- Corporate body
Alberta Parents for Ukrainian Education society provided opportunities for parents of students in the province's varied Ukrainian programs.
Alberta Parents for Ukrainian Education society provided opportunities for parents of students in the province's varied Ukrainian programs.
The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) is a leading centre of Ukrainian studies outside Ukraine. It is an integral part of the University of Alberta under the jurisdiction of the Vice-President (Research). Founded in 1976, following joint efforts by Ukrainian community leaders and academics, to provide an institutional home for Ukrainian scholarship in Canada, CIUS is dedicated to the development of Ukrainian studies in Canada and supports such studies internationally. In addition to its main office at the University of Alberta, CIUS maintains a branch office at the University of Toronto.
CIUS fulfills its mandate by organizing research and scholarship in Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Canadian studies: it publishes books and a scholarly journal; develops materials for Ukrainian-language education, mainly for western Canada's bilingual school program; organizes conferences, lectures, and a seminar series; and awards graduate and undergraduate scholarships, as well as research grants to scholars. CIUS also contributes to the cultural and educational development of community groups in Canada by providing specialists and resources for their activities. It fosters international links of mutual benefit to Canada and the world, especially with Ukraine, by initiating and managing major international endeavours, including Canada-Ukraine legislative and intergovernmental projects.
CIUS is financed in part from the operating budget of the University of Alberta. Other support comes from grants for specific projects and income earned from endowment funds.
To find out more about the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, please visit its website: https://uofa.ualberta.ca/arts/research/canadian-institute-ukrainian-studies
Canadian Ukrainian Youth Association (Союз української молоді Канади) was formed in 1931 as the Ukrainian Orthodox youth section of the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League, with branches across Canada. H. Tyzuk and P. Yavorsky were pioneer organizers, and I. Danylchuk was an early leader. Sumkivets' was its national quarterly from 1967 to the mid-1970s. Since the early 1970s it has conducted an annual cultural immersion camp, Selo, in various parts of Canada.
The Central and East European Studies Society of Alberta was created as a result of a panel at the "One Day Conference on Central and East European Studies", organized by the Division of East European and Soviet Studies, held on February 14, 1976. During February and March, several meetings of a steering committee took place. At the meeting on April 10th, the draft constitution was approved, a Board of Directors chosen, and a name decided upon, the Central and East European Studies Society of Alberta or CEESSA. The first meeting of the Board of Directors took place on April 29th. The Society was officially incorporated under the Societies Act of the Province of Alberta, on May 28, 1976. The first board of directors included: M. Lobay, P. Czartoryski, A. Dudaravicius, B. Biro, C. Suchowersky, W. Kostash, F. Pelech, M. Sulyma, C. Rodkiewicz, E. Zeiter, J. Stribrny, A. Saruk, A. Osis, W. Schepanovich, W. Kuester, Mrs. Panciuk, M. Gulutsan, and T. Priestly. Mary Lobay served as the Society's first president.
The original objectives of the society were to assist academics in the effort to train students in an interdisciplinary field and to aid and support in the work on the histories of ethnic communities from Eastern Europe. The Society was established as a non-profit educational institution.
CEESSA held two conferences in Banff, AB. The "First Banff Conference on Central and East European Studies" was held March 3-6, 1977. During this conference, the Central and East European Studies Association of Canada or CEESAC was established, with Metro Gulutsan as its first president. The "Second Banff Conference on Central and East European Studies" was held March 2-5, 1978, and also contained a CEESAC meeting. The first conference had 122 participants, while the second had 194 participants.
In 1974, the Ukrainian Cultural Immersion Camp “Selo” concept was developed by Roman Onufrijchuk, Walter Dlugosh, and Vasyl’ Balan of the National Executive of the Canadian Ukrainian Youth Association (CYMK). The summer camps were organized as a cultural immersion experience and designed to appeal primarily — though not exclusively — to young Ukrainian-Canadians between the ages of 15-20.
