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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Vancouver audio archives updated for 062506

Archives for Nash Holos and Chetverta Khvylia June 25 broadcasts are now uploaded!

On NH (in English), all about radishes and some uniquely Ukrainian ways to prepare them. On Travel Tips, find out about ancient battle sites in Ukraine and how you can visit them. And of course, there's plenty of Great Ukrainian music!

On 4W (Chetverta Khvylia, meaning"4th wave") there's a half-hour of music and news from Ukraine (exclusively in Ukrainian).


wheeling and dealing in the media industry south of the line

In today's media news ...

1. Spanish language network acquired by financial consortium ...

Univision Communications Inc. and a group including Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Saban Capital Group, today announced they have signed a definitive agreement under which the group will acquire Univision ... This transaction presents a unique opportunity to contribute to and participate in the continuing growth of the clear leader in Spanish-language media and to further the company’s commitment to serving the Hispanic community. ...”

2. Convergence in satellite ahead?

Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Mel Karmazin said yesterday that Sirius would be interested in buying XM Satellite Radio at the right price, though regulatory issues "would be a question mark" ... [and] he also would consider it if it were in the shareholders' best interest. ... Karmazin was speaking at a conference on media convergence at the Museum of Television & Radio.

3. Fox guarding the hen-house?

The Federal Communications Commission voted Wednesday [Jun 21, 2006] to begin a review of its rules on media ownership... The [appeal] court said the commission used an improper procedure for changing the rules [in 2003], and ordered the commission to revisit the matter. ... In April, [FCC chairman Kevin] Martin had sought support from newspaper publishers to help the agency lift the ban on single ownership of a newspaper and broadcasting outlet in the same city. Previous heads of the FCC have sought to get the cross-ownership ban lifted. ... [In 2004] the federal appellate court ... acknowledg[ed] that the agency was right to remove the blanket prohibition on newspapers owning broadcast outlets ... Media companies that own both newspapers and broadcasting outlets have long pressed for a removal of the ban... Consumer groups have opposed relaxing the ownership rules.

4. Some celebrities get the shaft (so to speak) ...

Rush Limbaugh was detained for more than three hours yesterday at Palm Beach International Airport after authorities said they found a bottle of Viagra in his possession without a prescription. ... Investigators confiscated the Viagra and Limbaugh was released without being charged.

5. Others get money for nothing ...

Barbara Walters has signed a deal with Sirius Satellite Radio for Sirius to air a weekly two-hour series, starting next year, that will replay many of the interviews Walters has conducted since joining ABC in 1976.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Forgotten in media's culture gap

Interesting article in the Toronto Star on ethnic media ...

Like most MSM (mainstream media) journalists, the writer has no clue about ethnic audiences. And the study cited ignored the Ukrainian community (as usual). But there's a nice tribute to Johnny Lombardi, the "godfather" of ethnic broadcasting in Canada.

... In 1966, Lombardi, an Italian immigrant, started CHIN radio, and by 1968, was broadcasting in 32 languages. Next week, CHIN will celebrate 40 years in business at its annual picnic, a cross-cultural extravaganza at the CNE grounds. ...

Lombardi's vision predated any official recognition of what a strong multicultural media could do for nation building. In 1985, the CRTC drafted its first ethnic broadcasting policy, drawn from the template Lombardi had been practising for almost 20 years.

"My dad's goal was always to help people integrate. He would encourage people to stay, to become Canadian, to make it their home," Lombardi says. "He knew that if people could flip on the radio and hear local programming in their own language from the local community, they would feel a much greater sense of belonging, and that's extremely important."

The communities have changed — largely integrated second- and third-generation Italians no longer need Italian-language programming — but burgeoning immigrant communities from China and South Asia have increased demand.

Now therein lies the "misunderstanding." The ethnic media is generally regarded primarily as a temporary linguistic aid to total cultural assimilation, even (in my experience) by ethnic broadcasters themselves.

CHIN has adjusted, boosting Chinese-language programming from two hours a week 10 years ago to 60 hours now. At the same time, Italian has dropped from 60 to 11. The languages may have changed, but the mandate has not. "We've never seen a waning of that need, for multicultural broadcasting," Lombardi says.

