A musician and health care volunteer is being honoured by the Prince Albert Council of Women for her work bringing joy to members of the community.
Marjorie Bodnarchuk was named the 2021 inductee into the Prince Albert Women’s Hall of Fame.
It’s not the first award Bodnarchuk has earned for giving back. In 2017, she was one of six Community Recognition Award recipients of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Saskatchewan provincial council’s Nation Builders and Community Recognition Awards. She also won a lifetime achievement award from the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region in 2014.
The latter award was from her long a career as a nurse in Prince Albert facilities. She worked as an RN at Holy Family Hospital, Victoria Hospital and Pineview Terrace Lodge.
She became director of nursing at Holy Family Hospital, coordinator of Acute Care at Victoria Hospital and Director of Care at Pineview Terrace Lodge.
Once Bodnarchuk retired, she stayed involved in the health care field, volunteering with the Pineview Terrace Auxiliary, Association of Saskatchewan Care Home Auxiliaries, Prince Albert Parkland Hospice Palliative Care Association board and on the board of directors for Mont St. Joseph Home.
“The pandemic has interrupted volunteer work with the health region, but it was wonderful to be able to be a volunteer after retirement and still stay connected with people I knew in the long-term care system,” she said.
“I think we’re able to offer a really wonderful quality of life in our long-term care facilities. I was able to be part of that, help contribute to that, working with the Pineview Auxiliary and also doing some musical entertainment in Pineview as well as a number of other facilities.”
Bodnarchuk said she has been involved with music since she was a young girl. She has long dedicated her time to causes relating to music and culture, especially Ukrainian culture.
According to a profile from her 2017 Ukrainian Canadian Congress, she volunteered with her church choir, Ukrainian Veselka Chori, Prince Albert Exhibition Association, Veselka and E.A. Rawlinson Centre for the Arts.
Her Council of Women biography also lists her as being involved with the Prince Albert Music Festival Association Committee, Prince Albert Girls’ Choir Parents Association, Dance Saskatchewan and Prince Albert Barveenok Ukrainian Dancers.
“It’s a big part of my life,” Bodnarchuk said.
“I get to enjoy music at church, where I’m part of a musical group and also part of the choir.”
That involvement has continued during the pandemic with live and prerecorded music played during Calvalry United Church’s Sunday broadcasts.
“It’s all online,” Bodnarchuk said.
“It’s wonderful to connect with people in those ways. It’s really wonderful being able to ado a little bit of music and contribute in a small way in a time where it’s pretty much a lockdown on activities like that.”
Prince Albert Council of Women president Patricia Leson said the hall of fame is “intended to celebrate the women who weave the strong tapestry of supports for people in our community.
“In this particular case, a part of that is ensuring that community members are not only safe, but enjoying life. Some of the supports we offer are comfort and (Bodnarchuk) certainly does that, and it’s all volunteer. It’s nothing she’s ever paid to do. It’s nothing she has to do. It’s not part of a job description, it’s just her joy.”
Leson said choosing an honouree for the hall of fame is a difficult task as many are nominated each year.
“We have a large number of women in Prince Albert who understand the need and give back to the community,” Leson said.
“Just the sheer number of nominations that we get is incredible and it’s so wonderful when people take the time to submit those names to us. It’s often people we don’t even know about. They’re people that just keep the community going. They don’t look for anything theytney don’t ask anythinghign. It’s a great way we can give back to them and acknowledge their work.”
Leson said the awards are important to celebrate women doing the invisible work in the community.
“They are thinking more about others than they are thinking about themselves,” she said.
“I think (Bodnarchuk) is a wonderful choice.”
Bodnarchuk found out she was chosen in an email sent by Leson.
“It was a real shock. I was amazed and I was very humbled by the honour,” she said.
“I just enjoy participating as a volunteer and helping out where I can in the community, being together with other people and doing what needs to be done. I never imagined it would come to a point where I get an award for doing things that I just love doing.”
Bodnarchuk will be celebrated at a small ceremony set for Monday morning at City Hall to coincide with International Women’s Day. She is the 21st inductee in the hall of fame’s 17-year history, joining the likes of Melba Jenkins, Shery l Kimbley, Barbara Gustafson, Lyda Monahan and last year’s inductee, Laura Quesnell.