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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, Oct 29, 2005, 9:00 am ET

    Press release

    Borys Wrzesnewskyj Committed to Supporting the Ukraine List, the Calling Gard of University of Ottawas Chair of Ukrainian Studies

    L-R: Etobicoke Centre Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewsky, Professor Dominique Arel (Chairholder, Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Ottawa), and Professor Francoise Houle (Dean, Faculty of Social Studies, University of Ottawa).


    October 25, 2005 Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj, MP in the Toronto riding of Etobicoke Centre presented a cheque in the amount of $70,000 to the Chair of Ukrainian Studies of the University of Ottawa on behalf of his familys charitable foundation the Dopomoha Ukraini Foundation to fund the Chairs electronic newsletter, The Ukraine List (UKL), the calling card of the Chair.

    During the Orange Revolution, UKL experienced phenomenal growth reaching thousands of scholars, diplomats, international journalists, businesspeople, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and community members, in over forty countries. The initial contribution of the Foundation will support UKL, its network of research assistants and translators, as well as a project of web archives. This will enable UKL, and therefore the Chair, to strengthen its visibility internationally. The Foundation is also underwriting an initiative aimed at developing a Centre for Contemporary Archives on Ukraine.

    The Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Ottawa is the first research unit focused on the study of political, economic and social issues in contemporary Ukraine. The Chair considers itself a national institution, reaching out to communities across Canada.

    The Ukraine List (UKL) is an academic/current affairs newsletter aimed at and sent to a select audience of scholars, journalists, government analysts and decision-makers, and businessmen, NGO practitioners, community activists and people interested in Ukraine matters. Nearly half of UKL subscribers joined the List since the historic November 21, 2004, second round vote.

    The generous donation was accepted on behalf of the University of Ottawa by Dr. Franois Houle, Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences, and Chairholder Dr. Dominique Arel. In his opening remarks during the presentation, Mr. Wrzesnewskyj stressed that:

    Last year was historic in many ways for Ukrainian Canadians. Thousands of Canadians of Ukrainian origin reaffirmed their ties to the homeland of their ancestors by taking time away from their own families during Christmas and traveling to Ukraine to help ensure democracy prevailed during the Orange Revolution. This was one more example of the special relationship and bond that exists between Canada and Ukraine. There are many institutions in Canada that also played an important role in these events and The Chair of Ukrainian Studies of the University of Ottawa is certainly one such institution. The Chairs research and dissemination of critical findings related to governance and public policy in contemporary Ukraine is extremely important and its academic/current affairs electronic newsletter The Ukraine List benefits thousands of scholars, journalists, government analysts and decision-makers, business persons, NGOs, and community activists in deepening their knowledge of Ukraine.

    Both Dr. Houle and Dr. Arel thanked Mr. Wrzesnewskyj on behalf of the University of Ottawa and noted that the donation represents a critically important gesture for the development of the Chair of Ukrainian Studies into a national program devoted to the study of contemporary Ukraine. The University made a commitment in making possible the appointment of a Chairholder. We are delighted that Mr. Wrzesnewskyj and the Dopomoha Ukraini Foundation recognize the importance of the Chair in funding one of its most ambitious programs, said Dean Houle. Mr. Wrzesnewskyj played a phenomenal role during the Orange Revolution and understands that maintaining a high level of Canadian engagement in Ukraine as a sine qua non for the success of Orange reforms requires up-to-the minute access to analytical information about Ukraine, which The Ukraine List provides for a global select audience. His support is hugely significant for the growth of The Chair of Ukrainian Studies, added Dr. Arel.

    The mission of The Ukraine List is to present a selection of the most pertinent English-language news items, provide an English translation of important articles published in the Ukrainian, Russian, and non-English language European media, offer a forum to academics and other experts for analysis, commentaries, and other original contributions on Ukraine, and post relevant announcements on academic gatherings, scholarly competitions, new publications, job offers and the like, pertaining to the burgeoning field of Ukrainian studies.

    UKLs strength lies in the quality of its selected items. It aims at presenting various viewpoints, an effort enhanced by its translation service, and regular analysis of ongoing issues. UKL has established itself as the List of reference for an understanding of the complexity of contemporary Ukraine. Mr. Wrzesnewskyj has dedicated much of his life to working with community groups and humanitarian causes both here and abroad. As an activist in Ukraine, Mr. Wrzesnewskyj funded, organized and supported civil rights groups and democratic reform on the ground in Ukraine prior to glasnost and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    Throughout the recent crisis in Ukraine, Borys Wrzesnewskyj worked tirelessly to reach all-party consensus in Canadas Parliament to support the struggle for democracy in Ukraine. Last year, Mr.Wrzesnewskyj spearheaded a unanimously accepted House of Commons motion on October 26, an emergency debate on November 24, and another unanimously accepted motion on November 25. He was instrumental in securing the Government of Canadas commitment to send 500 election observers to Ukraine for the December 2004 Presidential election.

    Today, the Wrzesnewskyj family continues to work in Ukraine, funding and organizing both relief efforts for orphans, and post-secondary scholarship funds for promising students in need. For more information about UKL or the Chair of Ukrainian Studies, please call the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at 613 562-5800, ext. 3692 or send an email at ukrain(a)uottawa.ca.

    The Chair of Ukrainian Studies
    75 Laurier Ave.
    Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
    Canada

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