September 2020 – Election Meeting

The election meeting took place on September 26th and was our first meeting since February. Due to the Covid19 pandemic, the activities of our organization had been suspended for more than six months. We observed all the required precautions and wore masks and maintained appropriate distance from other members. Although we missed each other, we could not greet and hug as usual, but we were simply happy to get together. However, because of the situation, only about half of our members attended the meeting, which was enough for a quorum as required by our bylaws.

Our president, Halina Madej presented a report of activities over the last year and our treasurer, Teresa Ignasiak read the financial report. We also discussed various topics including protection of the environment and support for people dealing with issues arising from the pandemic. Our very successful theatre presentation “Portraits of Famous Polish Women” took place at the Polish Hall on March 8th in celebration of International Women’s Day. Unfortunately, Covid 19 pandemic restrictions were announced immediately following our presentation. However, we considered ourselves very lucky to have been able to introduce our audience to several famous Polish women after many weeks of scrupulous preparation.

Another success this year was the publication of the second book of poetry by our member, Urszula Kunikiewicz, which has enjoyed a warm response.

The election did not introduce many changes to our board of directors. Halina Madej was elected president once again. She has held that position since 2011.

The newly elected Board of Directors for the 2020 – 2022 term:


Halina Madej


Jadwiga Skowrońska


Teresa Ignasiak


Krystyna Sierko


Ewa Miles-Dixon, casino, Informator, Dobrucka Youth FundAleksandra Kosińska, visiting the sick, head executive board of the Polish Canadian Women’s FederationTerese Szlamp-Fryga, Albeta Gaming and Liquor Commission (communication), contact with Canadian organizations and agencies
Wiesława Środa, telephone contact with our membersElżbieta Jusza, housekeeping mattesElżbieta Malejczyk, housekeeping mattersAleksandra Ławczyńska, assisting the treasurer


Maria Szymocha

Maryla Hasek

Barbara Smykot


Aleksandra Kosińska

Maria Szymocha

Jadwiga Skowrońska

The inaugural meeting of the newly elected board took place on Wednesday, October 7th. Since only eight of us were able to attend, it was very easy to maintain the required distance. We recognized that any plans and projects for 2021 depend on the pandemic situation. We discussed opłatek and the general election meeting of the Canadian Polish Congress in Cambridge, both of which are scheduled for January. We also talked about preparing another theatre presentation.

Our financial situation is somewhat difficult due to closing of casinos; our casino was scheduled for last May but was cancelled because of the pandemic. This forces us to limit our charitable donations for now.

July 2020 – Board Meeting

Polish Canadian Women’s Society of Edmonton board meeting ,July 10, 2020

Pandemic COVID-19 caused almost total suspension of activities of our organization. For close to 4 months we communicated by phone only. Recent partial relaxation of restrictions enabled us to meet in person. Thanks to hospitality of Wiesia Środa and her husband, we could meet in their garden, large enough to keep prescribed distance of 2 metres between persons; weather also was very nice. Subject of initial discussion was our last event – theatre performance on the subject of famous Polish Women in history. It was a great success, audience was over 300 people, with many people who could not get in; our artists are planning next performance, on a subject of men this time, restrictions permitting maybe in autumn. Our annual election meeting will probably be held in large room of the Polish Hall, to assure safe distance for participants.

Prepared by Ewa Miles-Dixon

International Women’s Day 2020

“Portraits of Famous Polish Women”

In preparation for celebration of International Women’s Day 2020 members of the Polish Canadian Women’s Society in Edmonton decided in autumn of 2019 to organize specific event, presentation of silhouettes of famous Polish women through history, starting with Queen Jadwiga to modern times. Bożena Wojno, skilled in production of performances, decided to take challenge together with Urszula Kunikiewicz, who prepared texts in non-typical form, eg. every heroine was talking about herself. This idea was very appealing to eight ladies, who would play roles.

