Evan Zukiwsky is a Shumka Alumnist, having danced from 1986 to 2001, and was involved in five touring productions. He is a partner in an engineering firm and manages projects valued between $100,000 and $1.5 million, overseeing them from concept to realization. His strength as a manager derives from his ability to build consensus and find common ground, in efforts to achieve goals. As a partner, he seeks and develops opportunities and believes the key to success in any organization are the relationships built and maintained. He is used to working positively with many stakeholders. His last involvement with Shumka was in a major leadership role as the President of the Shumka Foundation between 2008 and 2013, where he helped navigate one of the most divisive eras in Shumka’s history.
In this new era of Shumka board governance, Evan will bring a firm respect and knowledge of our past operations while focusing on the future success of the company.
A perennial asker-of-questions and teller-of-tales, Fawnda Mithrush is the current Executive Director of LitFest: Canada’s only nonfiction festival. She played the role of General Manager for two of Edmonton’s most storied theatre companies (Theatre Network and the outdoor Freewill Shakespeare Festival), and has penned stories and profiles for Avenue Magazine, Vue Weekly, and Edmonton Journal, among others. A former editor for the now defunct SEE Magazine, she still moonlights as a publicist for a variety of arts and non-profit organizations around town. Born and raised in Edmonton, she enjoys being a booster of the city’s writers, dancers, and other artsy folk. She also has a fondness for cheese, travel, and the BBC.
Katelyn Kuchta is in her third year dancing with the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers. She began dancing at the age of three and has trained in various disciplines including R.A.D. and Cecchetti ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and Ukrainian dance. Prior to Shumka, she danced with Viter Ukrainian Dancers and Folk Choir for three years. Shumka is a very unique company that has strengthened her passion for Ukrainian dance and culture. Having been involved with the dancer social committee the past two years, she is very excited for an opportunity to now become involved with, and learn from, the Shumka Board.
Katelyn is currently in her third year of General Sciences at the University of Alberta majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biological Sciences.
She has had the opportunity to hold various executive positions both through school and the Ukrainian community, including a position of president for her high school grad council andf positions with CYMK, including secretary, vice president, and president.
Since retiring from dancing many decades ago, Bill has been involved with Shumka as a Foundation member, a Board member, a donor, a volunteer, and a consistent and reliable supporter. Bill is an Honorary Lifetime Member of Shumka.
Kim is an Optometrist and founding partner of Capital Vision Care along with her husband Peter Laansoo. She practices part time seeing patients. The rest of her time is spent doing administration and directing the clinics. She has been a council member of the Alberta College of Optometrists for seven years and is serving her last year as outgoing Past President. Her role on council included developing Ends and Means for policy governance, protection and advocacy for the public, strategic planning and government relations. She has also served on many committees for both the Morinville and St. Albert Rotary Clubs. Through her involvement with the Rotary, she has been exposed to a variety of fundraising vehicles.
Kim and her husband are very passionate about Optometry and giving back. A lot of their spare time is spent organizing and providing charity eye clinics in developing countries. They have travelled to 9 different countries and have enjoyed the rich cultural experience provided by these trips. They also have a charity eye clinic in downtown Edmonton at the Boyle McCauley Health Centre where they provide care and services to homeless and needy individuals to help them get a leg up.
Kim grew up in the Ukrainian belt in rural Alberta on a farm near Elk Point. She danced with the Elk Point Ukrainian Dance Group until her high school years. She was always excited to watch Shumka Dancers when she was a kid and has enjoyed how the group has evolved. Kim has two children in the Shumka School of Dance ID program. “It has been a fantastic experience and I continue to love watching their development. Thank you for the opportunity to serve Shumka! I look forward to being involved should I be elected.”
After dancing with several Edmonton dance groups throughout his childhood and completing seven seasons with the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company, Nicholas joined Shumka in 2016 to further explore his passion for Ukrainian dance. Nicholas has had the opportunity to travel to Ukraine twice in the past four years to partake in dance workshops from the various regional ensembles, including workshops with Virsky.
When not in the studio, Nicholas loves to spend his time devoted to an active lifestyle. He recently retired from officiating hockey in the Edmonton area, working levels up to Midget AAA and Junior B at the end of his eight year career. In addition, slo-pitch, golf and snowboarding take up Nicholas’ free time throughout the seasons.