But here's one who seems to understand the diversity of ethnic audiences in Canada...

Thomas Saras, president of the Ethnic Media Association of Canada, says ... By the second or third generation, the native language was all but gone, replaced by English. The press of a particular culture then shifts from providing necessary information to being the glue for a cultural group spread out across the country.

From my experience producing Nash Holos beginning in 1990, both mainstream and ethnic media completely (still) completely overlook a huge market ... the second, third, fourth (and beyond) generations of Canadians of which Saras speaks. Many assimilated, unilingual, English-speaking Canadians want to stay in touch with their ethnic roots, although not necessarily be submerged in that culture... and similarly experience other cultures.

That market is sneered at by MSM types and the run-of-the-mill bigots that have always existed in Canadian society, while advertisers and ad agencies don't even know it's there.

Silly them.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Poltava Book Drive

The Panas Myrnyi Children’s Library in Poltava, Ukraine, fell victim to an apparent act of arson in the early morning of October 11, 2005. Vandals threw explosive materials into the building. As a result nearly 10,000 books were destroyed.

A wonderful lady from Langley, Judy Hrynenko, is trying to help the people of Poltava rebuild their library by sending them books and money from Canada. She is looking for donatations of books, new or used (in good condition), and/or cash to help purchase books and cover shipping costs. Preferred books: Children’s and Young Adult, Ukrainian-language books of any kind, or English-language books on Ukrainian topics. (A copy of the new release, Kobzar's Children, would be ideal.)

You can drop off books and/or cash donations at Baba’s Treasures, 10598 King George Hwy, Surrey, BC V3T 2X3. Hours: 10:00 am till 4 pm. Tue – Sat. Closed Sunday and Monday. Tel: (604) 582-3944. If you have no means of transportation to drop off books, please arrange for pick up. Call or email Judy at (604) 530-9947 or contact Baba's Treasures or me. Judy is absorbing all the related expenses to collect and ship the books, so any help to defray costs would be much appreciated.

Deadline for donations is July 15, 2006. Please support this project. The Children of Ukraine need your help.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Report calls for broadcasting changes in Canada

This National Post article outlines some of the recommendations of a Senate committee report on broadcasting in Canada.

First off, it says the CBC needs to get back to the basics:

The CBC should stop broadcasting professional sports and eventually cut all advertising so it no longer competes with private networks...

"CBC-TV should be a public broadcaster that fills niches that no one else can or will fill," [Senator Joan] Fraser said after tabling the report...

I'm not sure I agree with cutting out sports entirely ... Hockey Night in Canada is a Canadian tradition! But "filling niches no one else will" is an idea long overdue. It's how new trends are born ... altho it's absolute anathema to the risk-averse who dominate the CBC. Just ask Stompin' Tom fans.

The report also deals with the contentious issue of media consolidation:

The report examined trends such as centralized news gathering and media concentration in particular cities and regions, and proposed that the federal Competition Act be amended to trigger an automatic review of proposed media mergers if certain audience thresholds are reached. ...

Hear, hear! Of course, the moguls probably won't be too keen on that, if it means limiting concentration of media ownership:

In a speech last week, CanWest chief executive Leonard Asper said merger reviews should be overhauled to allow more consolidation because competition for readers and advertisers is coming from new sources such as web giants Yahoo and Google.

Interestingly, Asper initially welcomed news of a Broadcast Act review, but he and other media moguls are mum on the findings of this Senate report. Hmmm....

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

new blog for Kobzar's Children

On June 30, the anthology Kobzar's Children: A Century of Untold Ukrainian Stories will be available in bookstores.

Marsha said it generated quite a buzz at the recent Book Expo in Toronto ... and even though it's not even in the stores yet, it's already been selling well through the contributing authors.

So, we decided to give it a blog of its own!

If you've read (or are reading) the book and have a comment to make or a question to ask, and/or are just curious about it, please come and visit!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Vancouver audio archives updated for 061806

Archives for Nash Holos and Chetverta Khvylia June 18 broadcasts are now uploaded!

