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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Ukraine enjoying greater press freedom

According to this Radio Free Europe report:

Ukraine enjoys a wide range of state and private television and radio stations, as well as print and electronic news outlets. While Ukraine's media ownership is diverse, it still confronts the challenges that accompany oligarchic ownership structures. Nevertheless, since the end of 2004 the media in Ukraine, while today still designated Partly Free, have achieved a degree of pluralism and independence that would have been unthinkable in the pre-Orange Revolution era.

Democracy is a slow process but, put in the context of this article, it is moving along at a nice clip in Ukraine! Unfortunately, many of Ukraine's neighbours are not nearly so progressive, but all in all, the article has some very encouraging and uplifting news.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A universal translator in your pocket

Here's a handy gadget for travellers to countries where people speak foreign languages.

YOU are in a foreign country, looking for an art gallery, so you stop a passer-by in the street to ask for directions. Instead of talking loudly and slowly in your own language in the vain hope of making yourself understood, or attempting to communicate using an improvised form of sign language, you simply speak into your handheld computer, which instantly translates what you are saying. Then it translates the person's response for you.

That is the vision of computer translation researchers ... in the next couple of years we can expect an explosion in translation technologies, including camera cellphones that can capture text on road signs, say, and translate them into another language, and real-time automatic dubbing to enable anyone to watch any movie or TV programme in their native tongue. Ultimately, we may even see ... a device like a hearing aid that whispers a translation in your ear as someone speaks to you in another language.

OK, fine, but I'd rather they come up with something that helps you actually learn another language!

Easy gadget for recording vinyl to digital

Those hankering for an easier or simpler way to record vinyl onto a computer ... now have a one-stop solution, the Ion Audio iTTUSB Turntable with USB Record. Plug this into your computer's USB port, read the short, simple tutorial on how to use the included open-source Audacity software, and you're up and running.

Go here for the full scoop.

More Ukrainian TV and radio online

A loyal listener to Nash Holos online recently emailed me about a couple of recent discoveries he's made on the Internet ... free Ukrainian TV and music!

... I watched Easter sunrise liturgy at St. Volodymyr's Cathedral. President and Katherine Yushchenko were there. Metropolitan Filaret walked around the church three times with Viktor along side him. They even allowed cameras behind the iconostas. Filaret made four robe changes (gold, green, blue and red). ... After St. Volodymyr's I was wisked over to the Pecherska Lavra. This is run by Moscow still. Much smaller in scope, but the gold-leaf on the iconostas was exquisite! The Metropolitan gave out red pysanky to the front row standees as he tip-toed around all the Easter baskets on the floor.

To get the television broadcasts do the following:

Hopefully you have a broadband Internet connection to watch free UTR network broadcasts. Go in through your Internet Explorer web browser (it doesn't seem to work for Firefox Mozilla's web browser) to this portal site
. If this link fails enter the address in your "url window."

When the homepage comes up you will see a list of countries on your left. Scroll down the list of countries on the left and click on Ukraine. Another page will come up with a streaming list of stations. UTR network has three of them. I use either the 440k link for UTR Europe or UTRUSA (they're all the same). You must left click on the green kilobyte link to get the webstream.

If you click on the UTR, UTR Europe or UTR USA links to the left of the green kilobyte designation you will get the same UTR Network homepage. I am not sure if you can go to the live webstream from this homepage however. It is written in Ukrainian only.

I have discovered another mp3 webstreaming site for Ukrainian music after I visited Shoutcast and typed in Ukrainian. Go here
or here. (They are one and the same.) When you get to the webpage click on either mp3 160 kb or mp3pro 64kb This should open the webstream for you.

Many thanks to Ronnie B. for this info!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Religious freedom in Ukraine, persecution in Belarus

This story doesn't have anything to do with Ukrainian music or culture, but it really bears mentioning, as you won't read or hear about it in the mainstream media.

