The Park Theatre hosted “Evening for Peace: Ukrainian humanitarian benefit concert” on Thursday, March 18. Local artists performed a collection of music and poetry and raised a total of six thousand dollars. 

Andriy Michalchyshyn, member of Zrada, a local band that writes and performs in Ukrainian, said the band debated whether performing at this time was appropriate.

Michalchyshyn said it was hard for them to imagine being on stage when people were in bomb shelters, but they decided it was the right thing to do.

“Performing is an act of defiance. It’s cathartic, not only for the performers but also for the audience,” said Michalchyshyn. 

The evening acted as support for people in Ukraine and for the artists and audience. 

“There were so many people choked up but also smiling and just sort of wiping tears away,” said Michalchyshyn.  

The event was not a protest, nor was it political—it was a diverse gathering that allowed different cultures to connect, said Michalchyshyn. 

“We just wanted something more human, you know? Celebrating all the things that have been lost,” Michalchyshyn said. “And so we wanted to do something super inclusive, not political, no political speeches, and it ended up coming together really well.” 

The Park Theatre streamed the event on Facebook Live and is available to watch on The Park Theatre’s Facebook page. 

Ukraine, Canada, and Manitoba flags raised outside Red River College Polytechnic’s Notre Dame Campus on March 29./KATE DOER

Other communities throughout Winnipeg continue to show their support for Ukraine.

When news broke out about the conflict in Ukraine, local glass worker Anita Peter said she had the idea to make a suncatcher. 

Peter has worked with glass for over 30 years, crafting stained and fused glass artwork.

When Peter’s husband went to go visit their Ukrainian friends one Friday, Peter said she sent a suncatcher with him. The suncatcher was a peace symbol with blue and yellow glass and beads on top.

Peter said because the art was so well received, she began crafting suncatchers for more Ukrainian friends. 

As the requests began to increase, Peter decided to organize a ten-day fundraiser. Peter said she sold a total of seventy-seven suncatchers in ten days and raised $1,750. 

Each suncatcher is hand crafted by Peter. They have hues of blue and yellow and different coloured glass beads to represent the individuality of each person.

“Because they’re not just numbers. They’re all individual people,” said Peter. 

Recently, Red River College Polytechnic raised the Ukrainian flag on the Notre Dame Campus to show the College’s support and solidarity.