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embroidery85 From Monday, March 20 to Friday, March 24, students and staff of IHMS celebrated their unique culture and heritage with Ukrainian Week. The theme for this year was similar to the theme for the Annual School Tea – “Celebrating 125 Years of Ukrainian Settlement in Canada”.


A photo of a house with a thatched roof built by Ukrainian pioneers during the first wave of immigration. The photo was part of the scavenger hunt on a display set up in the upstairs landing during Ukrainian Week


Monday was a NUT Day –  “No Uniforms Today”. Students and staff wore blue and yellow clothing symbolizing the colours of the Ukrainian flag – a blue sky above a brilliant yellow field of wheat. Students also spent time rehearsing for Thursday’s Ukrainian concert.


Grade 4 and 5 students dressed up for Blue and Yellow Day


On Monday morning, and for every other morning throughout the week, a Ukrainian immigration story was read over the school intercom during opening exercises. This children’s story, which was a read by Mr. Picklyk and continued from one day to the next, was a poignant description of what it was like to emigrate to Canada from Ukraine over a century ago.


One of the illustrations from “Pettranella”, the storybook that was read by Mr. Picklyk during morning announcements. It’s the story of a Ukrainian family who make the decision to emigrate to Canada during the “first wave” of pioneers over a century ago. In the above illustration, Pettranella’s grandmother explains that she’s too old to accompany the rest of the family on the trip to Canada.


In addition, students participated in an interesting scavenger hunt that ran for almost two weeks. It began on Tuesday, March 14 and concluded at the end of Ukrainian Week. Mr. Trochanowski, the school’s vice principal, arranged for the temporary use of two large exhibits on Ukrainian pioneers. These exhibits, which were on loan from the Winnipeg branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, were the same exhibits in the Display Room at the Annual School Tea.


The first of two large exhibits on Ukrainian pioneers in Canada. Each exhibit was displayed for about a week, and each was used as part of a scavenger hunt on the first wave of Ukrainian s  ettlement in Canada. In the above photos, grade 3 students search the exhibit “Journey to Canada” for answers to their questions.



Since they were so large and space so limited, Mr. Trochanowski had to assemble only one exhibit at a time, each for about a week at a time. Students searched these exhibits (entitled “Journey to Canada” and “Making a New Home”) for answers to a scavenger hunt that ran during this two week period.


The second of two large exhibits on Ukrainian pioneers in Canada. Like the previous exhibit, it was set up at the top of the second floor landing as part of a scavenger hunt during Ukrainian Week.



Also on Monday, and for every day throughout the week, the students were able to participate in a daily trivia contest that helped them to learn more about the history of 125 years of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. The trivia questions (and answers) were in an information sheet sent home with the students. Students entered their answers for the chance to win a daily prize.


Trivia Questions

Monday’s Question: The first Ukrainian immigrants arrived in Canada in 1891. What are the names of the first Ukrainians to arrive in Canada?  Answer: Vasyl Eleniak and Ivan Pylipiw
Tuesday’s Question: The pioneer shelter made out of sod and logs was called a …?  Answer: Burdei
Wednesday’s Question: Name 2 of the most treasured items that Ukrainians would bring with them to Canada. Answer: A kylym (small rug), simple tools, embroidery, an icon, prayer book, cross, seeds, and a handful of soil from Ukraine.
Thursday’s Question: Name one art form and one type of food that Ukrainians introduced to Canada. Answer: Art forms – embroidery, ceramics, woodcarving, pysanka (decorated Easter eggs); Foods – borscht, perogies, and cabbage rolls.
Friday’s Question: Why did Ukrainians come to Canada? Answer: For political and economic freedom.



Tuesday and Wednesday were very similar to Monday except they weren’t NUT days. Students continued with their rehearsals for the Ukrainian concert. They also continued to participate in the scavenger hunt and the daily trivia contest. Student answers to the trivia contest were separated into 3 different grade levels which increased the chances of winning a prize!


Two grade 6 girls entering their answers for Wednesday’s trivia contest in the grade 6-8 container


Thursday, at least in the morning, was very similar to the previous three days of Ukrainian Week. Students continued with their concert rehearsals, the scavenger hunt, and the daily trivia contest. In addition, Thursday was another NUT day, Ukrainian t-shirt day.


Students posing with their Ukrainian t-shirts on Thursday


Thursday, in addition to being another NUT day, was also the most exciting day of the week because it was the day of the concert. The concert, entitled “Adventures in Baba’s Trunk”, was performed twice that day in order to accommodate the schedules of parents who work shift work. As has been the case for years, there was a 1:30 matinee performance in addition to the traditional evening performance at 7:00.


 Grade 7 brothers Eric and William S. were door greeters for the concert’s matinee performance. The remaining photos, taken during the concert, show the grade 7 class on stage.


Friday, March 24 was the last day for the trivia contest, and the last day before the beginning of the Spring break. Thanks to perogy donations from various Ukrainian Catholic parishes, students were able to purchase a delicious perogy lunch served by the IHMS Parents Guild.


Students enjoyed perogies that were donated to the school from various Ukrainian Catholic parishes. The perogies were then cooked and served to the students by parent volunteers


When the students return to IHMS after the March break, they’ll have the opportunity to participate in a copper tooling craft activity that wern’t included during Ukrainian Week because of time constraints.


At 1:00 p.m., students and staff marked the end of Ukrainian Week by attending Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral before being dismissed for spring break. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the IHMS staff and parent volunteers, Ukrainian Week for 2017 was another smashing success!





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