Friday, 27 July 2012

Osvita Ukrainian Summer Immersion Program

Baba's Kitchen at Osvita 2012
recognize the Calgarian?
Calgary has a lovely Ridna Shkola program that includes history, culture and language, even Ukrainian 10, 20 and 30.  But at the time when my daughter was in Ridna Shkola, to finish her high school credits she needed to go to Edmonton for the Osvita Summer Immersion Program.  Without reservation, it was a good choice.  She met new friends, discovered a few things about living away from home, accomplished some academic learning and generally had a great time.  Many of the friends have become what she calls "forever friends".  It's like having Ukrainian friends puts them into a special category - beyond going for coffee, or seeing a movie together, it's a part of your extended family.

PhotoYou may not know about St. John's Institute in Edmonton but it is a great Canadian success story that should be shared!  Way back in 1918, St. John’s Institute was organized under the name M. Hrushewsky Ukrainian Institute (named after a great Ukrainian historian, writer, and statesman, Mykhailo Hrushwsky-1886-1934). An autonomous institution with its own character, St. John's Institute is affiliated with the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League of Canada known as S.U.S. Almost a hundred years later, it has lived up to community expectations and is a leading Orthodox Christian and Ukrainian-oriented residential centre fostering youth and their development.
St. John's Institute has continued the great SUS traditions and produces wonderful educational, spiritual, cultural, and outreach programs while operating a student residential centre for the Canadian and Ukrainian community.

One of the Institute's prize programs, Osvita,  had another successful program this summer 2012 in Edmonton.  From the pictures it is obvious the participants enjoyed learning in such a supportive environment.  The newly renovated St. John's Institute is simply top class, but the old Institute vibe is still there, warm hearted and embracing, a family away from home, your Ukrainian family away from home! 
Osvita 2012 participants from BC to Ontario improved their fluency in Ukrainian, cooking, dancing, singing, bandura lessons (with Andrij Hornjatkevyc) and more! Special events included fieldtrips to the Edmonton Holodomor Monument, the Vegreville Ukrainian Pysanka Festival, Alberta Branch of the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Castle Mountain Internment Camp and Banff. Guest speakers included the former Premier Ed Stelmach, and Ukrainian radio announcer Roman Brytan.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone at Osvita - see you all next year at Osvita 2013!! 

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