On NH (in English), a great recipe and as usual interesting info, this time about dill, a herb that is absolutely essential in Ukrainian cookery. On Travel Tips, you'll learn about a wonderful spot to visit next time you're in Kyiv. And of course, there's plenty of Great Ukrainian music!

On 4W (Chetverta Khvylia, meaning"4th wave") there's a half-hour of music and news from Ukraine (exclusively in Ukrainian).

Check out both programs for lively, foot-stomping stuff (mostly on NH) as well as contemporary stuff (4W).


another testimonial for Kobzar's Children...

This is from a radio colleague, Anke Dekker, who hosts the Dutch radio program here in Vancouver.

I've known Anke since the first incarnation of Nash Holos back in the 1990s ... so of course, hers is another totally unbiased and objective testimonial:

... I'm really enjoying the book. I read your story first and I really liked it, you are a great writer and I had a little tear going down my cheek at the end of the story! Now I've started the beginning of the book and I enjoy the way the stories are written. It's very informative and interesting. Of course, I have always been interested in history of any kind and I must admit that I don't know much about Ukrainian history, so this is a good book to start with.

Anke's program Holland Calling airs in Vancouver (Mon. & Tue. at 8-9 p.m on AM1470 and Wed. at 6 a.m. on FM96.1), in Calgary (Tue at 4-5 p.m. on FM 94.7) and in Toronto (Sat 7-8 a.m. on AM1430).

They should know better

As a writer, I really take exception to the sloppiness recently displayed by Naxos Audio Books.

Sure, a portrait of Taras Shevchenko fits Dostoyevky's story The Brothers Karamazov well... but Shevchenko is Ukraine's national bard, not Russia's. It's akin to putting a picture of Robbie Burns on an audio book of Hamlet.

Are the folks at Naxos Audio Books so devoid of imagination (or knowledge) that they can't find a suitable Russian photo for Dostoyevsky's story? Or are they just too lazy?

Whatever the reason, such unprofessionalism is unforgivable, and a disgrace to the publishing industry.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Podcasting development - a sign of the times

You gotta know something's afoot when this sort of thing happens...

Robert Scoble... [t]he 'Microsoft Geek Blogger' is leaving Microsoft to join the podcasting startup PodTech.

Scoble's site, which focuses on tech issues relating to Microsoft, has been one of the most popular blogs for several years. Of over 3,000 bloggers active at Microsoft, Scoble has been the most influential...

According to Scoble, he was happy and supported at Microsoft, but he's leaving for new opportunities. ...

'When life hands you a metaphorical equivilent of a gold coin you better do something with it,' he adds. '... you should reinvest your talents and your luck to make the world a better place.'

more musings on "cultural fallacy"

I know I posted on this a few days ago but it still just keeps nagging at me ....

[from] Michael Alexander’s “Competing Against America” (Wiley, 2005): “…multiculturalism does not achieve what should be its most important goal: to demystify the other. The views of cultural life presented by multiculturalism are uninspiring and uninteresting (…) because they present culture in the form of mind-numbing displays of folklore. (…) Canada is sorely in need of cohesion, but we are unlikely to achieve it because multiculturalism discourages individuals from different backgrounds from truly engaging with each other on the street, in neighbourhoods and in the workplace.”

What I find so offensive is the claim that the "views of cultural life presented by multiculturalism are uninspiring and uninteresting (…) because they present culture in the form of mind-numbing displays of folklore."

Uninspiring and uninteresting to whom? As I pointed out in my previous post, many people disagree enough with the author of that piece of drek to spend their hard-earned money on those "mind-numbing" folkloric festivals.

But what really irks me is the hasty generalization (there's that fallacy again) that "multiculturalism discourages individuals from different backgrounds from truly engaging with each other on the street, in neighbourhoods and in the workplace.”

Give your head a shake, bub. It's not "multiculturalism" that discourages that kind of social interaction. Rather, it's the mindset responsible for the birth of the concept of multiculturalism in the first place, a concept which was not and is (obviously) still not welcome by the ruling elite. It's the mindset that produces the kind of nativism that sneers at the folkloric cultural expressions of others ... and attempts to discourage such wholesome and innocuous entertainment, not least of all by promoting cultural uniformity as some sort of patriotic sacred cow.