For three weeks every year from 1974 to 1985, during the month of August, young people from across the country gathered in a natural rural setting, removed from the distractions of everyday life, where they were immersed in a learning experience, which sought to provide meaning and understanding to Ukrainian Canadian identity.
Peter and Doris Kule Centre for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore is a research institution within the Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta. It is permanently endowed through the generous gifts of Peter and Doris Kule, the Wasyl and Anna Kuryliw family, Erast Huculak, Bohdan Medwidsky and many other visionary community leaders. It was formalized in 2001 and received its current name in 2006, though it is based upon endowments and archives existing since the 1980s.
The centre’s five strategic priorities are to:
» Conduct ground-breaking research in Ukrainian and Canadian folklore studies
» Maintain and grow the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives
» Support undergraduate and graduate courses in Ukrainian folklore and vernacular culture
» Support researchers and students with scholarships and awards
» Engage with diverse communities through publications, exhibits, lectures, workshops and more.
Ivan Oziebko (Ozubko) and his wife Euphemia Harasyma, along with their two young daughters Mary and Annie, came to Canada from Stubno, Halychyna (Galicia), a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (from the territory of present-day Ukraine) in 1903. Three other relatives' families, including Ivan's father- and mother-in-law were accompanying them.
Ivan, a farmer by vocation, as well as a violin player, settled on their first homestead at Del Norte, near Innisfree, Alberta. Their family soon grew into nine individuals, including four sons (Joseph, Ivan, Vasyl and Michaeo) and three more daughters (Katie, Parascavia and Helen). Joseph, Parascavia (Jennie), Ivan (John, Jr.), and Michaelo (Mike) all eventually learned to play violin as well. Another son, Vasyl (William), who only also played violin a bit, was drawn more to the guitar and, eventually, the banjo.
In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, in order to help support the family, John, Jennie, Bill and Kashka (Katie, on the drums), formed a family musical group that played all manner of social occasions, including dances and weddings in the area. They proved to be an extremely popular depression band at a time when the need for public entertainment was deep and intense.
In the early 1940s sons John, Bill and Mike moved to Edmonton to find work. Very soon, John formed an orchestra that played regularly at the Blue Hall (a very public dance gathering place near downtown Edmonton), into the 1950s. For nearly a decade, the five-to seven-piece orchestra had no name, yet drew enthusiastic crowds to their dances because of the quality of their music. John ultimately named his group the Melody Kings in the early 1950s, and they moved to become a legendarily popular dance orchestra at the Ukrainian Centre Hall on 97th Street, and eventually at many Alberta communities.
The list of musicians who played with the Melody Kings in the early years featured John on violin and drums, brothers Mike and Jim Serink (saxophonists), Mike Ozipko (guitar), Peter Serink (accordion) and Steve Serink (drums). Over the decades some others of the many members of the band included: Bill Sabrowski (tenor saxophone), Mike Sabrowski (alto saxophone), Jim Strembitsky (saxophones), Bill Ozipko (banjo), Reuben Missal (accordion), Ed Wasyk (guitar), Eugene Warawa (saxophone), Nick Welleschuk (accordion), 'Smiling Charlie' Kaminsky (banjo) and Jerry Ozipko, John's son. The Melody Kings suddenly ended in February 1979 after more than thirty years when John Ozipko passed away from a massive heart attack just two days after the group played at the Norwood Legion.
