EDMONTON, Alberta – On July 18, the Western Canada Branch of the Shevchenko Scientific Society of Canada (NTSh) organized a special event – the launch of the latest volume of the Zakhidniokanadskyi Zbirnyk (Western Canadian Collection), which celebrates 125 years of Ukrainian settlement in Canada, and a lecture by Dr. Iuliia Kysla on the history of the Western Canada Branch of the NTSh.
Members and supporters of the NTSh from Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal attended the online event.
Dr. Alla Nedashkivska, head of the Western Canada Branch of NTSh, which is based in Edmonton, opened the meeting with a welcome. Together with Dr. Mykola Soroka, she presented the anniversary collection. Volume 8 of the Western Canadian Collection is dedicated to the memory of Petro Savaryn, a longtime member and head of the NTSh branch in Edmonton, a prominent figure of the Ukrainian community in Canada.
Dr. Soroka talked about the history of the Western Canadian Collection, beginning with the first volume, edited by Prof. Yar Slavutych and published in 1973. The main task of the collection is the preservation of the Ukrainian-speaking environment for the development of Ukrainian academia abroad, including Canada. The collection presents unique materials about local Ukrainian activists, and the history of Ukrainian organizations and cultural societies in Western Canada. It also includes bibliographic materials and reviews.
Dr. Nedashkivska continued the presentation and noted that the anniversary volume is special because for the first time it was published in both paper and digital format. To stress the special significance of the volume, dedicated to the 125th anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Canada, the NTSh is to publish a limited edition of the volume with 125 paper copies. The volume contains numerous articles and rich source material about the life of the Ukrainian community in Canada, from the first years of settlement to the present days.
At the end of the presentation, Dr. Nedashkivska cited the words of Dr. Savaryn, who called on everyone to work diligently for the good of Ukrainians and Ukraine: “Not all the seeds fall on a good soil, but we must sow. Sowing the seeds is most important, for ‘if [you] don’t plant seeds, you won’t harvest a crop’ [Ecclesiastes 11:4] .”
Dr. Kysla, a historian, presented a lecture on “Academics in Exile: The History of the Western Canada Branch of NTSh.” The Canadian Branch of the NTSh (1949) and the Western Canada Branch in Edmonton (1955) were established as the organizing centers of the free academic community outside of Ukraine. It was not only a tribute to tradition but also a conscious political act on the part of newly arrived scholars in Canada who had political goals: to help their native country in its liberation struggle against Russian occupation. The Shevchenko Scientific Society has been a spiritual unifying center of the Ukrainian diaspora and the ambassador of Ukrainians to the world.
An article based on Dr. Kysla’s lecture will be published in the ninth volume of the Western Canadian Collection. A lively discussion followed the lecture.
All volumes of the Western Canadian Collection are available online at:
Maryna Cherniavska is deputy head of the Western Canada Branch of NTSh. This English translation of her article is by Larysa Bilous, director and secretary of the Western Canada Branch of NTSh.