37 SHUMKA STAGE, 2007
In 1890s Ukraine even a rich farmer might have only five acres. When Canada advertised 160-acre homesteads of “vilni zemli” (free land), Ukrainians flocked to Alberta, delighted to find soil and terrain similar to home. Many Ukrainian businesses and cultural institutions operated in Boyle Street. Anglo-Edmontonians called the area just north of the Brown Block the Galician Market, where Ukrainian homesteaders met, conducted business, and exchanged news.
Shumka is Canada’s only professional Ukrainian dance company and has spent more than 50 years defining a unique style that both maintains their heritage and creates modern work. Partially funded by the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers Alumni Association, the Shumka Stage commemorates Edmonton’s Ukrainian heritage and Shumka’s 40th year of representing the city and province around the world.
Photo Credits: Ester Malzahn