125th Anniversary of Ukrainian Immigration to Canada Exhibit

As Ukrainian Canadians from  coast to coast of this great country find unique ways to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Canada, the Kule Folklore Centre (KuFC), University of Alberta has also launched an initiative to join in the festivities.

Journey to Canada exhibit at the National Immigration Museum at Pier 21

A thirty foot exhibit entitled “Making a New Home” has been produced in partnership with the Ukrainian Pioneers Association of Alberta.  The exhibit highlights these Ukrainian pioneers’ challenges as they staked out and cleared their land, established farms and built strong communities - honoring their traditions and  culture.  They made their way with limited resources in a harsh climate to eventually prevail and contribute to and become an important part of the fabric of Canada.

This 125th anniversary exhibit continues from where the KuFC’s 120th anniversary exhibit – “Journey to Canada” - left off.  The first exhibit, launched five years ago, highlighted the circumstances the Ukrainian pioneers lived in and why over 170,000 people decided to immigrate to Canada between 1891 and 1914.  It told the story of their journey to European ports where ships brought them to Halifax only to take a train trip across this vast country to find land  they could call their own.

The Kule Folklore Centre is one of the leading academic centres for the study of Ukrainian culture outside of Ukraine. Along with the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives, the Centre supports researchers and students with scholarships and assistantships in Folklore, teaches undergraduate and graduate Folklore classes, maintains a growing archive, and reaches out to the community with presentations, publications and its museum quality exhibits.  These exhibits focus on the Folklore – the traditional beliefs, customs, skills, arts and stories of a community, passed on from person to person in living context – of the Ukrainian immigrants we are celebrating this year.

Making a New Home Exhibit

Similar to the journey Ukrainians made across Canada, these two exhibits are finding their way to cities across the country.

A copy of “Journey to Canada”, in partnership with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, is currently on display in Halifax at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 until the end of October.  “Making a New Home” has been showcased at the Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival September 16-18, 2016. With assistance from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Manitoba Provincial Council, our exhibits are being shown extensively throughout that province.  Both anniversary exhibits were featured in Winnipeg’s Oseredok Museum throughout the summer. The Surrey Museum and the Surrey Public Library in British Columbia have exhibited “Making a New Home” throughout the summer and into the fall.

In Alberta, both exhibits have been shown in many venues including  the University of Alberta, the Ukrainian Heritage Village, the 15th Anniversary Celebration of the Kule Folklore Centre, Edmonton Heritage Days, Andrew’s  Babas and Borshch Festival – just to name a few. These exhibits will also be displayed at the upcoming UCC XXV Triennial Congress in Regina, Saskatchewan. 

The Centre will show “Journey to Canada” in Ukraine in several cities and this exhibit will be launched there shortly.  More locations across the country are being planned for in the near future. It is expected that by the end of 2016 well over 500,000 people will have seen one or both of the KuFC’s anniversary exhibits, helping Canadians to understand the journey Ukrainian people have taken and the role they have played in the settlement of Canada.