Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sudbury Celebrates 120 Years of Ukrainians in Canada

Our very own Halyna Zelionka, MSR at our Sudbury Branch is getting ready to commemorate the 120th anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Canada by participating in a traditional costume fashion show at the Ukrainian Seniors Centre in Sudbury. If you are a Sudbury resident, or just visiting, drop by the centre to see Halyna and other participants model traditional costumes from various regions in Ukraine.

Halyna poses for a newspaper photo shoot earlier today
You might be able to read a bit more about Halyna tomorrow as several Sudbury area newspapers, including the Sudbury Star and Northern Life, took pictures of her and others wearing costumes that had been made by seniors living at the Centre over 50 years ago. Talk about living history! Stay tuned, hopefully we will have a few more photos to show you after Sunday's festivities.

Mandry!!!! Coming to the BWV Ukrainian Festival

It's official!!!!

Mandry are as excited about coming to Canada as Ukrainian Credit Union Limited
is in sponsoring their appearance here!
Mandry will be available for an autograph signing session at the Bloor Branch of Ukrainian Credit Union at 2397 Bloor St West on Saturday September 17. The line up will start at 3pm.

Mandry are going to be the headline act at the Bloor West Village Ukrainian Festival. Ukrainian Credit Union Limited is sooooo excited by this turn of events. We've been sponsoring the leading acts from Ukraine at this festival for years now, including V.V., MadHeads XL. Ruslana, Haydamaky, and many others and that's not even counting acts like Okean Elsy and Marika Burmaka that we have sponsored outside of the context of the BWV Ukrainian Festival. This year's choice of Mandry is brilliant and we thank the festival organizers fro once again helping us sponsor one of Ukraine's truly great acts.

This year's Bloor West Village Festival will be held Friday September 16 to Sunday September 18. This year the festival will be celebrating an important milestone, the 120th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada as well as the 15th anniversary of the festival itself!

Learn more about Mandry here Mandry page, at their web site http://www.mandrymusic.com/. Also here is a Youtube link to a very good video of theirs Romansero pro Nizhnu Korolevu.

Learn more about the Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival at http://www.ukrainianfestival.com/. Or contact the festival's press agent Natalya Grod: tel: 416-410-9956 or email: info@ukrainianfestival.com.

Gaudeamus Igitur - Matura 2011

On Saturday May 28th the Saturday schools belonging to the Ukrainian Canadian School Board (Toronto Branch) held their annual Matura (Graduation) Ceremony. Joining them were also schools from Oshawa and Hamilton.
Contest winners Petro Lysysk, Oleh Feday, Luba Sulypka
and Mykhailo Jewczynko (see below for their placements)

Ukrainian Credit Union Limited and our partner Western Union were proud to be a part of this wonderful event as 128 young women and men celebrated reaching a significant milestone in their education. For the second year running, Western Union has generously provided scholarships to students who participated in a video contest.

Brian Fox of Western Union addresses
the students and guests
Students were expected to submit a 3-5 minute video on the topic of "Building Community - If I had the power to change things, what would I change to strengthen Ukrainian Canadian Community life?". The students were to describe how these changes would make for a better tomorrow for the Ukrainian Community. This year we asked the students to create the videos from scratch using their imaginations to make the best videos possible.

Brian Fox, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Western union Canada, delivered a congratulatory speech to the students and guests and introduced a short video compilation of the winning entries. The our newest director Natalia Witiuk presented the awards to the winners.
UCU Board Member Natalia Witiuk hands
an award over to Luba Sulypka

The winners of this contest were:

1st place ($1,000) - Oleh Feday of UNF Toronto-West School
2nd place ($500) - Mykhailo Jewczynko of Lesia Ukrainka School
3rd place ($250 each) was awarded to Luba Sulypka of Lesia Ukrainka School and Petro Lysyk of the Ivan Franko School in Oshawa.

Western union also made donations to the schools the winning students graduated from so UNF Toronto-West received a $1,000 donation, Lesia Ukrainka School received a $500 and a $250 donation and the Ivan Franko School in Oshawa received a $250 donation.

Congratulations to all the winners.

Winning students watch a compilation video with clips of their performances.

More photos are available on our Facebook page. Click here.
The compilation video of the contest winners is available on our YouTube page. Click here.

Schools participating in the Matura 2011 banquet included:

Tsiopa Palijiw Ukrainian School
St. Nicholas Ukrainian Heritage School
Yuri Lypa Ukrainian Heritage Academy St. Volodymyr Ukrainian School UNF Toronto-West School
Lesia Ukrainka School
H. Skovoroda Ukrainian Saturday School
Ivan Franko Ukrainian Saturday School
Ivan Franko Ukrainian School, Oshawa
To learn more about the contest, go to our website. We'll have all the info you need for next year's contest up there shortly.