Rodyna Ensemble is a Ukrainian Australian folk group. First informal performances started in 2009. In 2012, the ensemble was formed. It performed at the concert celebrating the 60th anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Australia in Geelong. Stefan Semeniuk suggested at one of the family gatherings that the group was formed and that they performed at the concert. The group included: Roman, Lubka and Larisa Varenica, Stefania and Stefan Semeniuk, Natalka and Lesia (violin) Choma, Myroslav Mazur and Ihor Jurista (bass guitar). They prepared two songs: "Oi, harna ia, harna" and "Kalyno". The first performance took place at the Federation Square in Melbourne at the Ukrainian Independence Day. Later, Myroslav Graliuk and his sister Anna Okanovich from Geelong joined the ensemble, and later Petro Borovok and Tania Misiurak. The first CD was recorded in a cathedral in North Melbourne and released. Rodyna performed often in Melbourne, Sydney, in Tasmania. Roman Varenica's daughter Mariana Miladinovich moved to Australia from Vienne in 2013 and joined the group. And so did her older sister Larisa. The second full concert by Rodyna Ensemble took place also at the Federation Square in Melbourne on June 14, 2015. The group was invited to perform carols in Melbourne and Geelong.
The current members of the Rodyna Ensemble are:
After WWII, when displaced people found their new homes in the West, a necessity to change the structure of the Shevchenko Scientific Society appeared. On March 30, 1947, Naukove Tovarystvo im. Shevchenka (NTSh) was restored in Munich through efforts of full and ordinary members then residing in Austria and West Germany. With the permission of the General office, three new NTSH divisions emerged, namely, the American division in New York, 1948, the Canadian division in Toronto, 1949, and then the Australian division in Sidney, 1950. The European division was founded after the relocation of the NTSH General office to Sarcelles in France in 1952.
Edmonton branch of the NTSH Canadian division emerged on December 3, 1955, with the initiative of Ivan Nimchuk to keep NTSH members of Western Canada connected. In 1961 at a general meeting of the NTSH Canadian Division, Edmonton Branch, a new executive was elected: Dr Basil Laba, honorary president; Volodymyr Mackiv, president; Bohdan Bociurkiv, vice-president; Olexander Maslianyk, secretary; Vasyl Kunda, treasurer; Orest Starchuk, member of the executive.
The New Melody Kings was organized by Jerry Ozipko in 2015 in honour of his violinist father John, who founded and led the original Edmonton-based Melody Kings band between the early 1940s and 1979.
Classically trained violinist Jerry Ozipko has returned to his Ukrainian ethnic roots with the formation of The New Melody Kings. The name is his means of honouring his late father John, who established the original Melody Kings in the early 1950s. He received his early experiences with Ukrainian music in his youth at the invitation of his father.
Having performed in various locations across Canada, the United States and Europe, he has spent most of his career as a music teacher, fostering the development of instrumental playing skills among both youth and retired individuals.
Besides many previous appearances at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Jerry also performs regularly at a variety of local seniors' residences.
Guitarist Don Eastcott holds a very impressive musical pedigree. He began his career in his younger days playing with J. R. Cash (the "Man in Black") and jamming with Charles Hardin Holley (Buddy Holly). More recently, he has occasionally toured with Dwight Yoakam.
He is a well-noted and respected songwriter by musicians in Nashville, as well as locally. You will recognize many of his songs through the recordings of many well-known country music artists.
Don enjoys performing regularly at many Edmonton seniors' residences.
Accordionist Terry Triska has a vast background of experience as a member of a wide variety of Ukrainian bands through the years. He has performed throughout Western Canada at festivals and fundraisers, special events, private parties, nursing homes and senior's lodges. He is also a founding member of the Edmonton Accordion Festival.
He performs a wide repertoire consisting of popular dance favourites, old time dance selections as well as soft, easy listening music for the less active events. Terry enjoys performing as a soloist and as just another member of a group of musicians making music together.
The Ukraine Millennium Foundation (UMF) was incorporated in Toronto, Canada, as a not-for-profit corporation on November 2, 1983, at the initiative of Maestro Wolodymyr Kolesnyk, newly arrived from the Kyiv State Opera, and Luba Zaraska of Toronto. Its immediate objective was the recording of Dmytro Bortniansky’s 35 Sacred Choral Concertos to celebrate 1000 years since Ukraine’s adoption of Christianity in 988. The Foundation quickly drew members from all over the world and a Board of Directors was formed, with members from Australia, Canada and the United States. Its presidents have been Mrs. Zaraska, Bishop Yuriy Kalistchuk of Winnipeg, and Gordon Conway and Lilea Wolanska of Edmonton. UMF’s overall objectives are to support the identification, development, enhancement and appreciation of the Ukrainian musical arts: vocal, instrumental, choral, operatic and musicological. Its purpose is to promote Ukrainian musicians, assist in preserving Ukrainian culture and to disseminate Ukrainian accomplishments in the musical arts.
