Downtown Guelph is expected to be painted blue and yellow during a rally planned for Sunday afternoon in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
The gathering is taking place outside city hall at Market Square, beginning at 2 p.m., and is being hosted by the Holy Protection of the Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Church on York Road.
Father Andrij Figol said in an interview on Friday that the rally is for all who wish to join.
“To show peaceful solidarity and support of those who are fighting the war to defend their land and their own property in Ukraine,” he said.
“To stand against the oppressor, that the war stops, the nuclear threat is removed, and to show that Guelph and Canada continue to support and stand for justice, for freedom in a peaceful manner.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24 and since then the Catholic church has been receiving donations of items such as diapers, clothing and medical supplies.
But Figol said they are now just asking for money because making deliveries has been incredibly difficult due to the war in Ukraine.
“During war, we’re constantly learning as we go, and all of the organizations are telling us that needs are chaotic and changes from moment to moment, but cash is king,” he said. “We guarantee that every single penny will be used to support the refugees and the families that are now stricken.”
Volunteers will be collecting money during the rally. Cash can also be dropped off at the church at any time, Figol said.
Residents are encouraged to make a donation to a verified organization such as the Red Cross or the Canadian Ukraine Foundation.
A complete list of where to donate can be found by clicking on this Global News story about how Ontarians can help.
Figol is also encouraging those who come out to the rally to wear blue and yellow.
“That’s the colour of the flag and only if they wish to when deciding on what to wear, or Ukrainian embroidery or something of that nature, flags and banners as well,” he said.
Mayor Cam Guthrie is expected to speak during the rally along with a parishioner of the church who organized the rally.
Figol also said they are waiting on a letter from one of the soldiers in Kyiv that will be read out during the rally.
“We figured it out would be good to hear from the front lines as well because we do have family members of our parishioners in Ukraine,” he said.