Win Football Tickets!

In connection with our Membership Appreciation Day on Bloor, we are raffling off two sets of two tickets to the the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the International Ukrainian Football Tournament (IUFT Toronto 2011). For a chance to win tickets, either visit one of our branches and fill out a ballot, or send your name and phone number by email to contest@ukrainiancu.com. Please put the phrase "Football Tickets" in the subject line or body of your email.

Two winning entries will get two tickets each to the August 13 Opening Ceremonies and August 20 Closing Ceremonies being held in connection with IUFT 2011. To qualify please enter the draw by June 15. Winners will be drawn on June 17.

Please note, tickets will be awarded by Ukrainian Credit Union at a later date once they have been printed by the organizers of the event.

This contest is not open to employees of Ukrainian Credit Union Limited. Participants must be residents of Ontario.

UCU is the official sponsor of IUFT 2011 and USC Karpaty Ukrainian Sports Club which is organizing the tournament.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Membership Appreciation Day on Bloor

On Thursday we officially launched our countdown to the Membership Appreciation Day on Bloor. We invite members who are in the area, but especially those who regularly frequent our two branches on Bloor (Armadale and Durie) to drop by for a visit on June 17th. The event will be held at our branch at the corner of Bloor and Armadale (2397 Bloor St. West).
We'll start at 10am and maybe have some goodies to hand out to people. Some light represhments too. But come early as supplies will eventually run out!

Also, we are going to have a couple of little raffles that you can enter later next week, with the prizes being awarded on June 17th at Member Appreciation Day on Bloor. Watch the blog and facebook page for news about these contests. One draw will be for some tickets to the opening and closing ceremonies of the International Ukrainian Football Tournament (IUFT Toronto 2011) that will be held at the end of August. Ukrainian Credit Union Limited is proud to be the major sponsor of this great event.

The second draw will be to win a CD by Natalia Koulinich-Kolacz. UCU has been a proud sponsor of this accomplished singer in the past and since she is going to be appearing at a few shows this summer, we wanted to help her get the word out early. Stay tuned for details both on the draw for the CD as well as for information on her upcoming appearances.

We look forward to seeing you at the Membership Appreciation Day!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Update on Meest article series

Well, its been a while since we've mentioned the Meest article series in the blog (though we have been posting the weekly articles into the "Фінанси" section of the blog. But there's so much new there now that maybe it makes sense to draw your attention to some of it.

This week Yuriy Nesvit, the branch manager at our St. Catharines branch, published the first of a two part series on how to go about getting approved for a commercial loan. Tatiana Koroliova, our branch manager in North York, has recently published an introduction to investing as well as an article comparing different mutual funds.

Mike Kryworuchko helped explain the concept of the Best of Both Worlds mortgage in the May 12 issue of Meest. The week before that, Roman Mlynko explained the differences in defined benefit and defined contribution employer pension plans.

Other articles covered topics such as TFSAs, car loans, options for retirement income and a general overview of mortgages. These and many more articles are located at this link: http://ucu-building-community.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html. At the moment, since Meest is a Ukrainian language newspaper, the articles have mostly not been translated into English version (though Mike's article on Best of Both Worlds mortgages will appear in English in this month's Visnyk). If we hear feedback from people who want English translations, we'll see what we can do about it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Going back to school - Junior Achievement program

Yesterday, UCU staff kicked off their annual participation in the Junior Achievement program by attending Joseph Cardinal Slypyj Catholic School to conduct courses on managing money for students in Grades 7 & 8. UCU employees will be visiting other schools  in the next two weeks: St. Demetrius on May 31 and St. Sofia on June 8.

Staff who took part in the program (left to right) : Yuriy Nesvit (St. Catharines Branch Manager), Diane Comtois (Credit Manager), Lucy Monteiro (Credit Administrator, Bloor Branch), Olya Melnyk (MSO, Call Centre), Yuriy Diakunchak (Director of Marketing), Stephen Lebed (Volunteer), Dzvinka Rogovaia (MSO, Oshawa), Joseph Felicitas (IT Manager). Anna Fert (MSS, Etobicoke Branch), Not pictured: Vlad Karman (Branch Manager Bloor), Kristin Glover (Youth Marketing Officer),  Kasia Mnich (summer intern, St. Demetrius Branch),
Grade 7 students attended the "Dollars with Sense" program, which gives junior high school students personal money management skills, challenging them to apply these concepts in their own life, starting now! Encourage them to make sense of their dollars and cents.

This program demonstrates how students can financially manage changes in career and life directions. From the origins of trade to the ins and outs of investing, Dollars with Sense provides experience they need to make better economic decisions. Students play an investment strategies game to learn about effective spending and how to avoid credit and debt pitfalls. The best return on investment is smarter financial growth.

