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Teacher and Music Consultant for the Toronto Board of Education

Date and Place of Birth: 1929 in Rosohach, Ukraine

Date of Interview: September 20, 2016

Place of Interview: Toronto, Ontario

Interviewer: Zoriana Kilyk

Length of Interview: 01:03:36 (raw)


Interviewer: Let's talk a little about that - about your presidency at the Olzych Foundation.

MP: That was established 28 years ago. The purpose was to help the ОУН [OUN – Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists] members in Ukraine with their political involvement, their publications and things like that. They have a newspaper called "Українське слово," it’s still going on. Mr. Plaviuk was like the king behind it all. He started the Olzych Foundation in Kyiv and about 3 years after this was established in Canada. In Canada, it was established by Dr. Woychyshyn, who lived in Ottawa. His wife, I think she got a very high award from Ukraine, Julia; the son is the lawyer. So they kind of got the foundation going. He was president for I don't know how many years, about 25 years or something, and then he wasn't able to handle it anymore. Ok – that’s the old country. In Canada, the goal is to promote Ukrainian culture.

Interviewer: That's their goal?

MP: That's my goal. Mainly in the arts, mainly helping children. We do sponsor Vesnivka choir. We sponsor Ukraine Pediatric Fellowship Program which is the doctors come here to Sick Kids [Hospital], maybe you've heard about that program, and then they go back and tell them what they're doing here – the different methods, operations, and so on.

Interviewer: So the doctors from Ukraine...

MP: ...come here. We give them $10,000 a year, which is very good. We also sponsor Суспільна Служба – the outreach program. Тhe last couple of years we have been sponsoring the Тoronto Youth Symphony Orchestra for the children to give concerts. It's in preparation for the real symphony orchestra. Vesnivka choir, of course. If you have any anniversaries we'll sponsor that. I'm doing a lot of good work. And, it's mainly from lottery games and services, the bingo account, our funds are coming from. This is the bingo account.

Interviewer: And so you are president of this foundation currently?

MP: Yes

Interviewer: And how long have you been president?

MP: Since 2010.

Interviewer: So 6 years. And counting?

MP: It's gonna be 7. My term ends next March if they let me go.


Pidkowich, Mary. "Ukrainian National Federation sponsors fifth summer youth leadership camp." The Ukrainian Weekly, May 7, 2000, No. 19, Vol. LXVIII

"Річні збори Фундації ім. Олега Ольжича" (Annual election of the Oleh Olzych foundation). New Pathway, April 11, 2011. Page 11-1

"Знаменні та пам'ятні дати Чортківщини на 2016 рік" (Momentous and memorable dates in Chortkiv in 2016)

excerpt from the Interview with MARY PIDKOWICH

The interviews can be accessed at the UCRDC. Please contact us at: office@ucrdc.org