Parks Canada

Parks Canada

August 05, 2009 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Celebrates the Historical Significance of Ukrainian Labour Temple

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Aug. 5, 2009) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today celebrated the national historic significance of the Ukrainian Labour Temple, which he designated a National Historic Site of Canada, on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

"The designation of the Ukrainian Labour Temple not only recognizes the architectural significance of the building but also the important role it played in the social and cultural activities of Ukrainian Canadians," said Minister Prentice.

"This commemoration will help to ensure that this site and its association with pivotal events in Canada's history will be remembered and appreciated by generations to come," said the Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board and Regional Minister for the province of Manitoba.

"I believe that proclaiming the Winnipeg Ukrainian Labour Temple a national historic site also quite rightly pays tribute to the founding members. These socialist-minded Ukrainian immigrants, some of whom had yet to receive their naturalization papers, and facing the possibility of arrest and deportation, sought and established a path along which they could achieve a better life for themselves, their children, their descendants, and for all Canadians. It is truly a historic event!" said Myron Shatulsky, Council Member, Association of United Ukrainian Canadians and Chair, Board of Directors, Ukrainian Labour Temple Foundation.

"The designation of the Ukrainian Labour Temple as a national historic site is exciting news," added Nolan Reilly, Professor of Canadian History, University of Winnipeg. "The cultural, political, and social significance of this hall to large numbers of Ukrainian immigrants in Manitoba and across Canada is well documented in our country's history. Congratulations to the members of the Ukrainian Labour Temple whose perseverance and dedication to preserving the building and its history have been rewarded by this significant honour."

The Ukrainian Labour Temple in Winnipeg, Manitoba was dedicated to improving the circumstances of Ukrainian workers and farmers. It was the headquarters for several national Ukrainian organizations that provided educational, mutual aid, charitable and other services.

This temple was constructed by the Ukrainian Labour Temple Association in 1918-1919 in the multi-ethnic immigrant neighbourhood of Winnipeg's North End. While grandly designed by architect Robert E. Davies to have a substantial and enduring presence, its socialist role as a workers' community hall was familiar to most Ukrainians.

"The Ukrainian Labour Temple served as a base for Ukrainian cultural traditions and has been a centre point for the coordination and support of Ukrainian performing arts throughout Canada," said the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. "I am proud that my government has recognized the historic significance of this wonderful site."

Parks Canada works to ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education, appreciation and inspired discovery of all Canadians, today and in the future.

(Also available on the Internet at under Media room.)

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