Mnohaya lita! Celebrating 100 Years of Ukrainian Faith in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia is an exhibit honouring the centenary of the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Sydney, Nova Scotia. An in situ exhibit is installed and open to the public, February 2nd through November 17th 2012, at the Cape Breton Centre for Heritage and Science (The Lyceum), located at 225 George Street, Sydney (Google Map).

This website includes the exhibit in virtual form, providing a permanent presence on the world wide web.


Dr. Marcia Ostashewski

Fulbright Research Chair (2010-2011)

Canadian Studies Institute, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

University of Washington

SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Department of History and Culture, Cape Breton University and

Department of Music/Ethnomusicology, University of Alberta

Associate Member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and

Creative Director

Writer, graphic designer and creative director of The Word & Image Studio in Hensall, Ontario, Darene Roma Yavorsky has worked behind-the-scenes with Dr. Marcia Ostashewski on several projects related to the Ukrainian community on Cape Breton Island, including:

Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Studies in Religion and Society

University of Victoria

  • concept, design and signage for the current exhibition at the Lyceum, ‘Mnohaya lita! Celebrating 100 years of Ukrainian faith in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia’
  • concert and souvenir posters and postcards
  • book design and editing of the 25th anniversary edition of John Huk’s ‘Strangers in the Land: The Ukrainian Presence in Cape Breton’
  • and signage design for the 2009 CBU exhibition titled ‘A Cape Breton Story of Ukrainian Dance…from Village to Stage’

Darene has a personal connection with Whitney Pier’s Ukrainian community which goes back to 1939, when her father, Ukrainian dance instructor Pavlo Romanovich Yavorsky, arrived in Cape Breton. For four years, he taught Ukrainian stage dance to the children (among them, the young John Huk) and also provided instruction in Ukrainian language, history, literature, music and other cultural traditions. When Darene visited Whitney Pier for the opening of the 2009 exhibition, she met several of her father’s early dance students who shared warm memories of their time with him.

Born in Saskatchewan, Pavlo Yavorsky spent his lifetime as an active champion of Ukrainian heritage and culture across Canada, leading to his (posthumous) inclusion in a Heritage Canada-sponsored travelling display titled, ‘Vasile Avramenko: A Legacy of Ukrainian Dance’ and recognition as a Saskatchewan Nation-Builder. As a result of growing interest in the depth of his contributions to the preservation of Ukrainian culture, in 2007, Darene wrote, designed and published ‘Show Them What You Can Do: Building the Ukrainian Spirit Across Canada — An Illustrated Biography of Pavlo Romanovich Yavorsky’ — and this, in turn, led to Dr. Ostashewski’s contact with Darene and their collaboration on these projects celebrating Cape Breton’s Ukrainian community.

Details about the book, the 2009 Ukrainian dance exhibition and other portfolio samples can be viewed on The Word & Image Studio website: www.wordandimage.ca

Exhibit Technician

Presently a student at Cape Breton University, Patricia Nalepa has worked with Dr. Marcia Ostashewski as a Research Assistant since the late summer of 2009, studying the Ukrainian community of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. Patricia originally joined Dr. Ostashewski’s research to discover more about her family origins, as she has a personal connection with the Ukrainian Community of Whitney Pier: her great-grandparents immigrated to Canada and settled there from 1910.

She was responsible for the gathering of materials and content for the “Mnohaya’lita! Celebrating 100 Years of Ukrainian Faith” exhibit at the Lyceum in Sydney, which ran from February to November in 2012. During this time she also constructed an online ‘Virtual Tour’ & ‘Panorama’ of both the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Parish and the Lyceum exhibit, found on this website.

Through these activities, Patricia has developed an interest in studying the other various European communities within Cape Breton. She continues to work with Dr. Ostashewski in her research to study these ethnic groups through the East and Central European Communities Project. This project, funded by the SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) and supported by Cape Breton University, seeks to develop an online resources archive of cultural material from various communities in the Cape Breton region. Its completion is slated for the fall of 2013.

Web Designer

Website by Mike Targett