Aims and Objectives
In celebration of the millennium of Christianity in Rus-Ukraine and for the next millennium, to support the enhancement, development and appreciation of the musical arts;
To support and promote the appreciation and study of church, choral and orchestral music generally, and of Ukrainian church, choral and orchestral music in particular;
To assist in the establishment of choirs and choral societies;
To assist in the establishment of creative contacts among musicians, composers, conductors, music scholars, choirs and choral societies by promoting and organizing concerts, music conventions, choral and orchestral competitions, and lectures and seminars in the musical arts;
To establish and maintain programs in the musical arts intended to promote and enhance the study of music;
To establish and maintain a philanthropic and charitable program intended to support all of the above activities;
To receive, acquire and dispose of real and personal property;
To receive gifts and donations to be used for the above philanthropic and charitable purposes;
To create, provide and enlarge a fund for charitable and philanthropic purposes in conjunction with the foregoing.
The recording of Dmytro Bortniansky’s 35 Sacred Concertos was produced with artistic director, Wolodymyr Kolesnyk. A choir comprised of 64 members from across Canada and the United States was assembled to record the concertos. The total cost of the project was $800,000, and a set of 5 long-playing records was produced. After the project’s conclusion, interest in Toronto waned and UMF headquarters moved to Edmonton under President Gordon (Bud) Conway, who had been chairman of the Edmonton branch since the inception of the project in 1983. He was succeeded by Lilea Wolanska, who has been president since 2007. In 2002, UMF was granted a license by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, and its scope has changed in accordance with AGLC guidelines to focus on Ukrainian musical projects in Alberta.
In 1989, the Foundation completed the recording of Dmytro Bortniansky’s 35 Sacred Choral Concertos as a 5-LP set. In 1997, Wolodymyr Kolesnyk and an UMF Edmonton committee consisting of Maria Dytyniak, Lilea Wolanska and Gordon Conway initiated the reproduction of the recordings onto 4 compact discs at a cost of $10,000.
The UMF has also funded the annual Ukrainian Music Society of Alberta (UMSA) choral directing seminars held in Edmonton over two decades, directed initially by Maestro Wolodymyr Kolesnyk, with assistance from Zenoby Lawryshyn. Following Kolesnyk’s death in 1997, the seminars were directed by prominent conductors from Canada and Ukraine, such as Laurence Ewashko and Ivan Hamkalo. Participants have included choral directors from across Canada, the US, Europe, South America and Australia.
The book The World of Mykola Lysenko
In the 1960s Dr. Tamara Bulat of Kyiv, began her lifelong study of the life and works of Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko. Fearing that much politically sensitive information would be lost under Soviet conditions, Dr. Bulat took on the burden of recording this information for posterity. She interviewed Lysenko descendants, who were assured of her pro-Ukrainian intentions, and researched archives in Ukraine, Russia and throughout Europe, uncovering unique archival information and photos.
In the 1980s her son, Taras Filenko, also a musicologist, joined his mother in compiling information from archives throughout Canada and the United States. In 1990 the authors approached UMF for publishing support. The album The World of Mykola Lysenko in its supplemented and enhanced English-language version was translated and edited by Lilea Wolanska and contained 450 photographs. It was printed in Kyiv in 2001. The album immediately received the Book of the Year award from the Publishers Association of Ukraine. The album was enthusiastically reviewed by the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, and a Ukrainian-language version was subsequently printed in 2002, which was officially proclaimed the Year of Mykola Lysenko.