Ever notice that it's not the people attending folk festivals raising a stink about the supposed evils of multiculturalism?

Such common folk are too busy "engaging with each other on the street, in neighbourhoods and in the workplace" (after having enjoyed a plate of perogies or potstickers together while at some multicultural festival) to notice whether or not multiculturalism policy is achieving "its most important goal" to the satisfaction of its critics.

Meanwhile, those self-appointed champions of cultural diversity are just itching to dismantle and further hobble an approach that, much to their chagrin, has been achieving that very goal... albeit on streets, neighbourhoods and workplaces that they probably don't frequent.

A website called "Ukienet"

Just came across this neat website called Ukienet that is

...intended for the interchange of information, ideas, opinions, and communication in the Ukrainian-American community.

There is some partisan US politics on the home page, but regardless of your political persuasion or interests (if any), there is lots of great stuff elsewhere on the site for Ukiephiles ... and I would imagine Canadians and others are welcome, too! ;-)

Definitely worth a visit.

Monday, June 12, 2006

You like it... you really like it!

Thought I'd share the first comment sent to me about Kobzar's Children.

It's from a dear friend who picked up a copy at the June 2 Vancouver launch ... but there is *absolutely* no bias to her comments, I am sure. ;-)

I just read your story and it is brilliant! I will think of the Orange Revolution with far more depth now and I know this story would be riveting for students in high school.

Like Marsha said, turning history into a story is what makes it real and keeps it in one's mind.

Congratulations to you. You have contributed greatly to your heritage.


Korinnya Kubasa Competition -- and the winner is...

The people have spoken, and the broom came out!

Calgary’s Korinnya Ukrainian Folk Ensemble is thrilled to announce PolcanMeats and Delicatessen of Calgary was named the winner in both categories of sausage at the second annual Korinnya Kubasa Competition. Polcan's CountryStyle Sausage was named the best garlic sausage, while its BBQ Sausage was named the best Specialty Sausage, a category where supplier could enter a product of their choice.

The votes were cast by the sold-out crowd of 300 that attended Korinnya's annual celebration of evening of Ukrainian music, culture and smoked meat.

"Everyone in Korinnya would like to congratulate Polcan for winning both ofthese categories in our annual competition," said Michael Monita, a member of Korinnya's Board of Directors. "The competition was intense, but in the end, the best sausage won. We would also like to thank all suppliers, as well as all other donors to the evening's raffle, for their generous contributions."

Monita added "Not only did this event showcase some of the best garlic sausage anywhere, but the wide array of local talent in the Ukrainiancommunity was featured throughout the night. The funds raised from this event will go towards Korinnya's upcoming projects and the purchase of new costumes."

Attendees were treated to performances by the Korinnya Ukrainian Folk Ensemble, Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, the Suzirya Ukrainian DanceTheatre, Absoultely Unplugged, all from Calgary. Those that stayed beyond the tasting danced to the unique Ukrainian sounds of the Kubasonics, all the way from Edmonton.

This unique event was hosted by Calgary’s Korinnya Ukrainian Folk Ensemble. Korinnya is a 20-member choral ensemble that has been entertaining Calgary’s Ukrainian community since 1993. Korinnya sings traditional folk music with the accompaniment of a four-piece orchestra. Over the past 13 years,Korinnya has released two CDs of its music, and has brought the colour and exuberance of Ukrainian culture to audiences across western Canada.

Competitors in the event included:

The Butcher Shoppe - Airdrie, AB
Calgary Meats and Deli – Calgary
Glengary Bison - Airdrie, AB
Polcan Meat Products and Delicatessen – Calgary
Prairie Meats – Saskatoon
Stawnichy’s Meat Processors – Mundare, AB

- 30 -

Vancouver audio archives updated for 061106

Audio archives from the June 11 Nash Holos broadcast are now uploaded!

Find out why you should cook with cucumbers and travel to Ukraine. (Not necessarily in that order!)

And of course, enjoy plenty of Great Ukrainian music!

Is multiculturalism responsible for creating terrorists in Canada?

There are a lot of good points in this National Post article on multiculturalism and its role in the lives of the recently arrested terror suspects in Toronto.