Preparations started; at every meeting the vision grew. We  decided to add visual portraits of our heroines and delightful, but not well known collages of our Nobel Prize winner, Wisława Szymborska. Prepare snacks. Print posters, flyers…

Gradually things were progressing, largely due to cooperation of kind friends from Polish community: Polish printer, Polish carpenter, or owner of beautiful, old candelabras.

The concept of spectacle was: Encased in the picture frame deceased woman wakes-up and tells the audience about her life; personally and without omissions. Not talking only about her achievements, but also admitting their weaknesses. To be real and truthful.

Spectacle took place on 8th of March 2020 in Polish Hall. All  actresses wore historical costumes, make-up and accessories. Musical background was provided by our extraordinary musicians, Tatiana Warszyńska and Joanna Ciapka-Sangster. Scenography and lightning were like in normal theatre. Spectacle was a great success, room was full of spectators, everybody was very impressed.

Casting (from right to left): Joanna Ciapka Sangster — Violin ; Kazimiera Kozinkiewicz — Izabela Czartoryska ; Ela Jusza — Maria Sklodowska Curie ; Elzbieta Zadora- Paszkowski — Oueen Jadwiga ; Urszula Kunikiewicz — Krystyna Skarbek ; Bozenka Wojno — Magdalena Abakanowicz ; Jadwiga Skowronski — Emilia Plater ; Krystyna Kozicki — Wislawa Szymborski ; Krystyna Sierko — Helena Modrzejewska ; Tatiana Warszynski — Violin


Introduction by Terese Szlamp-Fryga

January 2020 – Oplatek

During Christmas season, in December and January many Polish-Canadian organizations celebrate traditional sharing of holy bread, followed by exchange of greetings and wishes, and sumptuous supper.

Our celebration took place on January 25. Great attraction was performance by students from Maria Chrzanowska Polish school. Children recited poems and singed polish carols, and  we all joined them, this brought back the warm, friendly atmosphere of Christmas.

Our invited guests: Honorary Consul of Poland, John Szumlas, vice-President of the Polish Combatants Society, Kira Płachcińska, President of the Polish Veterans Society, Jan Kucy and Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate greeted participants and conveyed best wishes for the New Year.

Our members prepared traditional dishes – herrings, bigos, salads and original ones e.g. vegetarian sushi. There were also plenty of sweets. As usual we had very good time, enjoyed friendly conversation over good food and nice company.

Ewa Miles-Dixon


October 2019 – KPK, AB Convention

Halina Madej, long serving president of the Polish Canadian Women’s Society of Edmonton (Federacja Polek w Kanadzie Ogniwo #3), was elected president of the Canadian Polish Congress Alberta Society on October 27th, 2019. Delegates from across Alberta met at the Polish Hall in Edmonton on October 26th and 27th to hear reports, work in committees, and present motions and recommendations that would direct the new board’s activities for the next two years.

During the opening of the thirty-sixth convention, Honorary Consul Zygmunt Potocki (Southern Alberta) brought greetings and praised Polonia leaders and delegates from Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, and Grande Prairie. Mr. Potocki urged everyone to remember that the Canadian Polish Congress Alberta Society represents the entire province and not just major centres. He then introduced Marek Domaradzki, the First Vice President of KPK and an active member of Calgary’s Polish community, and presented Mr. Domaradzki with the Medal of the Centenary of Regained Independence (Medal Stulecia Odzyskanej Niepodległości). Convention attendees stood and loudly applauded Marek for his contributions to Polonia and Poland.

Honorary Consul John Szumlas (Northern Alberta) spoke about continued active support for Polish language education and the Polish Center at Concordia University of Edmonton. Mr. Szumlas recognized and thanked the Election Commission who made it possible for Poles to vote in the recent Polish elections. Members of the commission were Halina Madej (chair), Jadwiga Skowrońska, Elżbieta Malejczyk, Terese Szlamp-Fryga, and Krzysztof Baran were warmly applauded by convention attendees.  John, or Janek as he is often affectionately called, concluded by thanking all the leaders and encouraged them to continue working for the community.