Grade 8 students experienced the Economics for Success program which encourages junior high school and high school students to reflect on the advantages of remaining in school to acquire the knowledge, attitudes and skills needed for long-term career success. Many exciting options are made available for students who graduate from high school. Economics for Success helps students explore and manage their job and career choices by focusing on the direct links between further education and personal goals.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Things you didn't know about UCU employees...

Spot light on:
Joseph Felicitas

Joseph Felicitas is UCU’s IT Manager leading the most frequently called departments of UCU, the call centre and the IT department!
Joseph & family at an elephant
Joseph, his wife, and daughter migrated to Canada in January of 1997, where he was working for Standard Charter Bank in Dubai. Upon arrival Joseph started working with a custom broker company, but kept his eyes open for an opportunity related to his previous experience related to banking. In March of 1997, after responding to an ad in the Toronto Sun Joseph began his work at Ukrainian Credit Union Limited and his adventure into Ukrainian culture. Greeting everyone with a “Dobre Den,” whether in person or his answering machine Joseph always wants to learn more about our culture and traditions!

Christmas Angels performing at Seniors Residents
A future composer perhaps? We have heard that he already is a DJ at all the family parties! Joseph’s love for music and his guitar skills have always brightened up the holiday season at our UCU Christmas parties, but he extends his gift of music throughout the community. In 2000 he created a Christmas band called “Christmas Angels” made up of his nieces, nephews and other children in the family. During the holiday season they visit family members and nursing homes to spread the good news and joy of music.

Joseph’s hobbies are all based around the principles of faith, community and family. By hosting and managing a personal website he has been able to connect family around the world and spread the Catholic faith. He volunteers at his Church to prepare children for First Holy communion or Confirmation and dedicates time to collecting funds for “Mercy Home – Home for physically and mentally challenged children in India.

And, by the way, Joseph is the ONLY UCU employee (so far) to have had an audience with the Pope!

Pope Benedict XVI with Joseph's daughter during their trip to Rome
To read about other UCU employees that have been featured in a Spot Light please visit this page: Spot Light On...

Helping local businesses in St. Catharines

Our branch in St. Catharines has recently started a little promotion that is designed to show case some of the businesses in their area.
May's prize basket overflows with goodies!
The branch approached several local businesses with the idea to put together a gift basket to display/promote products or/and services from the local businesses. The result is a nice gift basket that will be awarded to one lucky member. To get your chance to win, come by the branch, and fill out a ballot. The first draw will be held at the end of the month.

Best of all, if you don't win this time, you will get another chance next month, and the month after that, and... well let's just say that this is a very long-winded way of saying that this will be a monthly event.

The businesses that contributed to this month's basket are:
  • Joseph’s Winery – Dr. Joseph Pohorly 
  • Naukas Gourmet Foods – Elizabeth Neumann
  • Avon – Irene Mychaskiw
  • Customized Expressions – Anthony and Paulanne Maddaloni
If you own a business in St.Catharines or in the Niagara Region, don't hesitate to call Yuriy Nesvit at 905-684-5062 to have a little something of yours included in the next basket.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oshawa branch GRAND RE-OPENING!

Last night we held an incredibly successful grand re-opening of our branch in Oshawa at its brand new location. One thing I have to say is that our membership at Oshawa is an incredibly great group of people. They are a tightly knit community with a lot of people who are very active in the local Ukrainian community and in the wider community as a whole.

The ribbon is ready to be cut

Nester Pidwerbecki, Oshawa City Councillor flanked by
UCU Board Member Walter Kish and UCU member Olga Maykut,
President of the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League in Oshawa
do the ribbon cutting honours.

Branch manager Lidia Hawryluk addresses the gathered members, community
representatives and staff. UCU Board Chair Eugene Roman looks on.

We're just going to post a couple of pictures here for now (there are soooo many to sort through) but come back in a few hours and we will have more pictures and videos loaded up here and on our Facebook page and Youtube page.

Just a sample of the incredibly delicious food supplied by Halenda's a famous
Durham Region meat store that is owned by a promiment Ukrainian-Canadian family
Thank you to the members who came out to celebrate with us! We could not do this without you. Congrats to Lidia Hawryluk and the branch staff on the great spirit of their branch, to our Operations Manager Alison Conroy for her leadership on seeing the branch relocation project to a successful conclusion, and to Marie Stamler for all the logistic work in making this gala opening a success.

More pictures on Facebook - Click here
Videos on Youtube - Kontakt broadcast.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ticket winners come by the branch

One of the winners of the Vydubychi Choir Concerts came by the branch on Bloor and Durie today to pick up her tickets. Turns out Anna Chala, who is in the real estate business, used to live in Kyiv where the choir comes from and even attended a church where they performed!

Anyway, we thank Anna and her husband Rocco (pictured below) for participating in the contest and hope they have a great time tomorrow.
Anna and Rocco and two Vydubychi Choir tickets.

