This short film traces the journey of the first Ukrainian settlers in Canada. Seeking freedom and opportunity, they came here and became instrumental in helping to open the Canadian West. Though they had little in the way of money or machinery, they had courage and faith in the future and were willing to put in the hard work. Every member of the family helped in the struggle, and in time, their efforts paid off.
This short documentary profiles cartoonist, painter, humorist, publisher, iconographer, and teacher Jacob Maydanyk. Part of the first wave of Ukrainian immigrants who arrived in Canada between 1896-1914, Maydanyk was an imaginative artist who created the beloved comic strip character Shteef Tabachniuk, a hapless and endearing galoot who became a folk hero to Ukrainian immigrants. Laughter in My Soul is a tribute to the dignity and heroism of those early pioneers and to those whose spirit lives on, to those who had laughter in their souls.
This short documentary offers a glimpse into the Ukrainian communities of the Canadian prairies during the 1940s, specifically their rituals surrounding Christmas. Still following the Julian calendar, they celebrate Christmas on the seventh of January. On Christmas Eve, they eat traditional foods as soon as the first star appears in the sky. They sing carols and dance in costume. And the next day, they gather in Greek Orthodox churches to worship in a solemn service.
In this drama, Lesia convinces her English-Canadian friend Sarah to perform a Ukrainian dance with her as part of their school's Christmas pageant. Sarah's father, angry at the growing number of Ukrainian settlers, won't allow his daughter to participate. Despite the prejudices of their parents, the girls' friendship remains strong, and they meet in Sarah's barn to celebrate Christmas Day together. Part of the Adventures in History series.
In a documentary that spans two continents and several generations, acclaimed director John Paskievich delves into the experience of exile and its impact on the human spirit.
Almost fifty years after his family fled Ukraine for freedom in Canada, the filmmaker visits his parents' homeland. It's a place both familiar and foreign. Drawing on his years growing up in Winnipeg, Paskievich explores how children of refugees and immigrants are caught between two worlds. While they struggle to put down roots in a new country, they must also preserve traditions of a distant land they have never known.
Paskievich's journey through Ukraine is interwoven with stories of displacement from other prominent Ukrainian Canadians--authors George Melnyk and Fran Ponomarenko, filmmaker Bohdana Bashuk, director Halya Kuchmij and dancer Lecia Polujan. A rich tapestry of memory and history, My Mother's Village brings to light the humour, anger, joy and complexity of living between borders.
This short documentary profiles Ukrainian-Canadian Ted Baryluk, whose grocery store has been a fixture in Winnipeg's North End for over 20 years. In this photo study, Ted talks about his store, the customers who have come and gone and the social changes his multicultural neighbourhood has seen. But most of all he wonders what will become of his store after he retires. He hopes his daughter will take over, but she wants to move away. The film is a wistful rendering of a shopkeeper's relationship with his daughter and a fascinating portrait of a neighbourhood and its inhabitants.
A documentary about the self-taught painter William Kurelek, told through his paintings. There are scenes of village life in the Ukraine and the early days of struggle on a prairie homestead and the growing comfort of family life. In Ontario, Kurelek paints the present life of Canada with the same pleasure he painted the old.
In this short documentary, Canadian poet Andrew Suknaski introduces us to Wood Mountain, the south central Saskatchewan village he calls home. In between musings on his poetry, which is tinged with nostalgia and the vast loneliness of the plains, the poet discusses the area’s multicultural background and Native heritage, as well as the customs and stories of these various ethnic groups.
This feature documentary is a portrait of Montreal political cartoonists Aislin and Serge Chapleau. In the pages of The Montreal Gazette and La Presse, respectively, they’ve been skewering politicians for 30 years. But who are these biting satirists? The film seeks to answer this question through interviews with the cartoonist's friends, families, colleagues, and even a few of their favourite victims, including Gilles Duceppe and Louise Beaudoin. Featuring many of their classic cartoons, Nothing Sacred pays tribute to gifted iconoclasts whose hilarious characters have seeped into our collective consciousness.
Anne Marie Nakagawa's documentary examines what it means to have a background of mixed ancestries that cannot be easily categorized. By focusing on 7 Canadians who have one parent from a European background and one of a visible minority, she attempts to get at the root of what it means to be multi-ethnic in a world that wants each person to fit into a single category.
Finding a satisfactory frame of reference in our 'multicultural utopia' turns out to be more complex than one might think. Between: Living in the Hyphen offers a provocative glimpse of what the future holds: a departure from hyphenated names towards a celebration of fluidity and being mixed.
This documentary short is a portrait of Miyuki Tanobe, a Japanese painter who has chosen to make Québec her home. She works in the Nihonga style, applying centuries-old techniques to scenes drawn directly from the working-class neighborhoods of Montréal. The film records the progression of one of her paintings from preliminary sketch to completion.