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Photo: Jessica Zychowicz standing fourth from left, UCRDC volunteers,  graduate students (seated).

An inquisitive and engaging group of University of Toronto graduate students were introduced to the UCRDC during a class field trip on March 23, 2016. Jessica Zychowicz, PhD and Post-doctoral Jacyk Fellow, teaches the course “Gender and Society in Modern Ukraine” and lead her class of MA candidates at the Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (CERES), UofT on a visit to the Documentation Centre. The students showed interest in the UCRDC and its activities, particularly the recording of oral histories, for as a class they have read Martha Bohachevsky-Chomiak’s book Feminists Despite Themselves: Women in Ukrainian Community Life 1884-1939, and discussed women’s organizing activities in the 1920s-30s within the broader socio-political context of the early Soviet era.

Iroida Wynnyckyj, UCRDC Archivist, welcomed Dr. Zychowicz’s class to the Centre, introduced its staff and volunteers, and showed a promotional video giving them an initial overview of the Centre. Board member Nadia Luciw gave a tour of the Centre and introduced the students to the collections in the Archives. Next was a brief “stop” at the National Holodomor Awareness Tour (HNAT), with a welcome and explanation of the “Bus” project by Roma Dzerowicz. Following, UCRDC board member Chrystia Kolos informed the class and gave a user access demonstration on the online electronic catalogue of Oral Histories at the Centre.

After familiarizing themselves with the Holomodor Research and Education Consortium (HREC) which is located on UCRDC premises,  the group returned to a more focused classroom setting by listening to a presentation of the bookExtraordinary Lives of Ordinary Women. The students had already become familiar in class with this compilation of twentieth century oral histories in women’s studies. As book editor, Ms. Wynnyckyj proposed that this study of primary source interviews as a collection could be re-titled appropriately as “extraordinary lives of extraordinary women”. Analysis of these life stories indicates that the Ukrainian women’s movement was characteristic of similar self-help women’s movements of emergent colonial countries since 1945, and an important dimension of East European and Soviet history. The participants then were treated to meet live one of the book’s subjects: Mrs. Volodymyra Luczkiw, UCRDC senior volunteer.

In the context of current events, Dr. Zychowicz later commented on the illegal imprisonment in Russia of Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko which had been mentioned in passing, and after the UCRDC visit, will be discussed next in class in greater depth.

For added perspective, UCRDC volunteer Krystyna Kiszczuk Killam spoke about the lives of Ukrainian women as displaced persons and newly-arrived in Great Britain after World War II. To highlight  the ongoing project activities at the Centre, UCRDC student researcher Zorianna Kulyk explained her work involvement around compiling a collection of testimonies of Ukrainians who rescued Jews during WWII, an initiative of the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (UJE).

By John Pidkowich, UCRDC Board Member                 

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The UCRDC produces documentary films, prepares educational materials, and sponsors lectures, conferences and exhibits on various topics related to Ukrainian issues.

It also functions as a resource centre with catalogued archives, oral histories (audio and video), photographs, memoirs and personal archives.

The UCRDC depends on voluntary donations – both individual and institutional - for its financing.

It provides receipts for tax purposes.

The one-hour documentary deals with the 1932-33 Famine-Genocide in Ukraine

  1. Annotated scripts for this film.

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Harvest of Despair

Between Hitler and Stalin: Ukraine in World War II, the Untold Story

The one-hour documentary recounts events in Ukraine on the brink and during the course of World WarII.

  1. Annotated scripts for this film

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UCRDC Archive, established in 1988, acquires, preserves, and makes available documentary sources relevant to the Ukrainian Canadian Community. Access to the archival holdings is provided for legitimate researchers, academics and students. Materials available include ─ video and audio interviews, videos, films, photographs, documents, and books.

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“In its archives, the UCRDC has a collection of oral history testimonies of Ukrainian Canadians who served in the Canadian Armed Forces during WWII ...

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Oral History – Canadian Armed Forces

Travelling exhibit about the internment of Ukrainians in Canada, 1914-20, includes  full text of the exhibit panels.

