Conversations That Matter: How Canada saved me

A Ukrainian refugee talks about how Canada took him in and gave him a second chance

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On Feb. 24, 2022, in the dark of the night in Mukachevo, Ukraine, Sasha Luchkov woke to the news that his country was under Russian attack.

Luchkov, a piano protege at the age of 17, was already an accomplished pianist. He had recently placed second in the Scherzo International piano competition, where he performed Beethoven’s Sonata No. 17.

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Luchkov also performed at the Horowitz International piano competition and the Perugia MusicFest. When the war intensified, Luchkov says, “I was in fear of my life and I fled from Ukraine — first to Italy and with the help of Thrive Refuge, I made my way to Canada, which accepted me as a refugee.

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“Canada and Canadians have been remarkably kind and helpful to me, he said.

Through Thrive Refuge, Luchkov was able to complete his high school education and is now attending UBC’s school of music. On April 12, Luchkov is performing at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in the Concert for Peace to help raise funds to support Thrive Refuge’s Fine Arts Bursary.

Sasha Luchkov joined us for a Conversation That Matters about his journey to finding a second chance in Canada. Learn More about our guests career at

Join us April 23 for Conversations Live — One on One with Premier David Eby

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