Ukrainian Museum of Canada

Ukrainian Museum of Canada


Ukrainian Museum of Canada

Hello, my name is Jen and I’m the Executive Director & CEO of the Ukrainian Museum of Canada. I’m a fourth-generation Ukrainian Canadian, with Canadian roots in Manitoba and Alberta, and I grew up travelling literally all around the world, thanks to an itinerant academic father. As an adult, I’ve also lived in a lot of places – Halifax, New York, Milan, Rome, Ottawa, and Kamloops. Still, since moving to Saskatoon 15 years ago to work as a curator at the former Mendel Art Gallery, I’ve made Saskatoon my “forever” home. There couldn’t be a better place to raise my kids.

I didn’t choose Downtown for the Museum’s location – the brilliant ladies of the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada did this in 1980 when they selected a lot at 910 Spadina Cres E as the site of their new museum building. We’re nestled at the base of the University bridge, next to the Parktown Hotel, in a 12,000-square-foot modernist version of a traditional Ukrainian village house. Downtown is a perfect location for visitors passing by on foot, coming by transit, or by car, particularly as we have parking behind the building! 

We get a lot of tourists visiting us in the summer months, and schools regularly come in to see our shows through winter. We not only host exhibitions, a library and archives, and a permanent collection that includes one of North America’s finest ethnic textiles collections, but we also have a variety of spaces for organizations to use for their meetings and special events. In the last few months, we’ve hosted a variety of business association meetings, the AGMs of other nonprofit organizations, and more. It doesn’t take much to make a connection in Saskatoon, and we all do better when we’re connected.

 When I’m not working, you can typically find me shepherding my kids to dance and karate or walking my two dogs along the Meewasin Trail. I also spend an awful lot of time at TCU Place for dance recitals! I love walking everywhere, and I love that in Downtown Saskatoon you can do business and experience nature simultaneously. Having lived in many much larger cities (as well as a few smaller ones), I think Saskatoon is just the right size – human-scaled but big enough to offer variety.

It’s easy to get cynical about the world, but I believe that Saskatoon is a place where people really care and feel empowered to make difference. We have so many artists, activists, and cultural communities. There’s a lot we need to do still, but people are addressing Reconciliation in many different ways that are sincere and necessary if challenging and occasionally flawed. This isn’t happening everywhere else in Canada. Saskatoon, and Saskatchewan generally, has been a leader on many things in the past – for example, universal health care and public funding for the arts. The Ukrainian Museum of Canada, here in Saskatoon, was even North America’s first Ukrainian museum when it was established in 1936! I think Saskatoon can be a leader in some civic issues today too because we have such vibrant and passionate people here. So, for me, it’s about the people — and the prairie light.

Ukrainian Museum of Canada

910 Spadina Crescent East Saskatoon, SK

Hours: Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10AM-4:30PM

Thursday, noon-4:30PM.  Or by appointment.

(306) 244-3800