Archive for February, 2012

Weekend Watching: Taras Shevchenko mentioned on ‘House’ (Video)

February 23rd, 2012 3 comments

As I wrote about on Facebook Monday, I noticed a Shevchenko painting on the preview for that night’s ‘House’ episode, where his Ukrainian “wife” was returning to get her green card to stay in the country. While I cringed at the thought of a stereotypical mail-order bride type plot, I was happily surprised by the outcome including this tidbit:

House even said ‘Ukraine’ without the ‘the’, but pronounced the capital Kiev. Oh well, still pretty good though!

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Klitschko cruises after Chisora spits dummy: Unsavoury antics by challenger fail to hinder superiority of world champion [Article]

February 18th, 2012 1 comment

No surprise here, as Vitali Klitschko defeated Chisora, sweet revenge from being spit in the face a night before – but disappointingly it wasn’t by KO:

After the slap, we expected the slaughter. But it didn’t quite turn out that way, even though Dereck Chisora was predictably beaten by the Ukrainian giant Vitali Klitschko in Munich last night.

The 40-year-old champion held on to his World Boxing Council title with a unanimous points decision, Chisora becoming only the fourth man to take him the distance in 46 fights. It was a clear-cut victory by 118-110, 118-110 and 119-111 on the cards of the judges but at least Del Boy proved he was no pugilistic plonker. He gave it a go but ultimately lacked the class and clout of Klitschko.

It was the gutsy performance of a warrior who at least in some way redeemed himself for the ridiculous scenes which had preceded the bout. Chisora had warned Klitschko he would be wild and unpredictable and at times he was. He was certainly fit and fast, and possibly gave Klitschko his most arduous night since Lennox Lewis nine years ago.

Although no blood was spilled during the contest there was plenty of bad blood beforehand and this continued right up to the bell and even after it. Yet the wide points
The World heavyweight championship has become something of a family fiefdom with brother Wladimir holding four other titles, which he defends against Jean-Marc Mormeck in Düsseldorf on 3 March.margin, a difference of eight rounds according to the three judges, indicated Klitschko’s superiority, if at times he began to look his 40 years.

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Chisora slaps Vitali Klitschko at weigh-in for Saturday’s world title fight [Article]

February 17th, 2012 1 comment

Saturday’s boxing bout on Saturday just got more interesting:

Dereck Chisora ignited his weigh-in with the WBC heavyweight world champion Vitali Klitschko by slapping the title holder’s face hard during their staredown. Klitschko was visibly infuriated as the pair were pulled apart. Earlier, Chisora had vowed to “shock the world” by snatching the WBC title in Munich. The 28-year-old Londoner challenges Klitschko in Germany this weekend despite two high-profile losses in his past three fights.


Chisora has already seen two clashes with Klitschko’s brother Wladimir scuppered by the Ukrainian’s injury withdrawals. He was scheduled to fight the 35-year-old for the IBF and WBO belts in December 2010 before a stomach injury forced the champion to pull out. The rescheduled bout in April last year also fell through, with Klitschko blaming a problematic rehabilitation.


Wladimir went on to beat David Haye instead, as Chisora remained at domestic level and lost his British and Commonwealth titles to Tyson Fury. Although he went some way to redeeming himself with a career-best performance against the Finnish boxer Robert Helenius before Christmas, a controversial split decision ultimately saw him suffer a second career defeat. The Zimbabwe-born Briton therefore takes on long-reigning heavyweight king Klitschko as a huge outsider, with some bookmakers pricing him as generously as 10-1 to dethrone the champion in his adopted homeland.

What probably infuriates Chisora is that Klitschko seems more concerned about trying to schedule a fight with the elusive David Haye:

When not pretending to be worried about Chisora or any of the other anonymous pretenders queueing up for a shot at his title, Klitschko needs little encouragement to talk about the once-loud, now missing-in-celebland Hayemaker, who surrendered his WBA quarter of the world title to Vitali’s baby brother, Wladimir, in Hamburg last July.

“David Haye is so unpredictable,” Klitschko says. “We tried to make a deal and I hope the fight comes through, but right now we are miles apart from making the contract. I hope that after Dereck Chisora, David Haye changes his mind and I can give him a chance to fight for a world title.”

While the aspiring politician is no one-dimensional stumble-bum pug, Klitschko struggles to understand how a ticket-selling antagonist nine years his junior could walk away from such a compelling life. The inference he draws is that Haye is not suited to the calling – an attitude Wladimir entertained in his early, fragile days in the business.

“Every fighter has a dream to fight for the world title,” Vitaly says. “Every time, I say to David Haye: ‘Please fight me. Please fight for the world title, it’s the most prestigious title in the world.’ If he doesn’t want to do that, OK, [but] he always tries to find excuses why fights do not happen.”

I’m not exactly sure if this fight will air on PPV. In the States it will air on the new movie channel Epix and on I haven’t seen it listed on any our PPV channels. If you have more info, please drop me a line.