Delegates chose Jarek Nowinka to chair the convention with assistance from Terese Szlamp-Fryga. Both Jarek and Terese had each served as presidents for four terms. Convention committees were organized as follows: culture, seniors, financial-administration, assistance for Poles in the East, schools, and youth. The six committees

Ms. Madej plans to bring together and work with all Polonia organizations, even those who do not yet belong to the Canadian Polish Congress in Alberta. Her ambitious program includes cultivating and promoting Polish culture, history, the Polish language, and traditions. In addition, she will represent Polonia within the Canadian community and work with other nationalities. A major objective is to encourage young people to become actively involved in the community and join, or create, Polonia organizations.

The newly elected board of directors includes three members of the Polish Canadian Women’s Society of Edmonton (Federacja Polek w Kanadzie Ogniwo #3). Jadwiga Skowrońska is Second Vice President; Alicja Tomicka is Correspondence Secretary, and Terese Szlamp-Fryga is a director.

Our warmest appreciation goes to the kitchen staff of the Polish Hall who prepared two delicious lunches and a superb supper for delegates which provided much valued time for socializing and networking.

The Board of Directors for 2019-2021:

PRESIDENT :         Halina Madej

REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS:    Andrzej Bukowski – Calgary,  Jagoda Wilk – Grande Prairie,

Stanisław  Kuniec – Lethbridge

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT:        Andrzej Makarewicz        SECOND VICE PRESIDENT:   Jadwiga Skowrońska

TREASURER:       Teresa Moss

SECRETARY:         Alicja Tomicka (Correspondence) ,    Jadwiga Bartosek (Minutes)

DIRECTORS:        Hanna Broniewska,  Grzegorz Łojko,  Jerzy Malinowski, Tomasz  Owczarek

Maciej Piekarski, Wiesława Potocka, Terese Szlamp-Fryga


Maryla Hasek


Krzysztof Baran, Elżbieta Malejczyk, Halina Madej (chair), Jadwiga Skowrońska (vice chair), and Terese Szlamp-Fryga.



July 2019 – Picnic

June, beginning of July. Supposedly summer months, but not typical in 2019. Anyway these days typical weather does not exist. Heat waves in Poland, Asia, draught in usually rainy England! And in Alberta – rain everyday…

And rain was “hanging” over us on July 6th, when our picnic was planned several weeks ago, to take place in the garden of Wiesia Środa. At 3 pm ladies started arriving, some with husbands, who soon gathered together and seemed to be happy enjoying conversation.

Ladies were also happy, carrying conversation mainly about our families, as we are mothers, grandmothers and even great-grandmothers, so there is no shortage of subjects.

Important part of our meeting was tasting the food. Everyone of us brought something special. Especially imaginative were “witches brooms” made from strings of cheese wound around breadsticks and tied-up with chives. Host prepared traditional soup from sorrel grown in her garden. There was bigos, sausages, different salads, cakes and cherries.

We also had guests from afar, Ania Waner’s sister came from Warsaw, the other from Toronto. They had very good time and appreciated the friendly atmosphere in our organization. They were given book of poems by Urszula Kunikiewicz, published by our branch, signed by the author.

We consider ourselves very lucky, it did not rain, even though rain was forecasted, we all had a great time, we thank Wiesia an her husband Mieczysław Środa for their hospitality. Our picnic 2019 was a great success!


April 2019 – Easter Buffet

The members of the Polish Canadian Women’s Society of Edmonton gathered together on April 27th, 2019 to celebrate Easter and enjoy an Easter Buffet, much like breakfast on Easter Sunday. Our organization has been celebrating such Polish traditions as “Opłatek” (Christmas Wafer) and “Święcone” (Easter Buffet) for more than sixty years.

