Collection 0064 - Ukrainian dance in Canada 1930s-1970s collection

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Ukrainian dance in Canada 1930s-1970s collection

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0.3 cm of textual records
1 audio recording

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Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn is an accomplished artist who has had the opportunity to create and exhibit her work around the world. She was born in Edmonton. At the age of 6 her parents enrolled her in art classes offered by the Edmonton Art Gallery, where her first instructor, “Man Woman”, encouraged her to continually explore the mediums at hand. Sembaliuk Cheladyn was also inspired by her father, Paul Sembaliuk - the designer of the large Vegreville Pysanka – who had a gift for interpreting cultural traditions within a contemporary environment. Sembaliuk Cheladyn graduated with her BFA in Art & Design (1981) and her MA in Ukrainian Folklore (2016) from the University of Alberta. She is best known for her watercolour paintings of flowers – poppies, sunflowers and endangered species are her specialty. As a 3rd generation Ukrainian Canadian she particularly enjoys painting images from her Ukrainian cultural heritage. Her unique depiction of Ukrainian dance, musical instruments, and typical Ukrainian imagery recreates fond memories of rich cultural traditions. Sembaliuk Cheladyn is also well known for illustrating a Canadian bestselling series of bilingual Ukrainian/English children’s books published by Kazka Productions.

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(b. 1929)

Biographical history

Nadia Korpus was born in Regina, Saskatchewan on the 18th of August 1929. Her father, Peter Korpus (Korpesio) was born in Malniv, Ukraine in 1897 and followed his older brother, John Korpesio to Canada in the early 1920s. Nadia’s mother, Olga Wawruck, was born in Hubbard, Saskatchewan in 1903. Her parents had arrived in Canada in 1899 from Koshlyakeh, Ternopil Oblast, Halychyna, Ukraine. Peter and Olga were married in Hubbard in 1926, and settled in Regina where they soon started a family. Their oldest son, Roman (Raymond), was born in 1927 followed by Nadia in ’29. Nadia’s younger brother Donald (Donny) was born in 1930, and her younger sister Patricia (Pat Sembaliuk) was born later in 1935.

She was active in the Ukrainian National Federation and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. Her passion for Ukrainian Culture was further encouraged through participation in the summer school “Kursy” which she attended in 1946-48. Nadia is noted for establishing the Rusalka Dance Ensemble in Calgary (1961-67), and having inspired many Ukrainian dancers, both male and female, to continue dancing and teaching across the prairies.

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The collection consists of the interview conducted by Larisa Cheladyn with Nadia Korpus in Calgary, and her final essay based on her research and this interview entitled "Through the eyes of Nadia Korpus: A snap shot of Ukrainian dance in Canada from the 1930s to 1970s." The essay examines Ukrainian dance in Canada from 1930s to 1970s as seen through the eyes of one person. It starts in Regina, SK, where Nadia began Ukrainian dancing as a small girl, and then criss-crossed the country as she participated in various summer programs and seminars, taught and created Ukrainian dances and formed her own Ukrainian dance group in Calgary "Rusalka". Ukrainian identity, involvement in the Ukrainian National Federation (UNF), Ukrainian Women's Organization, Summer School "Kursy" in Winnipeg are also discussed.

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