60 YEARS TOGETHER

Dear friends!

I wish to share with you the joy I am experiencing celebrating a significant date:  the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Russian Canadian Cultural Aid Society!

We dedicate the entire issue of our magazine to this jubilee, publishing a large amount of documents and photographs, which illustrate the journey that we travelled.

The history of the society may be told in a few words…  Yet, what is behind those words?  Lives of Russian people, who found themselves abroad, deprived of their Motherland, deprived of their relatives, brought to Canada and saved from death in the soviet camps…  Many, having found themselves across the ocean, wished to assimilate with the local population as quickly as possible - there could have been objective reasons for that - people were still afraid of being handed over to the soviets.  But we did not want to and could not forget that we are Russian.  Of course, one of the most important binding factors was and to this day remain our Orthodox Church, which gave all of us consolation, and the Faith gave us strength to build a new life.

How did everything begin?  Personally, on account of being very busy - work, study - I was not involved directly with all the matters of organizing, but my husband, Nikolai Pavlovich Blagoveshchenskiy, was one of those who started our Society.

One beautiful day in 1950, having come home, I found him having a phone conversation, which really excited him, and the matter being discussed, quite obviously, was very important to him.  Finally, having hung up, he exclaimed joyously and with inspiration:  “Hooray!  Russian people are not finished yet!”

Doubtless, I was intrigued to the extreme.  It turns out that the warden of the Holy Trinity church, D.I. Vendeli, called him and told him that the Toronto University professor B.P. Skiy (Eglevskiy) contacted him and offered to meet with a few more people and have a chat over a cup of tea…  regarding the organization of the Russian Society.  The meeting took place.  Who else, aside the people already mentioned, was present there I no longer remember and there is no longer anyone to ask.

However, in actuality everything started with that!  Already for the new year 1951 the first ball was organized and lots of people gathered for it, mainly the youth, of course.  The ball took place on the new year’s eve, which for me, was not altogether usual since in my life there always were only Nativity and the Christmas Tree celebration.  Meeting the New Year was an attribute of the soviet times, the times that impacted many people.  Yet, this first ball did take place.  Later on, the tradition of making the ball coincide with the meeting of the New Year was abandoned.  Our balls took place before the beginning of the Nativity Fast - at the end of October, or the beginning of November - and in January, there were several masquerades and revue-sketch comedies, as a continuation of the Russian traditions tied to the youth celebrations around Nativity and St. Tatiana’s day.  Very soon there was not enough space and halls had to be rented in order to accommodate all who wished to attend.  For many years, we rented the Armenian hall in Scarborough, the Macedonian hall and others, where there was enough room for all of us.

Yet, without question, the first ball was the beginning of it all.  I don’t remember all the particulars, 60 years went by, but it was a real feast.

Everyone was dressed quite simply and modestly, it was only after a few years that we began dressing up.  All the same, I remember that my husband was a in tuxedo that was purchased for the wedding and that served him for many years.  We rented a hall on the second floor, on Queen Street.  About two hundred people gathered there even though the hall was planned for one hundred, or one hundred and fifty, but everything was like in the old tale about “teremok” - little house - there was room for everyone and everyone was happy, it was tight, but alright.  Of course, there were drinks and hors d’oeuvres, but all of it somehow erased from memory.  Did we think then about the history of the Society?..  We lived with the joy of our new day and strove for the future, trying to preserve within ourselves everything we considered to be our roots:  the language, the history, and the culture.

I forgot it altogether, but an acquaintance of mine reminded me that I was in charge of the “barrel of happiness” that day; that was the name of the everybody wins lottery.  There was a small concert program, but I remembered only the two charming sisters, who sang wonderfully.  This ball was attended by the rector of the church of Christ the Saviour, Fr. John (Ioann) Djatchina.

This ball marked the beginning of our Society and all of our consequent balls and undertakings.

Obviously, the Society was faced with existential questions that come up before any social organization:  where and how to get together, what type of building to select, - in general - how to organize ourselves.  The first important step was made and everything seemed possible and doable.