Nicholas is currently studying Dentistry (DDS) at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine, following the completion of his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. Nicholas also has work experience as an Engineer Intern within software, beer brewing and pipeline industries. He is excited for Shumka’s future and is motivated to bring a dynamic perspective to the Board of Directors as Shumka delves into new works.
Brenden was born and raised in Prince George, British Columbia, and in 2011 he moved to Edmonton for his chance to dance with the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers. He is currently in his 7th year dancing with the company. He also has been involved with various committees within the company such as the SSD, Social Media, and Artistic (elected in 2016) committees. He also served on Shumka’s last Dancer Executive in the years 2012-2013.
Brenden is a student in the Bachelor of Communication Studies program at MacEwan University, and has aspirations of getting into the Law program at the U of A after attaining his BCS.
During his time with Shumka, Brenden has instructed Ukrainian dance throughout Alberta in the towns of Edmonton, Glendon, Athabasca, and Thorhild. He has traveled to Ukraine 3 times to study choreography and ethnography in efforts to expand his knowledge of Ukrainian dance.
B.E.D UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA 1980 (with distinction)
LLB. UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA 1983 (with distinction)
Admitted to the Bar in the Province of Alberta, 1984
1983-1984 Articled at Reynolds, Mirth & Cote
1984-1988 Associate at Reynolds, Mirth, Richards & Farmer (“RMRF”)
1988 – Present Partner at RMRF
1988-1992; 1997-1999 RMRF Management Committee
2006-2013 RMRF Managing Partner
2006 – Present Financial Team Leader
Practiced throughout career primarily for land developers, construction companies and financial institutions; Member of Edmonton Home Builders Association in the 1980’s; Taught Builder’s Lien Bar Admission Course; Taught Canadian Banker’s Institute Courses in Consumer and Corporate Banking Law; Past Board Member of The Family Centre; Past Board Member of Global Country Canada; Past Parish Council Member of Parish Council of Dormition of the Holy Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Parish; Past Board Member of Viter Ukrainian Dancers and Folk Choir; Current Board Member of Scanmetrics Inc.
Cierra is entering her fourth year as a Shumka dancer. She began dancing at the age of four at the Shumka School of Dance. She has been trained in ballet as well. At the age of thirteen, she auditioned for the Viter Ukrainian Dancers and Folk Choir. She had the opportunity to venture on her first dance tours as they headed to Ukraine and Croatia. After three years in Viter, she auditioned for Shumka.
Shumka has given Cierra the chance to excel as a dancer by challenging her every rehearsal while being able to perform on multiple occasions. Shumka has also allowed her to run for various committees available to the dancers. Committees she has been part of include the Social Media Committee and the Standards Committee. Currently, she is on her second year with Standards. She has gained valuable knowledge and experiences serving on these committees.
Outside of Shumka, Cierra is a second year student at the University of Alberta in the faculty of Business. Also, she is part of a sorority which gives her many opportunities to volunteer throughout the year.
An Honorary Lifetime Member who will bring experience as an administrator for 23 years and teacher for 33 years, Terry has watched generations change in the way they interact and learn, but recognizes that everyone still needs to be valued and appreciated. She will help us develop an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect knowing they are key in any organization for ongoing success.
Lara Onischuk received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alberta in 1995. She graduated with her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Alberta in 1999. After graduation, she worked in private practice, as well as in institutional dental clinics at the Glenrose Hospital and Bowden Penitentiary. She phased out of Institutional dentistry when she and her husband Shane started a family but she maintained her full-time private practice. In 2008, she became an owner of her own practice in Onoway.
Lara currently balances being a student, a full-time practitioner and business owner, a wife, a mother of 4 children, a clinical instructor in Pediatrics at the University of Alberta Faculty of Dentistry and a hobby farmer. She believes that the beauty and lessons in Ukrainian culture need to be promoted and maintained.
Zachary joined Shumka in 2006, making this his tenth year in the company. He auditioned with his sister, Larissa, and they were soon joined by their younger siblings Lida and Oleksa. Their experience in Shumka marked the first time all four siblings could perform and share the dance stage together.
Zachary graduated from the University of Alberta in 2012 with an MSc in particle physics, having previously received a BSc with specialization in astrophysics. Zachary currently works in Edmonton as a software developer for iATS Payments, a Vancouver-based online payment company. He is also a longtime member of the University of Alberta Powerlifting Association and has competed at local meets for the past three years.
