Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Ottawa.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) offered sincere congratulations to Lt. Col. Joshua Kutryk, a Ukrainian Canadian, on his selection as a Canadian astronaut. Lt. Col Kutryk and Dr. Jennifer Sidey were welcomed to Canada’s astronaut corps on July 1 at the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill.
Lt. Col. Kutryk and Dr. Sidey were the two candidates selected out of over 3700 applications to the Canada Space Agency’s astronaut recruitment campaign.
Speaking about his roots, Lt. Col. Kutryk said, “I grew up in a farming community at Beauvallon which is north east of Vegreville, Alberta. My great-grandfather settled here after immigrating from western Ukraine in 1910. My father Barry grew up here as well and was the third generation to farm this land. The property still belongs to our family. Ukrainian was the first language my father spoke. The Ukrainian culture and customs were very important to him. My three siblings and I were raised with these customs which also included learning Ukrainian dancing. Unfortunately we lost our father last July to cancer but his legacy lives on through us.”
Paul Grod, National President of the UCC, stated, “We are delighted by this tremendous accomplishment by a proud member of the Ukrainian Canadian community, having been selected as a Canadian astronaut. Space exploration is one of the most admirable of human endeavours; it is a symbol of what we together can achieve. It inspires generations of young people to pursue knowledge and scholarship. It contributes immeasurably to comity among nations and the greatest of causes – peace for all humankind. On behalf of the Ukrainian Canadian community, I wish Lt. Col. Kutryk great success in his future work as an astronaut. He is an inspiration for us all. Best wishes and Godspeed!”
Lt. Col. Kutryk began his service in the Canadian Armed Forces in 2000. Before joining the Canadian Space Program, Lt. Col. Kutryk was an experimental test pilot and a fighter pilot in Cold Lake, Alberta, where he led the unit responsible for the operational flight-testing of fighter aircraft in Canada.