(Click thumbnails above for larger image)

Tickets are now available for the premiere of our documentary about Oksana’s father (Wasyl “Bill” Kuryliw),  Chapters and Verses: Action Bill’s Walk Through Life:

Tuesday, September 12 at 7:30pm (Doors 7pm)
The Spadina Theatre at Alliance Française de Toronto
24 Spadina Road
(1 block north of Bloor)

There will be a reception following the film, catered by Focaccia and its sister restaurant (our favourite restaurant), Bloom.

NOTE: As of August 11, all tickets for the reception have been booked. You can put your name on the waiting list and reserve tickets for the “film only” in the meantime.

Free tickets can be booked via Eventbrite at tickets.chaptersandverses.ca.

We hope you can join us. If you want to get updates, and are not on the film’s mailing list, you can add your name in the form at the bottom of this page. We also hope to have additional screenings at other locations (none of these are yet confirmed.)

  • Toronto Ukrainian Festival, the weekend of Sep. 15-17
  • Sudbury, Ont. (Of course!) – details TBA
  • Edmonton
  • … and possibly other venues

In additions, some time during the fall after the initial screenings, we will post the film online at vimeo.com.

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Below is a 4 minute  trailer; the final documentary will be about an hour in length. Click full-screen icon (between “HD” and “vimeo”.)

Behind the film: The past 5 years:

Starting some time in 2012, Oksana began thinking about and doing some research for a documentary concerning the Sudbury Ukrainian community in which she grew up, but over the next couple of years, never came up with a “hook”, or central story theme. After considering interweaving her parents’ stories into the documentary, she decided on a documentary about her father’s life – a man widely remembered, and whose life indeed was full of stories.

So, we began work on Bill’s documentary in early 2015. We’ve now completed most of the work, and are tying up the numerous last loose ends in preparation for September.

About Bill – and the documentary:

Bill came to Canada in 1928, “with $5, a grade 3 education and a powerful zest for life,” and became one of the most dedicated and best remembered activists in Sudbury’s Ukrainian-Canadian community.

We’ve used archival video, audio, photos and newspaper stories – including a radio interview where he talks about his early life in his village of Potochysche, and his arrival in Canada. There is also video of him reciting Ivan Franko, and interviews with many who remember him. We hope the film captures the energy and commitment that earned him the nickname “Action Bill”.

The “Chapters” in the film attempt to tell his story, and answer some questions: How did a child from the small village of Potochsyche in Western Ukraine later mingle with the business and political leaders of Sudbury? How did a welder at Inco eventually establish an endowment, named after Ivan Franko, in Ukrainian folklore at the University of Alberta?

The “Verses” in the film are those of Ivan Franko: the poet and writer whose words and philosophy greatly influenced his life and outlook. No event in the Sudbury Ukrainian community – from births to deaths, in halls and homes – was complete without his reciting, from memory, an appropriate Franko poem. One poem (“A Parable About Life”) that was particularly important to him is interwoven into the narrative of the film and of his life.

In addition to poetry, Wasyl had a life-long passion for promoting many other aspects of Ukrainian culture. A self-taught musician on numerous instruments, he was well-known for his mandolin classes, teaching both children and adults to play Ukrainian folk music. He also played cello in the first Sudbury Symphony Orchestra.

He was famous for his tireless efforts to support the Ukrainian community, especially the Ukrainian National Federation and associated organizations.  He helped found the Sudbury branch of the UNF, along with the Sudbury Ukrainian Credit Union and Food Co-op. He became perhaps the leading seller of advertisements for the national Ukrainian-Canadian newspaper, New Pathway and sold endless fund-raising lottery tickets.

But he was also passionate about Canada, and believed in contributing to the country that gave him a home. He was well-known by all Sudbury-area politicians. The film includes a tribute that members of Sudbury Regional Council gave him prior to his leaving Sudbury. The Chamber of Commerce granted him an honourary membership for the huge number of new members he recruited when their numbers were dwindling.

For more about Bill, and his wife, Anna, see this page.

We hope you can join us at one of the screenings this fall. If you’d like to comment, and/or get updates on the film & its screenings, please fill in the form at the bottom of this page. 

Funding for this film has been provided by:


Trailer Credits


“Kalina Nehh Verba”
Traditional, performed by St Nicholas Mandolin Ensemble,
Lawrence Pshyk conductor
Used with permission of Lawrence Pshyk

“The Parting”
Traditional, arranged by Brian Cherwick & Mykola Kusch
Performed by The Kubasonics
Used with permission of Brian Cherwick

“Ma-Ma FC”
Composed by Vincent Segal
Performed by Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal
Used with permission of Vincent Segal and No Format! Records


Sudbury Regional Council Meeting from Northern Cable Services
Used with permission of Eastlink TV

Radio Interview with Bill

From “Memories & Music” on CKSO-FM
Used with permission of Vale Canada Limited and Newcap Radio


Kuryliw family collection. Sudbury “Welcome” arch courtesy Bruno Zaoral

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