I am, however, a little troubled by some of the conclusions readers may draw. The NP is running a week-long series and I think they are genuinely trying to do an honest analysis. However, because of the general mindset of the MSM I think they simply are not able to grasp the entirety of it, and certainly not enough to dispel the ingrained prejudices of stubborn bigots.

The recent disruption of an alleged homegrown Islamist terror plot has caused many Canadians to ask: How can multiculturalism -- which preaches tolerance above all else -- be squared with a militant, intolerant creed that demonizes non-believers? ... The arrest of a group of Canadian Muslims accused of plotting terrorist attacks in Toronto has thrown a shadow over a favourite monument of Canadianism: multiculturalism. Whatever the fate of the suspects, this cherished concept is suddenly up for grabs.

So then. What exactly does terrorism have to do with culture? Could the crux of the problem lie with the fact that "multiculturalism" is a misnomer for this policy? I once sat on an advisory council to the government of BC and had the temerity to suggest that we bring the "culture" back to "multiculturalism" and leave the issues of race relations and immigration to the government departments assigned to handle them. For that, I had a huge strip torn off me. That was some experience in "tolerance."

In the Trudeau era, we chose to define our society as a patchwork of many culturally distinct groups that may or may not interact. The word we used to describe this new, more balkanized model -- multiculturalism -- is harmless on its face: No reasonable Canadian opposes the right of immigrants to respect their homeland cultures and retain aspects of their pre-Canada lives.

But Canada has gone beyond that. Multiculturalism has become a way of putting people in narrow categories. Some groups have decided to live in ghettos of their own making, apart from the rest of us. ... How did we get to this point?

OK now, you had to see this coming...

A good starting point is the recent autobiography of Manoly R. Lupul, The Politics of Multiculturalism: A Ukrainian-Canadian Memoir. ... Other groups were involved, but Ukrainians remained influential.

Eureka! But of course. This whole Pandora's Box of homegrown terrorism started when the government handed the Ukrainians a blank cheque to fund all those darn dance groups and whatnot. Then the Germans and Czechs and Scots got in on it, followed by the Natives and then the Asians ... and next thing you know, we have all these terrorists coming out of the woodwork.

Judging by some of the things I've read, overheard, and had said directly to me, that ludicrous line of reasoning is actually held by many Canadians. Of course, if asked whether they truly believe that terrorists are trained at dance rehearsals, they might stop and realize how stupid it is. But I wonder about that.

I once attended a costume party dressed as an "escapee from a Ukrainian dance troupe" and a fellow there dressed as a leprechaun informed me that "there are too many Ukrainian dance groups in Canada." And in 1991 or so when I was explaining to a Canadian Airlines co-worker about Ukraine finally becoming sovereign, she (a part-Indian immigrant from Britain who always walked around the office with a Monarchy magazine under her arm) suggested I move to Ukraine since "my heart wasn't here." My family's 100-year Canadian lineage didn't impress her in the least.

In the end, at least the author of this article gets it right ... but I wonder if his fellow Canadians are in a mood to listen? Or are they just going to call for the government to "stop funding all those Ukrainian dance groups"?*

In this unhappy season, we need substantial criticism of multiculturalism and a redefinition of what it means. On these issues, we should look for a much better and more candid performance from our political leadership, from the media (which too willingly accept ghettoization), and from the various religious and ethnic groups in Canada. Perhaps we have to begin by admitting that over 30 years we have made some grave mistakes.


*For the uninformed, the government doesn't fund Ukrainian dance troupes or any other cultural groups. At least not in my neck of the woods.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

cultural fallacy

I was so appalled to see this in a comment on a website post about the Islamist terrorists arrested in Toronto over the weekend.

Quoting Michael Alexander’s “Competing Against America” (Wiley, 2005): “…multiculturalism does not achieve what should be its most important goal: to demystify the other. The views of cultural life presented by multiculturalism are uninspiring and uninteresting (…) because they present culture in the form of mind-numbing displays of folklore. (…) Canada is sorely in need of cohesion, but we are unlikely to achieve it because multiculturalism discourages individuals from different backgrounds from truly engaging with each other on the street, in neighbourhoods and in the workplace.”

