Fundraising for Ukraine: An evening in photos

Highlights from an evening of performances to benefit the people of Ukraine.

Ukraine Concert

On February 24, 2022, news broke that Russia’s Army began the war with Ukraine. The world has expressed shock over this brutal assault on Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, and with 1.4 million people of Ukrainian descent in Canada  – and over 300,000 of those residing in Alberta – it’s no surprise that news of this devastation has deeply impacted our community.

On March 12, the University of Alberta along with members of Edmonton’s Ukrainian community came together around the power of performance art in an act of solidarity with Ukraine. 

Attendees gathered for an evening of music and spoken word, with pieces varying from traditional to liturgical to contemporary. All proceeds from this fundraiser were donated directly to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation in support of their humanitarian relief efforts. 

A special thanks to photographer John Ulan who captured some highlights from the evening’s performances:

People of all ages attended the charity event with many donning traditional Ukrainian wear. 

traditional Ukrainian wear

Presented by the Department of Music and the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, the concert was held in the Convocation Hall of the Old Arts Building with an option to attend virtually.

Department of Music and Department of Modern Languages

University of Alberta music composition, theory, and orchestration instructor, Dr. Andriy Talpash, was the evening’s emcee.

Andriy Talpash

Viter Folk Choir, led by conductor Lesia Pohoreski, performed songs that touched on the sentiment of Ukrainian identity.

Viter Folk Choir Lesia Pohoreski

Singer Marcia Ostashewski was joined by the University of Alberta’s Dr. Andrij Hornjatkevyc who played Ukraine’s national instrument, the bandura.

Marcia Ostashewski
Andrij Hornjatkevyc

“Your contributions [from tonight] will go towards providing supplies, saving lives and assisting families,” said Alla Nedashkivska, Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies.

Alla Nedashkivska

Ukrainian Language and Culture student, Roxy Iszcenko, read Ukrainian poetry in translation by Marianna Kiyanovska and Kateryna Katylko.

Roxy Iszcenko

Laura Veeze of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (accompanied by Leanne Regehr on the piano) performed “Melody,” a captivating piece that was composed for the 1981 war drama, High Pass.

Laura Veeze

University of Alberta music instructor Rob Spady performed “Abime des oiseux” on the clarinet. This piece was composed by Olivier Messiaen, who was a prisoner of war during World War II.

Rob Spady

Tenor Peter Tarnawsky performed a solo from the song “Beloved Ukraine.”

Peter Tarnawsky

Alex Averbuch, Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, recited Ukrainian poetry. The poems, which were read in their original Ukrainian, were accompanied by slides with English translations.

Alex Averbuch

Angela Schroeder (left) led an ensemble that included Shelley Younge (flute), Allison Balcetis (saxophone, right), Laura Wakeman (cello) and Viktoria Reiswich-Dapp (piano) in a rendition of “Keening” by Ukrainian-Canadian composer Anna Pidgorna.

Angela Schroeder and Allison Balcetis

University of Alberta alumnus Julian Savaryn performed the moving “Élégie” by Gabriel Fauré on the cello. He was accompanied by Leanne Regehr on the piano.

Julian Savaryn

Kapella Kyrie, led by conductor Melanie Turgeon, performed a stunning acapella version of “Dostoino” from The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

Kapella Kyrie

President Bill Flanagan, Interim Arts Dean Steve Patten and Department of Music Chair William Street delivered messages of support for the people of Ukraine and those in the university’s community who have close colleagues, friends, and family in Ukraine.

William Street, Bill Flanagan, Steve Patten

The full concert is now available to stream on demand. Monetary support for Ukrainian humanitarian relief efforts are still encouraged and appreciated. Please visit the Canada-Ukraine Foundation to donate

The U of A stands with its students, employees, academic colleagues, alumni and friends who have deep roots in Ukraine. Read the March 8 letter from President Bill Flanagan and Steve Dew to learn more about the multiple efforts the U of A is engaged in to respond and support those affected. The U of A has created an emergency fund to support students and scholars directly affected by the crisis in Ukraine. You can donate by visiting the Financial Support in Response to the War in Ukraine website.