A fundraiser is being held in Portage la Prairie for Ukrainian relief in the form of receiving donations for Canna Lilies. 

Mitchell Omichinski is one of the organizers and explains how the idea came about.

"The fundraiser began in earnest April 1st and it had its roots in last year when we planted canna lilies at the Trinity United Church flower grounds," says Omichinski. "It was such a prolific year for canna lilies because of the weather that when we dug them up in the fall, we had so many extra bulbs and rhizomes then -- much more than we expected. So, about a couple of months ago, we were wondering what to do with all these bulbs and rhizomes. The idea of perhaps doing a fundraiser for Ukraine came to mind."

He notes that kicked off the planting of about 200 flowers at the start of April.

"We're hoping to raise some funds for the Ukrainian cause over the next month or so," continues Omichinski. "The United Church has affiliation with a number of charities that are working in Ukraine, and it's helping us get the funding through to the appropriate agencies that they deal with."

Omichinski says they're currently trying to provide flowers through a preorder manner. 

"We do have our product at the mall," adds Omichinski. "The project really got its grounding with a room that the Portage Mall gave us, as one of the sponsors for the project. It has a nice sunny window at the former M&M Meats location. That gave us an area to actually start the project off. That's where we've centred everything for pick-up right in front of the mall there. We have two days of the week in mind -- Saturday afternoons between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday evenings between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m."

He notes the flowers were grown indoors and they've been leaving them out to climatize for the last two weeks. 

"Right now, they're outside for a period of about six hours till about 3:30 p.m.," adds Omichinski. "We've probably delivered a quarter of the entire number of plants, and we'll keep running it every Saturday and Wednesday through till June or early June."

Omichinski explains the price is a donation.

"We're not saying what exactly would be, but we are suggesting $15 to $20 each for the plantings as a suggested donation. It's up to the individual what they'd like to contribute. We look at it as a donation to Ukraine, and in acknowledgement of that, we will give you a lily to plant in your yard or in a container. They are quite nice."

You can preorder by calling (204) 857-4471.

Canna lily display at mallCanna lily display at mall

He adds they extend their appreciation to the following sponsors:

  • The Portage Mall
  • Trinity United Church
  • HB Book Centre provided all the signage
  • Jeffrey's Nurseries provided a cart used to move the product in and out for climatization 
  • Whoop and Hollar Folk Festival is providing most of the labour to pot the plants