This belief is a prime example of a common fallacy taught to first-year students of philosophy. Given the number of university grads who hold this view (and go on to become teachers) it’s no wonder the practitioners of this fallacy can’t seem to recognize this classic example in real life.

It is sad how strongly this antagonism to cultural differences has prevailed over the past century. Just because you don’t like folklore, doesn’t mean others don’t. Just ask the people who flock to multicultural festivals like this one and this one.

It is troubling that there are still many Canadians who so dislike ethnic folklore that they actually believe it is necessary to take that harmless pleasure away from others in order to achieve (their idea of) a greater good.

That attitude is just plain mean-spirited. It used to be called nativism in days gone by, but that label has since become politically incorrect. And yet for many Canadians, all that matters (still) is labels.

Meanwhile, the cycle of violence and mutual-suspicion continues. Innocent (and helpless) people are getting hurt while the truly evil get away with their villainy. Why? Because so many of those with the power to stop evil are too blinded by bigotry to see past the superficiality of cultural differences. When you're so blinded, it's hard to tell the difference between good and evil.

Such people will, I am sure, hate Kobzar’s Children.

Monday, June 05, 2006

autographed copies of Kobzar's Children available

Just to let you know that I have a limited number of copies of Kobzar's Children: A Century of Untold Ukrainian Stories with the autographs of four of the contributors: the editor, Marsha Skrypuch and the three BC contributors.

The cost is $23 plus $3 handling... a very good price for a hardcover book as beautiful (not to mention entertaining) as this one is.

If you want one, contact me asap. They are going quickly and once they're gone, it will be quite an effort to get all four signatures on the same page!

Vancouver audio archives updated for 060406

Archives for Nash Holos and Chetverta Khvylia June 4 broadcasts are now uploaded!

On NH (in English), more on sorrel and a delicious recipe for an unusual, but uniquely Ukrainian, spring borsch. You'll also learn some fascinating facts about the Ukrainian city of Terebowlia. And of course, there's plenty of Great Ukrainian music!

On 4W (Chetverta Khvylia, meaning"4th wave") there's a half-hour of music and news from Ukraine (exclusively in Ukrainian).

Check out both programs for lively, foot-stomping (mostly on NH) music as well as contemporary stuff (4W).


the more things change ...

I don't like to get into political commentary on this blog, but this Toronto Star article about the terrorist arrests in Toronto on the weekend compelled me to comment. It seems to sum up the situation fairly well:

... Could be, of course, all a wild misunderstanding, colossal police blundering, systemic racism, nothing more sinister than a barbeque in the country. Could be the thing it appears, though - evidence of an enemy within.

And not just those accused who allegedly plotted to blow things up in southern Ontario - maybe the CN Tower, perchance the baseball stadium; most likely venues of large gathering, because the objective of terrorism, which this may or may not be, isn't merely to slaughter but to bludgeon the living with fear, to silhouette in gore one's utter vulnerability.

These accused wanted, if intelligence experts are correct (and they've been wrong before), to kill you. ...

A rather different scene than 100 years ago. Back then Canada threw innocent, hardworking people who were actually on their side in the war (e.g. immigrants from Eastern Europe fleeing oppresion in Austro-Hungarian empire) into 26 internment camps across Canada, beat, humiliated and even murdered some of them. Nowadays, however, Canada mollycoddles hostile malcontents intent on destroying the civilization the survivors of those camps helped build.

Another overlooked irony is the photo credit on this story: Lucas Oleniuk. I wonder if he is descended from one of the three Oleniuks who were interned at either Kapuskasing or Spirit Lake, according to Project Roll Call (a list of internees reconstructed from disparate documents on the WWI internment operations that escaped destruction by the Canadian government).

Chances are, if he is then he's probably not aware of it. (Although I could be wrong, I don't know the man from Adam.) Be that as it may, the federal government and media over the past century have done their best to help bury that chapter of Canadian history.

Problem with that approach, however, is that if the history book is buried, you can't learn history's lessons. And if you don't learn them, you're doomed to repeat them until you do.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Kobzar's Children now launched!

Well, the Vancouver/Richmond debut launch of Kobzar's Children: A Century of Untold Ukrainian Stories is now history.