We began collecting money for the purchase of our own building.  All the people were of meager means, and times with no means at all, but thought of that, which was important for all, and that most likely was one of the biggest reasons why with everyone’s help many things were accomplished.  Somehow, no one thought of closing in into a personal, limited world; social interaction, meetings, mutual interests, mutual tragic history, which no one called to mind, yet no one forgot as well, all this created an atmosphere, in which there was never a question:  “To be, or not to be?”, rather, the question was:  “What should we do in order to be?  How can we achieve our goal?”  Many of us didn’t yet own a private home, but in the fact that the Russian Society needed a building no one had any doubts.  Everyone had a small salary, yet everyone tried so hard to help the common cause, that finally, fairly soon, a building was purchased on Ossington Avenue.  And how much joy did the large Russian library, sent to us from Yugoslavia, bring us!  Thanks to that we had our own library, where everyone could find a favorite book, read it at our place, or take it home, and once in a while, just to have some tea and talk heart to heart…  It was also very important that our Society attracted people, who were not parishioners of our Orthodox churches, in other words, actually, the existence of our organization was absolutely necessary in order for all people considering themselves Russian to be united.

In 1969 the building on Ossington was sold and a larger one was purchased.  Remodeling was done with the help of A.L. Bogdanov and we celebrated the opening of our second Russian house on Kersdale Avenue.  The information on how much we still owed and how much money was collected was published and very soon, somewhere in the middle of the 80s, our house was successfully paid off!

One of our long standing traditions that we keep to this day is the Bliny (crepes) event for Cheese Fare.  There is always hustling, running around, baking of bliny, a fun filled festive concert program - an absolute must - and finally… the tables are set, the guests are served red and sun-like bliny straight from the oven, and then, everything went smooth as butter.  The performances, very often by amateurs and, once in a while, by professionals, were always met with unchanging warmth.  Then, no one left for a long time, we sang songs, danced, trying to prolong the joy of the celebration.

Once, we had to worry.  Usually, we rented ten large round tables for the Bliny feast:  the tables from our lower hall were a bit too small for the job.  My cousin Kostya, who came to visit us and was going to perform at Bliny, decided to accompany me to the Russian house, where we arranged a time for a meeting with the people, who usually rented us the tables.  We strolled around near the Russian house, expecting no trouble, but the time went and no tables were delivered.  We waited for several hours.  I began to worry:  this is no joke, Bliny is tomorrow!  Having called once again, I was completely dismayed by the news:  the tables will not be available…  What should I do, where should I run, whom should I ask for help, what should I invent?!  I called father Vladimir.

Here, I’d like to tell a story very characteristic of our dear batushka.  All of this took place sometime in the end of the 70s.  In 1974, a young batushka, father Vladimir Malchenko, who had just finished the Holy Trinity seminary in Jordanville, was assigned to our Holy Trinity church as a second priest.  Despite a multitude of duties and a heavy workload in the church and the parish Russian school, Fr. Vladimir very quickly became a member of the Russian Society and always was, and is to this day, one of its greatest enthusiasts.

At that moment I felt completely lost.  I didn’t even have time to collect my thoughts - what to do, whom to call - when Fr. Vladimir arrived at the Russian house, as always, in his riassa (all my life, I never saw him without riassa) and somehow made us feel calmer by his presense alone.  In a few minutes, having girded up his riassa, he was already carrying our old tables from the lower hall upstairs.  My Kostya was already beyond fifty, although, judging by my age today, it wasn’t that much, but he carried one table, and that with a lot of effort, while batushka then was in his early thirties, with energy, perhaps, for ten men; as he started, he didn’t stop until he carried all TWENTY tables and EIGHTY chairs into the upstairs hall.  We only helped arrange everything.  Regretfully, we have no photographs of that event.  Glory to God, everything worked out and we were ready to hold the feast!  Everything following, it seemed, required no worries.