Other Projects Funded
Artem Vedel': Divine Liturgy and 12 Sacred Choral Concerti, published by the Ukraine Music Society of Alberta
Kontrasty Lviv Annual International Music Festival, for two years.
Kyiv Philharmonic Symphony premiere of Valery Kikta’s oratorio Dnipro
The Lviv Ivan Franko State Opera and Ballet Theatre premiere of the opera Moses by Myroslav Skoryk
The Composers of the Ukrainian Diaspora, researched and authored by Dr. Taras Filenko, translated and edited by Lada Hornjatkevyc. Available online for research at the Bohdan Medwidsky Archives at the Kule Centre of the University of Alberta.
The Ukraine Millennium Foundation Online World Library of Ukrainian Art Songs, administered by the Ukrainian Art Song Project and funded by UMF, which gives anyone with internet access the ability to download the scores of Ukrainian art songs free of charge.
St. Nicholas Mandolin Orchestra history and video
Sounds Ukrainian radio program on CJSR FM
University of Alberta Kule Centre Medwidsky Archive - two major projects
Artem Vedel sacred concerto cycle, concerts and CD recording by Luminous Voices and Spiritus Choir; CD publication (in progress)
Golden Harvest oratorio by Larysa Kuzmenko, conducted by Laurence Ewashko, printing of orchestral scores ($5000) for premieres in Winnipeg and Ottawa, 2015
Grant MacEwan annual bursaries and awards of $3000 each given to students in Ukrainian music research, composition and performance.
Dnipro Chorus, funding for choral workshops, CD recording
Akolada Ensemble, 4 concerts funded
Verkhovyna Choir funding
Kappella Kyrie, Vedel/Vivaldi concert and art song concert (in progress)
Ukrainian Bilingual Schools, purchasing banduras and funding bandura workshops
Ridna Shkola Ukrainian Heritage School, purchase of musical instruments
St. George Church Choir, CD recording
Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Edmonton Heritage Days, annual funding
Alberta Kontakt television program
UMF has financed numerous community concerts, such as Shevchenko concerts and others arranged by UCC, UMSA and other community organizations.
The Ukraine Millennium Foundation expresses its thanks to Alberta Gaming for permitting use of gaming funds to support Ukrainian music in Alberta.
The Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood was organized in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in December, 1932. A lay organization, it consisted of men, women and young people. After several years, the idea began to spread across Canada, and eventually, the Saskatchewan-based organization took on the national character -- now known as The Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada (UCBC).
By 1944, the UCBC became an organization of Ukrainian Catholic men only, as the women became organized nationally as the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada (UCWLC), and the young people became an organization known as The Ukrainian Catholic Youth of Canada (UCYC).
Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada is the only organization of Ukrainian Catholic men who are members of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of Canada. The membership is open to all Ukrainian Catholic men who are willing to commit themselves to work for the good of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, the Ukrainian people and for Canada. The UCBC acts in co-ordination with the Ukrainian Catholic Council on many projects. The UCBC is a founding and active member of the Ukrainian Canadian Committee (UCC) and World Congress of Free Canadians (WCFU). The UCBC has an Eparchial Executive as well as local branches in all five Ukrainian Catholic Eparchies. The UCBC since its inception has been an active and vital element in the life of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Ukrainian people in Canada. The UCBC aims as set out in the constitution are (Item VII) -- "to educate on the principles of Christian morality and ethics, its members and the Ukrainian community in the religious, national and civil sphere of life, in order to make them conscious, dignified, strong and active members of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and of the Ukrainian people, as well as loyal citizens of Canada."
The Ukrainian Museum of Canada was founded by the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada (UWAC) in 1936 in Saskatoon. It was Canada's first Ukrainian museum and served as a center dedicated to the advancement of the knowledge of and the preservation of Ukrainian heritage in Canada. The first gallery space was at the Petro Mohyla Institute (401 Main Street) and opened to the public in 1941. In 1965, gallery space was also provided in the new Mohyla Institute when they moved to 1240 Temperance Street. Rapid growth in the late 1960s and early 1970s resulted in the need for expanded space to house the museum's growing collection.