In Belarus, totalitarianism is alive and well, and providing fertile ground for anti-semitism. Yet the West couldn't seem to care any less.

The Minsk city authorities refused permission ... for the local Hassidic Jewish community to hold its 12 April Passover celebration ... only a fraction of its approximately 600 members was able to mark the festival as a congregation. ...

... the Minsk Hassidic Jewish community made a provisional agreement to hold its Passover celebration at the state-owned Palace for Children and Youth with that institution's director. He pointed out that the choice of a city centre location ... was particularly important for the community's elderly due to a religious requirement for worshippers to attend the celebration on foot. Under the religion law, all religious events taking place outside designated places of worship require official permission ... the Jewish community duly submitted a request for permission ... as required by the demonstrations law.

That is just so sick. Contrast to this TV program that was broadcast to tens of thousands in Ukraine.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

World music festival in Cleveland

Lucky Ohio folks get to go to this:

Resonance: A World Music Festival -- 7 p.m. Friday, noon and 7 p.m. Saturday, Detroit Avenue Arts Complex, 6415 Detroit Ave., Cleveland. Featuring the Slavic Soul Party Gypsy Punk Balkan Brass Band, Polish Highlanders Fiddle Band Goiralska Muzyka, Nadeem Dlakian Arabic Ensemble, Ukrainian Bandura Chorus, Eternal Tango Quartet, Shiva Sastry, Mamadou Diabate, Monatho Masani African thumb piano and Harmonia East European Band.

Sounds like too much fun!

Polka dances draw crowds in Windsor

Why I love polka music and play it on Nash Holos.

Picture this:

In the dimly lit hall of the American Legion building in Windsor, more than 60 couples rushed the well-worn dance floor on a Sunday afternoon to strut their stuff to Dick Zavodny and His Polka Band.

Mostly of retirement vintage, these couples are seasoned and enthusiastic as they pound out waltzes and polkas, spinning each other in smooth succession around the expansive hall - an exercise that leaves many of their younger counterparts winded and fumbling for the right moves.
(Read more.)

We should all be so vibrant. Way to show the young 'uns how to have fun! ;-)

BC podcast - Baba's Beach

Amazing what you stumble onto in cyberspace sometimes.

Last night I came across this podcast by a columnist for a local newpaper in Esquimalt, near Victoria on Vancouver Island. Items 1-8 are about the "baba" after whom a local beach on the island is affectionately known.

A rare glimpse into the Ukrainian contribution to the history of Vancouver Island. Well worth a listen.

I listened to the first (2.5 min or so) and snippets of a few others. I'd like to hear them all, so am going to download it onto my mp3 player. What a great excuse to get off my duff and start those daily walks again so I can listen while getting my exercise!

Turf ... or transform ... the CBC?

I would opt for the latter. There is a lot of talent and technical skill, not to mention infrastructure tax dollars, invested in the CBC. Why throw out the baby with the bathwater?

What I'd like to see get thrown out is those responsible for the kind of blatant propaganda that results in headlines like this one in Regina's Leader Post: Movie tarnished our grandfather's name. Pretty damning. Here are a few snippets:

The CBC is proud of its Tommy Douglas miniseries. But in Saskatchewan, there has been a firestorm over Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story. Newspapers, radio talk shows, Internet blogs, and the Saskatchewan legislature have commented on the fallacies and mythology which formed the story line for the CBC/Minds Eye Productions mini-series.

The CBC and Minds Eye, as producers, initially claimed that the film was well-researched. As the inaccuracies were identified and the furor in Saskatchewan grew, Minds Eye's defence became that, in a docudrama, they have creative licence to do what they wish. ...

The CBC and the Saskatchewan government have an obligation to ensure that history is faithfully, if not accurately recorded. They have failed to meet this threshold of responsibility...

Further, given that Saskatchewan journalists, talk-show hosts and letters to the editor describe major problems with the film, how can the CBC deny the problems with the film?
Perhaps Saskatchewanians are not part of the CBC's Canada.

