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Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Giving Tuesday - Worthy Ukrainian (and other) causes to support

After the excitement of Black Friday and Cyber Monday subsides, along comes Giving Tuesday. Also known as the Global Day of Giving, or in Ukrainian Щедрий вівторок, Giving Tuesday encourages donations of money and/or time in support of charities and not-for-profit organizations.

But please don't fall victim to fakers.  There are many scam “charities” eager to take your money. So do your due diligence, please.

If you are short on time to do your own due diligence, but would like to participate in Giving Tuesday to help out a worthy cause or two, here are some that Nash Holos recommends supporting.

Ukraine War Amps 

The sole purpose of Ukraine War Amps is to assist Ukrainian soldiers and patriots that have been maimed or injured in the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine. 100% of donations are sent to soldiers and their families. UWA Board members cover the operating costs. 

Volunteers on the ground within Ukraine have worked tirelessly to ensure the donations from over seventeen countries are delivered directly to the soldiers and families in need. Ukraine War Amps relies exclusively on the support of local and international volunteers to provide financial assistance to injured soldiers and families in Eastern Ukraine. 

For many Ukrainian veterans, accessibility to modern medical treatment and rehabilitation is beyond their financial means. Unfortunately, many of the Ukrainian soldiers lack the level treatment we receive in countries like Canada and never obtain adequate care for their injuries. Joined by hundreds of friends from all over the world the Ukraine War Amps community helps alleviate the burden placed on both soldiers and their families by providing a means of donating a monthly stipend, so that they can heal and live to the best of their abilities.

Hope Worldwide Ukraine 

HOPE worldwide invites you to join in and partner with them  to provide humanitarian aid and psychological assistance to children who received war trauma as result of military actions in Eastern Ukraine. 

The needs for psychological assistance of those who witnessed and survived the events of war are of utmost importance. Particularly, a focus has to be made on children, traumatized by war, since their experiences and skills to deal with stress, depression and panic will directly influence their chances for fulfilling lives.

HART – Humanitarian Aid Response Team

HART is dedicated to alleviating poverty and injustice in Eastern Europe by working in partnership with local Christian churches - giving them the tools to build a better world for themselves, their communities and their countries. 

Their goal for Eastern Europe: To empower the Nationals in Eastern Europe to rise up and respond to the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of their own communities. Their goal for North America: To inspire and provide opportunities for people in North America to get involved and truly make a difference in this world. 

Hart serves primarily in Ukraine and Moldova, and also in neighbouring Eastern European countries.

Joy Smith Foundation 

The Joy Smith Foundation works to ensure that every Canadian man, woman and child is safe from manipulation, force, or abuse of power designed to lure and exploit them into the sex trade or forced labour. 

The Foundation develops human trafficking educational programs and facilitates their implementation in Canadian schools. They provide training and educational materials to teachers, parents and volunteers to help them raise awareness of human trafficking in their communities. 

Canadian families are now being equipped with the knowledge they need to protect their children from predators, and Canadian youth are now recognizing the signs of being groomed by traffickers. Canadians are surprised when they learn how prevalent human trafficking is here in Canada, and traffickers are empowered by this public apathy.

CHLY 101.7fm 

CHLY is Nanaimo’s community/campus radio station. A volunteer-driven and non-profit radio station that broadcasts Nash Holos Ukrainian Roots Radio and other unique, independent, local programming. Make a one-time donation or get more involved with the station by becoming a sustaining donor.

Shevchenko Foundation 

The Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko promotes Ukrainian Canadian Arts and History, and supports the Ukrainian Canadian Community. 

This national, chartered philanthropic institution strives to be a premier not-for-profit foundation inspiring community development in a Canada that acknowledges Ukrainian Canadians as nation-builders and a fundamental component of Canadian society. The Shevchenko Foundation respects the past, celebrates the present and promotes the future of the Ukrainian community in through inclusiveness, integrity, sustainability, spirit, excellence and innovation.

Ukrainian Churches

For centuries the Church was the bedrock of Ukrainian social activity as well as spiritual guidance and growth. In times past, churches often were funded by wealthy benefactors.

