Chairs: Andriy Nahachewsky & Maryna Chernyavska

Dr. Andriy Nahachewsky is a Professor at the University of Alberta. He occupies the Huculak Chair of Ukrainian Culture and Ethnography, and has served for 15 years as Director of the Kule Centre for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore. He has experienced archives extensively as a long-time Curator of the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives, as a researcher, and as a donor himself. He has conducted fieldwork projects on Ukrainian communities in a dozen countries. His publications deal mostly with ethnic dance, the Ukrainian Canadian experience, and ethnographic methodology. His current project explores narratives about Ukrainian immigration to Canada and Brazil from 1891-1914 as a traditional folklore genre and as “creative non-fiction,” searching for patterns in the narratives related to the storytelling moment.

Maryna Chernyavska holds a position as the Folklore Archivist at the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives, Kule Folklore Centre, University of Alberta, Canada. She also administers Alberta on Record – a provincial online database of the Archives Society of Alberta. Maryna holds a Master of Arts degree in Ukrainian Folklore and a Master of Library and Information Studies degree from the University of Alberta. Her research interests include: folklore archives, digital archives, traditional knowledge and memory keeping, postmodern archives, and ethnic cultural heritage. Maryna serves on the board of the International Council on Archives – Section on University and Research Institution Archives, and is a co-chair of the Working Group on Archives of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore.

Andrij Makuch – Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (Toronto)

Andrij Makuch is the Research Coordinator of the Kule Ukrainian Canadian Studies Centre at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies as well as the Associate Director of Research for the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium at CIUS. He has taught on “The Ukrainian Experience in Canada” at the University of Saskatchewan and conducted research for the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. He is the co-compiler of Ukrainian Canadian Content in the Newspaper Svoboda, 1893–1904, compiler of Encyclopedia of Ukraine: Index and Errata (2001), co-editor of Contextualizing the Holodomor: The Impact of Thirty Years of Ukrainian Famine Studies (2015), guest editor of “Ukrainians in Canada between the Great War and the Cold War” (special issue of the Journal of Ukrainian Studies, Winter 2003), and the author of articles and reviews regarding Ukrainians in Canada. His current research interest is the history of the Ukrainian left in Canada.


My work with the Kule Ukrainian Canadian Studies Centre at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies has involved dealing with archival issues. I was involved with the 2004 Ukrainian-Canadian archival roundtable session organized in Winnipeg during the “Learneds” in 2004 by the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Canada as a follow-up to Orest Kruhlak’s Ukrainian archives report to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. I was involved in dealings with a number of film collections touching on Ukrainian-Canadian concerns, specifically those of Lev Sylenko and Bohdan Soluk (both of which proved inconclusive) as well as that of George Duravetz (which ended up at the University of Toronto Film Archive). I also brokered the transfer of filmmaker Dmytro Pyluk’s archives to Library and Archives Canada, and have advised a number of individuals regarding depositing collections into Canadian archives. I have had dealings with the Archives of Ontario as well as the Multicultural History Society of Ontario regarding their Ukrainian collections. As well, I served as a consultant for the preparation of Iryna Matiash’s Arkhivna ukrainika v Kanadi guide. As such, I have a professional interest in and dealings with Ukrainian-Canadian archival matters, and would like to share my experiences and insights with others at this gathering.

Vivian Skakun & Kathy Buchanan – Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada (Edmonton)

Vivian Skakun has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta. After a short teaching career, she actively lobbied for change to the educational system to meet the unique needs of every child in an effective educational system for all. She has authored articles for the National Ukrainian Women’s Association (UWAC) publication called Promin. Her interest in archives peaked when she was asked to write a brief history of the Provincial UWAC (1976-2001) and discovered both the state of and the value of UWAC Provincial archives.

Kathy Buchanan has worked with the Federal Government serving in different capacities and with the Alberta Provincial Government. She received the Premier’s Award of Excellence in 2009. She has volunteered extensively holding executive positions at the National Ukrainian Women’s Association; Provincial Ukrainian Women’s Association and at the branch level.  She has also participated in an international project, fundraising for Maple Leaf (Klynovy Lyst) to assist in building a safe house for youth in Ukraine. Kathy was awarded the Soroptimist Ruby Award for Women Helping Women in 2014. Currently Kathy is the archivist for the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada – Alberta Provincial Executive.


The Alberta Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada – Alberta Provincial Executive (UWAC-APE) consists of fifteen UWAC branches totaling 491 Soyuz members. Each branch is affiliated with a Ukrainian Orthodox Church. This presentation will outline an overview of the current state of the Alberta provincial archives, the challenges our organizations are facing and the work we need to do to ensure adequate collection procedures, access to and availability of archives, proper storage of all archival materials and a suitable permanent location for storage.

In 2011 the newly elected UWAC Executive assumed the responsibility of publishing the UWAC History Book for the time frame of 1976-2001. Upon receiving the collection and reviewing the content, UWAC discovered that many branch, museum, and provincial submissions were not submitted. The president of UWAC requested that the UWAC-APE president write the history for the UWAC-APE. This is when the provincial president uncovered the plight of UWAC Alberta archives. We will share our discovery with you.

