2020 Annual Report

As a result of Covid-19 restrictions introduced shortly before the end of the first quarter of 2020, our Branch was unable to undertake many of its planned activities. One of these was the 38th Annual Poetry Recital Competition which, as in previous years, was to have taken place in April.

In early March, our members held a gathering on occasion of International Women’s Day. In August, we met again for a second and last time in the 2020 year on the grounds of the Billings Estate Museum. Nevertheless, we continued to remain in frequent e-mail and telephone contact throughout the rest of the year.

On May 12, we attended a funeral service on Zoom to bid good-bye to Maria Borys who passed away after a severe illness. Maria was a wonderful friend and our Branch Vice-President. She was also a gifted writer of Spanish poetry. To honor her, we arranged for a number of her poems to be translated into Polish and English.

We also participated in the General Meeting of the Ottawa Council of Women. Our Branch President Ewa Zadarnowska, is the Convener for cultural affairs in the Council.

We participated via zoom in seminars held every two weeks by Ottawa’s Social Planning Council on a variety of subjects relating to seniors.

Other activities in which we participated and donations dispensed during the year were as follows:

We wish all of our Members and their families a peaceful and healthy Christmas and a Happy New Year. May 2021 bring only good news, a way out of the pandemic paralyzing our lives and activities, and allow us to return to full activity. May 2021 bring successful work for the Polish communities, Poland and Canada.

fpk fpk

President - Ewa Zadarnowska

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2019 Annual Report

This year we celebrated the 55th anniversary of our Ottawa Branch with several activities for the public:

Branch members celebrated our 55th anniversary with a dinner a special lunch in the restaurant and few month later, with their spouses, in the private home of our own Evelina.

We work with the Social Planning Council of Ottawa. We take part in their events and conferences. This year our more important achievements include participation in the Walk-a-thon and translation into Polish the leaflets with a set of various tips and recommendations important for seniors.

We continue assisting with transportation to the appointments and we visit our members in hospitals and our seniors in senior's residences.

We help financially by donating for various purposes. Some of them are yearly donations, while the others are occasional grants when someone makes a special request. This year we supported:

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2020!

President - Ewa Zadarnowska

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2018 Annual Report

The 54th year of the activities of our branch is coming to an end. During this year, we organized both big and small events and celebrations.

The big ones included the 36th Children Poetry Reciting Contest, celebrattion of the 100th anniversary of the Independence of Poland, the exhibition "Polish Spirit", and the Literary Cafe „Faces of Polish Women” with the lecture by Prof. Evelina Banka from Poland.

The smaller ones consisted of meetings with artists - painters, a film screening for Polonia and other ethnic groups. Detailed information on the above-mentioned events can be found on our website www.federacjapolek.ca/ottawa under the "sprawozdania" tag (in Polish).

In cooperation with the Social Planning Council in Ottawa (SPCO), we held meetings with various ethnic groups, participated in their events and invited them to ours. We took part in the walkathon, organized for the first time by SPCO. We raised $ 640, to which we added $ 360 and donated $ 1,000 to the Department of Polish Language at the University of Ottawa.

We worked with the Canadian Polish Congress and the Association of Polish Combatants in Ottawa. We supported Paderewski’s Choir, the Dance Group Polanie and the Polish Library in Montreal, all of which we subsidized this year.

We assisted seniors, especially lonely ones, by maintaining regular telephone contacts with them. We visited patients in hospitals and, if the need arose, provided transportation to doctors. And, foremost we are fostering friendly relations among the members of our branch.

Ending this busy year, we wish all members of all branches of the Polish Women’s Federation in Canada and their families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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2017 Annual Report

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2016 Annual Report

Our efforts this year have focused on outreach and personal contact across generations and cultures.

In Spring we organized the XXXIVth edition of the Poetry Recitation Contest for children and youth. We had 28 contestants from Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto divided in three age groups. Winners received medals, diplomas and monetary awards. All participants received participation diplomas and sweets. The guests appreciated the high quality of the contest, and we are now preparing for the XXXV Jubilee contest which coincides with Canada’s Sesquicentennial.

For the older generation we prepared two Literary Cafes: one in Spring and one in the Fall. In April our guest was Dr Wojciech Kruszewski, lecturer of the Humanities Department of the Catholic University in Lublin, Poland, and guest lecturer for the 2015/2016 academic year at the Department of Slavic Studies of the University of Ottawa.

