Skip to content

Ukraine's independence celebrated in Yorkton

Event featured live music, games and entertainment from local Ukrainian dance groups.

YORKTON – Members of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress gathered at the Western Development Museum Aug. 27 to celebrate Ukraine's Independence Day.

"Today we are celebrating Ukraine's independence day — the actual day is on Aug. 24 — it's been 32 years since they signed the documents to become independent from USSR in 1991," said Larissa Van Caeseele, President of the Yorkton Branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, in an interview with Yorkton This Week.

Van Caeseele said the UCC organized the event that featured live music, games and entertainment from local dance groups.

"I think there's about 85 people out here today which is fabulous for our first time ever," said Van Caeseele, adding, "I'm hoping that if we keep doing it here at the museum more people will know about it and come."

The celebrations were not overshadowed by the Russian war that continues to be waged against Ukraine.

"It's been over 500 days of war since it started on Feb. 22 of 2022," said Van Caeseele about the war in Ukraine, noting, the group continues to recognize "many of the fallen soldiers and the soldiers that are still there fighting in this war."

"They are still in need of help — there's families that have stayed there, there's families that still need food, that still need water, hygiene [products] — there are organizations there helping them out," said Van Caeseele.

"One that is kind of close to our hearts in Sask is Ukrainian Patriot because it was founded by a girl from Saskatoon who went there ... and has stayed there," said Van Caeseele, adding, "Through her organization — Ukrainian Patriot — you can send items, you can donate money and they will put it to wherever they need it at that time."

"Six months ago they were looking for front line equipment — protective gear, new boots, new gloves — in the winter time they were looking for thick socks, thicker mittens, touqes for the the front line workers," said Van Caeseele, adding, "however, there are people that are there that can't get food so they have food bags and they do deliveries all way across Ukraine — it's an amazing foundation."

As for the Sunday's event, Van Caeseel said she is happy with the turnout.

"It's a very important day where they actually have a holiday for it in Ukraine just like we would do for Canada Day."

For more information on Ukrainian Patriot, visit their website.