ukraine poster benefit concert

UPDATE - Over $7500 was raised at Friday's show. The total by the end of the night was $7,519.30, but donations are still coming in.

There will be a benefit concert for Ukraine at the Rosetown United Church on Friday, May 20th at 7pm.

That's how it all started, but it's growing into a much larger event with many layers to unpack. Organizer Sindy Yiu and her heart of gold went to the Ukrainian Council of Saskatchewan looking for a way to help the cause. They put together the poster above, and provided a large banner to display. In a nice gesture, they also provided a large amount of sunflower seeds to plant this spring.

"They come with a note that says Baba wants you to plant these for peace and unity," said Sindy. "So we are giving them out to people who donate $25 or more, along with a tax receipt."

sunflowers peace unity basket

Five of her piano students will perform. They are also preparing for provincial competitions, and would like to use their gift of music to raise money for displaced Ukrainians. In the concert, they will each perform a short but varied program from classical to jazz, including living Canadian and Saskatchewan composers.

  • Ysabella Jadraque (from Rosetown),
  • Temidire Igbekoyi (also from Rosetown),
  • Erika Mourre (from Sovereign),
  • Eliana Bakanec (from Kerrobert)
  • Alexandra Summach (from Dodsland).
  • Also Sindy's near & dear friend and cellist Christina Bakanec (Elaina's Mother) from Kerrobert will perform some cool pieces by Ukrainian composers. Christina has been playing with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra since 2009 and played at Rosetown Carol Festival in 2019.

Besides the music, speeches and stories will be shared.

Two refugees from Ukraine just arrived in Rosetown via Poland a short three weeks ago. Olga Biriukova is from Kyiv, and Vitalli Diachok is a Grade 9 student who just had his first day in RCHS this week.

"We are excited to connect with them and learn more about their culture, their journey to Canada, and what makes them proud to be Ukrainian." 

Glenn UCG and Sindy YiuSindy Yiu & and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress of Saskatchewan

Another speaker, Mary Sawatsky, is a 3rd generation Canadian - Ukrainian based out of Herschel. Throughout her life, she has helped many newcomers from Ukraine settle in our communities thanks to her family who has kept the Ukrainian tradition very close. Other speakers include Lidia Kuzmych, Liubov Melnyk, and Viktoriia Kuzmych - a fashion designer in Rosetown. 

Many of them will also display their personal keepsakes, clothing and pictures from Ukraine. Ukrainian treats will also be served for everyone to enjoy at the end.

"I am so grateful for the support of the local Ukrainian community, and look forward to learning from them." 

The concert will be held in the upper hall of the Rosetown United Church 118 2nd Ave E, and she wants to make sure everyone is invited.

"Please tell all of your listeners to join us," said Yiu.

There will be no charge at the door, but donations are encouraged. Silent auction Items include a Ukrainian-themed flower arrangement donated by Peggy D's Garden Center. All profits will go to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress of Saskatchewan, who have done many good deeds to help displaced Ukrainians coming to the province.