An International Remembrance Flame to raise awareness of the 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian genocide known as Holodomor, or extermination by famine and to gain formal Canadian and international recognition of this atrocity begins its journey across Canada in
Toronto on Friday April 18.
The Flame tour honors the estimated 10 million Ukrainian men, women and children who were subjected to starvation and death in 1932-33 by the communist regime of Joseph Stalin as part of his effort to eradicate Ukraine as a country.
Toronto resident, 87-year old Stefan Horlatsch, a survivor of the genocide, will participate in the Flame handover event at Toronto City Hall which is part of the opening of the Holodomor exhibit “Genocide by Famine” which will be on display until April 26. Mr. Horlatsch will escort the Flame on its 14 city tour of Canada which officially begins in Winnipeg on April 20 and ends in Ottawa on May 26.
The Flame started its journey in Australia and will travel to 33 countries before arriving in Ukraine in November. Canadian events under the theme “Keep the Flame Alive” are being organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress in cooperation with the Embassy of Ukraine. They are designed to remember victims of the Holodomor, help ensure the story of the tragedy is transferred from generation to generation and create awareness to prevent the recurrence of another atrocity of this nature.
The Canadian tour and events also launch a campaign urging the Canadian government to recognize the Holodomor as an act of genocide and support Ukraine’s motion for such recognition by the United Nations.
Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia Valentyn Adomaytis and Stefan Romaniw, the president of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations and Chair of the International Coordinating Committee of the Ukrainian World Congress which initiated the Flame program, will deliver the Flame to Toronto.
It will be accepted by Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada, Dr. Ihor Ostash, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Oleh Shamshur, the national president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Paul Grod and the president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of the America, Mykhajlo Sawkiw.
In addition to Toronto, Winnipeg and Ottawa, the International Remembrance Flame will travel to Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Vegreville, Yorkton, Regina, Saskatoon, North Battleford, St. Catherines, Hamilton, and Montreal.
Agenda for April 18
6:00 p.m. Opening remarks – Irene Mycak, Chair National Holodomor Commemoration Committee
Hon. Jason Kenney
Secretary of State for Multiculturalism
Mr. Dave Levac, MPP Brant
Ms. Gloria Lindsay Luby, City Councilor
Mr. Stefan Romaniw, Chair International Coordinating Committee Ukrainian World Congress
Mr. Paul Grod, President Ukrainian Canadian Congress
6:40 Presentation of International Holodomor Remembrance Flame Participating in the ceremony: Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada, Dr. Ihor Ostash, Ukraine’s Ambassador to USA, Oleh Shamshur, and Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia, Valentyn Adomaytis
What is the Holodomor?
In the early 1930s, in the very heart of Europe – in a region considered to be Europe’s breadbasket – Stalin’s Communist regime committed a horrendous act of genocide against up to 10 million Ukrainians. An ancient nation of agriculturists was subjected to starvation, one of the most ruthless forms of torture and death. The government imposed exorbitant grain quotas, in some cases confiscating supplies down to the last seed. The territory of Soviet Ukraine and the predominantly Ukrainian-populated Kuban region of the Northern Caucasus (Soviet Russia) were isolated by armed units, so that people could not go in search of food to the neighbouring Soviet regions where it was more readily available. The result was the Ukrainian genocide of 1932-33, known in Ukrainian as the Holodomor, or extermination by famine.
For further information: Ostap Skrypnyk, Executive Director, Ukrainian Canadian Congress, (866) 942-4627, firstname.lastname@example.org