It seems that my life has always revolved around three things: science, writing, and Ukraine.
I graduated in 2015 from the University of Manitoba with a bachelor of science before attending Red River College to study journalism. My work has appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press, CBC Manitoba, Metro Winnipeg, and weekly newspapers in Manitoba's Interlake and surrounding areas.
Having studied both science and journalism, I like the challenge of exploring difficult questions about the world around us and telling stories that connect people to issues that matter. That’s what led me to publish Planted: Stories From Manitoba's Natural World, a book that made it to number one on McNally Robinson’s bestsellers list.
And now to tie in that third word: Ukraine.
I’ve been a Ukrainian dancer for 20 years and an instructor for seven. Dance was my introduction to Ukrainian culture, inspiring me to learn more about the music, traditions, and language. I visited Ukraine in 2014 and met some of my relatives for the first time. I've been thinking about the trip ever since, dreaming about when I would be back.
Three years later in August 2017, I found myself there again, travelling across Ukraine, training with professional dance ensembles for two months at a time before moving on to the next city. I arrived back in Canada July 2018, but you can catch up on my travels on my blog. While abroad, I also wrote a monthly column about a Canadian's take on the Ukrainian lifestyle for What's On Kyiv, an English magazine based in Ukraine.
Since returning to Canada, I’ve joined the team at Canada’s History as content coordinator, and I continue to blog about Ukrainian culture, focusing not only on stories from my year abroad but also from Canada’s Ukrainian diaspora.