6. Living Traditions — Ukrainian Church
Between 1870 and 1930, peoples from Eastern Europe streamed into the Prairie region. Eventually, over 200,000 Ukrainians settled in the area, and the distinctive pear-shaped domes of their churches ascended into the Prairie skyline across the West. While highlighting the growth of the Ukrainian community, the churches also became visible symbols of the multicultural mosaic that came to typify the region.
In the midst of tremendous changes within their lives, many Ukrainians looked to their religion as one constant — a source of meaning in the present and hope for the future. In each community, the church served not only as a worship site, but also as a meeting place for sharing the joys and hardships of daily life in a new country.

This section of the Canada Hall features St. Onuphrius Church, a historic building from Smoky Lake, Alberta, generously donated by its congregation. Originally erected in 1907, this church was the first architectural project of Father Ruh, a clergyman who contributed to the design and construction of close to 40 Ukrainian churches in Western Canada.

The church has been meticulously reassembled in the Museum, complete with all its ritual objects, religious decor and furnishings. Audiovisual modules will portray changing seasonal customs and life cycle celebrations as well as a contemporary Byzantine icon-painting project in an Edmonton church.

    View a Quicktime VR panoramic movie of the church interior (375K).
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St. Onuphrius was moved from Smoky Lake, Alberta to the Museum, where it has been meticulously reassembled, complete with all of its ritual objects, its decor and its furnishings. This section of the Canada Hall highlights the changing role of religion in Canadian society, and pays tribute to the major role that Ukrainians played in developing this country.

St. Onuphrius Church was generously donated to the Canadian Museum of Civilization by its congregation.

Opened: June 18, 1996