Provincial Learning Minister Deb Higgins, has stated on the radio that the film will not be used in Saskatchewan schools due to its historical inaccuracies. ... A senior CBC executive says in a letter "that CBC . . . never intended for the film to be an educational tool for use in the school curriculum . . . and there are no plans to do so now". However, the CBC's Web page explicitly refers to educational sales.

Moreover, the CBC's educational sales office recently indicated that there were hundreds of educational sales orders, and that film is being recommended for Grades 7 and up. Soon thousands of Canadian schoolchildren will be shown this film, and erroneously believe it to be history.

... This film would not pass the ethics requirements of any university; the liberties taken would not be supported by the need to be creative when producing a drama. The excuse Minds Eye and the CBC have given, on artistic grounds, is very weak. ...

The film makes a mockery of Canadian history ...

Maybe, buried somewhere in that article, there's a clue for the CBC brass as to why this is happening:

Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda is preparing for a major review of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's mandate including domestic public radio, which is struggling to maintain audience ...

Apparently Oda has broadcasting experience. Let's hope it was before the time when ethics took such a nosedive at the CBC. Although, it must be said that anyone getting their information about the makeup of Canadian society (especially the prairies) from the CBC over the past several decades would be surprised to learn that Ukrainians and other East Europeans made (and make) up a sizable percentage of it.

Should be interesting to see what comes of this review.

US Radio stations up for sale

Could this be the beginning of a new trend south of the line? If so, wonder what it signals for Canada... and Ukrainian music on the airwaves?

CBS Corp.'s CEO Les Moonves said yesterday that CBS Corp. is considering the sale of some radio stations as part of its efforts to improve the underperforming CBS Radio division.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Canada to allocate $7mln USD to Ukraine

The Foreign Minister of Canada, Peter McKay, declared that Canada would allocate seven million dollars for building a new shelter for the fourth unit of Chornobyl APP, UNIAN informed.
Good thing for this Unian report. If Canadians had to depend on the Canadian press, none of us would never know about it. And we do have "a right to know." But tell that to the mainstream press.

Update: Since that report came out, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress circulated a Government of Canada press release, and a Chinese newspaper also published an article about it.

Edmonton boosts fesival funding

An article in the Edmonton Sun illustrates how that city's municipal government really appreciates the kind of activities that interest citizens.

[Edmonton has just made a] three-year, $1.2-million investment into Edmonton arts and tourism as part of the Edmonton Festival City in a Box program. ... The funding will be divided equally between event attraction and grant programs. Edmonton's more than 30 festivals will be eligible to apply for enhanced operational, mentoring and consulting grants.

And here in Vancouver they stopped the meagre funding (about $5000) of the Greek Festival, putting the Greek community in the same boat the Ukrainians have always been in when it comes to public support.

Lotusland could learn a lesson from Edmonton. So could any number of Canadian cities.

Of course, this is a city that has a daily Ukrainian radio show and a weekly Zabava program ... we in Vancouver can only dream of such luxury. But, there's always the internet!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ukraine has 3 million internet users

According to this recent report, Ukraine has 3 million internet users with Google leading., the Ukrainian internet statistics site in partnership with Sputnik Media has released their metrics report for March 2006.

Internet use is growing everywhere ... and we should keep an eye on this development. Ukrainians always excel when given a chance.

Winnipeg Sun journalists can't spell

Interesting article in the Winnipeg Sun about Jeff Zabudsky, president of Red River College. But you'd think the paper would do a better job on their spelling.

[Zabudsky] has Ukrainian heritage, and after several months' search to find the best kielbasa in the city, he happened on Central Meats on Nairn Avenue.

Um, who in Winnipeg calls or spells Ukrainain sausage "kielbasa"??? Besides Sun journalists, perhaps. Ah well, have to consider the source.