Today, like most charitable organizations, they rely on the generosity of their parishioners and outside supporters. Donations augment parishioner contributions as well as fundraising events such as perogy suppers and sales, bazaars, and zabava dinner dances, and ensure their continuity into the future. 

St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Parish, Nanaimo 
St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Parish, Parksville 
St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Parish, Vancouver 
Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Parish 
St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Parish, Montrea
St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Parish, Winnipeg

Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival

Become a member and/or a sponsor to ensure Canada's National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin continues for another 53+ years of providing amazing Ukrainian entertainment, engaging activities for children, and promoting Ukrainian culture for future generations!

Ukrainian Canadian Cultural Society of Nanaimo 

This registered non-profit Society was incorporated under the Societies Act in 1986. The Society was established to preserve the Ukrainian culture through dance, food, music, language and traditions which would be remembered, shared and passed on to future generations. 

Their services include assistance and support for immigrants or those of Ukrainian descent new to the Nanaimo area, bazaars and Ukrainian food sales, Traditional dance classes through Vesna Ukrainian Dancers of Nanaimo, preservation of Ukrainian Christmas and Easter traditions, educational bursaries, language classes, replication of authentic costumes, pysanky (Easter Egg) workshops, and more. Membership is encouraged, donations gratefully accepted.

Toronto Ukrainian Festival 

In 1995, Toronto was twinned with Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and to mark this occasion, the Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival was established. Originally known as the Bloor West Village Ukrainian Festival, it has since established itself as one of the premier Ukrainian festivals in North America, attracting audiences of 500,000+ from across Canada, the US and abroad. 

Support one of North America’s premier cultural festivals, by volunteering or becoming a sponsor.  Call 416-410-9965 or visit their website.

Felshtin Society

Felshtin was a small, rural Ukrainian town that contained a Jewish community, or shtetl. Felshtin was located 78 miles north-northeast of Chernivtsy and 186 miles west-southwest of Kyiv, famous for its wooden synagogue.

During a brutal pogrom on February 18, 1919, an estimated 600 Jewish Felshtiners were massacred—about a third of the total Jewish population. On Yom Kippur, 1941, Nazis exterminated most of Felshtin’s surviving Jewish population. 

Today the town is known as Hvardiyske. 

Felshtiners who came to the United States established aNew York-based benevolent Society in 1905 to provide relief to survivors of the 1919 pogrom. The society also created and published a Felshtin yizkor (memorial) book in 1937, sponsored social events, a memorial in Israel, and maintained the Felshtin section of a Staten Island cemetery.

In 2019, the Society marked the centennial of the pogrom with a world-wide candle-lighting as well as a commemorative program in New York. Donations welcome to sustain research and the continuity of this enduring legacy of remembrance. 

U.S. based non-profit that organizes commemoration events and plants metasequoia commemoration trees at Holocaust killing sites throughout Ukraine. They also create local history museums and exhibitions in schools, and organize educational field trips to encourage students to take an interest in their local history and pass knowledge onto their peers.

All the knowledge gathered there is brought back to the United States, where they hold educational gatherings at schools, universities, nursing homes, community centers, and summer camps.

Ivan Franko Ukrainian Community Society

The Ukrainian Community Society of Ivan Franko in Richmond, BC is dedicated to promoting Ukrainian culture, values and heritage and sharing these with other communities.

The society holds monthly perogy suppers and weekly food sales, fundraising events such as Malanka (Ukrainian New Year), hosts cultural events, and cultural outreach. Membership is extremely reasonable, and members enjoy many benefits including access to an excellent lending library. Join, donate and/or volunteer.

Lubov Foundation  

Winnipeg-based non-profit run by the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate. 

Projects include The Home of Hope, a safe house for teenage girls whose sole purpose is protecting teenage girls from human traffickers who prey on girls who are pushed out of orphanages at age 16 with nowhere to go. 

The Home provides girls with life skills to equip them to live independently, and provides for their basic needs such as  food, clothing, medical supplies, health and emotional needs, and tuition for their education.