All information regarding the branches is collected through the National ANKETA. This is a questionnaire that current branch executives are required to complete annually when they send in their membership fees of their branch members to National UWAC. A duplicate ANKETA form is forwarded to the provincial executive for information. The provincial UWAC archives convenor collects branch reports, newsletters, program books, photos and minutes. These need to be culled and reviewed. We look forward to having conversations about proper organization, collection and storage of UWAC-APE archives and the potential future direction for our organization.

Karen Lemiski – Basilian Fathers Museum in Mundare

Dr. Karen Lemiski has been curator and associate director of the Basilian Fathers Museum, Mundare, since 2009.


In 1910, Fr. Josaphat Jean, a newly ordained French priest, travelled as a missionary volunteer to Lviv, from where he was sent to the monasteries in Lavriv and Krekhiv to learn the Ukrainian language and Old Slavonic liturgy. During his free time, Fr. Jean toured the surrounding countryside, learning the language and traditions while also accumulating a variety of ethnographic items. Fr. Jean later served as secretary-translator for the Western Ukrainian National Republic and as a special delegate of the Ukrainian Catholic Committee to Aid Ukrainian Refugees at the end of World War II. Although his passion for collecting accompanied Fr. Jean wherever he went, his most valuable objects were the rare books and manuscripts, artistic works, and priceless Ukrainian cultural artifacts he saved from the destruction of World War II and the Soviet regime that followed.

Fr. Jean’s collection served as the foundation of the Ukrainian Museum and Archives (later Basilian Fathers Museum), which was originally opened in Mundare in 1957. At the time, it was the largest Ukrainian museum in Canada and one of the oldest in Alberta. Almost from the time of its opening, the public recognized the value of the museum and its role in preserving the history, culture, and religion of both the Ukrainian pioneers of the Beaver Lake-Mundare settlement and the early Basilians who served the area.

Logically, the museum also serves as the main repository for the archives of the Order of St. Basil the Great in Canada, members of which first arrived in Canada in late 1902. More recently, the museum has taken on the de facto role of the local Mundare historical society. Dr. Lemiski will provide an overview of the Basilian Fathers’ archival collection, focusing on the challenges of preserving the documentary heritage at the museum.

Aleksandr Makar – Ukrainian Canadian Archives and Museum of Alberta

Alexander Makar completed his undergraduate studies in History and Education at the University of Chernivtsi, and his graduate studies in History at the Institute of History, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Kyiv, Ukraine. As well, he has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Alberta. In the past, he worked as a Researcher and Archivist at the Ukrainian Folklore Centre, University of Alberta, and was the Executive Director of UCAMA. Currently, he is a Research Officer, Alberta Advanced Education. Alexander has co-edited two books and is the author of over twenty articles and other publications on culture and history of Ukrainians in Canada. He has also presented on various Ukrainian-Canadian topics at more than thirty conferences in Canada and internationally.


My presentation will provide an overview of the archival records at UCAMA and their management.  This will include information on the UCAMA archival policy, collection focus and scope, background history on the acquisition of the records, and current status of the processing.

The holdings include textual records and around 5,000 photographs and negatives.  The textual records consist of records of the Ukrainian community organizations as well as records of well-known individuals who contributed to all aspects of the Ukrainian Canadian life in Alberta and beyond.  For example, UCAMA has the archival fonds of Michael Luchkovich who was the first Canadian Member of Parliament of Ukrainian descent.  Although the main focus of the holdings is on Alberta, the depository includes some records dealing with the Ukrainian Canadian participation in WWII (primarily photographs), Ukrainians in other parts of Canada as well as internationally.

The UCAMA’s mission is to enrich appreciation of the Alberta experience by collecting, preserving, displaying, and promoting the region’s Ukrainian heritage in a creative and engaging museum environment: by developing and maintaining a collection of artifacts, archival materials, and books that focuses on the Ukrainian experience in Edmonton within the broader context of the city, Alberta, Canada, Ukraine, and the world; and by providing a public service, educational opportunities, and cultural resources to the local community and visitors to Edmonton through exhibits, school programs, special events, and research facilities.

Lesia Perritt – Ukrainian  Women’s Association of Canada

Lesia Perritt is retired from a teaching career in Early Childhood Education at the kindergarten level. At her parish, she oversees six instructors and an uncredited program of Ukrainian Language Classes for Adults, and serves on the church Board of Management. Lesia has held executive positions in the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada (UWAC) at the Branch, Provincial and National levels. In her tenure as National President of the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada from 2015-17, Lesia engaged in consolidating national archives of the organization and collecting records from inactive branches. The discovery of a box of documents and letters from the National UWAC War Effort in the 1940s further inspired her interest in preservation of Ukrainian archival history in Canada.


My name is Lesia Perritt and I am the Past President on the National Executive of the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada (UWAC). The Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada/Союз Українок Канади was formed in 1926, the first national organization linking Ukrainian women across Canada.

During my tenure as UWAC National President in 2015-2017, a considerable effort was made to collect documents created by past national executives, and retrieve archives from our branches across Canada that are no longer active. We have amassed a considerable number of boxes of archival material and are concerned about the preservation of our history.

Of particular interest was a discovery of documents relating to the War Effort during the 1940s provided by the women in our organization. We have numerous letters from Agencies and Government Departments requesting assistance, as well as commending our War Effort. We possess a vast collection of original letters from Ukrainians in refugee camps located in England, Germany, Austria and Italy in the 1940s.