a prize. First 10 people to send the correct answer to will get a small gift! You must submit your answer by 11:59pm April 28, 2011 in order to qualify.
Guess who our "Katie" will be and win a little prize!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chornobyl - A Solemn Commemoration

The Children of Chornobyl Canadian Fund invites you to a commemorative concert in honour of the 25th anniversary of the tragedy at the nuclear reactor at Chornobyl Ukraine. This disaster remains as relavant today as it did a quarter century ago especially in light of the recent nuclear disaster in Japan.

The Chornobyl concert will take place on Friday May 6 at the Huculak Community Centre, 516 The Kingsway (at Kipling), Etobicoke. Featured performers include The Elmer Iseler Singers, The Gryphon Trio, Toronto Ukrainian Male Chamber Choir, and Vesnivka Choir which includes our own Lidia Cymbaluk among its memebrs.

Ukrainian Credit Union is proud to be a lead sponsor of this event and encourages you to attend. tickets can be obtained by calling 416-604-4611. More information is available at

Other Choronobyl-related events include "Chornobyl Remembered" an exhibit of photos by Olena Serbyn-Sullivan at the Ukrainian Canadian Art Foundation (2188-A Bloor St. West) opening April 30th and running till May 4, 2011. The opening will feature Olena Serbyn-Sullivan and guest speaker Dr. Roman Serbyn.

An Official Opening and Commemorative Prayer will be held tonight (April 26, 2011) at 7:00pm at the Foundation.

UCU is Oshawa!

UCU Operations Manager, Alison Conroy
& our team reviewing the plans!

With the construction of our NEW Oshawa branch fully underway we could no longer keep the secret of how chic this branch is going to look! After many years of service at the community at the Lviv Hall, we are moving to a new storefront location at 245 King Street West (@ Park).

Branch manager Lidia and the UCU Oshawa team will be welcoming members as of May 5th in our new location. (Old branch will close May 3rd. May 4th we will be closed to facilitate moving and setting up in the new location).

Convenience has been a driving force in this renovation. What could be more convenient than to access your funds 7/24? That’s right, Oshawa’s new branch will now be equipped with an ATM. (yippee!) And no stairs to climb!

Group photo at the old branch. L to R: Olya, Dzvinka,
Shanna, Lidia, and Daria
Be sure to stop by our new location on or after May 5 to see our new home, and how we are here to better service our members!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Contest 2011 - Only 10 days left!!!!

We are up to seven entrants in our contest. And one contestant (Oleksandra #6) is clearly in the lead at the moment! The newest contestant (Liliya #7) is pictured below. Liliya is an employee at our Mississauga (Cawthra) branch, and yes, for this particular contest employees are eligible to enter. 
Contestant #7 Liliya models our new "Будуємо Громаду! Building Community!" t-shirt
Only one person can win the $50 grand prize though. So who will it be? Will it be one of the seven already entered? Or will it be someone new who galvanizes the support of the masses?

Visit our Facebook Page to vote for the eventual winner (photos are in the "Spring Contest 2011" photo album), or enter your own photo for a chance to win $50! But hurry up CONTEST ENDS ON APRIL 30 2011!!!!

Anyone can enter the contest by taking a photo of themselves with some UCU or So-Use branded clothing or other accessory. For contest rules, please see the original post about this contest here: Spring Contest 2011.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A big thank you!

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the following people who came before the “Building Community” cameras. Some of their appearances can already be seen in our inaugural "Building Community! Будуємо Громаду!" video on YouTube. This is but the beginning. We will eventually roll out other clips since there were so many representatives of the communities we serve who stepped up to the plate to share their stories!

