Thomas Pajur, President Vancouveri Eesti Selts, Linda Jansons, representing the Latvian community, and Algis Jaugelis, President of Lithuanians of B.C.
Friday, 17 June 2022 19:00
Estonian Life No. 24 2022
On May 28, 2022 members of the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian communities of the lower mainland gathered at Meie Kodu in Vancouver for a fundraising dinner in support for Ukraine. Jointly organized by the three Baltic communities, the event helped to raise just under $5k for the Maple Hope Foundation – a Canadian non-profit organization founded in 2014, helping Ukraine and Ukrainians suffering from war.
Guests were treated to a traditional Ukrainian dinner and live music of Pavel Rhyzlovsky & members of the Vancouver Folk Orchestra. They also heard patriotic songs sung by members of the local Ukrainian community, and had the opportunity to buy Ukrainian crafts and souvenirs for sale.
Guests were moved by the words of Svitlana Kominko, director of Maple Hope Foundation, who expressed her sincere gratitude to the Baltic states for their strong support of Ukraine, and how important it is for Ukrainians not to feel alone in their struggle for freedom. In attendance was also Natalie Jatskevich, President of Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) British Columbia Provincial Chapter, who added important words and expressed gratitude to the local Baltic communities for their continued support for Ukraine. Aarne Tork, Vice President of St. Peter’s Estonian Lutheran Church in Vancouver reminded the attendees of the importance of continuing to support the Ukrainian community at local rallies and events.
The evening also included greetings from Central and Eastern European Council in Canada (CEEC) President Marcus Kolga, Estonian Ambassador to Canada Toomas Lukk, Latvian Ambassador to Canada Kaspars Ozolinš & Lithuanian Ambassador to Canada Darius Skusevičius.
Each of the leaders of the respective Baltic communities were presented and gifted with wooden plaques embossed with the Ukrainian Trident (tryzub) by Svitlana on behalf of Maple Hope. The gesture of gratitude was incredibly symbolic and moving and added to the feeling of unity, solidarity and friendship with the Ukrainian community.
The event was sold out in advance, reflecting the Baltic communities’ deep desire to show solidarity with Ukraine and support for the Ukrainian community in Canada, with whom they share a history of defiance in the face of Russian aggression, and outrage for the unprovoked war taking place on the sovereign territory of Ukraine.
The organizers thank all that attended and donated to the event, and to all the volunteers, performers, and speakers for their involvement.
FOTOD - L.Holliday, A. Jaugelis, K. Jaugelis, & R. Ortiz ©2022