Printed News about Doukhobors in Veregin, Sask.


Heritage Village Acquires Doukhobor Elevator

Kamsack Times — March 29, 2001— Page 1

Click to ENLARGEAfter years of patience and quiet negotiation it seems certain that a major Doukhobor agricultural relic at Veregin will be preserved.

Veregin's last remaining elevator, since the other Saskatchewan Wheat Pool elevator was demolished last week, is a structure that was built by Doukhobor pioneers using their own design and methods in 1908.

Click to ENLARGEIt is the last of its kind still standing, Andy Kazakoff, district Pool delegate said.

After working on a proposal to have the National Doukhobor Heritage Village at Veregin assume ownership of the elevator which is located on adjacent property, Kazakoff said favourable offers made by CN have been accepted by the heritage village board.

 The elevator, which contains all the hardware and mechanisms that it contained when it was closed for use about four years ago, is located along the CN tracks. The deal allows the structure to stay where it is, providing that a fence between it and the main tracks is erected.

It is the intent of the heritage village to leave the elevator as a reminder of the Doukhobor community's past and it will be restored as financing permits, Kazakoff said.

It was a long process, but everyone involved, the Village of Veregin, Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, CN and the heritage village, were very accommodating, he said.

Veregin Doukhobor sites receive national historic recognition

Kamsack Times — January 11, 2007

Doukhobor sites at Veregin have been recognized as national historic sites.

Last month, Rona Ambrose, former minister of the environment and minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced that Doukhobor sites in Veregin were added to "Canada's family of national historic sites, people and events."

The designations were made by Ambrose on a recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC), according to a release from Tannis Negrave, secretary of the National Doukhobor Heritage Village in Veregin. Parks Canada and HSMBC are to work with the community and the heritage village to plan the future placement of commemorate plaques at locations linked to the important contributions made at the designated places. [2 Doukhobor sites are listed. The other is the Suspension Bridge, Castlegar, B.C.]

A plaque recognizing the national designation is to be unveiled during Heritage Day in Veregin in July, Negrave said. [Sunday, July 15, 2007 at 9 a.m.: Heritage Day. Blini brunch from 10 a.m. to noon. Moleniye program at 1 p.m.]

"These national historic sites are places of profound importance to Canadians, Ambrose said. "They bear witness to this nation's defining moments and illustrate its human creativity and cultural traditions.

"Each national historic site tells a chapter of Canada's history and helps us understand Canada as a whole," she said. "It is why I am proud to welcome these new places of historic significance to Canada into the Parks Canada family."

With the designation of these sites, Canada's system of national historic sites now includes 925 national historic sites, including Fort Pelly and Fort Livingstone near Pelly, 598 national historic persons and 375 national historic events, the release said. The majority of national historic sites are owned and operated by private individuals, not-for-profit groups and corporations. Parks Canada protects and presents 154 of these special places on behalf of Canadians.

Established in 1904, the community of Veregin retained a central role in Doukhobor society until 1931 when spiritual and administrative headquarters were relocated to British Columbia. The original Veregin settlement, of which the prayer home, machine shed, grain elevator and foundations of an old store survive, was the administrative, distribution and spiritual centre for the region.

A group of four original buildings, designated as national historic sites, embody the founding and establishment of Veregin, a release said. The spectacular prayer home reflects the settlement's importance to the Doukhobors as a religious and cultural centre, as well as the authority and the vision of the leader of the Doukhobors, Peter V. Verigin.

Constructed in 1917 as the spiritual meeting place of the community, and Verigin's personal residence, this finely-crafted wooden building, with its two-storey wraparound veranda and was inspired by 19th century Doukhobor architectural traditions in Russia. The vast open site surrounding the house accommodated large gatherings drawn from Doukhobor colonies throughout Saskatchewan, who assembled to hear the words of their leader as he addressed them from the second floor balcony.

Serving for many years as the social, cultural and spiritual centre of Doukhobor life in Saskatchewan, this building remains highly significant as a major architectural landmark and for its ongoing role as a prayer home and museum of Doukhobor history.

Two other original buildings, the machine shed and the grain elevator, are fundamental to understanding the history of the Veregin Doukhobor community. The foundations of the old store offer further insights into the settlement's early role as an important distribution centre and into the communal economy of the Doukhobors.

The ongoing significance of Veregin to the Doukhobor people is indicated by the fact that it was chosen as the site to celebrate the 60th, 75lb and 100th anniversaries of their arrival in Canada, the release said. The Doukhobor experience in Canada yields insight into Christian community spirit on the western frontier, and represents a remarkable episode in Canadian immigration history.

Nowhere is this experience better revealed than at Veregin, the release said.


Guitar will be part of Doukhobor heritage day

KAMSACK TIMES — Jan 18, 2007 — Page 7

The guitar that was created from artifacts of Canada's history and culture, and includes a piece of the elevator [above] at the National Doukhobor Heritage Village in Veregin, will be in he area this summer.

The story of the Six String Nation guitar is a story of Canada told through the strings of the special guitar hat was made from wood, bone, steel, shell and stone representing every province and territory of Canada, a release from the heritage village said. The guitar is made of more than 60 pieces hat are significant aspects of the history and culture from across the nation.

The guitar is the brain-child of award-winning broadcaster Jowi Taylor in collaboration with George lizsanyi, a master luthier one who makes guitars).

In April, 2006, the heritage village board was approached by Taylor, who requested a piece of wood from the grain elevator that is part of the heritage village. On behalf of the heritage village Alex Sherstabitoff made an official presentation of a piece of wood from the elevator for the project.

Constructed by the Doukhobors in 1908, the elevator represents a part of the disappearing heritage of the prairie grain elevator, and the piece of wood from it is embedded within the guitar in three different areas.

"Music is a universal lan¬guage that transcends all prejudice and unites people to live in peace and har¬mony," Sherstabitoff said. "Our hope and vision for the guitar is to create a sound so beautiful that it will be a sign of the long suffering that the pioneers had endured and of the love, pride and joy for what they had achieved."

On July 14, during the heritage day to be celebrated at the heritage village, the Six String Nation guitar will be a feature attraction and the heritage board invites everyone to see it. A photo opportunity with the guitar will be available in the afternoon and an evening concert will give musicians the opportunity to perform with the guitar.

Persons wishing to perform with the guitar are asked to contact the heritage village in Veregin or Keith Tarasoff of Canora, chairman of the heritage village board.

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