Collection 0116 - Soltykewych Ukrainian Canadian community collection

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Soltykewych Ukrainian Canadian community collection

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    Reference code

    CA BMUFA 0116

    Edition area

    Edition statement

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    Statement of scale (cartographic)

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    Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

    Dates of creation area


    • 1970s-1990s (Creation)
      Soltykevych, Orest
    • 1951 - 1976 (Creation)
      Soltykewych, Roman

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    0.36 m of textual records
    phonograph records
    3 portraits
    3 maps

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    Roman Soltykewych was born on February 4, 1909 in the Village of Ulucz in the Lemko region of Western Ukraine (at that time in Austro-Hungary). His parents were Rev. Orest and Leontyna (née Min'kevych) Soltykewych. (The village was known for having been the location of the founding in 1860 of a choir by Rev. Mykhailo Verbyts'kyi, the author of the music to the Ukrainian national anthem.)

    Roman Soltykewych completed gymnasium (high school) in Peremyshl', and went on to study music and conducting at the Lysenko Musical Institute in L'viv, and continued his musical studies in Krakow, where he conducted the students' choir.

    Roman Soltykewych returned to his native Lemko lands where he conducted folk and church choirs. And because of his activities as a Ukrainian community activist, he spent time in Polish prisons. And during the Second World War, he also experienced persecution under the Nazi regime.

    In 1944, when many were fleeing the Soviet occupation of Ukrainian lands, Roman Soltykewych spent time in Austria and eventually ended up in France, where the founded yet another choir.

    in 1951, Roman Soltykewych arrived in Edmonton, and began conducting the choir at St Josaphat's Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral. And in 1953, he formed the Dnipro Male Chorus, which began with a small number of singers and eventually grew to be one of the finest Ukrainian choirs in Western Canada.

    In 1955, Roman Soltykewych married Stephanie Derech, and they had three children - son Orest, and twin daughters Nadia and Vera.

    For several years, Roman Soltykewych conducted the choir at St George's Ukrainian Catholic Parish, and from 1965 until his death he conducted the St. John's Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Choir. During those years, he also founded and conducted the Ukrainian Youth Association of Canada (CYMK) Choir.

    In 1971, the Dnipro Male Chorus brought female singers into its fold, and became the Dnipro Choir, which had many performances with the Cheremosh Dancers, including a week of performances at Expo '74 in Spokane, Washington. Eventually, the Dnipro Choir became the 120-member Dnipro Ensemble, with orchestra and dancers.

    In 1973, Roman Soltykewych was the recipient of the Alberta Achievement Award.

    On November 17, 1976 Roman Soltykewych passed away at the age of 67.

    Name of creator

    Biographical history

    Born and raised in Edmonton, Orest Soltykevych started his musical career having completed Royal Conservatory Piano up to the Grade 9 level. He continued his musical studies at the University of Alberta, and completed his Bachelor of Education with a major in secondary music.

    Orest has been active with Ukrainian choirs since the age of 15, when he first accompanied the Ukrainian Youth Association of Canada (CYMK) Choir. He then joined that choir as a singer, and also sang in and accompanied the Dnipro Choir.

    In 1984, Orest became the founding conductor of the Ukrainian Male Chorus of Edmonton, and continues to be its artistic director to this day. In 1986, Orest became the conductor of the Ukrainian Youth Association of Canada (CYMK) Choir, and led that ensemble for seven years. Orest was also conductor of the St Andrew's Ukrainian Orthodox Parish Choir for three years. As well, for the past five years, Orest has been the conductor of the Verkhovyna Choir

    In recent years, Orest has sung with the Richard Eaton Singers, the Da Camera Singers, and the Kappella Kyrie Slavic Chamber Choir.

    Orest served as a member and later as president of the Ukrainian Music Society for ten years. In 1999, he founded the radio program "Sounds Ukrainian" on radio station CJSR at the University of Alberta, and hosted the program for seven years. Currently, Orest hosts the classical music programs Saturday Breakfast and Sunday Breakfast on the CKUA Radio Network, which broadcasts throughout Alberta.

    Five years ago, Orest retired from Edmonton Public Schools after 32 years of teaching and administration.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The collection consists of posters, programs, brochures, periodical publications related to various events and organizations in the Ukrainian Canadian community in Edmonton. Collected by Roman Soltykewych and Orest Soltykevych. The collection is organized into the following series:

    • Plast Functions 1956 -1978
    • Exhibits 1967 - 1974
    • Taras Shevchenko Functions 1952 - 1980
    • Religious Occasions (Christmas near end) 1951 - 1987
    • Dancing Concerts 1960 - 1990
    • Out-of-Towner's in Edmonton 1969 - 1990
    • Political Functions (Jan. 22 near end) 1951 - 1979
    • Ukrainian Festivals 1951 - 1979
    • Ukrainian Cultural Functions 1962 - 1980
    • Festivals with Ukrainians & Other Ethnic Groups 1961 - 1974
    • CYMK 1956 - 1981
    • Concerts out of Edmonton by non-Edmontonians 1961 - 1976
    • Live Ukrainian Theatre 1964 - 1977
    • Phonograph recordings
    • Portraits
    • Maps

    Notes area

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        UF2017.053, UF2018.008

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