Local artist Elmer Gunderson created and donated artwork to raise funds to support Ukrainians who may come to Prince George in the future.
PG’s St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church will host an event where this artwork, along with other items, will be used to raise funds.
“So that was one of the casts that I had cast and I hadn’t finished it yet. So after seeing what was happening in Ukraine and being torn about it, that was something that I wanted to do,” Gunderson said.
“So I had this piece sitting there, with the colors, the blue and the yellow of Ukraine, which are so dominant right now, these are colors that we will never forget for the rest of our lives. I wanted to incorporate them into the mask. And tears go without saying with what’s going on with the people there.
Father Andrii Chornenkyii of St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church said it meant a lot to receive something that involved so many feelings.
“The moment you create this masterpiece, you know, you put all your heart and all your emotion into it. So I believe those tears aren’t just painted, they’ve already been in this artist Elmer. It’s sharing more than your money, it’s not just showing your support, it’s actually sharing your heart.
It is not yet known whether Ukrainians will travel to Prince George, but it was noted that around 30 households in the area have already said they will welcome the displaced into their homes.
Prince George-Valemount MP Shirley Bond said PG would be a great place for any Ukrainian families coming to Canada.
“The most important thing now is to send a message to the provincial and federal governments that Prince George is ready and willing. Not only that, but we have a much more affordable community, we have a lot of Ukrainians here who could accommodate families here.