Friends of the Ukrainian Folklore Centre host “An Evening with Bohdan Medwidsky”

Drs. Nahachewsky, Cormack and Medwidsky .. L to R: Drs. Andriy Nahachewsky, Dean Cormack, Bohdan Medwidsky

For over 40 years, Dr. Bohdan Medwidsky has remained a leader, mentor, educator, community activist, fundraiser, philanthropist and champion of Ukrainian Folklore studies at the University of Alberta.  To celebrate his achievements and the legacy of his work, the Friends of the Ukrainian Folklore centre honoured him at a celebration aptly named “An Evening with Bohdan Medwidsky” on June 7.

With nearly 200 people attending, the evening was a mix of personal recollections from past students, video greetings from in colleagues in L’viv, Toronto, Winnipeg, Newfoundland, Slovakia, Korea and Brazil and stories about his work in advancing many Ukrainian causes.  He was presented with the publication of a book in his honour entitled Proverbs in Motion, which was also launched at the event.  Proverbs in Motion, contains essays, academic articles, memoirs and greetings about Dr. Medwidsky, by him, and dedicated to him.  The book was edited by Andriy Nahachewsky and Maryna Chernyavska and was published by CIUSPress.

The Friends of the Ukrainian Folklore Centre also announced it is launching a $1 million dollar fundraising campaign to create a scholarship fund to support graduate students studying Ukrainian Folklore.  The new “Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Fund” will support new graduate students in the field.  Over $48,000 was raised at the event to support this new initiative.

Dr. Lesley Cormack, University of Alberta Dean of the Faculty of Arts, remarked:

“Ukrainian endowments constitute some 45% of all endowments in the Faculty of Arts. We will continue to use these endowment monies for exactly what you have donated them for. The University of Alberta will continue to be the place for Ukrainian studies, past, present and future.”

The evening also celebrated the 35th Anniversary of the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives (BMUFA). A special new exhibit detailing the history and scope of the archives was unveiled at the event. The BMUFA is the largest North American repository of Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Canadian folklore materials. It houses unique collections of fieldwork materials that document traditional cultural expressions and knowledge. These ethnographic documents and artifacts, plus extensive library holdings, are valuable resources for students, researchers, teachers, and community members.