Fonds CA UMASC Mss 361, Pc 317, Tc 166 (A.11-91) - Chytal’na Prosvita fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Chytal’na Prosvita fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Sound recording

Parallel title

Ukrainian Reading Association fonds

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CA UMASC CA UMASC Mss 361, Pc 317, Tc 166 (A.11-91)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1910 - 2011 (Creation)
    Ukraïns’ke tovarystvo chytal’ni Prosvity (Winnipeg, Man.)

Physical description area

Physical description

3 m of textual records and other material.

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Administrative history

The Ukrainian Reading Association “Chytal’na Prosvita” was founded in 1903 by the members of Sts. Vladimir and Olga Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Cathedral in Winnipeg. The goal of the association is to promote and foster the Ukrainian culture (language, history, geography) through the education of ordinary people. The movement of enlightenment society “Prosvita” started in Lviv, Western Ukraine in 1868. The first Ukrainians coming to Canada who were members of the mother organization in Ukraine brought this idea with them to Winnipeg. They first held meetings at the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church and later at Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral and opened their school, “Ridna Shkola”, in 1918.

In 1919 the members of the “Chytal’na Prosvita” discussed the possibility of purchasing their own building. Eight members of the association loaned their own money to purchase a house at 667 Flora Avenue. The building officially opened on October 9, 1921 and was blessed by Metropolitan Andrei Sheptyckyj. A list of donors who contributed to the Ukrainian Reading Association’s building was hung on the wall in the new building.

With the purchase of the new building, new organizations came into being such as the Benevolent Association of “Chytal’na Prosvita” - the Mutual Aid Society (1927); the Women’s Organization of Maria Markovych (1931); and the “Plast” youth organization (1930). In addition, to the above mentioned organizations, many other groups and institutions used the building for their own activities: the Society of Volyn and Research Institute of Volyn, the Ukrainian National Federation, the North Winnipeg Credit Union, and various musical and theatrical groups. “Chytal’na Prosvita” also had a large library with over 400 books. They were used by the Ukrainian community of the North End.

The Ukrainian Reading Association “Chytal’na Prosvita” housed various cultural events, debates, lectures, concerts, amateur theatre and dance performances. Many prominent Ukrainian academics and artists visited “Chytal’na Prosvita such as E. Turula (composer), K. Andrysyshyn (educator), V. Avramenko (choreographer), O. Koshetz (director of choir) and many others who performed at the “Chytal’na Prosvita”.

In 1982 a big fire destroyed most of the building and although costly repairs kept it going for a while, it deteriorated to the point that the members of the “Chytal’na Prosvita” decided to sell the building. The Ukrainian Reading Association’s building finally closed the doors on May 31, 2001. The Chytal’na Prosvita’s executive board relocated to the North Winnipeg Credit Union, and their funds were transferred into a Designated Fund in the Shevchenko Foundation. The Ukrainian School “Ridna shkola” operates out of Andrew Mynarski School. The Reading Association School “Ridna Shkola” has 10 grades and opens its doors to students every Sunday. A large number of books from the Ukrainian Reading Association were sent to Ukraine and the rest were deposited into the University of Manitoba Slavic Collection.

The “Chytal’na Prosvita’s” building provided a gathering place and support to many Ukrainian immigrants who came to Winnipeg to start their new lives. It promoted Ukrainian language and culture, provided educational and social services, strengthened national consciousness, and also educated the general public about Ukraine and its people. It fits perfectly into the multicultural mosaic of Winnipeg and plays a major role in Ukrainian-Canadian history. The success of the “Chytal’na Prosvita" is a testimony to the many hard working individuals who, over the years, contributed to the enlightenment of Ukrainian education in Canada .

Custodial history

The fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by the executive board of the "Chytal'na Prosvita" in 2012.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of the Ukrainian Reading Association "Chytal'na Prosvita"s administrative history, minutes of the meetings, reports, correspondence, and "Ridna Shkola"s archival material. The photograph collection includes 604 photographs, 275 negatives, 5 films, and 8 videocassettes. The tape collection includes 2 audio-cassettes.

Notes area

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Language of material

  • English
  • Ukrainian

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Finding aids

An online finding aid is available at the link below:

MSS 361, PC 317, TC 166 (A.11-91).

Associated materials

Two of the Ukrainian Reading Association "Chytal'na Prosvita" 's unprocessed accessions are held in the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre "Oseredok".

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Description record identifier

CA UMASC Mss 361, Pc 317, Tc 166 (A.11-91)

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