Prof. Kruszewski gave us a wonderful overview of the current literary landscape in Poland. His passionate discussion was insightful and full of good humour. An animated question and answer period followed. Everyone found something of interest and a reading suggestion for the near future.

Our Fall Literary Cafe welcomed Liliana Arkuszewska, an Ottawa resident who wrote a memoir detailing her adventures and experiences that led to immigrating to Canada. The title of her book „Was it worth it?” – suggests a story of risk-takers and ground-breakers who dared part towards the unknown in search of a better life. Did they find what they were looking for? The author recounts her everyday struggle to succeed in a new world, the joys and trials, the fulfilled dreams and disappointments. Liliana was joined for this talk by her daughter, husband, sister and brother-in-law who are prominent characters of her story. This was her first talk in Ottawa, after presentations in Poland and USA. Participants greatly enjoyed the story that in many ways reflects their own immigrantion experience.

Guests at both events praised the choice of topics as well as the overall organization of the afternoons with delicious homemade treats and a warm decor carefully prepared by our volunteers.

We thank the Polish Combatant’s Association for allowing us to use their Hall for these events as well for helping us make them a success.

The topic of immigration is of interest to many ethnic groups. Ewa Zadarnowska was a guest of the Chinese seniors group where she shared her own road to life in Canada.

Our activities also include participating and collaborating with other organizations, as well as charitable giving. Highlights include:

Finally, our Branch was well represented during the 60th Anniversary Banquet of the Polish Canadian Women’s Federation held in Toronto in September. We enjoyed the results of the hard-working dedication of the organizing committee: Katarzyna Grandwilewska, Anna Wołochacz, Irena Kremblewska, Alicja Kotynia and Iwona Bogorya-Buczkowski (coordinator). Mrs Magda Szewczyk was Master of Ceremony. We extend our thanks for a moving and beautiful celebration!

More information and pictures of our activities can be found at www.federacjapolek.ca/Ottawa.

Christmas Holidays are coming...

The magic of Christmas is a child’s belief in Santa Claus, a quiet conversation by the fireplace, a lazy telephone, a sleepy alarm clock and a light sprinkle of snow that brightens everything. We wish our Ladies and their Families a Magic Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

Translated by Maria Borys

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2015 Annual Report

This year we continued supporting significant initiatives in our Polish-Canadian community. We joined the efforts led by the Polish Canadian Congress to prevent the closure of the Polish Studies Program at the University of Ottawa. Charitable causes we aided include the Polish Scouts, Council of Women initiatives and the rebuilding of destroyed Polish church in Sydney N.S.

In April we held our popular XXXIII Recitation Contest where children and youth delighted the audience with their knowledge of Polish language poetry; and received awards in the form of medals, wonderful books and sweets to encourage their efforts.

In May we remembered our past member Wanda Zatlokal-Garlicka†(1924-2014) on the first anniversary of her death. Her legacy is being honoured with a scholarship in her name awarded to a student from Hamilton.

In the Fall we were busy with our annual book sale fundraiser and our president's participation in the Federation's AGM. Our work with the Ethno-cultural Coalition included preparing the Second International Brunch in Ottawa. It was a very successful afternoon with tasty food and beautiful dances by Polish, Bulgarian and Bosnian groups, serenaded by a lively Serbian band (see below in 2014 - 2015).

Six of our members received the Ontario Volunteer Award: Jadwiga Święcicka, Renia Miszkiel, Czesława Kwiatkowska, Marzena Kuźma, Grażyna von Finckenstein and Maria Borys.

We celebrated the 50th Anniversary of our Ottawa Branch Number 8 with an outing and a Brunch in a Gatineau Hills restaurant. As predicted by Sir L. H. Lafontaine, we continue to seek “the happiness and prosperity of Canada and endeavour to transmit it to our descendants in this young and hospitable country”.

Our Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016.

Maria Borys

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2014 Annual Report

This year we continued supporting significant initiatives in our Polish-Canadian community: Young Talents Contest in Toronto, Polish Heritage Day at the ROM, and Support to the Polish Studies Program at the University of Ottawa led by the Polish Canadian Congress to prevent the closure of the program. Charitable causes we supported include the Polish Scouts, Council of Women initiatives and the annual action by Sister Daniela to help women in the Ukraine.

Our cultural activities this year included in January the exhibition of 15 Polish Spirit panels dedicated to Polish-Canadians who had a special presence in Ottawa. The closing of the exhibit at the Bytowne Museum was celebrated with a well-attended Polish Evening.

