Holodomor Monument Commemorating The 50th Anniversary

One of the most heinous crimes in recent history is the Ukrainian famine and genocide, the result of a systematic totalitarian political scheme for killing millions of Ukrainians and even Ukrainian Mennonites in the early 1930s by starving an area once known as Europe’s breadbasket.

The monument has an inscription in English, French, and Ukrainian which reminds us that we must be careful to see that these tragedies will not happen again and that these horrors should never be forgotten again.

This monumental achievement was spearheaded by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Manitoba Provincial Council but at that time it was the Ukrainian Canadian Committee-Winnipeg Branch. A Holodomor Committee was formed in the fall of 1982.

The Holodomor Committee agreed to search out a site for the monument ‘s location and unveiling. Following several months of discussions and consultation with the Provincial and Municipal government, a decision was taken to hold the City Hall commemoration. The late Mayor Bill Norrie and Winnipeg City Councillors accepted the proposal in May 1983 and named the frot grounds for erecting the Holodomor monument.

The monument ‘s architectural drawing and design were given to Roman Kowal, a well-known Canadian sculptor of Ukrainian descent with the aid of his family; construction began immediately on the prestigious statue.

The Holodomor Committee had prepared and developed a Holod Fund to get any project off the ground. Its mission was to fund the monument ‘s expenses, provide educational and research resources, publicize the initiative, provide teaching materials for schools to educate students about the Holodomor, commemorative activities, and the concept of making a documentary film entitled “Harvest of Despair,” which was commonly used in the Canadian education system. Hence this Holod Fund was explicitly developed to build “awareness” and to implant a memorial acknowledgment of the tragedy that happened in Ukraine in 1932.

The unveiling of the monument took place on Sunday, June 24th, 1984 in front of City Hall. The attendance was overwhelming during the unveiling and dedication of the Holodomor monument commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Famine-Genocide in Ukraine.