Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thank you from MUSA

We just received a great thank you note in the mail from the McMaster Ukrainian Student Association!

It's always a pleasure to get a note of appreciation from one of the many groups that we sponsor! The students at McMaster did a great job of organizing their annual volleyball tournament and zabava. You can see a ton of photos from that event on our FB page in the 11th Annual MUSA Volleyball Tournament album.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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

Spot light on:

Mariana Mazepa

Today the spotlight is on Mariana Mazepa who is currently working as an intern in our marketing department. Among other tasks, she is helping out with some new commercials we will be creating in a few months. Soon however she will be returning to Ukraine. That’s right we have an international intern this year.

Mariana is in her 4th year studying marketing at the Ternopil National Economic University in western Ukraine. Mariana was born in Ukraine, but moved with her family to Canada when she was 6 years old. She spent most of her youth in Canada attending St. Demetrius and St. Sofia schools (both are Ukrainian heritage schools that are part of the Toronto Separate School Board) and then John Cabot Catholic Secondary School.

After graduating high school Mariana wanted to experience a culture change and decided to move to Ukraine to study “ever since I was very little, I would visit my family in Ukraine every year for the summer break. I enjoyed it very much, but I wanted to see what it would be like to actually live there and to compare my life there to the one in Canada. Although the first year was difficult for me with all the changes, I have no regrets about my decision and feel lucky to have this experience and at such a young age,” she says.

Family Fun Day Zabava at Sadochok

On Sunday, Sadochok at St. Mary's Church in Mississauga held a Family Fun Day Zabava. According to our representative at the event, Anna Wasylyk of our Mississauga (Cawthra) Branch, the event was a blast!

That looks like a great idea!
Let's do the hop!
Natalia Kadlec dropped us a very nice note today thanking UCU for our sponsorship.
Our Zabava was great - we had an awesome turnout and the kids had fun!!  Thank you again to UCU for your extremely generous donation!
You can see more pictures of the event on our Facebook page in the Family Fun Day Zabava album.

Monday, February 25, 2013

RRSP Deadlines!

RRSP deadlines are right around the corner! Have you made your contribution yet?
Remember there are only 5 days left until the deadline!

Last week we visited some of branches and gave our members some extra incentive to contribute to their RRSPs.

St. Catharines Branch

Hamilton Branch
Oshawa Branch
Mississauga Branch
Etobicoke Branch

Friday, February 22, 2013

Things you didn't know about UCU employees..

Spot light on:

Stin Hrycajkiw

Today the spotlight is on Stin Hrycajkiw, who as a graphic designer is an important part of our marketing team. Beside designing our ads and posters and other things, Stin also plans and organizes events, and works on projects that range from the Toronto Ukrainian Festival to student-related events.

Stin started working at UCU last January and has not looked back yet. We’ll let Stin say a few words about herself:
I studied and graduated from the graphic design program at George Brown College in Toronto. I started my graphic design career by working for the Canadian clothing company Cotton Ginny as a junior Graphic Designer and moved up in the company over the course of 5 years. At the same time I worked for their sister company the department store SAAN as a graphic designer. Afterwords I moved to the beauty supply company Trade Secrets as a senior graphic designer before coming here to UCU.
Stin is originally from Montreal where her father was involved in one of the local Ukrainian credit unions, so it’s really quite appropriate that Stin has ended up working with us. It’s almost like a part of family tradition!
Stin is multi-talented – we are not kidding, we’ll let her give us a partial list in her own words, as we got carpal tunnel just trying to type all that stuff up:
When I’m not doing graphic design I’m gathering friends together for art projects, or I’m bloggin on Youtube about hair tutorials, doing stop motion animation, drawing and painting, gymnastics, refinishing furniture, blogging, salsa dancing or lending my voice to radio commercials for my husbands audio production company.
Stin in New York

You can see some of those tutorials at the following links:

Hair tutorial Vlogger 
Stop motion animation 

On top of all that, Stin has a bucket list that among other things includes the following:
  • Learn to raise one eyebrow.
  • Juggle... better.
  • Perfect the pendulum yo-yo trick
  • See the Aurora Borealis
  • Learn a musical instrument
  • Travel.. everywhere!
On the travel front Stin says:
Best place I’ve traveled to was definately Brazil. It’s a beautiful country. The most thrilling was ziplining through Costa Rica in a thunderstrom. The most inspiring is New York, it’s a creative re-charge!"
Stin collects memories, ideas, friends and owl tchotchkes. Other things that you need to know about Stin include:
  • She’s a former gymnast who recently joined a circus troupe as a tumbler and trapeze artist
  • She’s a balloon animal maker
  •  For half her life she feared oranges while adoring orange juice
  • She has a doppleganger living in Richmiond Hill (but seriously, who doesn’t? Eh folks?)
  • She knows the Jabberwocky poem by Lewis Carrol by heart (Okay, we ARE NOT buying that one – someone should call her on that)
Anyway, so now you know a bit about Stin. We’ll leave you with her favourite quote:
“Dear math, I’m not a therapist, solve your own problems!”

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Theatre Zahrava presents Євангеліє від Івана

Congratulations to all the winners of our Theatre Zahrava presents Євангеліє від Івана contest!

Theatre Zahrava's premiere of Євангеліє від Івана was a great success. If you didn't get a chance to see it, we hear there might be a second showing in a month or so as well as a possible US tour. This Off-Off-Broadway production might just be getting a little closer to the dropping one of those "Offs"!. We'll keep you posted and maybe we will offer up a few more free tickets.

Stay tuned!

Kateryna Litvinjuk (right) of the UCU Wealth Strategies Group awards a pair of tickets

Busy ticket sellers 

UCU employee Oleksiy Slyepukhov plays the role of "Silvio" interviewed by Ron Cahute 

On opening night, a framed gallery of the cast's pictures greeted theatre-goers. 
Check out the rest of the pictures on our Facebook Page. Click HERE

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Family Day!

All branches will be closed Monday, February 18th 2013 for Family Day

RRSP Road Show 2013

The RRSP Road Show is coming to a branch near you!

For the second year in a row, we are visiting branches to remind our members about how important it is to think about saving for retirement. Whether you do it through RRSPs, TFSAs, or by investing in the stock market through our Wealth Strategies Group, your future financial well-being is in YOUR hands.

If you don't have enough cash at the moment, don't worry, we are currently offering RRSP loans at the low, low rate of 3%!!!! (some conditions apply of course - ask at your branch) We kick the RRSP Road Show off at St. Catharines on Feb 15. Between now and March 1 we will try to visit all of our GTA and Golden Horseshoe branches. Looking forward to seeing you!

Vlad Pasternak and Halyna Cap of our St. Catharines branch in front of
their brand spanking new ATM. St . Catharines branch was the first stop
on this year's RRSP Road Show tour.
For more pictures of stops along the tour route visit the RRSP Road Show album on our FB page.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A learning vacation!

The School of Ukrainian Language and Culture at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv is offering spring and summer courses language courses. Its a great way to learn Ukrainian while spending some time in one of Europe's most beautiful cities.

The courses take place in May, June and July. Details of the spring session are below. For additional information look at the second poster.

MAY 12-25, 2013

This two-week course provides you with an intensive study of the Ukrainian language and diverse cultural program. The course includes 30 hours of lessons in the Ukrainian language with the teacher (in small groups from 3 to 7 people), 8 hours of individual tutoring and 30 hours of cultural program. In this course participants will also have an opportunity to take part in excursion tours through the city and Lviv region.

5 reasons to come to UKRAINIAN SPRING:

Summer 2013 course details

  • Lviv is the most Ukrainian speaking city in Ukraine. So, if you really want to learn Ukrainian – you sould come to Lviv
  • Safety – Ukrainian Catholic University is an international institution with long experience of work with foreign students. We provide comfortable accommodation and meals. 
  • Individual tutoring – each student has lessons with personal tutor – young Ukrainian speeking person, who will help to overcome a barrier of communication!
  • City Day Celebration and other cultural events and festivals are held in May. 
  • Notice that Ukrainian language is one of the most euphonic languages in the world
Course Fee: 995$

Registration fee 50$
Language & Culture cource 400$
Accomodation (double room) 240$
Meals 140$
Pick up 15$
Weekend excursion 150$

Visit Lviv in May and have a lot of satisfaction combining vacations and study!

Прем'єра - Євангеліє від Івана

This Sunday sees the Premier of  the Ukrainian-language play Yevanheliye vid Ivana (The Gospel of John) at the Plast Domivka in Etobicoke. The play depicts the life and suffering of a contemporary small Ukrainian farmer Ivan. As Ivan tries to make ends meet and cultivate his land, he is besieged by local bureaucracy, greed and idiocy. His wife is an illegal worker in Italy, all the money that she sends him to build a house - Ivan invests in his farm. 

