Championing Heritage: A Spotlight on Rose Fedorak’s Dedication to Preserving Ukrainian Culture

In the fall of 2022, Jen Budney, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, was greeted with a pleasant surprise when she opened an envelope containing a card and a cheque for $1,000 for the museum. The sender was none other than Rose Fedorak, a steadfast supporter who had already been contributing $50 monthly. Rose’s generous contribution not only provided much-needed financial support but also boosted the museum’s morale. Since then, Rose’s total contributions have exceeded $5,000, accompanied by heartfelt words of encouragement with each donation.

Despite residing in Edmonton, Rose’s commitment to supporting the Ukrainian Museum of Canada remains unwavering. Though she cannot attend as many museum functions as she would like, Rose actively engages in online lectures and events and makes the journey to Saskatoon to visit exhibitions once or twice a year. She expresses her admiration for the museum’s newsletter and its newly redesigned website.

Rose’s deep connection to Ukrainian culture traces back to her childhood on a farm near Stornoway, Saskatchewan, where Ukrainian was her first language. Raised by her grandparents and parents, she was fortunate to know her great-grandparents as well. Road trips to visit relatives in Manitoba provided Rose with cherished moments listening to her grandmother’s stories of her own upbringing on the homestead. Despite the hardships of that era, Rose’s grandmother’s resilience and wisdom continue to inspire her today.

A graduate of the University of Manitoba with a BHEc (Bachelor of Home Economics) and an MSc in Textiles, Rose relocated to Saskatoon where she taught Home Economics at the University of Saskatchewan. Her career path took an unexpected turn when she attended a meeting at All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church, where she learned of the museum curator position vacancy. Rose seized the opportunity and embarked on an 11-year journey with the museum, contributing to some of its most dynamic and productive years.

To Rose, the Ukrainian Museum of Canada serves as more than a repository for artifacts; it is a keeper of our stories. Among her cherished possessions are a makitra purchased from Peter Rupchan by her great-grandfather and a makohin carved by her grandfather, each laden with familial anecdotes waiting to be shared. Rose’s dedication to preserving these narratives motivates her ongoing support for the museum.

While Rose initially kept her monetary contributions modest, a meeting with a financial advisor prompted her to allocate more resources to causes close to her heart. Recognizing the diminishing support for arts and heritage from governmental bodies, Rose emphasizes the importance of private individuals stepping forward. In 2023, she joined the Board of the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, where she actively serves on the fundraising committee, striving to ensure the museum’s longevity for future generations.

Through her steadfast dedication and financial support, Rose Fedorak exemplifies the spirit of philanthropy and the enduring legacy of preserving Ukrainian culture for generations to come.

Rose wants the Ukrainian Museum of Canada to be around to serve many future generations.