Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Changing Times for Ukrainian Book Store

Peasants, farmers, and labourers, - actually a mistaken perception of the early Ukrainian immigrants to Canada.  The truth is, however that they were far more skilled and adventurous than any of us imagine.  Many of them read everything they could get their hands on (or were read to) before they voyaged to Canada, and upon arrival, consulted with every source of information possible. They eventually created very many "reading-rooms" (called "prosvita" communities) and "national halls" (narodni domi) too sprinkled all over the rural communities.  Early in Alberta's history they developed "learning communities" that worked together with a "can-do" entrepreneurial spirit about them that was unstoppable. And they all had a connection with Edmonton's Ukrainian Book Store for important purchases like Ukrainian newspapers, books, calendars, training materials, embroidery thread, prayer books, fabric, music, recordings, just about anything needed to be informed and "stay Ukrainian" on the Canadian prairies. 

But change has been constant for Alberta's rural and urban areas.  Previously essential patterns of life have evolved and through it all the Ukrainian Book Store has been a magnet that attracts people who love the Ukrainian language, culture and values.  It has always been a place to reconnect with community! 
Meeting places change too. A casual walk through the business community is now a drive through, the book age is slowly being overtaken by the digital age.  Now it is digital books, blogs, social media and online shopping....And that is why today's Edmonton Journal article about the Ukrainian Book Store closing their business in the upcoming future has made me so sad. 
Congratulations and thank you Ukrainian Book Store for a century of Ukrainian connections here on the Canadian prairies - you helped build the community I love.  Farewell, Ukrainian Book Store - my heart is heavy ...thanks for the memories!



Post a Comment