The ‘Ukrainian Canadians’ Exhibition

Lubomyr Markevych is a Ukrainian Canadian. His parents emigrated after World War II, and met each other while taking English language courses in Edmonton, Alberta. Since his childhood, Lubomyr’s parents told him a range of stories about their homeland.

”All the museum artifacts for me is a trip through time and nostalgia because I recognize a lot of the events, the places and the people in the photographs. Even if I didn’t know them personally, I do remember their names as being mentioned by numerous organizations,” Markevych said.

Twenty-six years ago, Lubomyr signed a 12-month employment contract and stayed in Ukraine. He brought a uniform to the “Ukrainian Canadians” exhibition. It was worn by his instructor the Plast scouting organization Petro Savarin.

“They are plast uniforms of Ukrainian boyscouts. This particular set is: a lady, Lesia Khraplyva, who I believe lives in Toronto for many years after the war. And the male one is for a fellow by the name of Peter Savaryn, in Ukrainian. He was the very well known community activist in Western Canada, the city of Edmonton,” Markevych said.

The exhibition features a number of documents, photos, letters, books, and even a passport with a Canadian visa. All these things were taken from museums and private collections.

“This is the initiative of the museum and the diaspora. The exhibits are taken from their collections, but there are also those pieces which were recently brought from Canada. The exhibits were taken from different places, but the general picture turned out to be good. I recognize a lot of artists and people on the photos. And I recognize people at the exhibition. It’s a very familiar situation for me. There are a lot of things native for me,” Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine Roman Vashchuk said.

Canada has the world’s third-largest Ukrainian population – with up to 1.3 million people. And the stories of this community are unveiled in the “Ukrainian Canadian” exhibition at Kyiv’s museum of the Ukrainian diaspora, which will run for three months.