TV viewers in Zaporizhye learn about passover

Here's a nice article about quality TV programming in Ukraine in a Jewish-Ukrainian publication. (You'll have to overlook the transliteration of Ukrainian names from Russian, as most Jews in Ukraine speak Russian rather than Ukrainian. Accordingly, their English-language publications would reflect that.)

In the eastern Ukrainian region of Zaporozhye, a TV program was broadcast by the local TV-5 Channel profiling the holiday of Passover. The show featured participation by the region's Chief Rabbi , Nochum Erentroy, and the Head of FJC Ukraine Press Service, Oleg Rostovtsev.

On air at the leading channel in morning TV programming in Zaporozhye, this Passover message ... reached tens of thousands of local residents.

During the live broadcast, Rabbi Erentroy told TV viewers about the traditions of Passover, which were formed many thousands year ago. He [explained] the rules of a Passover Seder, the meaning of keara, told about the reading of the Haggadah, the four glasses of wine and other important aspects of this holiday.

Oleg Rostovtsev ... told how the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine has done everything possible for Jews across Ukraine to enjoy a kosher Passover celebration.

Wouldn't it be nice to see programming like this on a "leading channel" in North America? Sadly, even the CBC spurns this kind of positive programming.

Monument to legendary Ukrainian singer Marusia Churai opened in Poltava

There's an article on the National Radio Company of Ukraine website announcing that a monument to legendary Ukrainian singer Marusia Churai recently opened in Poltava. She is credited with having creating some 300 folk songs.

According to the legend, she was executed for having poisoned her lover, who betrayed her. Ukrainian poetess Lina Kostenko wrote a poem-novel, dedicated to Marusia Churai.

There's also an archived Ukrainian Weekly article from 1998 with a review of a stage production on Churai.

Chornobyl survivor on musical mission

The Japan Times Online recently published a touching story about Ukrainian opera singer Oksana Stepanyuk, 28.

[She] not only sings as a way to help people suffering in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, but also for the sake of her own healing.


Since being invited by a church group in 2003, Stepanyuk has stayed in Japan, performing at numerous charity concerts to support the disaster survivors while making a living as a professional musician.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Licenses granted for more ethnic TV and radio programs in Canada

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission recently approved applications by several new ethnic broadcasters for a broadcast license.

The CRTC has licensed a half a dozen new outlets, and received several more applications for ethnic, third-language television channels, radio stations and specialty services across the country.

Arabic, German, Korean, Turkish, Romanin, Punjabi, Polish and Spanish are among the language-communities to be served by the new broadcast undertakings.

Hmm, wonder if there will be any new Ukrainian programs?

At least 90% of the channel's programming must be in the approved third language; the other ten per cent can be in either of the country's Offical Languages.

You'd think English-speaking Canadians might be interested in programming about the ethnic groups that make up our diverse society. Apparently the CRTC (still) thinks not.

Read the article here.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Ukrainian clown in Korea

Just came across this surprising bit of news in The Korea Herald:

Aga-Boom,' renowned Ukrainian clown Dimitri Bogatirev's indescribable child-friendly 'theater of physical comedy,' will visit the Byeolmorae Theater of the Goyang Sport Complex & Park in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, from May 5 to 7.

I had no idea there were Ukrainian clowns working in Korea!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Canadian author honoured by World Fed of Women's Organizations

Award-winning Canadian author Marsha Skrypuch is among the six Canadian Ukrainian women singled out for distincition this year by the 122-year-old World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organizations. These women are being honoured for having "maintained their culture, language and heritage and who have attained or made a significant impact in their careers.'

The other five are listed on her blog.

A well-deserved honour!

RCI feature on Vancouver

I finally got a chance to listen to Valentyna Golash's piece on Vancouver that she produced for Radio Canada International (RCI).

Very nice ... not surprisingly. Valentyna is a brilliant broadcaster who also hosts Montreal's Ukrainian Time radio program. She did a very good job of capturing the essence of Vancouver's Ukrainian community (although she gave my program far more time than it merited).

