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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 www.parkmemorial.com.

Вічная пам`ять! May his memory be eternal.

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