In 1991, Ukrainian Canadians marked 100 years of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. At that time, the national Ukrainian Canadian Congress in Winnipeg recognized 100 Ukrainian Canadians who had made an outstanding contribution to the development of Canada. The Saskatchewan Provincial Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress resolved to similarly honour Ukrainians in this province. The Nation Builders Awards, initially titled Community Appreciation Awards, were initiated in 1995 and have been held annually since then.
The UCC-SPC Nation Builders Awards were established as an official recognition event of the UCC-SPC. The object is to recognize individuals:
Each year about 10 individuals are so recognized. Candidates for recognition can be nominated by member organizations of the UCC-SPC as well as by individual members of the Ukrainian-Canadian community. The Recognition Committee reviews the submissions as well as the names of persons held in its database. Each group of honourees is chosen so as to represent a cross-section of the Ukrainian-Canadian community as well as Canadian society. Candidates for recognition must have spent a significant part of their lives in Saskatchewan or have made a significant part of their contribution while in Saskatchewan.
From its inception to the end of 2012, the Nation Builders Awards project has honoured 184 individuals (140 NBA, 44 CRA). Honourees hail from all parts of the province and represent a wide range of activities from the arts, to community advocacy, to community and/or political leadership, to accomplished professionals.
The highlight of the Nation Builders Awards is the luncheon, commencing at noon on the first Sunday in November, at which time the honourees are recognized. The luncheon is a semi-formal event; the venue is decorated accordingly. From 1995-2000 the luncheon was held at the Hotel Bessborough in Saskatoon, in 2001 & 2002 it was held in Regina at the Hotel Saskatchewan, in 2003 & 2004 it was held in Yorkton at St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Parish Cultural Centre, 2005 & 2006 in Saskatoon, 2007 & 2008 in Regina, 2009 & 2010 in Saskatoon, 2011 & 2012 in Yorkton, and in 2013 it will be held in Regina.
During the luncheon the honourees receive a ‘Nation Builders Awards’ trophy. The attendees receive, as a souvenir of the event, a commemorative booklet containing the biographical sketches of the year’s honourees.
In 2005, as part of UCC-SPC’s Saskatchewan Centenary celebration, the prestigious Nation Builders recognition program was enhanced by the establishment of a second award -- the Community Recognition Award. The Community Recognition Award joins the Nation Builders Award as an annual presentation. Community Recognition Awards will be bestowed upon persons who have made meritorious contributions to the Ukrainian community and/or Saskatchewan-Canada in one or more of these areas:
The Recognition Committee consists of a chairperson and up to four additional members appointed by the UCC-SPC Board for a term of three years. Mary Cherneskey (Saskatoon) was the first chairperson, heading the committee for two terms (1995-97 and 1998-2000) and Dr. Tony Harras (Regina) followed as chair for three terms from 2001-2008. Eugene Krenosky (Regina) was chair from 2009-2010. John Rozdilsky (Saskatoon) was chair from 2011-2012 (committee member from 2005-2012). Jayne Paluck (Regina) is the current chair; John Denysek (Yorkton), Andrea Kopylech (Saskatoon), Pat Marchinko (Canora), Jan Olesko (Prince Albert), Steve Pillipow (Regina) and Rev. Patrick Powalinsky (Wakaw-Meldort-Nipawin) are the other current members. Previous committee members include: Vera Labach (1995-2000), Alex Balych (1996-2005), Pearl Balych (2000-2003), Angeline Chrusch (2002-2004), Judge Andrew Kindred (1994), Marie Kishchuk (2007-2010), Ollie Marciniuk (2009-2010), Merle Maximiuk (2004-2007), Paul Ortynsky (2001-2006), Christine Devrome (2011-2012), Stephen Stenyk (2006-2012) and MaryAnn Trischuk (2009-2012).
To nominate a candidate, contact the UCC-SPC. Or, view and print the Nomination Form & Guidelines.