A new museum building, at our current location of 910 Spadina Crescent East, was completed in the summer of 1979. The museum's staff and summer students began to move in artifacts beginning on Monday, July 9, 1979. It took two weeks to move everything from the old location to the new. Unpacking and set-up, however, took the rest of the summer. The first displays opened in early 1980. The official public opening took place on Saturday, May 24, 1980.
There are currently four branches and an associated collection connected to this museum. The Ontario and Alberta branches were established in 1944, Manitoba in 1950 and British Columbia in 1957. The associated collection was established in Calgary in the 1970s.
The Ukrainian Music Association of Alberta was founded on February 27th, 1972 at a Ukrainian National Federation meeting. The founders were four members of the Alberta Registered Music Teachers: Maria Dytyniak (piano), Iryna Pawlykowsky (piano), Serge Eremenko (violin), and Neonila Dmytruk (piano). They noticed that many professional musicians of Ukrainian descent regularly attended the Alberta Registered Music Teacher's meetings. They founded the association because they believed that professional musicians and enthusiasts that have an interest in Ukrainian music, should have a place to come together. 8 years later, on March 1st, 1980 the UMAA became part of the Province of Alberta.
The goal of the association is to "emphasize that Ukrainian music be preserved and promoted by skilled and talented musicians, and that an appreciation and understanding of Ukrainian music and its composers be fostered through performance, education and media within and beyond the Ukrainian community" (Ukrainian Music Society of Alberta).
Today, the Ukrainian Music Association of Alberta (UMAA) goes by the name of the Ukrainian Music Society of Alberta (UMSA).
In 1906 a “Prosvita” society reading room (читальня Товариства “Просвіта”) was founded in Edmonton that later developed into the Ukrainian National Hall (Український народний дім, UNH) organization. After erecting a UNH building in 1917, Ukrainians of Alberta at their national meetings put in place documents regulating the organization activities aimed at growing cultural and national development of the Ukrainian community of Alberta. Ukrainian National Hall in Edmonton has always worked together with the Ukrainian Catholic Unity and often operated under the double name, Ukrainian National Hall/Ukrainian Catholic Unity. Although UNH was considered an independent organization with a separate Statute, at the same time it was deemed a “grassroots unity” of the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood. UNH had a library and hosted many Ukrainian organizations including dance groups, educational schools, choir, orchestra, etc.
On March 9, 1969, the Ukrainian National Hall, serving the community for over fifty years, burned down. At the beginning of the 1970s Ukrainian community continued discussing whether Ukrainian organization would be interested to rebuilt the UNH through joint efforts. It is unclear when UNH ceased to exist.
The Ukrainian Pioneers Association of Alberta was initiated by Wasyl Czumer and Wolodymyr Plawiuk. Shortly thereafter Dmytro Ferbey, Tom Tomashewsky and John Basarab joined it. The first meetings were held in March of 1941, and on March 31, 1941 the organization was registered with the Provincial government. On the same day the first executive was elected consisting of W. Plawiuk - President, D. Ferbey - Vice-President, W. Czumer - Secretary.
In May 1941, the following joined the organization: Dmytro Yanda, Paul Melnyk, Iwan Nikiforuk, Iwan Solanych, Nicholas Spachinsky, Kost Hudyma, Roman Stoyko, Dr. Faust Gowda, Ilias Kiriak, Wasyl Chobotar, Wasyl Cheladyn, Paul Woloshynsky, Peter Wasylyshyn, Wolodymyr Masciuk, Iwan Krysa, Kost Sereda, Peter Miskew, Gregory Saik, Iwan Pasnak, Wasyl Hawrysh, Wasyl Sereda and Hnat Lopatynsky. Every new member paid the initial $5 membership fee and signed a declaration to work for the set objectives of the organization, especially to publish a book on the Ukrainian settlers of Alberta.
