Ukrainian Church Project
Photographing Ukrainian churches on the prairies
Saskatchewan, Manitoba + Alberta
In 2008, Alicia was driving down the backroads and visited the ghost town of Smuts, Saskatchewan. While rolling up the hill into town she noticed a church with large domes. It was nothing like she had ever seen before and she wanted to learn more. She came home to do some research, lots of research. She learned about all the Ukrainian heritage in Saskatchewan and how many rural (and urban) Ukrainian Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox churches are on the prairies. With some Ukraniain heritage of her own she hit the roads with the idea to document all the Ukrainian churches in Saskatchewan…urban and rural, catholic and orthodox – all Ukrainian.
While out on road trips she would visit as many as she could on a road trip, specifically targeting areas with Ukrainian heritage. This usually worked well as Corey wanted to visit elevators and Alicia wanted Ukrainian churches. Of course, she didn’t realize how big of a project this would end up being.
The project finished up in 2021. She has documented 250+ Ukrainian Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox churches throughout Saskatchewan. She met many people along the way, saw abandoned churches, active churches, rural churches and urban churches. She listened to oral history, read written history and learned a touch of Ukrainian along the way. At that point, she documented these sites through photography. Today she is revisiting the sites that are still standing and documenting them through video and drone footage.
Below are the Ukrainain churches she has documented. They will be under their real names but not all locations are listed, as some are at risk. Sadly, many churches are gone either by choice or by arson, others have become heavily vandalized and some have had items stolen. It is important to protect our heritage.
With Saskatchewan being complete she has now moved onto Alberta and Manitoba.
Interested in learning more about Ukrainian churches on the Canadian prairies?
Check out these resources!
Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon
Archdiocese of Winnipeg
Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton
Ukrainain Orthodox Church of Canada
Ukrainian Church History in Canada
Note: Information for blog articles comes from verbal accounts, history books and online resources. If you have found inaccurate information or have something to add, please reach out to us so we can get it corrected! Thank you.