Have a listen! The link is here.

Ukrainian-English transliteration table

OK, this Ukrainian-English transliteration table is not mandatory (except in a few cases) but if it were universally adopted it would certainly put an end to the g/h and x/xh linguistic squabbles!

The table is brief and succinct, with only a few comments, like:

Transliteration should be made directly between Ukrainian and English without the use of any intermediary languages.


Ukrainian cultural renaissance of the 1920s

Mykola Khvylovy, Vaplite, and the Ukrainian Cultural Renaissance of the 1920s is the current Featured Entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine's Featured Topics in Ukrainian Literature.

The downfall of the Russian Empire after the First World War, the resulting abolition of imperial censorship, the establishment of an independent Ukrainian state (even if for a very short time), and the relative leniency of the Soviet regime in the 1920s all led to an astonishing renaissance of literary and cultural activity in Ukraine. Scores of new writers and poets appeared and formed dozens of literary groups that changed the face of Ukrainian literature.


However, the Ukrainian cultural renaissance of the 1920s was brutally quashed by Stalinist terror of the 1930s. ...

Fascinating read for those who love history and particularly Ukrainian history.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Vancouver audio archives updated for 041606

The latest program archives for Vancouver radio programs Nash Holos and Chetverta Khvylia are now available for download or streaming audio.


Update on Kvitka Dancers concert

The Kvitka Ukrainian Dancers of Surrey, B.C. invite one and all to their Spring 'Vesna' Concert on Sunday, May 14 at North Delta Secondary School, 11447 82nd Ave in Delta. Showtime is 4 pm.

Kvitka has dazzled audiences through out the Pacific NorthWest for over 17 years, and over the years has amassed a multitude of awards and trophies. Their school offers instruction for ages 3 to adult.

Kvitka recently travelled to Port Alberni to give a Ukrainian dance performance sponsored by The Kidney Foundation of BC. Over 700 people attended ... an amazing turnout for a town the size of Port Alberni! From the opening 'Pryvit' to the finale of 'Hopak' the audience cheered the dancers on and gave them a standing ovation. The Kidney Foundation was overwhelmed ... it far exceeded their expectations!

Of course, those of us who've seen Kvitka perform find this perfectly understandable... obviously, their reputation preceded them! Plus, who can resist the lure of Ukrainian music and dance?

Advance tickets are $5 each or $7 at the door. (The $5 price is for advance tickets, not at the door as previously reported.) To purchase your advance tickets, email

Thursday, April 13, 2006

New restaurant to check out in Burnaby

According to this recent article in a local Burnaby newspaper, there's a new restaurant in town that may be of interest to readers of this blog...

Romanoff's Restaurant opened in February at 2830 Bainbridge in Burnaby, the former site of the Stinking Rose Italian Restaurant and Rain. While dancing and live music was permitted under the liquor licence for its two predecessors, the licence had expired.

...Romanoff's, is a "linen service restaurant" and has a higher class of clientele than a typical bar... The demographic is people aged 35 and up, largely from the Eastern European community, many who would come for dinner at 9 p.m. ... The proposed entertainment would be Eastern European music and dancing, with the music consisting of saxophone, keyboards and vocals, with a violinist.

Sounds a bit like Dubrovnik's in Winnipeg, where my wedding reception was held many moons ago. I may just have to check out Romanoff's one day soon ...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

educational podcasting

According to this, educational podcasts are a hit with students at Seattle colleges.

Last fall, the University of Washington was the first college in the state to formally offer podcasts and the trend is spreading... at least nine other schools around the state ... are either offering or planning podcasts for students.

Might be a medium for Ukrainian language educators to look into...

radio listeners turning to podcasting, mp3 players

According to this article, podcasting and MP3 players are stealing radio's audience.

