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The shots fired in Ukraine have been heard and felt around the world – by the people of that country, by expatriates, by the sons and daughters of emigrants and by people with no direct connection to the country who are nevertheless deeply troubled by what is happening place. We are reaching out to people in the Ottawa area to hear their thoughts and stories.

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Lucas Haneman and Megan Laurence

Megan Laurence: “My parents always told me that when I had a child, I would understand and your way of seeing things would change. And he did. Seeing the children in Ukraine, in particular, I would be in tears all in the evenings watching the news. I couldn’t imagine there was still so much evil in the world. You learn it in school and you are told that you are learning so as not to repeat history, but we we do it all the time.

“One of our students has relatives there, and one he called said she was 10 in the bomb shelters there. And our first reaction was for our drummer, Val. We knew his mother, sister and other family members were there.

Lucas Haneman: “Our drummer, Val Nehovora, is from Ukraine and just came to Canada about five years ago. My godmother, Luba, is also Ukrainian, and our bassist’s wife’s grandparents are Ukrainian. So we have a lot of relationships.

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“I can’t believe we’re in this place in the world where we think we’ve moved on, we’ve come a long way and we’re more peaceful, and then something like this happens, again, and we We’re on the brink of, potentially, another world war. It’s devastating. Meanwhile, here in Canada, we’re so blessed, but we don’t realize it all the time.

ML: “When we saw Val, about a week into the war, he was exhausted. We wanted to help, but as musicians all we really know is music. So we asked him, ‘How would you feel if we held a benefit concert?’ »

HL: “Sometimes I think, ‘What would I do if I was a Ukrainian living in Ukraine right now?’ Well, I wouldn’t flee the country; I would do what I could to help. I wouldn’t be on the battlefield, because I wouldn’t do very well because I can’t see very well. But I’ll be standing on the corner playing music and helping that way, helping the spirits of life.

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“The one thing that Megan and I do really well is music, so the thing we can do to help is to hopefully bring some positive energy to the situation via music. Music is what excites us the most, so our thing is just to bring people together. Music is the greatest healer of all. I think we’ve realized over the past couple of years just how powerful that can be. I’ve definitely had a lot to write about over the past two years because of all the crazy things going on in the world.

“So bringing people in and enjoying the music and hopefully at least for a minute forgetting about life’s problems, that’s what means a lot to me, seeing smiles on people’s faces .”

The Lucas Haneman Express performs a benefit concert on the afternoon of April 10 at the Brass Monkey, to raise funds for the Ukrainian army. Visit for more information.

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Many groups and organizations collect donations to support and relieve Ukrainian residents and refugees, including:

Canada-Ukraine Foundation

Canadian Medical Student Aid for Ukraine

The Canadian Red Cross: Appeal for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

come back alive

Doctors Without Borders

National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) special account to raise funds for the Armed Forces of Ukraine

UNHCR Canada: Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine


World Central Cuisine

Additionally, other groups seeking funding can be found on the Ukrainian Canadian Congress website, at

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