We list them all here in alphabetical order:

Wlodko Arendacz
Lesia Babiak
Ron Cahute
Gloria Chewchuk
Ali Daschko
Maksym Demusz
Andrew Demusz
Yuriy Diakunchak
Bohdan Dolban
Melanie Drozdowsky
Lucy Dyczkowsky
Rev. Andrew Figol
Peter Gatti
Bozhena Gembatiuk Fedyna
Kristin Glover
Olya Grod
Oksana Iwanusiw
Christine Kos
Steven Lebed
Roman Litwinchuk
Michael Maciuk
Alexander Maslej
Kathy Matkowskyj
Stephen Mazur
Ernie McCullough
Taras Pidzamecky
Nadya Pirog
Eugene Roman
Renata Roman
Anthony Slywka
Benjamin Slywka
Andre Sochaniwsky
Ann Taskey
Stephanie Turenko
Orest Zakydalsky

Friday, April 15, 2011

IUFT Toronto 2011 - Football at its best!

USC Karpaty will be hosting the International Ukrainian Football Tournament here in Toronto this summer. UCU has agreed to be the main sponsor of this event since we believe it will add a great sportive element to the already packed festival season in Toronto. Plus its an event that the whole family will be able to enjoy, from the youngest footballer to the greyest one!

You can learn more about the tournament here:

Keep an eye on our website, blog, Facebook page, and twitter feed as we will be keeping you infomred of events associated with Toronto 2011 and holding some contests too.

We wish the organizers the best of success and look forward to watching our favourite teams compete on the pitch.

Spring Contest 2011 - ONLY 15 days left!!!

We are up to six entrants in our contest. The newest entrant, Oleksandra from London Ontario, has taken an interesting spin on the premise of the contest (see photo below). Amongst the six current contestants, we have a tie for first place. Only one person can win the $50 grand prize though. So who will it be? Will it be one of the six already entered? Or will it be someone new who galvanizes the support of the masses?
Oleksandra contestant #6 show off some UCU websites.
Visit our Facebook Page to vote for the eventual winner, or enter your own photo for a chance to win $50! But hurry up CONTEST ENDS ON APRIL 30 2011!!!!

Anyone can enter the contest by taking a photo of themselves with some UCU or So-Use branded clothing or other accessory. For contest rules, please see the original post about this contest here: Spring Contest 2011.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

2011 UCU Scholarship Recipients

Supporting our community does not necessarily mean simply donating money to various organizations and causes. It also means helping the most academically worthy and socially active of our members finance their education costs. This year we were able to reward 9 of the applicants for our various scholarships.

All the staff and board members of UCU would like to congratulate the following students on their achievements:

Olena Kapral
Michael Rebryk Memorial
Scholarship Award
Anastasia Wowk
UCU Board Chair's Scholarship Award

Anna Bazylewicz
UCU Community Leadership Award

Andriy Harapyuk
UCU Community Leadership Award

Andriyana Chychkevych
UCU Community Leadership Award

Deana Drozdowsky
UCU Community Leadership Award

Ilina Frankiv
UCU Community Leadership Award

Irena Doubelt
UCU Community Leadership Award

Marta Czurylowicz
UCU Community Leadership Award

To learn more about our scholarships and other awards available to students, please visit the Scholarship page on our website.

Kotiache Vesiliya update

UCU wants to remind its members and blog followers about the upcoming Kotiache Vesilya on Saturday April 30. This is a great event for young children as it features all sorts of games and activities as well as a visit with Fat Cat (pictured here at this winter's St. Joseph's Malanka, another great event that UCU is proud to be a major sponsor of).

To view full details about Kotiache Vesilya click on this evite.

To pre-order tickets for Kotiache Vesilya via PayPal click here

Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Church in WIndsor

This Sunday (April 10) saw the offical blessing of the new Ukrainian Catholic Church in Windsor dedicated to Sts. Volodymyr and Olha. Several UCU representatives were on hand as the parish community has many members of the credit union. Our reps included Taras Pidzamecky, CEO, Myron Oleksyshyn, a member of the UCU Board of Directors and Mike Kryworuchko our branch manager in Windsor.

Among the many priests attending the blessing were Bishop Stephen, 
the church's pastor Father Halytsky and associate pastor Father Hrycyk

Far left Wilma Kryworuchko with husband Mike Kryworuchko next to her. 
Myron Oleksyshyn is on the far right standing next to his father.

