Ottawa matches Alberta’s UCAMA grant

Six years after both the Government of Alberta and the City of Edmonton pledged $3 million each for the construction of a new facility for the Ukrainian Canadian Archives and Museum of Alberta (UCAMA), the federal government came up with its own matching grant.

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Potters’ evocative designs inspired by Ancient civilizations

A fascination for ancient European civilizations and a love of diversity motivate visiting Ukrainian artists Mykhailo Horlovy and his daughter Lesia Horlovy.

Speaking through an interpreter, the 25-year-old Lesia says the whimsical, ancient abstract shapes and evocative geometric patterns she sees in the preChristian-era pottery work inspire her not only because of their enduring artistic adeptness, but also because of their personal historic resonance. Her frame of reference is the ancient Trypillian and Scythian civilizations that occupied what is now modern Ukraine.

“These are the cultures that were originally found in the area where my father was born and are an ingrained part of my identity,” she says.

Lesia adds her own contemporary touches to her pieces, which are based on those ancient sources. She’s quick to cite early 20th-century Ukrainian-American sculptor Alexander Archipenko and her father, Mykhailo, as her major inspirations.

An exhibit of the Horlovys’ work is on display at the downtown Ukrainian Canadian Archives and Museum of Alberta (UCAMA).

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Congratulations from the Alberta Museums Association

Congratulations from the Alberta Museums Association for the 2009 Edmonton Urban Design Awards for excellent architectural design.

Since 2005, the Urban Design Awards have been an important effort to recognize the excellent architectural designs that exist in Edmonton. The movement to reclaim and preserve our heritage buildings is an important step in embracing and celebrating our culture. The work of the Ukrainian Canadian Archives & Museum has demonstrated how the museum community can contribute to urban design spaces and their role as part of the city’s identity. Thank you for exemplifying museum potential and for striving for excellence.

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UCAMA wins second design award

UCAMA’s new museum project received an Award of Merit at the Edmonton Urban Design Awards held on November 18, 2009, at Edmonton’s City Hall. The awards recognize those individuals, organizations, firms and projects that have set a high standard for urban, architectural and landscape design.

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UCAMA’s economic benefits most effective with timely funding

January 27 the Government of Canada Will be presenting its 2009 budget. One of the expressed purposes of this particular budget will be to stimulate the economy in view of the recent downturn and one of the main thrusts of this package will be spending on infrastructure. This makes a lot of sense since infrastructure is necessary regardless of the economic situation and infrastructure spending during a recession has the twin benefits of lower costs combined with economic activation.

One such project that fits right within the framework of the 2009 budget’s objectives is the construction of the new building to house the Ukrainian Canadian Archives and Museum of Alberta (UCAMA) building in downtown Edmonton.

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e-Poshta – Keeping you informed and proactive

UCAMA, the Ukrainian Canadian Archives and Museum of Alberta held its third folk arts and crafts workshop. In keeping with the holiday season, the theme of the workshop was decoration
making. Participants made miniature dolls and angels to use as ornaments on their Christmas trees.

Khrystyna Kohut opened the workshop by welcoming participants and introducing Natalie Kononenko from the University of Alberta Kule Centre for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore and students Genia Boivin, Svitlana Kukharenko, and Yanina Vihovska.

Kononenko then spoke briefly about Ukrainian Christmas traditions. These celebrated the nativity of Christ and also helped people articulate their sense of the cycle of nature, the end of one year and hope for year to come. Many old traditions involved crops and crop fertility, often combined with a religious meaning. After talking about traditional celebrations, participants viewed a short film showing Ukrainian Christmas on the Prairies as it was celebrated over fifty years ago.

In all of the old traditions, Kononenko pointed out, the Christmas tree is missing. Yet it is very much a part of Christmas today, both in Canada and Ukraine. The Christmas tree, or ialynka, is a relatively new tradition, but one that has been thoroughly integrated into Ukrainian life. An interesting folktale is called Spiders at Christmas. It illustrates the fact that Ukrainians did not
really have a traditional way of decorating their trees. Kononenko told this story, addressing it particularly to the children in the audience, and said that, as the tree has been adopted and adapted,
so workshop participants were going to adapt traditional dolls to give a Ukrainian feel to their trees.

The highpoint of the workshop was the construction of three dolls, an angel made out of a square of fabric, a cotton ball and embroidery thread, a doll built around a birch bark core (substituted with a paper core for this workshop), and a doll made of rolled-up strips of fabric. Both the paper core doll and the one built on fabric strips could be dressed up in a variety of ways to reflect Ukrainian traditional clothing. The fabric doll could be made up as either a boy dressed in Hutsul trousers and a keptar or a girl dressed in a scarf or khustka and a skirt. As Kononenko pointed out, once the basics of doll construction are learned, almost endless variation is possible. Sure enough, several participants made their own interpretations of the various dolls, creating little hand-made treasures.

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Daunting task for crap detectors

Design watchdogs have a lot on their plate

There is a certain elegance about architectural terminology. Gothic, Bauhaus, Brutalist, Spanish Colonial Revivalist, Richardsonian Romanesque. The recent Capital Modern exhibit at the Art Gallery of Alberta, featuring Edmonton architecture from 1940 to 1969, was a revealing and even thrilling look at the beauty we don’t often notice in our city. Yet one architectural term — coined by Mayor Stephen Mandel — supersedes all others.

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