The Society of Friends of the Ukrainian Folklore Centre is a non-profit society that was established to support the work of the Ukrainian Folklore Centre (Ukrainian Folklore Programme) at the University of Alberta. The Friends actively publicize the activities of the Centre, increase community awareness and raise funds for future projects. The organization has produced a video highlighting Ukrainian Culture studies at the University of Alberta as well as promote outreach in the community.
The Friends' mission is to:
"Morally and financially support the Ukrainian Folklore Programme at the University of Alberta and to increase its capacity to study and communicate the complexities of the Ukrainian experience in the world.
To facilitate the growth of Ukrainian ethnology, which is the discovery of knowledge about Ukrainian culture and identify through the study of arts, customs, beliefs, songs, crafts and other traditions, as well as the people who partake in them, by providing support to the Ukrainian Folklore Programme in public relations, communications, fundraising, administration, and special projects."
The Friends Society has also contributed financially for student research scholarships, archival projects, infrastructure and publications. In addition, the Friends Society has successfully received grants from Canada’s Digital Collections Initiative grant through Industry Canada (the Ukrainian Folklore Photo Archives and the Ukrainian Wedding Web Exhibit), federal and provincial government grants for Local Culture and Diversity on the Prairies Research Project (Department of Multiculturalism and Community Initiatives Program).
The Friends support projects have the following characteristics:
- Projects with clear and realistic budgets, where the project priorities match the priorities of the Friends, and where financial contributions are shared by other parties beyond the Friends.
- Studies of traditional songs, tales, sayings, beliefs, calendar customs, life cycle customs, material culture, folk arts, performance traditions, community life; studies of Ukrainian ethnic culture such as contemporary Ukrainian dance, choral activity, drama, embroidery, foodlore, ceramics; and studies of popular culture that relates to Ukrainian identity. Studies of folklore research methods, history of folklore studies theories, archiving, library work, and museology related to Ukrainian Folklore can be supported if the researcher is qualified.
- Studies that involve fieldwork such as interviewing people who lived the subject matter or recording actual community events as they occur; studies that involve collecting the community’s documentations (collecting wedding videos, historic photos, autobiographies, community and private archives, etc); and studies that involve archival research on these subject matters.
- Studies that involve Ukrainian culture in Canada or in Ukraine.
- Studies which will result in articles, books, audio recordings, videos, websites, photo collections, school modules, etc. We encourage diverse media, as applicable to the goals of the project.
- Studies that are academic, semi-academic (with some scholarly content and new knowledge, but presented for a general population), as well as for school children.
Natalia Toroshenko, President