2018 USUSA Pysanka and Vinok Workshops

As a part of Culture Week at the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Saskatchewan Ukrainian Students Association (USUSA) hosted Pysanka and Vinok workshops on March 20 and 22, 2018 respectively. Both events took place at St. Thomas More College in the student lounge and were well-attended by students, staff and community members.

The Pysanka workshop has become a traditional annual spring event organized by the USUSA. The event is student-led and looks to educate and promote the artful Ukrainian skill of “writing” Easter eggs. This year’s workshop had 30 participants. The success of past Pysanka workshops suggested that a Vinok (Ukrainian wreath) workshop would also be of interest and was organized by members of the association.  All profits from Pysanka workshop will be donated to “Stream of Hopes” in Saskatoon, a non-profit organization, whose efforts are aimed at helping disadvantaged children in Ukraine
Vinok (flower crown) Workshop was held for the first time at the U of S campus. The event was put on by the USUSA and Vesna Festival. Mrs. Jennifer Fedun, the workshop instructor, discussed the meaning of vinok in Ukrainian culture. In the past, vinok was worn as a symbol of maidenhood by unmarried girls. The flower crown has also become a statement of patriotic identification and feminine strength. It also has a prominent place in Ukrainian stage dance costuming. There were 25 participants at the workshop. The organizers provided the participants with all the supplies as well as some wine and appetizers.


PCUH Faculty Honored at Gala Dinner as Kobzar Award Nominees

The 2018 Kobzar Literary Award ceremony was held in Toronto, March 1. The gala dinner saw five shortlisted finalists, including PCUH faculty Professors Natalia Khanenko-Friesen and Bohdan Kordan, read selections from their nominated books. Co-editors Lisa Grekul and Lindy Ledohowski were awarded the prize of $20,000 for their book Unbound: Ukrainian Canadians Writing Home.

The biennial Kobzar Award, presented by the Shevchenko Foundation, recognizes a Canadian work that most effectively presents a Ukrainian Canadian theme. These may include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama. Speaking of the shortlisted books, the jury members praised the writers for their “creativity and insightful understanding of Ukrainian-Canadian identity, culture and history.” The 2018 Kobzar Literary Award shortlist included:

  • Lisa Grekul and Lindy Ledohowski, ed. for Unbound: Ukrainian Canadians Writing Home, published by University of Toronto Press (2016) – Winner
  • Bohdan S. Kordan for No Free Man: Canada, the Great War and the Enemy Alien Experience, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press (2016)
  • Natalia Khanenko-Friesen for Ukrainian Otherlands: Diaspora, Homeland, and Folk Imagination in the Twentieth Century, published by University of Wisconsin Press (2015)
  • Erin Moure for Kapusta, published by House of Anansi Press (2015)
  • Alexandra Risen for Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden (a memoir), published by Viking, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Ltd. (2016)

For more information on the shortlisted publications, see http://open-book.ca/index.php/News/This-Story-Has-Lessons-for-all-Canadians-The-2018-Kobzar-Literary-Award-Finalists-on-Ukrainian-Canadian-Writing-Culture

2018 Mohyla Lecture: One Hundred Years Of Modern Ukrainian Statehood

Dr. Serhy Yekelchuk, U of Victoria, the 2018 Mohlya lecturer.

21st Annual Mohyla lecture was delivered by Dr. Serhy Yekelchuk, Professor Slavic
Studies and History at the University of Victoria and current president of the Canadian Association for Ukrainian Studies. The lecture was entitled One Hundred Years of Modern Ukrainian Statehood. Professor Yekelchyk is author of six books on Ukrainian history and Ukrainian-Russian relations, including Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation (OUP, 2007), which has been translated into five languages. His monograph, Stalin’s Citizens: Everyday Politics in the Wake of Total War (OUP, 2014), was the recipient of the best book award from the American Association of Ukrainian Studies. Dr. Yekelchyk’s most recent book is The Conflict in Ukraine (OUP, 2015). He is currently completing a history of the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917–1920.​

This year’s lecture was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Ukrainian People’s Republic’s (UNR) declaration of independence which was meant to break ties with Russia while establishing a modern democratic Ukrainian state. Prof. Yekelchuk talked about the meaning of this historic event as a continuation of the longer Ukrainian historical tradition of statehood. He discussed in what way the proclamation and defeat of the UNR influenced twentieth-century struggles for a free and independent Ukraine, which emerged in 1991, and whether the current conflict with Russia is a replay of the “hybrid war” the Bolsheviks conducted against the UNR in 1918.

The 2018 Mohyla lecture was held on February 15, 2018 in Shannon Library, St. Thomas More College. The event was hosted by the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage and co-sponsored by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Saskatchewan Provincial Council. This year’s lecture was well attended with about thirty students, faculty and guests present. It was followed by informal reception in the Shannon Library.