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UCCLF to unveil WWI internment operations panel in Toronto

Media Advisory for immediate release (Toronto, ON, and Calgary, AB, November 16, 2022)

The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation (UCCLF) will officially unveil an educational and commemorative plaque marking Canada’s First World War internment operations on Bloor Street West in Toronto, this Saturday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. ET.

In 24 camps across Canada, more than 8,000 men, women, and children, primarily Ukrainians invited by the Dominion government to settle in Canada, were unjustly interned as enemy aliens from 1914-1920 under the War Measures Act, their possessions taken, and not all returned.

Around 80,000 others were forced to register semi-regularly with authorities. They suffered not because of anything they had done, but because of where they had come from. Many remained “in fear of the barbed wire fence” long after their release. The affected communities included Ukrainians, Austrians, Bulgarians, Croatians, Czechs, Germans, Hungarians, Italians, Jews, Poles, Romanians, Serbians, Slovaks, Slovenes and others, of which most were civilians.

The event will take place Saturday, November 19 at 3 p.m. (Eastern Time) at 2397 Bloor St. W. (Ukrainian Credit Union), in Toronto.

All media, as well anyone interested in the topic, is invited to attend the free event.

Confirmed speakers include:

Borys Sydoruk, Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation Ihor Bardyn, Ukrainian National Federation Taras Pidzamecky Ukrainian Credit Union Maxim Bozhilov, Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund Angela MacDonald, Bloor West Village Business Improvement Area Arif Virani, MP, Parkdale High Park (pending)

UCCLF worked collaboratively with the Ukrainian Credit Union Ltd. and the Ukrainian National Federation, with the support of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund and UCCLF supporters, to create the panel, which features photographs and information about the dark episode in Canadian history. It will be affixed permanently to the credit union, facing Bloor – the location of one of Canada’s largest annual Ukrainian events, the Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival.

For further information, please e-mail or call UCCLF’s Borys Sydoruk at 403.903.5013.

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