A branch of the Ukrainian Labour Temple Association (ULTA)
was established in Regina in 1919 when the membership of the then Zluka
organization decided to rename itself, having adopted the constitution of the
ULTA earlier. Originally located in a building purchased from the Romanian
community, the growth of the membership and activities resulted in the members
building their own hall in 1929.
Highlights of the Branch's existence would, no doubt, include the following events:
The establishment of a Children's Language School in 1919, to be followed by a Children's String Orchestra in 1922, were to become the cradle for almost a century of cultural-educational activities and artistic performing groups at the Ukrainian Labour Temple now known as the Ukrainian Cultural Centre.
In 1939 the Regina Ukrainian String Orchestra was to participate in the first National Ukrainian Festival of Song, Music and Dance in Toronto. From that point on, the cultural forces of Regina were to participate in all future national and regional festivals such as those in Edmonton (1946), Toronto (1961), Edmonton (1971), Winnipeg (1974), Regina and Calgary (1980), Winnipeg and Toronto (1991) and Edmonton (2000).
In 1946 the renowned soloists of the Kyiv Opera Theatre, Ivan Patorzhynsky and Zoya Haidai, appeared in concert with the Regina Ukrainian String Orchestra at Knox Metropolitan Church.
As soon as it was built, a drama club began to
function and a few years later, a Ukrainian language school was begun. With
volunteers doing the teaching, the schooling was provided at no cost to the
parents of the children who attended.
From these early beginnings the first Mandolin Orchestra was initiated in 1926. This same year the Hall was moved to its present location on the corner of Ontario Road and Beatrice Street.
The Regina AUUC was a founding member of the Regina Multicultural Council (1965) and Access Communications (Cable Regina Co-operative) in 1974. The AUUC produced numerous programs entitled the Ukrainian Dimension for the latter from 1977 to 1981, which were broadcast on some 130 time slots.
Leading members of the AUUC were instrumental in the
establishment of a monument to the great Ukrainian poetess, Lesya Ukrainka, on
the grounds of the University of Saskatchewan (1976). As of 1977, the Regina
AUUC invited guest artists from Ukraine to appear at the Poltava Ukrainian
Pavilion during Regina's annual Mosaic, Festival of Cultures. Since its
inception, the Pavilion has been visited by over 200,000 patrons.
In 1980, on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the Province of Saskatchewan, a Ukrainian Dance Festival was sponsored to a "sold-out" audience at the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts. Participants included Regina's Poltava Ensemble Dancers and Orchestra, the Edmonton Trembita Orchestra and Dancers, the Calgary Hopak Orchestra and Dancers and the Winnipeg String Orchestra. Earlier the Province's 50th Anniversary had been marked by Provincial Festivals in Regina and Saskatoon with some 300 musicians, dancers and singers from the province.
Throughout its history the Association of United Ukrainian
Canadians and its forerunner the Ukrainian Labour- Farmer Temple Association
have striven for ties with Ukraine. It has sent students for advanced studies in
Ukraine, while its musicians and dancers have appeared on the stages of Ukraine
in 1981, 1986, 2001 and 2002. The AUUC not only concerned itself with the
retention of its heritage, but played a significant role in the struggle for
medicare, trade union rights and within the Canadian peace movement.