We had a nice turnout, even though the local mainstream media diligently ignored the flurry of press releases I dutifully sent round. No great surprise. That just confirms my opinion that, with just a few exceptions, the Vancouver media hates Ukrainians. At least, according to my experience... which actually includes a hate message once left on my voice mail by a Vancouver Sun reporter with the usual "Ukrainians are all nazis" hate meme. I never did get an apology. (I saved that message for posterity because it was so unbelievable.)

Anyway, back to the happy, good stuff... Marsha was very pleased with the turnout and book sales. Meanwhile, the book-lovers in attendance were all (understandably) dazzled by Marsha and what she had to say!

Vancouver YA author KC Dyer came out on Friday evening ... and over a late dinner she mentioned how she enjoyed that the hostess spoke in Ukrainian as well as in English, and that she particularly loved how Marsha's name sounds in Ukrainian!

Well, go figure. And here so many of us Ukes long ago developed the habit of cringing and apologizing to non-Ukes we bring to events where the speeches are in both languages! (Maybe it's time to stop apologizing...)

It was so wonderful to see so many people with that gorgeous book in their hands, but was it ever weird having long-time friends ask for my autograph! (I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that anyone would want it, but I guess that's something all first-time authors have to adjust to.) I hope they all enjoy my story, "Christmas Missed," and all the others, which are incredible.

I'm still making my way through the book ... although it arrived on Wednesday (or was it Thursday) I've been too busy to read it! I've just finished recording Sunday's program so now I'm going to crawl into bed with a copy of that precious book. (Hope I can get away with "I have a headache tonight" while reading till the wee hours...)

Many thanks to the UCWL-Vancouver branch and the Ukrainian Community Society of Ivan Franko for hosting the events, and to the Ukrainian Studies Foundation of BC, the Canada Council and the Writers' Union of Canada for their financial support in making the debut launch happen in Vancouver.

Kobzar's Children: A Century of Untold Ukrainian Stories will be on sale in book stores beginning June 3o. In the meantime, if you are impatient for a copy, I have a limited number of copies signed by Marsha and the three BC contributors. If you would like to purchase one, just let me know. You know where to find me.

Friday, June 02, 2006

the big day is here

Well, today is the day we launch Kobzar's Children: A Century of Untold Ukrainian Stories in Vancouver.

Will let you know how it goes!

In the meantime, I have a huge report to finish this morning, a house to clean (Marsha's coming in for the launch and she's staying with me!) and myself to get ready for this very new experience of launching a book as an author.

So no more blogging for today ... I am *so* behind in everything! (As usual...)

awesome Victor Morozov music site

I recently stumbled on this wonderful music site ... MO Productions & Victor Morozov.

Victor Morozov is one of my favourite singers from Ukraine, and I certainly do not play enough of his music on Nash Holos. Will definitely be rectifying that in the near future!

In the meantime, you might want to check out the site yourself. Victor rules!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Vancouver radio station switches format - yet again

Wow. Isn't this a great example of truly, groundbreakingly, innovative broadcasting.

Yet another talk station, and on the cheap ... the owners are replacing the creative content (such as it was) produced by 14 employees with traffic reports, occasional live sports coverage, and what appears will be mostly recycled programs from their "sister" stations.

As a writer, I do admire the great "spin" that their PR agency came up with:

Signing on Monday, June 5 at 7:30 a.m., the new AM730 Continuous Drive Time Traffic and the Best of Talk provides Vancouver listeners with an essential service in a brand new way...

In a completely unique and innovative format, AM730 Continuous Drive Time Traffic and the Best of Talk delivers continuous traffic reports during the critical morning and afternoon drive periods. The new station also features the Vancouver Whitecaps and Giants and the Seattle Seahawks play-by-play games as well as the 'best of talk,' offering original programming and time-shifted CKNW signature programming...

Lucky Vancouver listeners, eh?

I think my favourite is "essential service in a brand new way" ... or maybe "time-shifted signature programming" ...

Well, whatever. Good luck to them.

In the meantime, Vancouver listeners actually are lucky. They can get a break from such mundane fare by tuning in to Nash Holos and Chetverta Khvylia ...

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