Ukrainians in Halifax raise money for their country by showcasing their culture

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Ukrainians in N.S. fundraising with cultural event
The Ukrainian community in the province are banding together to raise funds for Ukraine and want Haligonians to have an opportunity to experience the beauty of their country's culture. Amber Fryday reports – Apr 11, 2022

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Nova Scotia Branch will host a fundraising event in an effort to support the Ukrainian people as they continue to face conflict in their nation.

The Halifax Stand with Ukraine event will showcase and celebrate the country’s culture.

Kateryna Skypor is a pianist and vocalist and grew up in a small village 15 kilometres from the capital, Kyiv. Her village has been destroyed by Russian forces. Her entire family remains in Ukraine, but has fled their home as the war continues to unfold.

Anxious and saddened by the continued terror her country continues to face, Skypor wanted to gift her musical talents as a means to aid in the fundraising efforts.

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“Ukrainians have never been so united. Everyone is so involved in the fundraising and will help each other. We will try and keep our heads occupied by doing things, by really helping Ukraine, not sitting home watching the news and being depressed and scared for our loved ones.”

Many others who are in similar predicaments as Skypor feel the same way. Vlad Snytkin recently returned to Halifax from the Polish capital, Warsaw, last week. He spent two weeks there helping Ukrainian refugees and helping family and friends file paperwork so they can eventually come to Canada.

While hearing the harrowing stories of refugees in Warsaw, Snyktin contacted the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress and decided to unite to host the fundraising event.

“I’m proud of Ukrainian culture. I’m proud to be Ukrainian. I’m proud to be Canadian. And I want as many Canadians as possible to experience the culture,” he says.

In addition to Ukrainian food, music and dance will also take place.

“We also want to have a virtual reality tour so there’s a lot of beauty of Ukrainian towns like Kyiv and Lviv so we want people to see how beautiful Ukraine was before the war,” says Stanislav Serebriakov.

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Ukrainians aren’t alone in their quest to fundraise for the war-torn country. Russian national Mizurkina says she felt saddened and guilty by war inflicted on Ukraine by her native land and felt obligated to lend a hand.

“I guess for many Russians, it’s kind of a mix of hopelessness and guilt and confusion and I feel like it’s very important to help and to do something,” says Mizurkina.

One hundred per cent of the proceeds with go to a Ukrainian charitable foundation, Come Back Alive. Its mission is to provide critical supplies for Ukrainian forces and protective services for civilians.

The Halifax Stand with Ukraine fundraiser will take place on April 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the John W. Lindsay YMCA at 5640 Sackville St.

More information and updates are posted on the event’s website and Facebook page.

Donations are welcome. For inquiries, please contact Stanislav Serebriakov by email.

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