Independence Day Dedicated to Ukraine


In Toronto this year, the celebration of the restoration of Lithuania’s independence was different. This year, it was dedicated to Ukraine. The Lithuanian House at Bloor and Dundas Street welcomed several hundred Lithuanians to the first public celebration since COVID closed the doors of many community events.

The event, organized by the Lithuanian House, the Lithuanian Canadian Community, the Toronto Lithuanian Canadian Community and the Embassy of Lithuania to Canada, was held to express solidarity with Ukraine, and in support of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters under siege by Russia. Donations were collected for the Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal, established by the Ukrainian Canadian community of Canada.

Participants were welcomed and heard greetings from Lithuanian Ambassador to Canada Darius Skusevičius, the Foreign Affairs Minister’s Parliamentary Secretary Rob Oliphant, MP, President of the Ukrainian Congress in Canada Alexandra Chyczij, UCC Toronto chair Peter Schturyn, President of the Central and Eastern European Community Council Marcus Kolga, President of the Lithuanian Canadian Community Kazimieras Deksnys, President of the Lithuanian Canadian Community of Toronto Darius Sonda, and Director of Toronto Lithuanian House Gintaras Slizauskas.

Photos by Ray Laurinavicius

Upon the initiative of TSO violinist Atis Bankas iniciatyva, a beautiful music program crowned the evening, performed by members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Ambassador Skusevičius thanked everyone for their generosity, MC Stasys Kuliavas and organizers Genovaitė Kobelskis, Virginia Zubrickas and Joana Kuliavas. The event was covered by CBC news at 11 PM on March 11: