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Klymkiw Family fonds, 1917-2000

MSS 146, PC 152, TC 98, (A. 01-48)

10.5 m of textual records and other material

Walter (Volodymyr) Klymkiw was born in Saranchuky, Ukraine in 1926. Emigrating to Canada in 1928, he and his parents settled in Winnipeg. In 1950 he earned a B.A. in English and History at the University of British Columbia. He returned a year later to Winnipeg, and received a teaching certificate from the University of Manitoba. In 1951 he began conducting the Ukrainian National Federation Choir (renamed the Olexander Koshetz Choir in 1967) of Winnipeg, under the guidance of Tetiana Koshetz and Pavlo Macenko. His love of Ukrainian music was fostered back in the mid 1940s, while attending the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre's Summer Music Courses, conducted by the legendary Ukrainian Musicologist, Olexander Koshetz (Oleksander Koshyts'). In 1952 Klymkiw married Mary (Marusia) Kopychansky, and had two sons Myroslaw (Slawko) and Paul. Upon receiving his teaching certificate, Klymkiw began his career as a history teacher in 1953 at Glenwood Junior High School, in the St. Vital school division in Winnipeg. In 1961, he was appointed principal of Hastings Elementary and Junior High School, a position which he held until 1979. In 1979 he returned to Glenwood Junior High School, where he served as its principal until 1983. In 1983 he was appointed music supervisor and served in this capacity until retiring later that year.

Retirement allowed Klymkiw to devote more time as choral director of the Olexander Koshetz Choir. During his nearly fifty years with the choir, Klymkiw and his choir toured throughout Canada, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, Western Europe, and South America. The choir went on to record two CDs, nine cassettes, and six records. For nearly half a century he maintained and developed contacts with Ukraine's composers and artists-fostering a special relationship with Anatolii Adievs'kii (Avdievsky), director of the world renowned Ver'ovka (Veriovka) Ukrainian State Folk Choir, a relationship which led to Ver'ovka's first Canadian tour in 1981. Besides his choir, Klymkiw and his wife devoted much of their time to various community activities, including the Ukrainian National Federation (national and St. Boniface branch), and the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre, Oseredok. They were involved in various commercial ventures, including: the Ukrainian House of Gifts; DK Attractions Ltd.; and Canimplex Ltd. ( the latter two ventures involved bringing in various musical artists and groups from Ukraine, in order to perform concerts for Canadian audiences ). In recognition of his cultural achievements and contributions, Klymkiw received the Shevchenko Medal from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the Osvita Foundation Award, a Certificate of Merit from the Federal Minister of Multiculturalism and Citizenship, and an honourary Doctor of Canon Law Degree from St. Andrew's College of the University of Manitoba. In 1992 Klymkiw and the Olexander Koshetz Choir were awarded the Taras Shevchenko Medal from the government of Ukraine, the first such honour given to an individual or group outside of the country. In 1999 the Olexander Koshetz Choir paid tribute to Klymkiw with an evening gala for his lifetime devotion to Ukrainian culture and music in Canada - honouring him by establishing the Walter Klymkiw Endowment Fund at the University of Manitoba - School of Music and Music Education. In December 2000, after a lengthy battle with cancer, Walter Klymkiw passed away at the age of seventy-four in Winnipeg.

The fonds was donated by Dr. Robert (Bohdan) Klymasz on behalf of Mrs. Mary Klymkiw and her sons, Myroslaw (Slawko) and Paul, to the Department of Archives & Special Collections in 2001

The fonds consists of the following series: i) Biographical (subseries: career) ii) Correspondence iii) Mary Klymkiw iv) Olexander Koshetz Choir [subseries: ISME (International Society for Music Education)] v) Olexander Koshetz [subseries: Tetiana Koshetz; Pavlo Macenko; Kovalenko & Shchorovs'ka- Rossineych (Rossinevi…ova); Ukrains'ka Respublikans'ka Kapela; Koshetz Project] vi) Robert Klymasz vii) Ukrainian National Federation [subseries: St. Boniface Branch] viii) Oseredok ix) Business/Commercial Ventures x) Ver'ovka xi) Wolkowych xii) Programs xiii) Photographs xiv) Videos xv) Audiocassettes xvi) Scores and Sheet Music (Subseries: Liturgical Music; Handwritten Musical notes) -the scores segment of thiscollection is held in the Slavic Collection of the Elizabeth Dafoe Library, the University of Manitoba. xvii) Miscellaneous

Based on contents of the fonds.

English and Ukrainian

One folder has been designated confidential. Separation Statement: Video and audio recordings were separated from the manuscript collection and relocated in the photograph collection (PC 152) and the audiotape collection (TC 98).

Further accruals are not expected.

Finding aid available

Klymkiw Musical Scores