27% ... attribute their reduced use of radio to MP3 use; 22% attributed it to tired radio programming; 3% attributed it to podcast listening.

This should come as little surprise to Ukrainian music lovers who listen online to Nash Holos and other Ukrainian radio programs!

Monday, April 10, 2006

one good turn deserves another

Although I (fortunately) have no connection to the dreaded disease of MS, I made a contribution as payment for a fabulous broadcasting workship on Saturday called "From Idea to Air" by CBC radio guru Tod Maffin.

His wife was diagnosed with MS shortly after their marriage a few years ago and he is working hard with her to raise money for the MS Society of BC for research on the disease. Apparently breakthroughs are being discovered so it is well worth donating to.

The workshop was fabulous, as expected, and as usual. Tod is very knowledgeable about the radio biz. Not about Ukrainian music or anything, but just about everything else! Anyway, I picked up some nifty writing techniques as well as broadcasting tips so it was more than worthwhile. Hope to attend more such workshop.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Vancouver program archives updated for 040906

The latest Ukrainian radio broadcasts from Vancouver have been uploaded onto the Nash Holos website.

On Ukrainian Food Flair, Sylvia Pidraziuk Molnar will tell you why cooking with yeast is easier that many people think, and show to make mouthwatering sour cream crescents!

On Travel Tips for Ukraine and Eastern Europe, with Myrna Arychuk of Solaway Travel, find out all about the scenic town of Zalishchyky.

Items of interest to the Ukrainian community in the Lower Mainland ... and beyond

And of course, plenty of Great Ukrainian Music! This week features a tribute to the bandura.


Montreal radio program archives updated for 040806

Ukrainian Time (1280 AM Radio CFMB) is a mostly Ukrainian-language radio programme serving the Montreal community since 1963. Hosted by Valentyna Golash.

Saturday, April 8, 2006 at 6 PM :

1. News from Ukraine. Read by Rostyslav Nyemtsev.

2. Interview with Marc Shwec. Simon Kouklewsky interviewed the Chief Observer of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Election Observer Mission after the March 26 mulitiple elections in Ukraine. The interview with Mr Shwec took place at the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv after a debriefing session with the observers.

3. Paul Grod, UCC Election Observer Mission Head & Abina M. Dann, Embassador of Canada to Ukraine. Mr Grod addresses the observers during a debriefing session at the Canadian embassy. (in English). Mrs Dann is interviewed by Valentyna Golash. (in Ukrainian and in English). More coverage and photos available at the embassy's official website and at the Ukrainian Canadian Congress' official website.

4. Blahovisnyk (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada). Fr Ihor Kutash presents the Sunday of Mary of Egypt, which is the fifth Sunday of Great Lent.

Musical artists: Volodymyr Mota, bandurist with the Vidlunnya Choir and Mandry.


Friday, April 07, 2006

Sonia singing in Nashville tomorrow

For Ukrainian music lovers in the Nashville area, Ukrainian folk singer Sonia Lee will be performing live in St. Mary’s Bookstore this Saturday, April 8th while Daniel demonstrates the ancient Ukrainian folk art of Pysanky, or the decorating of Easter Eggs with beeswax and dyes in elaborate patterns, from 10am to 1pm.

Sonia will be performing songs from her first CD, From the Heart, which is a collection of traditional Ukrainian folk songs (and which is often featured on Nash Holos). She will be signing CDs for those who bring them, or purchase them in the store.

St. Mary's Bookstore, 1909 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN

Go here for more information about Sonia Lee, or call Hippie Chick Twang Records at 615.244.4422

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Surrey's Kvitka Ukrainian Dancers blow away yet another crowd

The Kvitka Ukrainian Dancers of Surrey, B.C. invites one and all to their Spring 'Vesna' Concert on Sunday, May 14 at North Delta Secondary School, 11447 82nd Ave in Delta. Showtime is 4 pm. Tickets are just $5 at the door or email to purchase in advance.

