Kule Folklore Centre

December 2020

As the year closes and the fall semester comes to an end, we reflect on the year. While this year was not as we had envisioned it, we are greatful that we have been able to continue our operations remotely for the last 10 months.

We do not know what the next 12 months will bring for us, but we are hopeful that we will stay connected in whatever capacity this situation allows.

Христос Рождається
Christ has risen
Веселого Різдва
Merry Christmas

Enjoy a well deserved rest and time with family this Christmas. Have a healthy and happy holiday season!
- Kule Folklore Centre Staff and Students

Folklore Lunches

The last two Folklore Lunch presentations of the Fall term attracted large audiences and were followed by lively discussions. In November, Natalia Khanenko-Friesen presented on her research on Ukrainian Soviet farmers. In December Andriy Nahachewsky talked about his recent research about immigration steamship agents. If you did not have the chance to attend these Folklore Lunches, you can listen to the recordings on our YouTube channel. We have a line up of exciting presenters scheduled for the winter term, which will be announced shortly. Stay tuned.
Hunger as a marker of normal life? 
The Last Generation of Ukrainian Soviet Farmers Remembers 1947, and Other Years of Their Lives
Dr. Natalia Khanenko-Friesen (November 27, 2020)
Steamship Agents During the First Wave of Immigration: 
Migrants and Historians Tell Different Stories
Dr. Andriy Nahachewsky (December 11, 2020)

Upcoming Folklore Lunches will be announced by email and on our website soon.

Anxiety and Rebellion of Local Culture Archives

Maria Mayerchyk:
On November 14, 2020, a roundtable entitled “Anxiety and Rebellion of Local Culture Archives” was presented at the 2020 Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) Virtual Convention. The roundtable was designed to discuss the advantages and challenges of using materials, collected by someone else for different purposes, in our own research. More specifically, the roundtable participants discussed their experiences of working together on two major projects: indexing of the “Local Culture and Diversity on the Prairies” series of interviews and developing of an exhibition “Chasing Gophers Barefoot: Prairie Children of the 1930s.” Both projects were conducted by researchers of the Kule Folklore Centre in 2019 and 2020.

Maryna Chernyavska opened the roundtable introducing the “Local Culture” project, which, as Maryna stated, consists of more than eight hundred hours of interviews, approximately 800 photographs and 20 videos. Jelena Pogosjan presented information about the “Chasing Gophers Barefoot” exhibit and shared her reflections on the experience of creating an exhibition about childhood using memories of adult people. Iryna Skubii, who explored the topic of toys and games, presented a talk “‘No toys at all’: Reading unseen and searching for outnumbered objects.” Matthias Kaltenbrunner’s talk entitled “Tracing the Unintended: Beyond the Prairies in the 1930s” was about how we can notice, recognize and interpret the gaps in archives. Finally, Maria Mayerchyk was talking about the responsibility and challenges of presenting the Indigenous and Métis children experiences in the exhibit. The roundtable ended with a discussion of the ideas that arose during the meeting.

2003-091-017-p011. In front of grandmother’s house. 1930s. Anne Elias collection
Learn more about the project
Browse and listen to the audio

Update from the Archivist:
UCAMA Archival Collections

Maryna Chernyavska:
This Fall term, we have been working on transferring archival collections from the Ukrainian Canadian Archives and Museum of Alberta to the Kule Folklore Centre's Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives. We have transferred hundreds of boxes of archival records to date and more materials are still being prepared to be moved before the end of the year. 

The Ukrainian Canadian Archives and Museum of Alberta had to make a hard decision to cease its operations after 2020. Some of UCAMA museum collections were distributed to other Ukrainian museums in Alberta: the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada - Edmonton Eparchy, the Ukrainian Museum of Canada - Alberta Branch, the Ukrainian Museum of Canada - Calgary Branch, and the Ukrainian Women's Organization (Edmonton). The remainder of the UCAMA textile, artifact, and art collections (about 95%) along with the entire library went to the Basilian Fathers Museum in Mundare. The Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives is the new home for all UCAMA archival collections. We are grateful to Orysia Boychuk of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Alberta Provincial Council for her leadership on the project of saving UCAMA collections and making sure they find good homes. We are also extremely grateful to UCAMA's Khrystia Kohut, Greg Borowetz, and Oleksandr Makar for tirelessly working long hours, going through thousands and thousands of records, packing hundreds of boxes of archival materials, and for all the work that has been previously done to describe UCAMA archival collections, all of which will make it so much easier for us at the Kule Folklore Centre. 

We have already started working on some of UCAMA archival collections. Two project archivists were hired to work on this project, Maria Mayerchyk and Darya Chykunova, who will work with us until the end of March 2021. They do physical processing rehousing records into archival enclosures, removing metal paper clips, etc., then arrange and describe materials, and publish descriptions in our online archival database. UCAMA archival collections consist of records of many Ukrainian community organizations and individuals active in the community. We will be regularly sharing updates on this project and list collections that will have their descriptions readily available online as the project progresses.

You may read the full UCC-APC report on the "Save UCAMA Archive and Collections" project here.
Top right: Daughters of I. Melnyk, teachers. Post card to Mr. M. Luscouck. Inscription on back reads "To remind you that the persons on the opposite side are thinking of you this Xmas and wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Happy New Year"
Top left: Andriy and Anna Kowal, village of Denysiv, povit Tarnopol. Ol. and Kat. Boyko, village of Denysiv, povit Tarnopol
Bottom: Laddie Ponich Studios, Edmonton, AB.

Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives

Ashley Halko-Addley:
While some of our research team has been dedicating their efforts to processing the UCAMA transfer, we have also been hard at work processing the archive of the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada (Coll. 0016). The UCBC Archive is comprised of three donations. The first two arrived in 2016 and another larger accrual arrived in 2018. The collection includes materials from both the national executive and local branches. The collection is estimated to be between 3 and 4 metres, making it one of the larger collections in the BMUFA. While the bulk of the collection is from the 1980s and later, some materials go back as far as 1943. The collection contains meeting minutes, conference and special project reports, ephemera, planning materials, correspondence, and publications. We are excited to be able to make this large collection available to researchers in the very near future.
BMUFA, Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada archive Coll.0016
The University of Alberta is working remotely, but we may be able to provide reference services to researchers and the general public if the requested material has been previously digitized. If you are interested in any specific material, please contact us at Some of our collections or their descriptions are available online at If you find a collection that you are interested in, please include a link to it, or its reference number with your request. 

SUCH Project

A reminder that the Community Archives Grant application deadline is  February 1, 2021. If your organization would like to undertake an archival project, funding is available for staffing, supplies, and/or professional development. For more information:

Research Participants Needed

With face masks as the newest fashion accessory of the season, there has been incredible innovation amongst the Ukrainian community and the decoration of PPE. Traditional and modern patterns of embroidery, or embroidery-like decals, have begun to adorn the now familiar cloth face masks. Whether it is the designers who are creating them out of necessity, for protection, or to pass the time, or the people who wear
them as a proud display of culture, there are many reasons that one may choose to wear or embroider a face mask. If you have created or worn face masks with Ukrainian symbols and embroidery patterns on them, you are invited to participate in a short survey to share your motivations behind creating or wearing the masks.

For more information please email or visit our website at 

Katya Chomitzky is a second year MA student in the Media and Cultural Studies program in the Department of MLCS and a Research Assistant at the Kule Folklore Centre.

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Говори мало, слухай багато
і думай ще більше

Speak little, listen a lot, and think even more 
-Dr. Bohdan Medwidsky
Listen to Dr. Nahachewsky explain this proverb
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Kule Folklore Centre

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