One other member of our Society had to undertake the same “podvig” (feat), it was Misha Wickeler, but after that we decided not to rely on anyone and purchased the tables.

Later on, one of the very important fields of work of Fr. Vladimir, as a member of the Society, was our mutual work within the immigration committee of the Russian Society.  Realistically, it was not a committee, but, as we called it, the immigration department.  The main members of the department were:  Fr. Vladimir (he was the department head), A.Y. Furlani, warden of the church on Manning A.I. Miloshenko, your humble servant and a wonderful person, very humble, who belonged to a famous Russian aristocratic family, Nikolai (Nicholas) Ignatiev, the members of whose family were already known to the Canadian society - his uncle, in his time, was Canada’s representative in the UN, later on, he held a high position at the University of Toronto, and now, in our days, his cousin is the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

The priestly rank of Fr. Vladimir and Nicholas belonging to a famous family often helped us open many doors, which were otherwise hard to reach.  But, there were some curious events as well.  For example, batushka calls me and I ask him:  “Batushka, where are you?”, the reply would be:  “In prison…”  That would have been his routine trip to the immigration prison.  How many lawyers and their assistants had batushka to go to, helping people with their immigration cases and processes, how many letters were written, how many people were helped by the presence and guarantee of our dear Fr. Vladimir as if by a magic wand.  At times, we had to sit in the reception areas of “important” people hours on end and then leave with nothing.  Once, we were called from a usual, criminal jail and asked to come and help someone.  Nicholas and I went there and met a real criminal, who sought all imaginable means to get out of there as quickly as possible - that was our last trip to the jail for criminals.

The Society held many lectures.  There were different lecturers, but, for the most part, they were very well known people.  Sometimes, they were local, from Toronto, but there were those, who came from Montreal and from New York.  One of them was the famous professor Poltoratsky.  We heard him in New York, at the conference of the Russian public, and invited him to read history lectures at our Russian Society in Toronto.  He agreed with pleasure.  It was very interesting, there were many questions after the lecture, and, of course, there was tea.  The famous painter E.E. Klimov with most interesting lectures came from Montreal.  He was an immigrant from the Baltic region and a great patriot.  The content of his lectures was marked not only with a very profound view of art, painting in particular, but also went far beyond the framework of the interests and professional knowledge of the art specialist.  That was especially true regarding the Russian history, which he knew very well, and whatever subject he touched upon, it was always viewed from the perspective of Russian patriotism, which, in general, was unusual for a person of such a creative profession.  Beside that, he was an extraordinarily erudite individual and the content of his lectures went far beyond the confines of the theme, to which his lecture was dedicated.

An event that took place everywhere and was a characteristic trait of all the waves of Russian immigration was holding a Day of Irreconcilable Position, in memory of our disapproval, our irreconcilable position against the bolshevik, communist power in Russia, which appeared as the result of the 1917 revolution, and the established godless, totalitarian and bloody regime.

Usually, on this day - November 7th - all churches had panikhidas (memorial services) for all, who were killed and tortured during the soviet time, and in the evening, social organizations had meetings in memory of those, who perished, and as a sign of unity with those, who were in opposition to the communist regime.

Enthusiasts of the Russian Society published a magazine Русское Слово в Канаде - Russian Word in Canada.

Very soon after the organization of the Society, a theater club was organized.  It was headed by P.S. Gresserov, an immigrant from Yugoslavia, person, who was very enthusiastic about his work and spread that enthusiasm to others.  They performed small plays, where all those interested took part.  My husband also took a fairly active part in that and played the main character in the “Bear” based on a play by A.P. Chekhov; he even got a compliment for his dramatic play.

