The Ukrainian flag is flying proudly at Town Hall in Bonnyville today as the Lakeland celebrates its Ukrainian heritage. The 2nd provincial “Ukrainian- Canadian Heritage Day” celebrations included a short dedication from Mayor Gene Sobolewski as well as appearances by former Mayor Ogrodnick and other members of the local Ukrainian- Canadian community.
Organizer of the ceremony and former MLA Genia Leskiw says that September 7th is a landmark date for Ukrainian settlement in the province.
“The reason we have it today is 127 years ago on this very day the two first Ukrainians that immigrated to Canada settled in Alberta.”
Other ceremonies around the province today included flag-raisings in Edmonton hosted by the Premier. The legislature will feature Ukrainian dancers and singers tonight as well. Next years celebrations will fall on a weekend and some are thinking the celebration will grow in size and spectacle. Leskiw says she would applaud that but is still thankful the community gets recognition in any way.
“Even this little thing is a recognition to the Ukrainian component of our beautiful town and area.”
The first settlers, Ivan Pylypow and Wasyl Eleniak, immigrated to the Edna-Star area just east of Edmonton in 1891