Ukrainian dancers greet the guests with bread and salt

Additoonal photos can be found on our Facebook page.

Будуємо Громаду! Building Community!

We've now launched a new presence on YouTube: the UCUYKC YouTube Channel. This is where you can go to see the video we debuted at our AGM on Tuesday evening. The video was one of the highlights of an incredibly successful AGM. It was the first one that we've held that included many of our new members from So-Use Credit Union so it was a great way for everyone to get to know our organization a bit better together.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Лем би она, лем би она вишиваною била...

Our 67th annual general meeting of the membership was a wild success! We had a record attendance of 310 registered, voting members.

The highlights of the meeting included a hotly contested election to the board which saw one existing board member (Andre Sochaniwsky) returned for a new 2 year term, and a new board member (Natalie Witiuk) elected, also to a 2 year term. Attendees were also treated to a video that showed the deep involvement of Ukrainian Credit Union in its community both in a financial sense as well as a source of volunteers who take an active part in many aspects of community life. We'll post a copy of the video to YouTube and our Facebook page soon.

We'll also put a bunch of photos from the AGM up on our Facebook page in the next day or so, but in the meantime, since many of our staff came decked out in their best vyshyvanky, we'll post a few of those photos here.

Yuriy Nesvit, Branch Manager
in St. Catharines, sports a
classic white on white vyshyvka.
Kasimir Malevich would
have been proud
The front line staff at the
Bloor (Armadale) branch
Some of the Bloor (Durie) staff
Staff from Mississauga (Cawthra)
Irena, Marika and Maria at the
registration table
Staff at the registration table for our So-Use Division members

Iryna and Lyudmyla

Vlad Karman, Branch Manager,
Bloor (Armadale)

Olena Bat from our Etobicoke Branch

We'll also post pictures of the many winners of door prizes on our Facebook page. Anyway, since we started the song with the title of this post, might as well sing you a couple of verses....
Як ішов я з Дебречина додому,
Зайшла мені чорна кура дорогу.
Іди, іди, чорна кура, додому,
Не заважай, не заважай по дорозі нікому.

Як ішов я з Дебречина до Хусту,
Знайшов лем я вишиваную хустку.
Ой чи мила, чи не мила ю шила,
Лем би она, лем би она вишиваною била.

(P.S. - there are many different variants of this song, you'll have to blame the wonders of google for this particular version)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Building Community - Будуємо громаду - Sneak Peek! - Part 4

So we couldn't resist putting up at least one more teaser before our AGM. Those of our members who are planning to attend are in for a bit of a treat. But we promise to keep the rest of you who can't make it in the loop as well. We'll publish some of the highlights here. In the meantime, we'll leave you with some thoughts on the motviating factor behind our organization in the words of our CEO Taras Pidzamecky, and the Chair of our Board of Directors Eugene Roman.

Watch this space for more commentary by members, staff and people in the community who share our philosophy.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

New entries in our Spring 2011 Contest

Two new contestants have joined our Spring 2011 Contest, bringing the total up to five. Visit our Facebook Page to vote for the eventual winner, or enter your own photo for a chance to win $50!

Tetyana avec UCU Whoosh t-shirt
Zenon mugs with a UCU mug.

Anyone can enter the contest by taking a photo of themselves with some UCU or So-Use branded clothing or other accessory. For contest rules, please see the original post about this contest here: Spring Contest 2011.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Taras Shevchenko Concert in Thunder Bay

This past weekend, the Ukrainian Community in Thunder Bay held its annual Taras Shevchenko concert. The poets namesake, and our CEO, Taras Pidzamecky was the keynote speaker at the event. The concert held on the 150 anniversary of Shevchenko's death featured signing, dancing and recitations of the poet's works.

 A write up on the concert in Thunder Bay's The Chronicle Journal

Fort William Prosvita Mixed Choir

Olya Sawchuk addresses the audience

Taras Pidzamecky delivers
his keynote address