Treasures Rediscovered & Shared

UMC Ontario Treasures

A New Exhibit from The Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Ontario Branch.

Tamara Ivanochko, Administrator, The Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Ontario Branch.

The latest exhibit at the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Ontario Branch tells the story of how one woman’s passion for Ukrainian dance was inspired and shaped by her grandmother’s collecting and research activities. On view from May 31, 2018 through September 28, 2018, TREASURES Rediscovered & Shared explores Danovia Stechishin-Stefura’s ethnographic and folkloric research in Ukraine. A renowned choreographer and Ukrainian folk dance and costume expert, Danovia was influenced by her grandmother, Savella Stechishin, who travelled to Ukraine and Europe in the 1920s on personal and research trips to collect, among other items, Ukrainian embroidery samples. Danovia built on this familial legacy through her own extensive trips between 1984-95, when she visited over 100 remote villages and studied with Ukrainian choreographers and dance troupes. During this time, she also began collecting Ukrainian folk and dance costumes.

Daria Diakowsky, Museum Co-President and Exhibit Convenor noted: “It’s exciting to trace how one person’s research interests, collecting passions, hard work and enthusiasm flowed down through the generations and enriched a community and country.”

Artifacts on view include a selection of Savella Stechishin’s personal collection of embroidery samples and her publication, Artistic Treasures of Ukrainian Embroidery, published in Ukrainian in 1950. The centrepiece of the exhibit is a Bukovynian wedding party, in full antique costumes, worn at the wedding of Danovia and her husband, Scott. Vintage and antique costumes from other regions of Ukraine, collected on Danovia’s many trips, are also on display, supported by video research and documentation. A substantial number of these exquisite treasures have been generously donated to the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Ontario Branch, by the Stefura family to be shared and admired by future generations.

Workshops and lectures complementing the exhibit will be announced at a later date.

Danovia Stechishin-Stefura received her formal dance, choreographic and pedagogical training at Edmonton School of Ballet, Alberta Ballet Company, Banff School of Fine Arts, York University, George Brown College, and The Kyiv Institute in Ukraine. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons degree) in Dance; a Masters degree in Arts Administration and Marketing; and a Bachelor of Education degree, all from York University. She performed professionally as a ballet and modern dancer, and performed and toured with the Ukrainian ensembles Zirka, Shumka Ukrainian Dancers and The Ukrainian Festival Company. She studied folk dance in Lviv with artistic directors of Verkhovyna, Hutzulski Company of Song and Dance, Zakarpatski Company of Song and Dance, UNIST Company, Horytsvit and took private classes at the Lviv Ballet Opera Theater. She undertook folkloric research in over 100 Ukrainian villages and studied with most of the professional folk and ballet companies in Ukraine. Danovia also studied Hungarian and gypsy dance in Hungary, and has explored the folk dances of many other countries. Danovia founded the Ukrainian Academy of Dance in 1987 and has trained over 1,500 dancers. Arkan Dance Company, the Academy’s performing ensemble, was formed in 1995.

Exhibit Opening and Reception:
Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 7:00 pm
Admission by donation (suggestion of $10 per person)
Guest speaker Danovia Stechishin-Stefura will expand on her research and collections, and reflect on how her grandmother influenced her passion for Ukrainian dance and ethnography.


About the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Ontario Branch:

The Ontario branch of the Ukrainian Museum of Canada was established in 1944, and moved to its current location within St. Vladimir Institute in 1979. The Museum houses more than 5,000 artifacts –predominantly textiles – that have been collected, researched, documented, photographed and preserved to professional museum standards by its dedicated volunteers. For its exhibitions, the Museum draws on its own collections, as well as artifacts from community members and other institutions. The Museum’s gift shop offers Ukrainian-themed collectables, handmade items, cookbooks, greeting cards, CDs and exhibition souvenirs. The Ukrainian Museum of Canada,

Ontario Branch is a registered not-for-profit organization, charitable number 885921817RR0001.

The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 3 pm, on weekends by appointment only. Closed Mondays.