Meet Maksym Kisil and Halyna Kruk.
Both are recent high school graduates who are extremely involved in the Ukrainian Community in Manitoba as well as long standing volunteers at the Ukraine Kyiv Pavilion,
Maksym graduated from the A.P. Program @ Sisler High School. He has received numerous awards and scholarships most notably, the prestigious 2023 BMO Leader of Tomorrow scholarship. He will continue his studies in Engineering at the University of Manitoba. Maksym is an active member of PLAST Ukrainian Youth Association as well as the O. Koshetz Choir.
Halyna graduated from the I.B. Program @ Miles Macdonell Collegiate. She was the recipient of the 2023 Carpathia Credit Union Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to an individual who shows high academic standing and longstanding leadership involvement within the Ukrainian Community. She will continue with her studies in Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba. Halyna is an active member of PLAST Ukrainian Youth Association as well as a founding member of Miles Mac Ukrainian Students Club.
Meet Olesia Chychkevych and Orest Deneka.
Olesia Chychkevych comes from the Ivano-Frankivsk oblast, Pomoniata village, Rohatyn district of Ukraine.
She arrived in Winnipeg very recently in July of 2022 with her three sons, as her husband remained in Ukraine. In Ukraine, she worked as an English teacher at an elementary school in Lviv for 17 years, then with a company that was engaged in the placement of our Ukrainian children to study in Poland and in Canada.
Arriving in Winnipeg, she soon began working in a private kindergarten KidFit60, as she loves working with children very much. Soon after, she became an Educational Assistant at R.F. Morrison School, as they required someone who speaks Ukrainian and English. Her experience there was amazing, as she worked with a wonderful team, wonderful teachers who love children and their profession with all their hearts. She is very happy that her youngest son will also be a student there this upcoming September!From September 2023, Olesia will work as an Educational Assistant at James Nisbet Community School.
Olesia has been an active member of Ukrainian community in Manitoba from the day she arrived here. She works tirelessly advocating for her new community on many projects within the Ukrainian Canadian Congress as well as in the broader community. With much of the Festival’s Celebrations and events being a new experience for her, Olesia is very excited to be representing her culture and heritage as an Adult Ambassador for the Ukraine Kyiv Pavilion.
Orest Deneka has been an active member of the Ukrainian community in Winnipeg throughout his life. He is blessed to be married to his wonderful wife, Iryna, and to have three wonderful children. Andrij, Bohdan and Chrystyna.
Throughout his life, he’s been very active with Plast Ukrainian Youth Association in many different roles, whether as a scout, scout leader, or in the executive.
Over the last 35 years, he was proud to be a member of Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus. He also previously was a member of the Tyrsa Youth Choir which then became the Saints Vladimir and Olga Cathedral Choir.
In his earlier years, he had the opportunity to dance in the U.N.F. dance school.
Orest recently retired after 32 1/2 years of work in the public school system. He was very fortunate to work with thousands of wonderful children, and in the last 25 years to be an administrator in different schools in Sunrise School Division. In the last 19 years, he was fortunate to be able to combine his passion for education and the Ukrainian culture as the schools he was in contained a Ukrainian Language Program (Springfield Middle School) and an English-Ukrainian Bilingual Program (Oak Bank Elementary School).
After a long period of inactivity, due to family obligations and involvement in other areas of the Ukrainian community he returned last year to help out with the Kyiv Ukrainian Pavilion.
Orest is most excited about this year‘s theme, which is Christmas. By far the most joyful and vivid memories and experiences are related to this time of the year. Whether it is going out carolling or practicing one of the many wonderful traditions associated with Christmas Eve, these are memories that he will carry with him forever. Orest is honoured to be chosen as ambassador and looks forward to sharing these experiences with all our wonderful guests throughout the week.