Ivan's son Kolka, a good-for-nothing slacker, is engaged to a local girl Angela. Kolka does not share his father’s beliefs and always looks for easier ways to earn a living. Other characters include the local "boss", Hrisha – the village elder who always gets in fights with local ruffians and religious fanatics. Petro Hryhorovych – the local medic, veterinarian and Ivan’s ardent defender. Italian and German investors that will test Ivan's strong will and love for his land.

The tragicomedy’s main focus is on Ivan’s gritty determination to get approved for a loan from the local banker Voldyryuk (we can't help but say, he should have gone to his local credit union!*). Ivan relies on "Ukrainian ingenuity" to secure money for his farm by borrowing cattle from local peasants to make his farm look larger and use them as security for his loan.

Will Ivan get money for his farm and survive the onslaught of bureaucratic audits and local bribe collectors? You will find out at the premier of “Evanheliye vid Ivana” by Zahrava Theater at  Plastova Domivka Hutzuliakiv (516 The Kingsway). Ukrainian Credit Union is proud to be a key sponsor of this play. More details about the play can be found in our Events Calendar.

Oleksiy Slyepukhov, an MSR at our North York Branch, plays the role of Silvio, an investor.

Pictures from a recent dress rehearsal are on our FB page in the Євангеліє від Івана album.

* As you may know Ukrainian Credit Union Limited was instrumental in the 90s and 2000s in helping the development of a credit union industry in Ukraine.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Canada is Saying Goodbye to the Penny!

До відома членів УКС

Згідно з рішенням Канадського уряду від 4-го лютого, 2013 вивести з обігу монету у вартості 1 цент "penny", Українська Кредитова Спілка Лимитед зупинить видавати монету "penny" з 19-го лютого 2013.

No penny for your thoughts

On February 4, 2013, the Royal Canadian Mint ceased distribution of the penny to financial institutions. In keeping with the government’s decision to phase out the coin, Ukrainian Credit Union Limited will no longer be issuing pennies as of February 19, 2013.

Pennies sit idle in jars and coffee cans on our dressers and in our closets.  They consume too much of our small business owners and retailers’ time, for too little in return.  And they cost too much for taxpayers – 1.6 cents per penny. With this, Canadian taxpayers will save $11 million each and every year as pennies are fully phased out.

Canada will move to a new ‘rounding’ system, so how does ‘rounding’ work?
Cash payments will need to adapt when pennies are not available.  As time passes, businesses will simply not have pennies and, at the same time, customers will run out of pennies to pay with.

To deal with this, the Government is encouraging all businesses to round cash transactions.  Moving to this ‘rounding’ system means that cash payments should be rounded symmetrically – a successful practice that has become normal in countries that have eliminated their pennies.  Symmetrical rounding means that final cash amounts (i.e. after tax) and the change owed:

• ending in 1, 2, 6 and 7 cents are rounded down to the nearest 5 cent increment;
• ending in 3, 4, 8, and 9 cents are rounded up to the nearest 5 cent increment;
• ending in 0 cent and 5 cents remain unchanged.

Remember that this rounding system will only effect cash transactions. Transaction made on debit cards, credit cards, payment cards and cheques will not be impacted at all and will continue to be settled to the exact cent.

For more information about phasing out the penny visit: or call toll-free 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).

Paczki Day in Windsor

Mike Kryworuchko, Branch Manager in Windsor
 invites you to sample a taste of heaven.
Lent has started for many of our members who follow the Gregorian Calendar, especially members who belong to the Polish and Croatian communities, and those Ukrainians who have switched from the Julian Calendar.

Once again, in celebration of this event, UCU's Windsor Branch is serving Paczki (pronounced  ponch-key) to all of its members that come by today. The paczki are served to commemorate the beginning of Lent tomorrow which is Ash Wednesday. The branch started this tradition up more than a decade ago.

Windsor branch has many members from the Polish community, some of whom have been with us for many years, and also many that wanted to stay in the credit union system when St. Stanislaw and St. Cazimir Polish Credit Union decided to close its Windsor branch. 

The Paczki are prepared by UCU member Blak’s Bakery which has been in business in Windsor for 95 years and still makes their paczki following the traditional Polish recipe. They will sell over 25,000 paczki today. WOW!!!

Though our calendar seems to show that lent started yesterday; come to Windsor today anyway, they are soooooo… good!!! (only 700 calories each) but who's counting anyway?

Of course those of our members who celebrate Easter according to the Julian Calendar, still have a month or so to wait.