Jewish Rohatyn Heritage 

Rohatyn Jewish Heritage (RJH) develops and manages heritage preservation projects aimed at reconnecting the 400-year history of Rohatyn’s now-lost Jewish community with the people and places of the modern Ukrainian city. 

A major ongoing project is headstone recovery and cemetery restoration. Nearly all of the headstones disappeared from the cemeteries during and after World War II, due to the “harvesting” of Jewish headstones for building materials by German occupiers during WWII, and the erasure of Jewish and Christian cemeteries by Soviet authorities after the war.

Rohatyn has a rare opportunity for ongoing recovery of Jewish headstones discovered under streets and walkways, in old building foundations, along the riverside, beneath private gardens, and elsewhere. Since the beginning of the project, more than five hundred headstones and fragments have been recovered and returned to the Jewish cemeteries.

Vancouver Island Military Museum 

For more than a quarter century, the museum has assembled a truly impressive collection of military memorabilia and artifacts from the War of 1812 right through to Canada's involvement in Afghanistan. 

Examine life on the home front and the important work of the Red Cross, St John's Ambulance, the Salvation Army, RCMP and the critical role played by the Merchant Navy in war time. Follow the evolution of Women in the Armed Forces, from Nursing Sisters during the Boer War to present day operations in all branches of our Armed Forces. The museum is located in downtown Nanaimo's dynamic waterfront. Donations welcome and volunteers especially needed.

Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter 

The Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter is the longest standing rape crisis centre in Canada. It offers support to women who have experienced any form of male violence including rape, wife battering, incest, prostitution and sexual harassment.

Donations from the public are crucial as rape crisis centres in BC receive no operational funding from any level of government. The funds they do receive to operate their transition house from the Province of BC do not cover all of the costs of running the shelter. They rely greatly on charitable donations to assist women and their children get to safety and to carry out our equality seeking prevention initiatives.

Ukrainian Canadian Congress, BC Provincial Council

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (est 1940) is a non-profit organization which represents and speaks for Canadians of Ukrainian ancestry. It consists of provincial and local councils which represent cultural, educational, and religious groups in their respective areas. 

The British Columbia Provincial Council (UCC-BC) consists of four local branches – Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna and Vernon. Each local council in turn consists of member organizations such as cultural and educational societies, Ukrainian schools, performing and visual arts groups, and others.


The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) has been operating on behalf of the province’s most vulnerable animals for more than 120 years. 

The BC SPCA is now one of the largest animal welfare organizations of its kind in North America, providing a wide range of services including the enforcement of animal cruelty laws through investigations into cases of animal cruelty and neglect; sheltering and adoption of homeless, surrendered and abandoned animals; low-cost spay/neuter programs; youth programs, advocacy on animal-related issues including higher welfare standards for farm animals; wildlife rescue and rehabilitation and more. 

If you are not in BC, please support your local SPCA.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Nash Holos featured tunes for Passover 2019

This year Passover happens from sundown Friday April 19, 2019 until sundown on Saturday April 27th.

On Ukrainian Jewish Heritage, Nash Holos shares the details about the ancient traditions and rituals of Passover, as well as a litany of the difficulties Jews faced in Soviet times of religious repression to observe such important holidays as Passover.

Matzo is central to Passover, since it is unleaved bread. During Passover, Jews area forbidden to eat anything containing leaven.

Today Jews living in Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union are able to freely celebrate Passover and matzo is not nearly so difficult to come by. Which is not to say that makes the culinary choices for Jews during Passover easy by any means.

In selecting topical tunes for this week's edition of Nash Holos, I came across several delightful videos on YouTube with great audio tracks that I could share with listeners.

They include two tunes which I thought were perfect to follow the Ukrainian Jewish Heritage feature on Passover.

The first is a hilarious parody of the Irving Berlin classic "Cheek to Cheek." It is sung by Adam B. Shapiro with much different and (needless to say) much funnier lyrics!

The second is a find that was astonishing as it was delightful. It is a video recording of a live performance somewhere in Ukraine (presumably) of a man and some children singing a bilingual version of the Passover hymn Let My People Go, also known as Go Down Moses.

