Department of Canadian Heritage

Department of Canadian Heritage

July 03, 2015 16:00 ET

Alberta Celebrates its Ukrainian Heritage Thanks to Federal Funding

Member of Parliament Leon Benoit announces support for the Ukrainian Pyanska Festival in Vegreville

VEGREVILLE, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - July 3, 2015) - Department of Canadian Heritage

The Vegreville Cultural Association will once again celebrate Alberta's rich Ukrainian heritage thanks to funding of $12,400 through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program. This support will enable the Association to present the 42nd annual Ukrainian Pyanska Festival, which is taking place from July 3 to 5, 2015.

The Festival is an annual event that celebrates the history of Alberta's Ukrainian community. Activities include presentations of music, dance and folk songs, as well as artisan craft demonstrations, storytelling and artifact displays.

Leon Benoit, Member of Parliament (Vegreville-Wainwright), made this announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

Quick Facts

  • Vegreville is home to the world's largest pysanka, a traditional Ukrainian Easter egg decorated with folkloric designs. The pysanka statue was constructed in 1974 to commemorate the centennial of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
  • The first Ukrainian immigrants to Canada arrived in the late 1800s and settled largely in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. According to Statistics Canada, there are more than 300,000 Canadians of Ukrainian descent living in Alberta today.
  • The Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program provides Canadians with more opportunities to take part in activities that present local arts and culture and celebrate local history and heritage.
  • Canada History Week runs from July 1 to 7 each year and is an opportunity for all Canadians from coast to coast to coast to learn about the people and events that have shaped our great nation on the local and national level.


"Local festivals like the Ukrainian Pysanka Festival unite Canadians in celebration of our diverse and shared history. I am proud that our Government continues to invest in the cultural life of communities throughout Alberta. As we move closer to the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017-and during Canada History Week especially-I encourage all Canadians to discover the unique people, places and events that make Canada strong, proud and free."

-The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

"For 42 years, the Ukrainian Pysanka Festival has enabled residents and visitors to Vegreville to experience Alberta's Ukrainian heritage through artistic and cultural activities. This has truly grown to become one of our most beloved and anticipated summer gatherings, and I am excited to see what's in store for this weekend."

-Leon Benoit, Member of Parliament (Vegreville-Wainwright)

"The Vegreville Cultural Association is extremely grateful for the Government of Canada's support of the Ukrainian Pysanka Festival. This funding helps the Festival to provide a stage for artisans and heritage performers as they demonstrate their talents and knowledge of Ukrainian culture. As a result, we are able to engage and delight visitors through music, song, dance, arts and crafts, food and much more during three wonderful days of activities."

-Patricia Shewchuk, Pysanka Festival Coordinator, Vegreville Cultural Association

Associated Links

Ukrainian Pysanka Festival

Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage

Canada History Week

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Contact Information

  • Marisa Monnin
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages

    Anna Gravelle
    Regional Communications Manager
    Canadian Heritage
    Western Region

    Media Relations
    Canadian Heritage