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Presidential Remarks

Adapted from President’s remarks at the Annual General Meeting of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation held Saturday, June 5, 2021

Dear friends and supporters of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation.

One year into my term and 15 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be natural to look back and reflect on what has been accomplished over the past year. While it is important to do that in order to track and measure how our internal work and external partnerships and programming are progressing towards achieving our long-term strategic goals, we do that on a regular basis at Executive Committee and Board meetings. So today, here at the AGM I would prefer to look forward.

Thank you

But before we look forward, I’d like to say Thank You! Thank you to:

• All the friends, supporters, and donors without whom CUF would not be able to deliver the programs and projects it has been involved in over more than 25 years.

• CUF’s member organizations for your collaboration, cooperation and support. The League of Ukrainian Canadians, Help us Help, UNF, Ukrainian Self-Reliance League, Plast, the Brotherhood of Ukrainian Catholics and the Council of Ukrainian Credit Unions.

• Dzherelo for their partnership and continued great work, and to all our other partner fund holders, whether it be the continued work of the Liubov project, the Kovaluk scholarships, the LNAU Jaroslav Zajshlyj scholarships, the donors from the Cosbild group and our most recent partners, the Canadian Friends of Hockey in Ukraine.

• Our partners at UCC, its national leadership and its provincial affiliates, as well as the Ukrainian World Congress and its member organizations

• CUF Board member and the external committee members: each and every one of you is aligned behind CUF’s mission and vision and I Thank You for your time and commitment.

• Lesya, who has continued to work tirelessly with Brad and the Finance/Audit committee to keep the books in check and our finances in order

• Ambassador Derek Fraser for your years of service to our country and to CUF. Ambassador Fraser stepped down from the Board of CUF earlier this year.


On that note, I’d also like to make a few Welcomes!

• Ambassador Roman Waschuk joined the CUF board earlier this year and already brought his calm and thoughtful approach to several discussions on a range of topics

• I’d also like to introduce Julia Stech, our Executive Coordinator. Welcome Julia! We look forward to the energy and skillset you bring to our organization. One of Julia’s first tasks will be overseeing CUF’s summer students, whom we also welcome at this time!

Looking forward

As we add new board members and begin to build out the CUF office, let’s look forward as we continue to write the second 25 year chapter in CUF’s story together.
Key internal areas of focus from the strategic plan are:

1.) Fundraising (for capacity building)
2.) Promoting the CUF brand to all stakeholders
3.) Optimizing the CUF organizational chart
4.) Establish a paid support staff
5.) Expand presence on the ground in Ukraine

Internally, we have made progress in bringing technology to our meetings and operations, in financial reporting and oversight and we are hiring our first staff member. All these advances will help create a solid foundation for addressing CUF’s strategic priorities.

Welcoming Julia is just the beginning of the build-out of the CUF office. As she onboards with the leadership of Oksana and others on our board and executive, Julia will bring her fundraising and communications skillsets and help progress the work on a couple of immediate needs – capacity building and communications.


Key external areas of focus from the 2020 strategic plan are:

1.) Developing smart partnerships – with key organizations inside and outside our community, inside and outside government;
2.) Developing smart processes – to assess impact and sustainability of future projects and measure projects underway;
3.) Shift the geographic focus to ensure Eastern Ukraine is included in the scope of work.
I’m pleased to see progress from all our committees has continued through the pandemic. The external committee chairs will update the AGM and our external stakeholders in separate presentations/communications.

CUF President Advisory Councils

Finally, I’d like to announce that we are forming President’s Advisory Councils in the areas of Healthcare, Education, Civil Society and Youth. The members of councils will be experts in their respective fields and serve as advisors to the CUF President and members of our board who are working on the relevant committee.

Stay tuned to our social media channels and website for more updates in all the above areas in the coming weeks, months and years.

Thank You once again for your support and dedication – together, we will continue the culture of excellence and take CUF to the next level.

Orest Sklierenko
President & CEO
Canada-Ukraine Foundation