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Saving Ukrainian Canadians' Heritage: SUCH project
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- Textual record
- Graphic material
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Archival description area
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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.
Scope and content
The goal of the “Saving Ukrainian Canadians’ Heritage” oral history project was to document stories of Ukrainian pioneers in the Prairie Provinces. The project was led by CYMK, and its digitization and revival are a collaboration between the Kule Folklore Centre and the Ukrainian Museum of Canada-Saskatoon. It consists of hundreds of hours of interviews conducted in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario from 1971-1972. There are also 700 photographs: some historical, and others – from the time of the project.
"Under the federal government sponsored plan for student employment "Opportunities for Youth", the Canadian Ukrainian Youth Association is sponsoring project "S.U.C.H."- Save the Ukrainian Canadian Heritage. This Association, which may be briefly designated as "C.Y.M.K" is a nationally based youth organization founded in 1931. Its prime aim is to foster, promote and develop in the national life of Canada the finest cultural elements and traditions of the Ukrainian people. The national office of CYMK, located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, serves as an information bureau, a programme source, public relations office and an organizer of various workshops, conferences and conventions.
"Project SUCH is research oriented. The main objective is to record and collect information and artifacts of historical and ethnological significance from various Ukrainian communities across eastern and Western Canada. This will be primarily accomplished by recorded interviews with Ukrainian pioneers and through public meetings to turn the attention of local youth and adults to the precious nature of their heritage.
"Specifically, the research will be carried out by talking to pioneer settlers, recording folklore, songs, traditions and pioneer accounts of life in Canada, collecting books, records and accounts of historical interest from the Ukrainian community.
"Fifteen students will be doing field work in Ukrainian communities throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario for the summer months, with an additional student coordinator in Saskatoon overseeing the entire project.
"The necessity for work of this nature has been evident for some time but lack of funds has impeded the realization to a great extent. This project as SUCH will provide and opportunity for our young students to make a valuable contribution to Canadian culture- to study the process of acculturation- preservation and adaptation of one's cultural heritage.
"As a result of this work various groups and agencies will benefit, e.g., universities, provincial tourist bureaus, Dominion and Provincial Archives and Museums, local Ukrainian community organizations and public libraries. It is therefore, sincerely hoped that the communities will welcome these young students and where necessary, provide assistance and support."
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Original reels are stored at the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives.
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There is an article by Leo La Clare "Oral History in Canada: An Overview", which is part of the LAC Jaroslav Rudnyckyj fonds, MG31 D58 v67f46, that provides context for projects like the 1971-1972 SUCH fieldwork, although not mentioning it directly.
Standard number area
Name access points
- Kule Folklore Centre (Contributor)