Kule Folklore Centre Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Kule Folklore Centre staff and Elsie Kawulych

On Friday, May 13th, 2016, the staff and students from Kule Folklore Centre at the University of Alberta celebrated the Centre’s 15th Anniversary with many of its stakeholders and community friends. 

The event, at the Old Timer’s Cabin in Edmonton, showcased the growth the Kule Folklore Centre, as well as the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives, has made in the last 15 years through its ground breaking research in Ukrainian and Canadian folklore studies; support for 50+ MA and PhD Folklore graduate student through scholarships and awards; growing Archives which houses multiple Ukrainian and Ukrainian Canadian collections; and lectures, publications and numerous exhibits that have travelled nationally and internationally promoting the work of this Centre. 

The event honoured many donors of the Centre – over 890 – including the man who started the Folklore program in the early 1980s – Dr. Bohdan Medwidsky, Peter and Doris Kule, the Huculak family, the Kuryliw family, and the Kawulych family; and launched its 125th Anniversary of Ukrainians in Canada exhibit “Making a New Home”. This exhibit, created by Andriy Nahachewsky, Maryna Chernyavska, Larisa Cheladyn and Lynnien Pawluk, is the sister exhibit to the 120th Anniversary display “Journey to Canada” which focused on the journey Ukrainian pioneers made from Ukraine to Canadian prairies in the late 19th – early 20th century. These two exhibits will be sent to museums, festivals and events throughout Canada this anniversary year. 

The celebration also gave the opportunity for the Centre to showcase the work Archivist Maryna Chernyavska and the Kule Folklore Centre Director, Andriy Nahachewsky have done to arrange, describe and make available many of the archival collections that can be accessed by researchers and the general public. A new archival database was launched and is available at http://archives.ukrfolk.ca. It is continuously updated and soon will become the main point of access to numerous collections at the Archives. Andriy and Maryna also presented the Sluzar Music Score Collection database, a collection of 1600 sheet music items and scores donated by Dr. Roman Sluzar. Dr. Sluzar’s father, Reverend Wolodymyr Sluzar arranged a variety of Ukrainian music pieces for choral presentations – classical, liturgical and folk – and this music is available online to researchers, performers and choirs who wish to view or use the arrangements. 

The celebration also allowed staff, friends and family to honour the Centre’s first Director, Dr. Andriy Nahachewsky, Huculak Chair in Ukrainian Culture and Ethnography for his vision and fostering of the Centre to make it what it is today. Dr. Nahachewsky has been the Director for 15 years and will pass his directorship on to a new candidate at the end of June 2016. As many of the people who attended the celebration noted, Dr. Nahachewsky has left his mark on the Centre and will indeed be missed. He will be going on sabbatical and will return in the fall of 2017 in his professorial role with MLCS. 

Each attendee of the event was presented with a beautiful 15th Anniversary Book to commemorate the work of the Kule Folklore Centre. The Kule Folklore Centre also hosted an internal University event held on April 22, 2016 at Alumni House to celebrate its 15th Anniversary. A variety of academics including Lise Gotell, Acting Dean of Arts; Lesley Cormack, Dean of Arts; Michael O’Driscoll, Associate Dean, Research, Faculty of Arts and several of our local donors viewed our exhibit and the Sluzar Music Score Collection and received the commemorate anniversary book.