Ukrainian communities across the country are gearing up to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Canada in 2016. In honour of marking this important milestone, the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village (UCHV) opened its doors for the summer season with a new feature exhibit.
Where We Came From officially opened on Monday, May 23 and brought in students and contestants from across the province for the special occasion. The exhibit shows the importance for the youngest generation of Ukrainian-Albertans to get a better understanding and appreciation for their own family’s history. The exhibit showcases approximately 50 pieces of student artwork from across the province depicting the family history of ordinary Ukrainian families who call Alberta home.
It touches on topics from a family’s immigration journey to Canada to family and cultural identity in a new land. This collection of children’s artwork provides a unique insight into their perception of the world and, in this case, their understanding of the past.
How the exhibit was made
In fall 2015, Alberta students aged 18 years or younger were invited to share their family history through a piece of artwork to be submitted into a contest. Submissions were grouped according to age groups and the top submissions from each category were selected to form the foundation for this art exhibit. This art contest approach was based on a successful model employed by International Education Services Branch of Alberta Education.
This contest was created as a way to engage our community in sharing their stories with visitors to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. Through this contest, we give a voice to one of our largest audiences – students – as they help us tell the story of where we came from. For adult audiences, this artwork will examine complex stories of the past through the lens of a child who, in many cases, is today several generations removed from those ancestors who made this immigration journey.
The judges at the UCHV were impressed not only with the artwork that was submitted by students, but also by their thoughtful descriptions that accompanied the images. In many cases, the simple phrases captured the spirit and perseverance of immigrants who had left their old world behind to start a new life in Canada.
Congratulations to winners Julia Glodeau (category winner for 13-15 years), Lubomyr Soroka (10-12 years), Kendra Rodrigue (8-9 years) and Thomas Kellert (7 years and younger). All are pictured below.
Pictured left to right: Pamela Trischuk (Head, Education & Interpretation, UCHV), Julia Glodeau, Lubomyr Soroka, Kendra Rodrigue, Thomas Kellert and Arnold Grandt (Director, UCHV).
Where We Came From will be on display in the Visitor Centre from May 21 to September 5. In the summer of 2017, the Village will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation by highlighting stories and experiences of all Alberta families. Submissions are now being accepted for the 2017 Where We Came From art contest. More information is available at www.ukrainianvillage.ca (under School Programs page).
Operated by Alberta Culture and Tourism, the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village is located 25 minutes east of Edmonton on Highway 16. Starting May 21, it is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through to September 5. For more information visit www.ukrainianvillage.ca or call 780-662-3640 (dial 310-0000 for toll-free access in Alberta).