Open Jaw’s Canada Day Series: Featuring Ukrainian Sparkler – Yuliya Antonov
Antonov, owner of Sparkling Voyages, feels she has found her true home here in
Canada, thousands of kilometers away from her birthplace in Ukraine.
you come to Canada?
In 2000, with my parents. I was a teenager.
Like a lot
of immigrants, my parents were looking for a better life and we had heard so
many positive things about Canada, including the politics, the standard of
living and the health care. It matched our hopes, absolutely.
were your 1
st impressions? I was thrilled – from the conditions of the
roads to how nice people were to us. It was like coming to a new world and we
were never disappointed and so grateful to be here.
st job here? (Laughs) Selling shoes at SoftMoc!
you appreciate most about being Canadian?
I would say the fairness and justice and the
legal system. How do I feel about what is happening now in Ukraine? Very
disappointed. It hurts my heart, the unfairness and instability, and I still
have friends and family there. But unfortunately there's nothing I or anyone
else can do.
could live anywhere in Canada, where would it be?
you think would make Canada an even better place?
Maybe some small things, but on the large
scale of things? Nothing major.
you traditionally spend Canada Day?
We spend it with family – my parents and my
sister and her family - going out for a BBQ.
you think you'd be doing if you had remained in Ukaine?
My goodness. If I couldn't
have come here we would have tried somewhere else in Europe. I couldn't see
myself living in Ukraine, either from a professional or personal viewpoint. In
countries like Canada you feel you are protected.