Here there are. Enjoy!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018!

Веселих Свят! Христос Раждаєтсья!

Best wishes to Nash Holos listeners for a happy holiday season.

For those celebrating according to the Gregorian calendar, Merry Christmas!

For those celebrating on the Julian calendar, hang in there, your time will be here soon!

Ukrainian Christmas programming for the 2018-2019 Christmas season is underway.

Tune in for great Ukrainian Christmas and New Years carols, Vinchuvannya (Greetings), recipes, and more!

There's a Christmas gift for Nash Holos listeners and supporters at our Patreon site—a printable 2019 at-a-glance calendar. Free to download.

May your Christmas be merry & bright.

З Різдвом Христовим!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Baby It's Cold Outside not banned on Nash Holos

With the recent ban by several radio stations and networks of the holiday classic Baby It's Cold Outside, it's clear that political correctness has gotten out of hand. 

And as with most things that get out of hand, this one is now backfiring.

Social media sites have been flooded with caustic comments (justifiably) ridiculing this ludicrous capitulation to idiocy. 

It all started with a radio station in Cleveland that claimed, earnestly if anachronistically, that the song promotes date rape. 

Then, everyone jumped on the bandwagon.

By "everyone" I mean those who decide what gets played on the air, i.e., program directors and/or management at radio stations and at the networks. 

That is actually the crux of the matter. 

It's not bad enough that the geniuses behind the decision to ban the song are hiding behind the #MeToo movement. Now that there is a growing backlash, they're doubling down on this lame excuse in order to justify their hasty, knee-jerk decision. 

But, to no avail.

Thinking people reject the claim that the reason for the ban is that the lyrics promote violence against women. How disingenuous and hypocritical! Why no ban on the violent, misogynistic lyrics in most rap "music" (my nephew's being a rare exception) which is ubiquitous on the airwaves nowadays? (Don't even get me started on the profanity which, thanks to the pop culture industry, has almost completely displaced thoughtful, respectful discourse, in public and private.) 

So, no. There is nothing offensive about the lyrics in Baby It's Cold Outside. Especially since they were written in 1944. 

As far as I'm concerned, this banning nonsense is mostly the fault of lazy, unimaginative & wimpy decision-makers at radio stations and media networks. 

As in one of my favourite Christmas movies, it's all about "make a buck, make a buck." Do the peabrains behind the decision to ban this (or any) song figure that it will help boost their revenues? Well, who knows, maybe it will. Broadcasting is an industry in flux right now, and stranger things are happening.  

So far Baby It's Cold Outside hasn't been banned on YouTube, but if it ever gets to that, hopefully it will take a long time for them to find this delightful Ukrainian version, which recently aired (and will again) on Nash Holos. 

The controversy over the banning of Baby It's Cold Outside still rages on, even in places like Red Deer

So to be fair and balanced to both sides, here is an updated version which emphasizes consent.


Friday, December 07, 2018

Remembering legendary Ukrainian Canadian broadcaster Roman Brytan

Roman Andrew Brytan, born in Edmonton, AB, on December 4, 1959, passed away on November 26, 2018, at the age of 58 years. 

He will best be remembered as the voice of the Ukrainian community across Alberta, and beyond. He was a radio personality as well as a sought-after speaker and spokesman. He was regularly called upon to host and MC events—local, provincial, national and international.

Photo credit:
Park Memorial
Despite working full time in the radio industry, raising a growing family and volunteering in the Ukrainian Canadian community, Roman found (or perhaps made) time to produce and present a daily Ukrainian radio program for 35 years. His highly popular show, Radio Zhurnal, aired on CKER Radio 1480 (which later became 101.7 World FM) from March 1982 until November 2017. 

He had a rich, expressive voice and a way with words that inspired as well as informed and entertained. His was a "voice of authority" without effort on his part. It was just who he was. 

That, plus his innate kindness and generosity, made Roman a great mentor and role model to myself and other Ukrainian Canadian broadcasters. 

