Ukrainian cultural centre to hold Easter bazaar


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The Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and Education Centre is preparing for its annual Easter bazaar, which will take place on March 24 and 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the centre.

People are invited to stop by the centre’s market to stock up for its Easter celebration — the most important in the lives of many Ukrainians. There will be candles, vyshyvanka (traditional embroidered shirts), pysanka (painted eggs) and pysanka supplies, and more.

Oseredok executive assistant Svitlana Poliezhaieva, who is from Ukraine, said the products sold are made by Ukrainians, some still in the country, others not.

“Our goal is to support Ukrainian vendors and to support the Ukrainian economy,” she said. “People are wanting to survive, to improve, and they want to continue to live for Ukraine.”

Poliezhaieva said these products — things like Kosiv ceramics, which bubble out or twist and curve in gorgeous shapes crafted with the help of generations of refinement and which are painted in patterns and which are listed among UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage records — they play an even more important role to some of the more than 12,000 Ukrainian refugees newly arrived in Manitoba.

“Having one piece of Kosiv ceramics or whatever, or Ukrainian Easter eggs, they are extremely happy, because it’s like they carry a piece of Ukraine in their hands. That’s heart-touching and we are doing our best,” she said.

Yulia Zmerzla, Oseredok executive director said the centre, which also includes a museum, library and art gallery, has begun to offer English classes to newcomer Ukrainians but can’t keep up with demand.

“We organized a 10-week season … it’s elementary basic language,” said Zmerzla, who is also originally from Ukraine. “But then they are, as soon as they finish the session, asking, ‘Do you have more classes, can we come more?’ We can see the demand will be there for years.”

To try to accommodate the sudden growth, the centre would like to make major renovations to its basement, which will cost about $800,000, according to Zmerzla.

Oseredok would like to turn unfinished rooms into classrooms and an art room.

For the moment, they’re focused on doing what they can.

“Our Easter bazaar is also kind of an important event where we can help people in Ukraine, as well, by doing business with them. Because right now, the economy, it’s not in good shape,” Zmerzla said.

She said that since the Russians first invaded Ukraine, people have been buying from Ukrainian vendors online, showing their support for the beleaguered country.

To shop at the Easter bazaar, visit Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and Education Centre at 184 Alexander Ave. East on March 24 or 25 or shop online at

Cody Sellar

Cody Sellar
Community Journalist

Cody Sellar is the reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review West. He is a lifelong Winnipegger. He is a journalist, writer, sleuth, sloth, reader of books and lover of terse biographies. Email him at or call him at 204-697-7206.

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