In 1947, at its annual meeting the organization chose a new executive consisting of: Tom Tomashewsky - President, and W. Plawiuk - Secretary-Treasurer.
In 1957, the organization started to foster the idea of building a monument in honour of the Ukrainian settlers in Alberta. At its annual meeting, a new executive was elected consisting of: John Baron - President, Wm. Lupul - Vice-President, Tom Tomashewsky - Secretary-Treasurer. The monument was erected in the Elk Island Park, AB, and in 1963 it was unveiled by the Honourable Mr. Laing, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The first book "Ukrainian Pioneers of Alberta" was published in 1970. Joseph Lazarenko was a chief editor. He was assisted by an editorial committee of Dmytro Prokop, Mykola Flak, Wm. Kostash, Isidore Goresky, as well as other members of later publishing committees: Fred Hannochko, Walter Sharek, Nick Poohkay and Dr. Holubitsky. This book, under succeeding presidents, editors/editorial committees, was followed by two more books: "Ukrainians in Alberta. V.1", "Ukrainians in Alberta. V.2", and the "Dictionary of Ukrainian Canadian Biography of Pioneer Settlers of Alberta 1891-1900" edited and compiled by Dr. V. J. Kaye. Some of the publication costs were covered by grants from the Government of Alberta. Local community histories, family biographies and pioneer experiences formed the greater part of the contents of the books.
Current president of the organization is Jars Balan of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. Other members of the executive are: Alexander Makar - treasurer, Illya Khineyko - secretary, Maryna Chernyavska, Lynnien Pawluk, Bohdan Medwidsky, Peter Melnycky, Mark Minenko and Peter Opryshko. The executive holds their regular meetings at the Kule Folklore Centre at the University of Alberta.
The Verkhovyna vocal ensemble was formed in 1952 under the directorship of Olena Hlibowych. It performed both classical and contemporary repertoire. In 1954, Verkhovyna was the first Ukrainian Canadian vocal group ever in Canada and the United States to give full concert programmes touring the larger cities of Canada and the United States. After that they performed at many important events other than their performances for the Ukrainian communities, such as World Congress of Professional Women in Toronto, Canadian Club (1955), Stratford Festival (1956), CFRB's Anniversary Celebrations, CTV, etc.
In 1967 Verkhovyna released its first long playing record that was played on CBC and all Ukrainian radio programmes in Canada and the United States. In 1968, they went on a concert tour of Western Canada. After the tour, they were asked to appear as the official representatives for Ontario at Manitoba's Centennial Celebrations. They also performed at Canadian universities (Toronto, York, Windsor, Ottawa, Buffalo), for the Ontario Ethnic Press and many political personalities (Ontario Premiers, Prime Ministers, Governor General of Canada, etc.).
In 1979, the Year of the Child, Verkhovyna paid tribute to Ukrainian children by releasing a long playing record of children's songs and stories "Kurochka Ru Ru Ru" (A Chick Peep Peep).
Verkhovyna celebrated its 30th anniversary in 1982 with another tour of Western Canada winding up with a grand Anniversary Concert in Toronto where many of its past singers attended and once again participated. In honour of this anniversary, the Government of Ontario presented Verkhovyna with a special citation commending its dedicated artistic and community achievements.
1984 brought Verkhovyna to England where they performed in ten cities. The same year - Ontario's Bicentennial - Verkhovyna premiered the song "Ontario, Ontario" (in Ukrainian and English) at Ontario Place and later released a single of this song which was aired on CBC coast to coast.
The colour cover of the record "Verkhovyna Sings" released in 1985 was used as the promotional background on the poster for the Australian tour, to which they were invited after their appearance at the World Congress of Free Ukrainians.
Verkhovyna is known not only for its repertoire (religious, classical, folk, and popular songs in Ukrainian, English and French), but also though its many colourful original and stylized costumes.