Zachary also holds an ardent passion for Ukrainian culture which led him to volunteer as an observer for Ukraine’s early 2014 presidential elections following the country’s Maidan Revolution. He holds an ever-growing love for Ukrainian history, language, poetry, and of course, Ukrainian dance.
Dr. Roman Petryshyn holds a MA in clinical psychology and a PhD in sociology of race and ethnic relations. He was employed in the Ontario Citizenship Branch and after graduating, became a Research Associate at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta. There he researched and innovated projects (e.g. Hromada Housing Coop; Ukrainian Canadian Social Services) and wrote about community development and ethnic identity. Dr. Petryshyn was a long-time activist in the multicultural movement which resulted in his being employed as Northern Director, Cultural Heritage, Alberta Culture for several years. Roman Petryshyn was the founding director of the Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre (URDC) at Grant MacEwan University where he held the Drs. Peter and Doris Kule Chair in Ukrainian Community and International Development until 2015. His research and publications focus on the integration of Ukrainian minorities in Britain and Canada. He wrote Changing Realities: Social Trends Among Ukrainian Canadians and has contributed articles to several published compilations.
During 1991 to 2015 he was actively engaged in structuring and delivering technical assistance projects in Ukraine and Russia through MacEwan University’s Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre (URDC). He was Project Manager for the “Agricultural Curriculum” and the “Agri-Business Learning Materials” projects (1991-95); coordinator of research for the study “Reform of the Novosibirsk Health Care System”; Manager of the “Yamalo-Nanetsk and Tyumen Organizational Readiness” project in 1996-97; and co-director of the “Canadian Business Management Project in Ukraine” (1997-2000) and the “Health Education Learning Project” in Russia (2000-04). During 2008 to 2013 he co-managed the project “Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities in Ukraine”. Currently he is active as an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta studying the Higher Education system in Ukraine, as part of the Research Initiative on Democratic Reforms in Ukraine (RIDRU) project.
Lydia Talpash-Wacko is a Shumka alumnus (1991-96). She started dancing at 4-years-old, studying ballet, jazz, modern, and of course, Ukrainian – joining the Shumka School in its inaugural year. Growing up on stage dancing, in drama productions at school, and in the CYMK choir, Lydia appreciates the preparation and background work involved in a successful artistic endeavour.
Lydia earned a Bachelor of Arts (History) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) at the University of Alberta. She is a management consultant specializing in strategy, change and governance. She’s worked in various industries including IT, agriculture, infrastructure and oil and gas, taking on transformational projects that improve an organization’s performance. Lydia brings her passion for improving organizations and for setting a path to sustainable success to Shumka’s Board.
Lydia is married to Jodie Wacko, with whom she has two children. Both have been dancing for years under the attentive guidance of Shumka alumni, while also playing soccer, hockey, and singing with the Kokopelli Choir Association
Taras Z. Saranchuk
My name is Taras Saranchuk and I was born and raised in Edmonton. I’ve been involved in the Edmonton Ukrainian community over the years, starting with my early education in the Ukrainian bilingual programs at Delwood and Balwin, and Ukrainian dance at various Edmonton and area schools. I then moved on to Ross Sheppard to take part in the International Baccalaureate program, while also joining the Shumka School of Dance at its inception, before successfully joining the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers in 1992. I continued my education at the University of Alberta, where I graduated with three separate degrees, B.Sc., B.A., and a B.Comm. During this time I also took part in the Absolutely Shumka tours of 1995, 1996, and 1997, as well as the first half of the 2000 Cinderella tour. I retired from active dancing after the 2001 World Track and Field Championship performances. While with Shumka, I served on both the Executive Committee and the Foundation, in various roles.
My career path has led me into the field of Business Analysis, and my recent focus has been on process development. My analytical perspective lends itself well to the concept of continual service improvement, the idea that most systems can be improved to provide better results to clients/end-users, while making it more efficient for those providing the service. However, I temper that with the knowledge that without proper buy-in from people and organizations, change for the sake of incremental improvement is not always what is needed. I have worked as an individual contributor, and as the manager of a team of approximately 40 spread across half of Alberta.
Diana is standing for her second term on the Board. As a member of the School Committee she has been a key voice for effective management and instructor evaluation. Diana has worked at the Citadel Theatre for almost 20 years and has run the Foote Theatre School for half that time. During her tenure the school has grown in size: instructors, attendees, and productions, while the quality of instruction has remained high.