Exhibit included the showing of Yuri Luhovy’s film about internment, Freedom Had a Price

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The Barbed Wire Solution

The UCRDC cooperates with Leonid Finberg of the Center for Studies of the History and Culture of East European Jews, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, on the project "I am my brother's keeper."

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Ukrainian - Jewish Relations

On a working visit to Canada, Andriy Parubiy, First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament of Ukraine) came to the University of Toronto on February 22, 2016 on invitation to deliver a lecture at the Munk School of Global Affairs: "Reforms and Security in Ukraine two years after the Euromaidan/Revolution of Dignity".

Andriy Parubiy is regarded as the leader of the Maidan Revolution of Dignity. He is immediate past Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDCU) and served in that role during the critical period at the onset of Russian aggression. Together with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk, and Oleksandr Turchynov, NSDCU Secretary, he is a founding member of the People’s Front Political Party. Fourth on the list of candidates from the People’s Front, his organization Maidan Self Defence has 16 members elected to Ukraine’s parliament in October 2014 who belong to the People’s Front and BPP faction.

Prior to his university talk, Mr. Parubiy and his parliamentary office special advisor on international issues, Ostap Kryvdyk, visited St. Vladimir Institute and were welcomed by staff and board members at UCRDC, the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC), and Holodomor National Awareness Tour (HNAT), a retrofitted RV operated by the Canada Ukraine Foundation (CUF) as a mobile interactive learning centre. A brief presentation of their work and activities at UCRDC ensued with an informal round-table exchange of ideas with Mr. Parubiy. He was also interviewed by Prof. Jurij Darewych, UCRDC President, and Andrij Holowaty from a standardized UCRDC list and questions on: the Ukrainian political response to Russian aggression against Ukraine; legislative progress to bring to justice those who ordered and carried out criminal actions against the Euromaidan; and the political right’s stand for Ukraine’s sovereignty, security, and Ukrainian national interests. This short interview in Ukrainian will become part of the Centre’s oral history collection.

Ongoing work at the Centre includes the recording of oral histories compiling a collection of testimonies of: children of Holodomor survivors; post WWII generation of Ukrainian Canadians; and Ukrainians who rescued Jews during WWII. The Centre continues to maintain an extensive collection of oral history interviews, films and documents beneficial to scholarly research and used in the preparation of educational materials, lectures, conferences and exhibits on topics related to Ukrainian issues.

Prepared by John Pidkowich, UCRDC Board Member

Andriy Parubiy and Prof. Jurij Darewych

В суботу 5 -ого березня 2016, через головний вхід Інституту
Св. Володимира ввійшов великий гурт дітей та молоді - члени осередку СУМ - Mississauga зі своєю головною булавною
Зоряною Кілик. Зоряна, під цю пору,  працює в УКДДЦ  над проєктом:  'Українці що допомагали  жидам - євреям під час Голокосту".  Як дбайлива виховниця, Зоряна дуже хотіла розказати дітям про Українсько-Канадський Дослідчо-Документаційний Центр та показати їм, що в Центрі зберігається та відбувається.

Діти мали змогу подивитися на анімаційний фільм 'My Baba's Kitchen' створений Стефцею Туренко. Стефця пояснила дітям як вона зацікавилася розповідями своєї бабуні і як це спонукало її  створити фільм.  Дівчинка у фільмі, допомагаючи своїй бабуні ліпити вареники, довідується, як бабуся приїхала до Канади і зустрілася з дідусем.

Цим коротеньким і дуже доступним фільмом молода канадська  українка   зуміла передати глядачам важливість родинної історії та збереження її для майбутніх поколінь.

Фото: Стефця Туренко розповідає дітям про фільм

Божена Ґембатюк

Молодь відвідує УКДДЦ

Andriy Parubiy, Ukrainian Parliamentary Deputy Speaker Visits UCRDC

Academic Visits to UCRDC

Photo: UCRDC Archivist Iroida Wynnyckyj (left) meets with visiting Prof. Natalia Khanenko-Friesen, oral history program director, Ukrainian Heritage Research Centre, University of Saskatchewan

March 18, 2016