Despite the tragic fallout from Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine over the past few weeks, Canada’s hospitality community has responded in remarkable fashion to rally in support of those affected by the ongoing conflict.
Whether it be cooking up traditional Ukrainian foods and donating proceeds to charitable efforts like the Canada-Ukraine Foundation, raising funds that directly support critical initiatives like the Friends of Ukraine Defence Forces Funds, or simply flying Ukrainian colours to stand in solidarity with the global community against the inexcusable atrocities taking place in Eastern Europe, you can always count on the Canadian hospitality industry to step up in a big way.
Here is just a small sample of the ways Canadians have been contributing to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.
Chef Andrea Nicholson
Acclaimed chef and owner of Toronto’s Butchies, Andrea Nicholson—whose grandparents immigrated to Canada from Ukraine—launched a fundraiser for which she cooked and sold a selection of her favourite Ukrainian dishes, with 100 per cent of proceeds donated to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation.
The fundraiser was quick to sell out and was able to raise roughly $5,000 in donations.
Kozak Ukraïnian Restaurant
Vancouver’s Kozak Ukraïnian Restaurant has been rallying its community in support of Ukraine in a multitude of ways. In addition to promoting and standing alongside fellow Canadians at local protests, the Vancouver eatery has been raising funds for Ukrainian orphanages and refugee families.
The Kozak team has also been sewing and selling cool Ukrainian-themed facemasks, and just last night, they unveiled a new Ukrainian-coloured shot that will also go toward supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.
World Central Kitchen
An incredible fundraising effort we recently found out about in Lesley Chesterman’s latest newsletter comes from chef José Andrés’ charity, World Central Kitchen. Since its inception, the charitable organization’s #ChefsForUkraine initiative has served thousands of fresh meals to Ukrainian families who have either fled the country or have remained in Ukraine.
Another notable Canadian with Ukrainian roots that has been rallying supporters to join the #CookForUkraine movement is Halifax-based food writer Aimee Bourque. Similar to chef Nicholson, the acclaimed cookbook author has been cooking up her Baba’s best Ukrainian recipes and using proceeds to help provide aid to children in Ukraine.
Maple Leaf Foods
At Maple Leaf Foods, we stand for peace in the Ukraine! We are showing our support for the victims of this unjust war by donating $525,000 in humanitarian relief to the @redcrosscanada @UNICEFCanada and @CUFCanada pic.twitter.com/SsXR48VTCH— Maple Leaf Foods (@MapleLeafFoods) March 7, 2022
Sherwood Park-based bakery Confetti Sweets has been baking and selling blue and yellow-sprinkled cookies and cookie dough, with proceeds being allocated toward the Canada-Ukraine Foundation. So far, between the two charitable initiatives, the Alberta bakery has raised over $30,000 in donations.
Wedel Touch of Europe
We covered the incredible response from a number of Ottawa-based businesses in our latest ICYMI, but just in case you missed that, one of the first businesses to lead the charge in Ottawa was Wedel Touch of Europe, who have been rallying support and funds from its local community for Ukraine.