The Formation of CYC was preceded by numerous activities of Ukrainian intellectuals in Canada. These 'narodowtsi', as they were commonly referred to, recognized the needs of the fledgling Ukrainian community in Canada. They were instrumental in organizing associations and institutions to address these needs. Some important products of this process were the Ruthenian (Ukrainian) Teachers' Association (1906) and the Ukrainian Voice newspaper (1910).
A critical endeavor was the formation of the Peter Mohyla Ukrainian Institute in Saskatoon in 1916. Important also was the maintenance of the institute as a non-sectarian residence. This caused strained relations with the Ukrainian Catholic Church who wanted the institute to serve catholic students only.
The desire among a growing number of faithful, to have Ukrainian priests, to have local lay control of church property, and to be served by married clergy, lead to the founding of the Ukrainian Orthodox Brotherhood and the subsequent founding of the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox (UGO) Church of Canada in 1918. Both Mohyla Institute and the Brotherhood were founded by the same 'narodowtsi' under the leadership of individuals like Vasyl' Kudryk and Michael Stechishin. To offset the potential abuses by clergy, as was perceived to be occurring in the UG Catholic Church, the Church governance of the UG Orthodox Church was structured to call for equal numbers of clergy and laity in the administrative body, the Consistory. Bishops would be elected by the Church membership, rather than appointed by the hierarchy, as was usual Church practice.
The 'narodowtsi' and the P. Mohyla Institute held annual conventions at the Institute through the 1920's, usually in December. The Institute was a shareholder corporation, religiously unaffiliated. In 1919, The M. Hrushevsky Institute (later St. John's), was founded by the 'narodowtsi' based on the Mohyla Institute model.
Out of the Mohyla Institute came the founding of the women's society "Mohylianky" in 1923. In the same year, the O. Kobylianska Women's Association was formed in Saskatoon. It became the first Branch of what became the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada in 1926. An instrumental leader in the women's movement was Savella Stechishin.
In 1927 the 'narodowtsi', founded CYC or the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League. A major original goal of CYC was to assist Ukrainians in Ukraine.
CYMK was formed in 1931. CYMK and the UWAC grew in many communities because branches were formed as a result of their organizational efforts. CYC assisted in these efforts. It was a nationalistic movement and recruited members without regard to religious affiliation. P. Mohyla Institute also recruited and trained its student residents in a non-sectarian manner.
These organizations grew in parallel to the UGO Church whose first three priests received a portion of their training at a seminary at the P. Mohyla Institute. These three priests, Sawchuk, Stratychuk and Sametz were each assigned one of the prairie provinces in which to do their missionary work.
In the 1930's the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church began to organize its own organizations in response to the CYC movement. As a result, those of the Catholic faith tended to gravitate toward the Catholic organizations and members of CYC tended to be affiliated with the Orthodox Church. As the Orthodox Church grew, many of its priests actively supported the growth of CYC and its organizations.
In 1936, the Ukrainian Arts & Crafts Museum (later the Ukrainian Museum of Canada) was formed by the UWAC. A year later, TYC (Tovarystvo Ukraintsiw Somostijnykiw / Ukrainian for the Ukrainian Self-Reliance Association) came into being and CYC became the umbrella organization. The focus of CYC turned from Ukraine to Ukrainian cultural life in Canada. The CYC family continued to grow with the establishment of Museum Branches in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto, as well as a collection in Calgary. St. Vladimir's Institute was founded in Toronto in 1965, the same year as the SUS Foundation. The Foundation funds projects conducted by CYC organizations.
CYMK was declared the only youth group recognized by the UGO Church of Canada at its Sobor in 1970 and added "Ukrainian Orthodox Youth" to its official name in the 1980's. The St. John's Fraternal Society joined CYC in the 1970's. CYC flourished in the period 1969 to 1973. It had an office with paid staff. Youth organizers were employed during the summer to help CYMK in membership drives. Three hundred and fifty young people attended the CYMK national convention in 1971. At the end of this period (1973) CYC was debt free.