We unfortunately missed the opportunity to take the picutre of the other lucky winner, Stepha Dmytrow.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Winners of Vydubichi Choir Concert Tickets

We held our draw on Friday morning and pulled two winners our of the hat! Each winning ballot receives two tickets to the Vydubichi Choir concert on May 18th.

The winners are:

1. Stepha Dmytrow

2. Anna Chala

The winners were notified by phone and email and have until Monday afternoon to pick up their tickets or at least call to arrange for a later pick up date, otherwise we will draw a new name(s).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

First pictures of the new branch in Oshawa

Branch manager Lidia Hawryluk loves her new office

Our new branch in Oshawa is going to be a week old in less than two days! Everyone absolutely adores the new premises.

More pix are available on our Facebook page.

And don't forget, the official opening is May 17.

One of the first members to come
into the branch on Thursday May 5

The Member Service staff pose in front
of the as yet to be unveiled feature wall.

Flower baskets from members and other well-wishers
poured in throughout the week

This has got to be the nicest looking waiting area in our entire branch system

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

We wish a very Happy Morther's Day to all members who qualify for this honor!

You can buy this card and others online from: Vera Trembach

Friday, May 6, 2011

Offical opening of our new Oshawa location.

We are having a little reception on May 17th to celebrate the opening of our new branch location in Oshawa. Please see the attached flyer for details.

Monday, May 2, 2011

When the Cat's at Play...

Fat Cat dances with some of the performers 
Kotiache Vesilya (A Cat's Wedding) was a blast this year! A big round of applause to the parents from Svitlychka (Ukrainian Cooperative Nursery School) for putting the event on. Lots of children came to see the dancing, listen to the music, watch magic tricks and run around having a great time! Ukrainian Credit Union was not only the key sponsor of this event, but some of our staff pitched in to help make this event a success.

Some Fat Cat fans give the
big lug a hug

UCU volunteers Aleksandra,
Olya and Vera at the
balloon inflation sttion

Some of the great gifts UCU gave to those in attendance

UCU volunteers Vera and Olya dish out snacks to attendees
If you missed the show this year, make sure to put it into your calendar for next year. More pictures are available on our Facebook page in the Kotiache Vesilya album.

WIN tickets to the Vydubychi Choir Concert

Two (2) lucky people can each win two (2) tickets to the upcoming Vydubychi Choir Concert in Toronto on May 18th! Ukrainian Credit Union Limited is proud to be one of the main sponsors of this event and to help promote it we are giving away a few tickets.

To win, all you have to do is send an email to contest@ukrainiancu.com and include your name and phone number and stating that you want the two tickets to the event.

Please submit your entry no later than the end of day on May 12th 2011. We will then randonly select two entries which will each win two tickets.

Additonal information about the concert and the choirs tour in Canada can be found here: Vydubchi Church Choir Canadian Tribute Tour

This contest is not open to employees of Ukrainian Credit Union Limited.

Spring Contest 2011 - Official Winner

Our official winner of the Spring 2011 Contest is Oleksandra Dzybak. Congratulations! Oleksandra wins a $50 gift card to Tim Hortons.
Contest winner Oleksandra Dzyubak ended up with 49 votes at midnight April 30th.
Runner up in this contest was Lilya Boyko with 45 votes. It was a very close contest indeed!

Things you didn't know about UCU employees...

Spot light on:

Lidia Cymbaluk

Lidia at the Blossom Ball last year.
Lida left UCU to pursue other opportunities in July of 2011. We all wish Lida good luck in her future endeavors.

Original article:
Lidia Cymbaluk, our branch manager at the So-Use branch on Bloor, was born in Nottingham England and immigrated to Canada.  Since that time she has applied her creative talents to the arts, especially painting and singing (with the Vesnivka choir for example).

“Art has always been part of my life,” says Lidia, samples of whose art can be seen below in this blog post. As a very young girl she was awarded a scholarship to study at the Board of Education in a specialized art program. Over the years she continued to develop her artistic talent through a series of mediums, gaining experience with several noted educational institutions.



Lidia has participated in a number of art shows – solo, juried and group. These shows include the: Red Barn Theatre, Briars’ Resort, Etobicoke Civic Centre,  Cabbage Town Festival, Expressions in Art, Folk Art & Culture St.Demetrius Ukrainian Catholic Church and Care Centre, Dormition of the Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Church Nursery School Art Show. Lidia chooses to paint in oil, watercolour and acrylic and the subject matter is varied. Her love of the creative arts extends to other forms such as icon writing, floral design and potchimania glass painting and Ukrainian folk dance and embroidery.



Anther facet of Lidia's creativity

To read about other UCU employees that have been featured in a Spot Light please visit this page: Spot Light On...

Spot light on: