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December 1, 2000

Ukrainian Canadian Studies Reorganized

The Ukrainian Canadian Programme of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies is undergoing a reorganization in response to recent staff changes.

Dr. Frances Swyripa, the director of the UCP since 1992, in July received a full-time position with the Department of History at the University of Alberta, where she has been teaching for more than a decade. A specialist in Canadian ethnic, immigration and women’s history, Dr. Swyripa is the author of Ukrainians Canadians: A Survey of Their Portrayal in English-Language Works and Wedded to the Cause: Ukrainian Canadian Women and Identity, 1891-1991. During her tenure as the UCP director, Dr. Swyripa wrote encyclopedia entries on Ukrainians in Canada, articles on Ukrainian Canadian history, and organized CIUS-sponsored conferences on the Ukrainian experience in the New World. She at the same time oversaw a number of research projects, some of which were undertaken by graduate students.

In the wake of Professor Swyripa’s departure, the CIUS has appointed Jars Balan and Andrij Makuch as the new co-coordinators of the Ukrainian Canadian Programme. Whereas Mr. Balan will oversee the day-to-day operations of the UCP while continuing with his on-going work on Ukrainian Canadian literature and theatre, Mr. Makuch will direct and conduct primary research on various aspects of the history of Ukrainians in Canada. The main focus of the program in the coming years will be the writing of comprehensive scholarly accounts of Ukrainian life in Canada during the interwar and post-Second World War periods.

Jars Balan is widely-known as the author of Salt & Braided Bread: Ukrainian Life in Canada, published in 1984 by Oxford University Press. He has also edited numerous books and periodicals dealing with Ukrainian Canadian themes, and compiled two major collections of Ukrainian Canadian literature: Yarmarok: Ukrainian Writing in Canada Since the Second World War, and Echoes from Ukrainian Canada, a special Ukrainian Centennial issue of the Winnipeg journal, Prairie Fire. In addition to producing scholarly and popular articles on a broad range of Ukrainian Canadian topics over the years, he has been the driving force behind the creation of the Kalyna Country Ecomuseum, inaugurated in 1992 with the support of the CIUS. Mr. Balan will continue to be involved in the development of Kalyna Country, which is assisting with the preservation of Ukrainian Canadian historical landmarks and culture in agricultural settlements north and east of Edmonton. A former editor of Student and one of the key figures behind the Selo Cultural Immersion Camp, he remains an active participant in organized Ukrainian community life.

Andrij Makuch has since 1988 been employed as an editor on the highly acclaimed five-volume Encyclopedia of Ukraine, one of his specialties being the entries on Ukrainian life in Canada. He obtained an M.A. in Canadian History from the University of Alberta for his thesis entitled "In the Populist Tradition: Organizing the Ukrainian Farmer in Alberta, 1909-1935". He has worked as a researcher for the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village near Edmonton, producing detailed studies of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church (formerly located at Buczacz, Alberta) and the Kiew Hall. He also co-authored with Dr. Frances Swyripa the

invaluable resource guide, "Ukrainian Canadian Content in the Newspaper Svoboda, 1893-1904." Mr. Makuch has spoken extensively on Ukrainian Canadian topics at conferences and to community groups, and has taught a course on "The Ukrainian Experience in Canada" at the University of Saskatchewan. Long active in Ukrainian Canadian affairs, he has been a National President of the Ukrainian Canadian Students’ Union, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Professional Business Club of Saskatoon, and a member of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress’ Community Development Committee.

In keeping with its commitment to produce a multi-volume history of Ukrainians in Canada, the Ukrainian Canadian Programme has contracted Orest Martynowych, of Winnipeg, to investigate several important facets of Ukrainian Canadian institutional development during the interwar years. Mr. Martynowych is well-known as the author of Ukrainians in Canada: The Formative Period, 1891-1924, a scholarly overview of the pioneer era in Ukrainian Canadian history. Although a number of research projects have already been undertaken to help lay the groundwork for a follow-up volume dealing with the years 1924-1947, in-depth studies are still required to fill significant gaps in the historical record. Mr. Martynowych is currently examining the evolution of Ukrainian Canadian religious life, in addition to gathering materials on the cultural achievements of Vasyl Avramenko. Other initiatives will concentrate on Ukrainian Canadian political organizations, publishing, theatre, music and literature. All of this research, using primary sources, will subsequently be incorporated in the writing of a narrative account of Ukrainian existence in Canada from the 1920s, through the Great Depression, to the end of the Second World War.

To help boost the profile of the Ukrainian Canadian Studies, Messrs. Balan and Makuch are keen to be more visible at Ukrainian community functions across the country. In October, both men gave well-attended talks at St. Vladimir’s Institute as part of celebrations sponsored by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress to mark the centennial of Ukrainian settlement in Toronto. They also both participated in the Winnipeg launch of June Dutka’s biography of C.H. Andrusyshen, the prominent Ukrainian Canadian scholar, which took place at St. Andrew’s College on 22 October. Volunteer groups looking for speakers to talk on Ukrainian Canadian subjects should submit their requests to the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. For more information contact: Ukrainian Canadian Programme, 352 Athabasca Hall, University of Alberta, T6G 2E8. Phone: 492-2972. Fax: 492-4967. Email:

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