Title and statement of responsibility area
The Ukrainian St. John's Cathedral School of Dancing
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Dates of creation area
- Kuc, Chester and Luba
Physical description area
- 0.9 cm of textual records
- 5 photographs
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Chester Kuc (April 15, 1931 - February 16, 2013) and Luba Kuc (May 29, 1930, nee Yusypchuk) were born in Edmonton. Their parents were active in the Ukrainian National Federation (UNO), participating in cultural activities such as choir and drama. Chester and Luba attended Ukrainian school, where they were encouraged to participate in cultural activities, children's choir, orchestra, plays, skits, and folk dancing. Both Chester and Luba were students of Vasyl Avramenko dancing school (Chester graduated in 1953).
Chester was a founder of "Shumka" and "Cheremosh" dancing ensembles and their director in 1958-1969 and 1969-1981, respectively. Chester also taught dancing schools throughout Edmonton - at UNO, where he had the largest dance school in Edmonton with 350 dancers, the St. John's Orthodox Cathedral, the St. Elia's Parish, the Holy Eucharist Parish, the St. Basil's Parish, the Ukrainian Catholic National Hall. Chester also was an alumnus of the Educational Summer School in Winnipeg (1947) organized by the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre in Winnipeg. He worked at the Alberta Department of Ministry of Justice; was the head of the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Alberta Branch (1991-1995); and the Cultural Director of the Ukrainian National Federation, also acted as their president for several years.
In 1948 Luba Kuc was a student of the Petro Mohyla Institute Ukrainian Studies Summer School in Saskatoon. Luba was an accomplished violinist and, later, the costume advisor for all of the dance schools taught by Chester. The couple even made trips to museums in Ukraine for research on Ukrainian costumes. Luba was a member of UNYF and the second President of the organization. Later on, she became a member of the Ukrainian Women's Organization of Canada (Організація Українок Канади ім. Ольги Басараб) and served as its President in 1976, 1977, and 1979, vice-President and treasurer in 1968 and 1978. In 2004 for her dedicated work Luba was presented the Hetman Award from UCC APC.
Luba and Chester were married on July 2, 1960, and had 2 daughters: Larysa and Daria.
Both Chester and Luba owned a large pysanky collection, hundreds of Ukrainian folk art items, including shirts, carved wood articles, burnt wood artifacts, ceramics, embroideries, and paintings. Artifacts from their collection have been featured in displays at Heritage Days, the Ukrainian Museum of Canada (Edmonton and Saskatoon Branches), the Ukrainian National Federation Hall, the Muttart Conservatory, the Centennial Ukrainian Celebrations display at the Agricom and the Shevchenko Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1992. Luba and Chester also held multiple embroidery and pysanka workshops.
To the history of Mr. Kuc's first name: "Chester Kuc was born to a Ukrainian father and a Polish mother who named him Czeslaw, a name that the hospital staff misheard as Chester. Later, his godfather suggested choosing a more Ukrainian name and Chester acquired the name of Myroslav."
- The Edmonton Ukrainian Community Mourns the Loss of Chester Kuc. https://www.ualberta.ca/kule-folklore-centre/news/2013/february/chesterkuc.html
- Отнякіна О. М. "Куць Мирослав." Енциклопедія cучасної України: електронна версія [веб-сайт] / гол. редкол.: І.М. Дзюба, А.І. Жуковський, М.Г. Железняк та ін.; НАН України, НТШ. Київ: Інститут енциклопедичних досліджень НАН України, 2006. URL: http://esu.com.ua/search_articles.php?id=52331
- Catalogue created by the Royal Alberta Museum for an exhibit of Chester's pysanky in 2006.
- In Service of Our Homeland. The Ukrainian Women's Organization of Canada 50th Anniversary (1956- 1980), part 2. Editors: Jaroslawa Zorych, Zynowy Knysh, Hanna Mazurenko. Toronto: Published by the Ukrainian Women's Organization of Canada, 1984.
- Організація Українок Канади ім. Ольги Басараб. "Люба Куць." Постер ОУК.
Scope and content
Concert programs, newspaper clippings and photographs of the dance group.