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CBC’s getting a little Ukrainian!

February 13th, 2012 4 comments

The good old CBC, our national public broadcaster. While it’s under constant attack from the right (for the benefit of its rival Quebecor and Sun News over French-language markets and beyond), it’s one of our only real Canadian culture outlets (when was the last time the private TV networks like Global or CTV aired a Canadian show in prime time?). In parliament and editorials on TV and radio, all you hear about the CBC is what a drain of tax payers money it is and the scary ‘1 Billion dollars’ it commands. But in reality that investment almost quadruples what it puts back into our economy and only costs Canadians $34 a year – a fraction of what other public broadcasters such as in Britain or Australia cost. Luckily the majority of Canadians favour the CBC, and it has been charging ahead into the digital realm even in the face of drastic budget cutbacks from the Harper government.

Today CBC launched its new free digital music service that allows users to listen, share and purchase Canadian music. Browsing through, I was happy to see artists from its youth/alternative online station Radio 3 – which includes up and coming Ukrainian bands sicj as Ukrainia, Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Klooch and Zirka. And for all the readers of my site, I’ve compiled a list of their songs on one convenient playlist! I hope you enjoy it ;)

For those with the specialty TV channel CBC Bold, it has picked up a show that ran multiple years on the Natives’  APTN network called ‘Mixed Blessings‘. It’s about a Ukrainian man marrying a Cree woman and having their families live under the same roof a-la the Brady Bunch but in Fort Mac, Alberta. The show airs a few times a day except for Tuesdays and Friday.

If you get a chance, do give these a try and let me know what you think about them in the comments :)

Edit: Since I’m posting about the CBC, perhaps you would like to know if any of the staff are Ukrainian… well some are!

The above picture of the varenyky done up as the CBC logo is courtesy of radio host and producer David Shumka.

If you ever watched the show Being Erica that wrapped up this winter, you’d be happy to know the lovely star Erica Karpluk is of Ukrainian descent. The show, while not currently airing on TV right now can be seen on its CBC page as well as on NetFlix (which is an awesome service that you should definitely try!).

And if you’re into cooking, the host of Best Recipes Ever, Kelly Osmond is also of Ukrainian descent. Her parents owned a Ukrainian deli and catering business in Mississauga

Categories: canada, radio, tv Tags:

Stolen Taras Shevchenko statue returned after 10 years [Article]

February 9th, 2012 2 comments

A modern day miracle happened this week as the Taras Shevchenko bronze statue that was stolen 10 years ago in Oakville has been successfully recovered:

A police investigation led nowhere and a $10,000 no-questions-asked reward went unclaimed.

As the years passed, the statue’s owners — the few volunteers who run the Taras H. Shevchenko Museum and Memorial Park Foundation on Bloor St. W. — had lost hope of ever again seeing the statue, worth an estimated $25,000.

But a remarkable coincidence, 10 years after the fact, has led to an unlikely reunion.

In November, the foundation received an email from a Hamilton antique dealer inquiring as to their interest in a statue he was trying to sell.

They opened the attached picture and there he was: Shevchenko, seated and scowling, as he had in Oakville’s Palermo Park for more than 50 years.

Three of the foundation’s staff excitedly drove to Hamilton to meet the dealer, Dan Rotko, and to see the statue with their own eyes.

“After 10 years, I couldn’t believe it!” recalls Bill Harasym, the foundation’s 87-year-old vice-president. “You could knock us over with a pin. . . . . It was like meeting an old friend again.”

Harasym and the other staff did not immediately reveal to Rotko they were the rightful owners — trying to learn more about how he had obtained the statue.

Rotko bought it a year earlier from a collector, who had picked it up at a flea market around the time it was stolen. Neither Rotko nor the other collector had any idea of its ill-gotten past.
RHarasym handed Rotko a cheque for $2,500, and explained to him how the statue was stolen.

otko couldn’t believe it. He refused the foundation’s money and said he is keeping the cheque as “a memento” of the fateful encounter.

“It was meant to be,” said Rotko, who is Ukrainian himself. “Call it fate or whatever . . . it’s a great coincidence that I get it and send them an email of the item that was stolen.”

Rotko stumbled upon the foundation’s website as he searched online for prospective buyers in the area.

When he described the story to his mother, Rotko said she told him she used to take him to the park to see the statue when he was a child. “She told me, ‘Don’t you dare cash that cheque!’ ”

The statue was a gift from the sculptor, Ivan Honchar, to Ukrainian-Canadians in 1951 to mark the 60th anniversary of the first wave of Ukrainian immigration to Canada.

It was only the first Shevchenko statue to be stolen from the foundation. A second, much larger statue was stolen from the same park in 2006. Two men were charged with theft, and the head of the statue was recovered (it’s currently on display in the Shevchenko museum). The bulk of the statue is believed to have been melted down or broken up and sold for its copper.

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The statue will be re-presented to the public at the Shevchenko museum (1614 Bloor St. W.) on March 9th (Shevchenko’s birth)

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