Although the CYC component organizations openly supported the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, they remained independent of it. This has caused strained relations, between CYC and some clergy, over the years. This has occurred when influential CYC members, who were poor (less than pious) church members, exerted considerable influence over the affairs of local church parishes and in the Consistory itself. There were times when the relationship between the leadership of CYC and the leadership of the Church was cool. During these times minimal numbers of clergy and the hierarchy belonged to CYC component organizations. Very few attended CYC conventions. The UWAC moved closer to the Church when it made Ukrainian Orthodox Church membership mandatory for membership in the UWAC. Church membership is not a requirement for membership in TYC and CYMK.
At the same time local branches of the CYC component organizations, in particular the UWAC, poured hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars into the operation of local church congregations. This diminished the impact and effectiveness of other developmental cultural work.
The official name of the UGO Church became the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (UOCC) by Act of Parliament on May 10, 1990.
A significant improvement in the relationship between CYC and the Church occurred in the late 1980's and in the 1990's when the Metropolitan of the Church was named patron of CYC and the hierarchy and priests began attending the biennial CYC conventions in greater numbers. Strained relations, in a diminished degree, continue as CYC maintains its, now somewhat blurred, independence of the Church. Both CYC and the UOCC have been experiencing a decline in membership over the past two decades.
(Time did not allow for exhaustive research of facts. If errors exist, reference to authoritative sources will make corrections possible.)
The Role of CYC is one of coordination and bridge building. It can only achieve its vision through the work of its component organizations. As a facilitator, it assists its component organizations in their endeavors to implement the objectives. This assistance is in the form of leadership expertise and its ability to exert influence both of which are constrained by its human and economic resources. Its challenge is to integrate the activities of its component organizations so that they are channeled toward achieving the mission and subsequently its vision. This is a challenge because the diversity of the component organizations tends to introduce fragmentation into the CYC organization.
CYC is a vibrant and sustainable organization within a unified Ukrainian Orthodox community in Canada, that is a strong promoter of Ukrainian Canadian culture and which preserves and enriches the Ukrainian Canadian culture.
M1. Preserve the Ukrainian Canadian heritage and advance the Ukrainian Canadian culture.
M2. Create an environment that will foster the development of leaders within the Ukrainian Canadian community and the greater Canadian community.
M3. Create a rich and rewarding experience for its members.
M4. Enhance the future growth of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.
M5. Preserve and enhance the future growth of CYC and its component organizations
G1. Develop and implement a comprehensive communication program.
G2. Promote the development of cultural programs within local chapters of member organizations and provide a vehicle for the reporting and dissemination of these programs and content to others.
G3. Promote events on a district or provincial basis to better utilize human and financial resources so as to create a more exciting and appealing final product.
G4. Create a database of human resources that are "experts" in various fields of Ukrainian culture.
G5. Promote CYC concepts, ideals and events in the media. G6. Develop programming geared towards cultivating strong leadership skills.
G7. Create and promote resources for effective management of an organization. G8. Ensure that all members are aware of and practice the tenets of effective leadership.
G9. Strengthen the relationship between C.Y.C. (U.S.R.L.) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.
G10. Act in consultation with the Church on politically sensitive issues.
G11. To encourage members to lead lives based upon principles of self-respect, self-reliance and resourcefulness and to guide their lives by the highest moral and ethical standards.
G12. Nurture the growth of CYMK
G13. Provide support to component organizations in areas of fund raising and membership recruitment. G14. Develop leadership programs utilizing the richness and expertise within the CYC membership.
1. Produce print material promoting its aims and objectives as well as those of its component organizations.
2. Organize workshops and educational opportunities.
3. Provide a format for wording resolutions at conventions.
4. Develop a meeting guidebook.
5. Develop a web site.
6. Ensure that all component organizations have fax and email capabilities.
7. Develop a national newsletter.
8. Model effective leadership behaviors.
9. Develop and circulate a data-collecting questionnaire to component organizations regarding the 'expertise' available among members related to various fields of the Ukrainian culture.
10. Produce a media kit.
11. Establish a liaison process with UOCC.
12. Develop and implement a financial plan.
13. Develop and implement a marketing plan.
14. Employ part-time or full time paid staff to facilitate implementation of these objectives.
15. Provide financial and human resource assistance to CYMK related to membership recruitment and programming.
16. Develop a resource manual of fund raising strategies and educational programming activities.