A small group of members (Grażyna Nieradka, Jadwiga Skowrońska oraz Bożena Wojno) arrived early and decorated the room beautifully.

Halina Madej, the president of our organization, welcomed our guest, John Szumlas. Mr. Szumlas is the Honorary Consul in northern Alberta for the Republic of Poland. He spoke warmly about the role our organization plays in Edmonton’s Polish community and complimented us on the kind and cordial atmosphere in our group.

Bożena Wojno, Krystyna Sierko, Grażyna Nieradka, and Urszula Kunikiewicz prepared an artistic program including selections from Polish literature. Accompanied by classical music, they recited poetry. In addition, Elżbieta Zadora-Paszkowska read the prophetic words of Juliusz Słowacki regarding agreement and disagreement among Poles as well as the election of a Polish Pope (which happened when Karol Wojtyła became Pope John Paul II).

The poetry spoke of the Easter atmosphere, the death and resurrection of Jesus. Together, we experienced moments of reverie, regret and then joy when “Alleluja” rang out.

We fought each other using eggs, prepared by Halina Madej. Each of us tried to keep our egg undamaged in spite of many attempts to smash it. Following this lively exercise, we enjoyed some żurek (Polish sour rye soup) which is a favourite at Easter. We added our egg to the soup and enjoyed it most heartily.

Bożena treated us to some fresh homemade bread made from buckwheat that was still warm.  The food was not only delicious but also beautifully served. There were hard-boiled eggs that looked like little ducks and Ania’s sweet eggs (not real eggs!), marzipan in chocolate shells. The setting, the food, the atmosphere were all exceptional!



January 2019 – Christmas Gathering


The Polish community in Edmonton hold festive social gatherings (Oplatki) around Christmas .

The Polish Canadian Women’s Society of Edmonton (known in Polish as Federacja Polek , Ogniwo #3) held its Oplatek on January 26th, 2019. The celebration was held in the Kingsway Room of the Polish Hall. Invited guests included the pastor of Holy Rosary Parish, Sisters of the Holy Name of Jesus, as well as the presidents of various Polish organizations.

The magnificent meal was prepared by the members of the Polish Canadian Women’s Society of Edmonton. Traditional Polish dishes were laid out on tables.

Halina Madej, the president of our organization, welcomed everyone and reminding us about the significance of Oplatek. Ms. Madej invited everyone to share oplatek and mutual good wishes.

Children from the Maria Chrzanowska Polish Saturday School presented the artistic program under the direction of the school principal Agata Guzik. The program included poems and Christmas carols, and captivated the audience who sang along with the children creating a most pleasant atmosphere.

Following the artistic program, the children were invited to the tables followed by our invited guests, and the members of our organization.


August 2015 – Heritage Days

Members of the Polish Canadian Women’s Society of Edmonton served hundreds of customers at the Polish pavilion during the Heritage Festival in Edmonton’s centrally located Hawrelak Park. Delicious Polish food attracted many festival visitors. The lineups were long and never ending. As usual, our ladies rose to the challenge and provided excellent service, smiles and a welcoming atmosphere greatly contributed to the event’s success and excellent representation of Poland at the annual Heritage Festival.

Members working at Edmonton Heritage Festival 2015

July 2015 – St. John’s Eve

Throwing crowns fashioned from wild flowers into a nearby pond or lake was one of the rituals of St. John’s Eve. In a beautiful scenery of Rundle Park and North Saskatchewan River the continuation of this old Polish tradition was a great fun. Surprisingly, some candles were burning for a long time…

Members celebrating St. John`s Eve

April 2015 – Easter

On April 11th we met for the traditional Easter Breakfast where we shared eggs with everyone at the table. The Easter decorations were prepared by Jadzia Skowroński. Thank you! On this occasion we hosted John Szumlas the Honorary Consul of RP and the representatives of Polish organizations. We wished each other happiness and joy and played trying to smash the shell of boiled eggs of our tablemates.

Happy Easter!