UKRAINIAN-CANADIAN CULTURAL SOCIETY
OF VANCOUVER ISLAND
Two Ukrainian Churches had been established in Victoria for more than two decades before a small number of people, first infrequently and later on a regular basis, met to learn Ukrainian dancing.
3277 Douglas St
BC V8Z 3K9
From this handful of enthusiasts was born the Veselka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble (today Veselka Dance Association).
Performances by this group, at different venues in and around Victoria, provided a higher profile for the Ukrainian community.
Before long it became evident that a larger number of Victorians were of Ukrainian background than was initially believed. Stimulated by the lively and colorful Ukrainian dancers, interest grew in other aspects of our culture. Veselka soon found itself acting as a contact group to which Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians looked for additional information and services. A number of Veselka members began to realize that a permanent home was required in order that various Ukrainian activities could be carried out. A committee was formed to look into the feasibility of acquiring our own property. What began as a committee now became a separate entity with its own direction and goals.
The committee began in earnest to recruit members and raise funds. Through the hard work of dedicated members, the group grew quickly. Interest came from all over Vancouver Island and meetings were held in Cassidy, Campbell River and Port Alberni. Through fundraising efforts all over Vancouver Island, we were able to pursue the purchase of our own facility.
In the early spring of 1979, we became a registered Cultural Society.
The property at 3277 Douglas Street in Victoria came to our attention. Despite the run-down condition of the interior, the building was structurally sound and centrally located. In the early summer of that year, the Ukrainian Canadian Cultural Society of Vancouver Island began the hard work of making the building the functional home of various Ukrainian organizations.
Today the Centre is a home for various organizations: the Veselka Ukrainian Dancers and the Ukrainian Studies Society.
Annual events such as Easter Traditions, Malanka (Ukrainian New Year) and Ukrainian Christmas Eve Traditions are open to the public. They serve as a learning opportunity for various aspects of Ukrainian Culture such as making special breads, cuisine, Easter egg writing, embroidery, music, performing and visual art.