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July 04, 2001

Promoting Ukrainian Canadian Studies at Home and Abroad

As part of their on-going efforts to boost the profile of Ukrainian Canadian Studies, Andrij Makuch and Jars Balan of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies recently participated in scholarly forums in Quebec and Western Ukraine. At the end of May, both contributed papers during the academic sessions of the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Slavists, as part of this year’s Social Sciences and Humanities Congress, held at University of Laval in Quebec City. Mr. Makuch’s topic was "Canada as a Homeland: The Emerging Views of the Interwar Ukrainian-Canadian Intelligentsia." At the same session, Dr. Frances Swyripa spoke on the subject "Ukrainians and Official Canada: Manipulating Tradition and Ritual Between the Wars." Because Jars Balan was in Ukraine at the time, his paper on Ukrainian-language theatre in rural east central Alberta was read by Mr. Makuch. All three presentations were well-received, and will be used in writing the history of Ukrainians in Canada during the interwar years.

Meanwhile, on 17 May Mr. Balan delivered a paper entitled "Canadian Bukovyna: Ukrainians and Romanians in the New World" at an international conference held at the State University of Chernivtsi. The academic gathering, which was co-sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS), examined Ukrainian-Romanian-Moldovan relations from historical, cultural and political perspectives. "Canadian Bukovyna" discussed the evolution of Ukrainian-Romanian relations in Canada, focussing especially on the Boian Romanian community east of Willingdon, Alberta, in the heart of the pioneer-era Ukrainian Bloc Settlement that today forms the basis of the Kalyna Country Ecomuseum. While overseas, Mr. Balan also met with Canadian embassy officials in Kyiv, and with representatives of the University of Chernivtsi, to discuss how the Ukrainian Canadian Programme (UCP) might assist with the establishment of Canadian Studies courses at post-secondary institutions in Ukraine. Because of the UCP’s involvement in the field of ethnic Canadian Studies, the program is well-positioned to provide advice, practical assistance and moral support to Ukrainian scholars interested in specializing in Canadian affairs.

Finally, researcher Orest Martynowych is continuing to investigate documentary material pertaining to Ukrainian Canadian life in the interwar period. From mid-March to mid-June Mr. Martynowych worked in Ottawa at the National Archives of Canada and at the National Library, going through the extensive papers of Vasyl Avramenko. Some of Mr. Martynowych’s research will be utilized in a project being spearheaded by the Rusalka Dancers of Winnipeg to commemorate Vasyl Avramenko’s legacy to the development of Ukrainian Canadian culture.







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