On August 24, ILAC hosted an intimate celebration in honour of Ukrainian Independence Day. Ukrainian staff, students, alumni, community members and local business leaders gathered at the home of ILAC CEO, Jonathan Kolber.
“We wanted to recognize the contributions of Ukrainian newcomers to our city,” said Jonathan as he welcomed everyone. “They have been through so much in the past few months and we wanted to let them know they have a home here in Toronto.”
The evening started with the Ukrainian national anthem, followed by emotional speeches by Ukrainian staff and newcomers to Canada, Svitlana Trofymchuk, ILAC International Student Advisor and Nadiia Lagutina, ILAC Recruitment Specialist.
“The experience that my child and I experienced, we will never forget. Staying in the shelter every night where we listened to explosions and could not sleep,” said Nadiia, who recently relocated to Toronto and now works for ILAC.
“Thanks to the support of kind people we were able to leave Kyiv. I am thankful to the government of Canada and the incredible Canadian people we’ve met for the opportunity to be happy, to live and to be safe.”
Since the beginning of the war, ILAC has been actively helping Ukrainian refugees find jobs and integrate into Canadian society by improving their language skills.
“I have two master’s degrees in finance and psychology, and extensive experience as an external senior recruitment manager and internal senior HR manager,” said Nadiia. “I am lucky to be able to put these skills to use at ILAC. Jonathan Kolber touched my heart with his kindness. He gave me an opportunity to succeed…and not just me.”
After the speeches, guests mingled with friends, colleagues and local business leaders and enjoyed traditional Ukrainian music and food. Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians alike showed their support for Ukraine by wearing blue and yellow clothing, lapel flags and bracelets.
To view all the photos from the ILAC Ukraine Independence Day, follow this link.