Kvitka has dazzled audiences through out the Pacific NorthWest for over 17 years, and over the years has amassed a multitude of awards and trophies. Their school offers instruction for ages 3 to adult.

Nester, their public relations guy, emailed to tell me Kvitka just returned from Port Alberni this past weekend for a Ukrainian dance performance sponsored by The Kidney Foundation of BC. Over 700 people attended ... an amazing turnout for a town the size of Port Alberni! From the opening 'Pryvit' to the finale of 'Hopak' the audience cheered the dancers on and gave them a standing ovation. The Kidney Foundation was overwhelmed ... it far exceeded their expectations!

Of course, those of us who've seen Kvitka perform find this perfectly understandable... obviously, their reputation preceded them! Plus, who can resist the lure of Ukrainian music and dance?

I'll be interviewing Nester on Nash Holos prior to the Vesna concert to get the scoop on what they've been up to over the past year... and maybe a sneak preview of their May 14 concert. Stay tuned!

Getting desperate?

Looks like even greater concentration of media ownership may be coming south of '49, if this comes to pass.

Speaking yesterday at the Newspaper Association of America Convention in Chicago, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told publishers that it's time for those who own newspapers to also be allowed to own radio and TV properties.

Nothing like having friends in high places stacking the deck for you.

The price of celebrity

I can't decide if this is a "dog bites man" or "man bites dog" kind of story... much less which party deserves my sympathy.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sign of the times

This is unfortunately indicative of the times we live in.

Internee Plaque Defaced at Castle Mountain, Banff National Park

For Immediate Release (5 April 2006 - Toronto)

On 12 August 1995 the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association and its supporters unveiled a trilingual bronze plaque and installed a statue of an internee near the base of Castle Mountain, in Banff National Park.

Entitled "Why?" the statue, sculpted by John Boxtel, was intended to remind passers-by and visitors to Banff of a "dark chapter" in the nation's history, Canada's first national internment operations of 1914-1920, when thousands of Ukrainians and other Europeans were needlessly imprisoned as "enemy aliens," not because of anything they had done but only because of who they were, where they came from. Internees were held near Castle Mountain and at Cave & Basin, both within the national park, and forced to do heavy labour for the profit of their gaolers, between 14 July 1915 and 15 July 1917.

While the plaque and statue have become "must see" stop-overs for Park visitors, a report received yesterday has confirmed that the plaque attached to the base of the statue was defaced sometime in the last several weeks. Commenting, the director of research for UCCLA, Dr Lubomyr Luciuk, said:

"The statue we placed at the base of Castle Mountain bears a simple inscription, 'Why?' - for we are certain that many of those rounded up during Canada's first national internment operations must have repeatedly asked themselves exactly that - Why are we being held when we have done no wrong? Why are we forced to do heavy labour for the profit of others? Why were we separated from our families and communities?

"Over the years we have seen many visitors to Banff stopping along the highway to remember these innocent internees, even to lay flowers at the base of the statue. That has been very heartening. Our efforts, in effect, recaptured an episode in our national history that had long been forgotten, perhaps even suppressed.

"Now we must ask ourselves - Why would anyone carve a vulgarity onto a memorial plaque?

"Why are there those in our society who are so ignorant, so primitive, that they indulge in such anti-Ukrainian prejudices? This is a blatant example of Ukrainophobia and racism. We condemn the perpetrators and invite other communities to do likewise. We are also asking Parks Canada officials in Banff to immediately repair the plaque and increase patrols in the area to prevent any similar outrages in future."

A couple of weeks ago, a bronze plaque with an inscription honouring two Canadian Victoria Cross recipients (including Ukrainian Canadian Philip Konowal) was stolen off the side of the street, in plain view, in New Westminster, BC. It's basically been written off to a growing problem of scrap metal thieves.

Well, it's a convenient explanation.