In April we held our XXXII Recitation Contest where children and youth delighted the numerous audience with their knowledge of Polish language poetry; and received awards in the form of medals, wonderful books and sweets to encourage their efforts.

In May we received the sad news of the passing of our long-time distinguished member Wanda Garlicka (†5.05.2014) Wanda was president of our Branch in 1970-1971; she was an active member of several polish-canadian organizations in Ottawa. She will be remembered and her legacy is being honoured with her generous donation towards the Jadwiga Dobrucka Youth Fund.

In June we participated in the unveiling of a memorial plaque at the Beechwood Cementery, honouring Dr Jerzy Dobrowolski.

In the Fall we were busy with our annual booksale fundraiser and our president's participation in the Polish Canadian Congress AGM. We also received the approval of our Articles of Continuance from Industry Canada, thus complying with the transition to the new Not-For Profit Act requirements to continue our activities as a not-for profit, non-soliciting canadian corporation.

This year three of our long-time members received the Ontario Volunteer Award:for 50 years of volunteering work: Wera Ramik, Ewa Konopacka and Renia Forester.

This year also marks the 50 Anniversary of our Ottawa Branch Number 8. We will let you know next year how we celebrated this special date.

Our Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2015.

Maria Borys

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2014 - 2015

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2013 Annual Report

We finished last year 2012 with the third annual Christmas Tree Decoration at the Museum of Civilization, a great opportunity to showcase the Polish traditional decorations in Canada’s capital. Christmas Tree

Our Branch is a member of the Ottawa chapter of the National Council of Women. Our president Ewa Zadarnowska was elected Convenor of Cultural Affairs.

We are members of the Ethno-cultural Coalition and actively support their activities, among others fundraiser the November 2013 International Brunch, which included a Silent Auction as well as traditional food. See Pictures here.

In December 2012 our member Anna Binkowska participated in the "Respect for Caregivers and Unpaid Work Roundtable" chaired by the Liberal Health Critic Hon. Dr Hedy Fry PC MP (Vancouver Centre), the discussion is part of a series organized by the National Liberal Women Caucus.

In March 2013 our Branch helped with preparations and promotion of the Polish Tourist Organization and the Ministry of the Economy stand at the Travel and Vacation Show in Ottawa's Convention Centre. Picture.

In April we organized the XXXI Annual Reciting Competition for children and youth. All the participants receive diplomas, medals, books and cash prizes.
Here are results of the 31st Annual Recital Competition - Results and Pictures

In May many of us joined the Ottawa Marathon, walking the 5km race and have the medals to prove it!

We also continued our traditional start and end of summer activities in June and September, namely the BBQ at Barbara Wozniak for our Annual General Meeting and the SPA weekend in the Ontario Kashuby region which includes an overnight stay at the Polish scout’s quarters, lots of hiking and sightseeing and good food. (Pictures 1), (pictures 2), (pictures 3).

Our president Ewa Zadarnowska represented us in farewell to the Military Attaché Michal Peksa and his wife Dorota, as well as to the Ambassador Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz and his wife Mrs Katarzyna, who finished their respective diplomatic missions in Canada. Picture 1, picture 2, picture 3.

Black Ribbon Day and a meeting with Mrs Jadwiga Wisniewska were other highlights of the summer activities.

In September we organized the “Gone with the Wind” concert, a wonderful event with the audience singing along the good old tunes. Pictures

In November there were three events:

Our Branch decided to allocate funds to two charitable causes this year: providing help to the hurricane victims in the Philippines and the building improvements fund of the Polish Parish in Ottawa.

Finally we would like to boast of the awards received by several of our members this year: Ewa Zadarnowska – Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (picture), Wanda Garlicka – Volunteer Service Award for 50 years of volunteering; Barbara Owczarek, Elzbieta Gamrat and Malgorzata Boczkowska (nominated by the Polish Teacher’s Union in Canada) who all received Volunteer Service Awards. Malgorzata Boczkowska – Golden Combatants Cross awarded by the Polish Combatants Association in Canada for her work as teacher and director of the Polish School “Wiktor Podolski” in Ottawa.

In light of the upcoming holiday season

We wish all of you a Peaceful, Healthy and Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New 2014 Year!

This report was prepared by Malgorzata Boczkowska and Maria Borys.

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2002 - 2008

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2002 and earlier

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Certificates and letters of Appreciation:

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List of University of Ottawa students receiving scholarships from Polish Canadian Women's Federation, Branch #8, Ottawa since 1981.