He was a great advocate for Ukrainian radio broadcasting in Canada and a consummate professional. In the early days of Nash Holos, back in the 1990s before the internet, he even faxed us news stories from his station's wire services, week in and week out. Just so that we could present the most professional show possible.

As the years went by, he continued to help anyone he could, any way he could. For over a decade, he freely shared his knowledge and resources with a group of us in a private email group. 

He shared new songs that came his way, interviews and information, and other material for our shows. Occasionally, he'd throw out comments just for discussion or "food for thought." He was generous with his wisdom and shrewd insights into politics and other matters. His practical advice always proved invaluable. I always felt enriched, encouraged, and empowered after a conversation with him.

Roman had a really dry sense of humour, and a very sharp wit. Not much got past him. He never gossiped, yet managed to impart his opinion about people, circumstances, and situations elegantly, and clearly. 

A pragmatist, but also a perfectionist in his work, Roman set a high standard for those of us who looked up to him for guidance and inspiration in our own broadcasting endeavours. 

Roman Brytan will be sorely missed, not just as a colleague but also as a friend. 

His funeral was held on December 5, 2018 at Exaltation of the Holy Cross Ukrainian Catholic Church in Edmonton, with interment in St. Michael's Cemetery. 

His obituary was published in the Edmonton Journal (link here). Photos, memories and condolences may be shared through

Вічная пам`ять! May his memory be eternal.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Trudeau Liberals fail to stand up for Ukraine

On December 4, 2018, the Trudeau Liberals blocked a motion calling on the Russian Ambassador to appear before the Standing Committee on National Defence. 

Today, December 5, James Bezan, Shadow Minister for National Defence, along with Richard Martel, Associate Shadow Minister for National Defence and Cheryl Gallant, Member of Parliament for Renfrew – Nipissing – Pembroke, issued the following statement: 
“The Trudeau Liberals voted to adjourn debate on a motion brought forward by MP Gallant calling on the Ambassador of Russia to testify at the Standing Committee on National Defence, where parliamentarians would have a chance to ask questions about the increasing Russian aggression in the region. The violence has escalated to unprecedented levels with the capture of three Ukrainian ships in international waters by Russian military forces.
“The Committee heard loud and clear today from the Ambassadors of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia that their sovereignty and territorial integrity is in serious peril. It is unfortunate that the Trudeau government is failing to assist Canada’s allies in the face of this threat.
“The Liberals proved today that they are willing to appease Russia instead of standing with our allies, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and others in the region. It’s unacceptable that Justin Trudeau is damaging Canada’s reputation on the world stage by engaging in diplomacy with despots and dictators.
“Canada’s Conservatives continue to condemn Vladimir Putin’s invasion of sovereign Ukrainian territory, and we will not sit back and watch as Putin threatens our NATO allies. We will always stand with Ukraine in its struggle for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we call on the Trudeau government to do the same.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Conservatives condemn the attack and capture of Ukrainian vessels by Russian forces

November 27, 2018
Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, today issued the following statement:
“Canada’s Conservatives condemn the recent use of military force by Russian forces on three Ukrainian Navy ships, as they transited the Kerch Strait between the Black and Azov Seas. These acts represent an unacceptable escalation of tension in the region, since the beginning of the Russian military occupation of sovereign Ukrainian territory.
“As a senior NATO partner, Canada must urge our partners to address Russian aggression in the Black Sea region. The Kerch Strait is key to Ukrainian economic development, and any violation of the transit rights of Ukrainian ships in this area goes against international law.
“Today we call on the Liberals to impose a wider range of sanctions against those responsible for the attack. We also urge the Trudeau government to provide lethal aid to Ukraine’s military as we requested last spring.

“Canada’s Conservatives will never recognize Vladimir Putin’s invasion of sovereign Ukrainian territory, nor will we sit back and watch as Putin threatens our NATO allies. We will always stand with Ukraine in its struggle for sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Featured Post

Giving Tuesday - Worthy Ukrainian (and other) causes to support

After the excitement of Black Friday and Cyber Monday subsides, along comes Giving Tuesday. Also known as the Global Day of Giving, or in Uk...