Major record labels turn up their noses at podcasting

Podcasting has made the leap from being a niche technology for the tech-savvy to becoming a major new form of media distribution.

As podcasts grow in mainstream popularity, their influence and commercial importance are growing, too. ... The total podcast audience is estimated to be 10 million, growing to 50 million in 2010. Major music labels, though, are opting out of the podcast revolution, leaving the world of podcasting to a growing number of indie music podcasts.

Major labels have not licensed full-track songs to the podcasting community. The music industry has traditionally limited rights to music in order to control what gets promoted.

Surprise, surprise!

Podcasts, on the other hand, are typically MP3 downloads that can be freely copied and distributed.

Technology is levelling the playing field. Time to play ball!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Canadian government launches "Music is my Business" website

Yesterday, Mon. Apr. 3, 2006, The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, announced the launch of the "Music is My Business!" website.

This interactive site is "designed to assist users as they work within the Canadian music industry."

'As the 21st century begins, the development of new technologies is changing the environment and marketplace. This innovative site will allow artists and music-lovers to find a wealth of interesting and practical information about the ever-evolving Canadian music industry,' said Minister Oda.

The website will enable users to study the music industry's various revenue streams. For example, it will explain how funds are distributed after the sale of a ticket to a live performance, the broadcast of a piece of music on the radio, or the request of an original musical work by a film producer. The site will also discuss what rights are involved with different transactions and who holds those rights.

I haven't perused it yet but some people think it is the result of some backroom politicking going on. Surprise, surprise. And btw, the backroom antics didn't start yesterday.

Vancouver program archives updated for 040206

The latest Ukrainian radio broadcasts from Vancouver have been uploaded onto the Nash Holos website.

Cooking and travel tips, Ukrainian proverb of the week, and plenty of GREAT Ukrainian music on Nash Holos. CD of the week is Vespers by Toronto composer Roman Hurko, sung by the Vydubichi Church Chorus of Kyiv.

The latest news from Ukraine, delivered exclusively in Ukrainian, on Chetverta Khvylia (4th Wave).


Montreal radio program archives updated for 040106

Montreal's Ukrainian Time (1280 AM Radio CFMB) has been uploaded.

... serving the Montreal community since 1963! Hosted by Valentyna Golash. Host for April 1 is Very Rev. Dr Ihor Kutash.

1. News from Ukraine. Prepared by Rostyslav Nyemtsev.

2. Interviews with Dr. Dominique Arel and Yann Breault, PhD Candidate, on their joint lecture « Analyse des élections législatives en Ukraine : que reste-t-il de la révolution orange? » on March 30 at the Université de Québec à Montréal.

3. Ukrainian Catholic Programme. In Roman Hurko discusses his four CDs of liturgical music, including his latest; Vespers, which was recorded by the famous Vidubychi Choir of Kyiv. A DVD of the world premier of his Vespers performed at the Pecherska Lavra was also shown. Simon Kouklewsky travelled to Ottawa on the eve of the presentation and recorded an interview with the young composer.

4. Music by Boyan Choir (Kyiv) and the Vydubychi Choir.

Business strategies of big radio

If you want to be a big player in the media, one way to do it is to just buy a radio station.

The New York Times reports that ... two of the founders of liberal-leaning Air America Radio, are looking to buy radio stations.

The duo ... began thinking about ownership last fall when Communicom Broadcasting bought the Phoenix station that aired Air America and changed the format to religious programming.

Yep, in this business, payola gets you further than just putting out a superior program. Heaven forbid letting the market (listeners) determine your success.

... according to sources familiar with the matter, four major radio group owners have been in talks with the FCC. The topic: settling the investigation into secret payments made in exchange for airplay.

Then again, you can always try throwing a tantrum.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Howard Stern says, “It’s insulting to me” that more of his terrestrial radio fans haven’t followed him to Sirius Satellite Radio.

Keep in mind that it may only work if you're promoted by big money and become a really big star...

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