Many of the millions of visitors to the Canadian Museum of History will remember the Ukrainian church — an artifact, not a replica, an actual full-sized building — right in the middle of the former Canada Hall. As a powerful symbol of late 19th and early 20th century settlement across the Prairies, the church of Saint Onuphrius, originally from Smoky Lake, Alberta, will remain a focal point of the new Canadian History Hall.
The church provides a strong reminder of the Ukrainian pioneer story as well as a link to the Ukrainian-Canadian community. Visitors are able to step inside the consecrated church to learn more about the first wave of 170,000 Ukrainian settlers who helped shape a more diverse Canada beginning in the early 1900s.
This link was important to the BCU Foundation (BCUF), a leading charitable institution that promotes the vibrant growth and long-term development of the Ukrainian-Canadian community. Launched in 2006, BCUF delivers substantial assistance to noteworthy community-based cultural and educational endeavors in Canada.
BCUF’s generous gift of $100,000 to the Museum supports their common goal: to explore the circumstances and celebrate the people who built and continue to create our country. “BCU Foundation’s gift is our tribute to Canada, the country the Ukrainian-Canadian community has called home for over 125 years,” states BCUF Chair Roman Medyk. “This is a celebration of a Ukrainian-Canadian story and a symbolic mark of our ongoing contribution to the enrichment of Canada’s diversity and prosperity.”
Located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, the Canadian Museum of History attracts over 1.2 million visitors each year. The Museum’s principal role is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the events, experiences, people and objects that have shaped Canada’s history and identity, as well as to enhance Canadians’ awareness of world history and culture.
On the photo (top): Signing the agreement with the BCU Foundation (left to right: Mr. Roman Medyk, Chair, BCU Foundation (seated); Ms. Chantal Schryer, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Canadian Museum of History; Mr. Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of History (seated); Mr. Orest Kostruba, Director, BCU Foundation).
On the photo (bottom): The church of Saint Onuphrius (Canadian Museum of History, Ottawa)