Certainly, we had concerts:  singers, dancers, readers, professional actors and musicians all performed.  My brother, Konstantin Bogolubov, came to Toronto very often and was an enthusiast of theater.  He compiled programs, in which he was the main, and at times the only, performer, all by himself.  Mainly, he used the classical Russian literature and the works of the dissident writers, among whom, of course, was the name of A.I. Solzhenitsyn.  Everything always echoed in the hearts and souls of the grateful viewers, who often felt deeply for what was taking place upon the stage - many personally experienced the things, about which Solzhenitsyn was writing.  Nowadays, getting to know the immigrants of today, it is with surprise and sadness that we must admit that people do not know their roots, their history.  For example:  the books of Solzhenitsyn were published only abroad at the time, when they were a bomb, exploding with the truth about the soviet GULAG, yet the contemporary individual, who has access to all information, no longer feels the need to know about these distant, scary and tragic pages of our history.  However, the Russian immigration, in its essence, is the immigration of exiles, and is the result of a horrible whirlwind, which carried out those saved from death and scattered all of us throughout the various parts of our planet…  Yet, Russia has always been our pain and love.  Even if it be a small part, but we try to tell the new generations about the history, of which in Russia people still either do not wish to talk, or do not have the ability to do so.  In this, in particular, we see our mission of enlightenment, the basis of which is the truth of opinions and testimonies of eyewitnesses, whose every memory is the history that simply cannot be crossed out.  The words Russia and To be Russian are the essence that gave meaning to the creation and work of the Russian Society.

We even had our own volleyball team and dance groups, of which the first one I’d like to recall is the “Polyanka”, the enthusiast and organizer of which was S.K. Sukhacheva.  This dance group always was our visiting card at the various city functions, and of course, in our dear and beloved Russian house, and at the balls.  We hope that now, thanks to the efforts of S.A. Pendik, “Polyanka” will be the decoration of our many projects.  The generations are growing up, replacing the old ones, bringing a new refreshing wave into our life.  In general, I always look to the future with great optimism, seeing how many talented people are around, who need some attention and for whom conditions, however minimal, should be created, wherein all of these creative powers will be directed for the continuation of the journey we began sixty years ago.

Certainly, one cannot pass without proper attention a special event in the life of multinational Toronto:  the holding of annual, beginning in 1972, festivals called “CARAVAN”.  The festival took place in Toronto in the end of May and finished in the middle of June; 10 to 12 days altogether.  Sometimes, the opening was moved to the end of June and we were always afraid of the dreadful heat, for which Toronto was famous.  Altogether in history there were 29 “Caravans” and we participated in 27 of them.

People of all nationalities united around their public centers and tried to introduce everyone to peculiarities of their culture, language, cuisine, folk art, music, dance, costumes, for others to know more about them.  On the other hand, in order to become better acquainted with the traditions of other nations, the representatives of which walked the same streets of the multinational and wonderfully decorated with the colors of different cultures city of Toronto!

The centers were called pavilions, making up a gigantic exhibition, scattered throughout the entire city.  All the nationalities opened the doors of their houses-pavilions for the acquaintance with each other.  The Canadians, so to speak “original” inhabitants, also took a very lively part because, if one were to look back into the past, all of us are immigrants on the American continent, with a difference in a few centuries…  I remember exactly, for example, that the Irish had their own pavilion.  The number of participants at times reached above forty and was never less than thirty.  In those days there was even a special bus, which traveled the entire city, and carried everyone from one pavilion to another.  One could purchase a passport, a special ticket-pass, that gave its owner unlimited access to all the centers participating in the festival.

There were two Russian pavilions:  “Volga”, from the church of Christ the Savior,  and “Novgorod”, representing our Society.  Every day, during the “Caravan”, around thirty people worked in the Russian house and of course, everything was on volunteer basis.  Long before the opening of the festival, we made the lists of shifts, who works where and when, who performs when, who receives the guests, who cooks, who cleans, - everything had to be thought of well in advance.  Work began about a month before the beginning of the “Caravan”; we fixed up the Russian house:  we cleaned, washed, painted, renovated, repaired something.  I remember how our dear N.I. Gladkov, literally hours before the event, walked around with a can and brush in order to touch up, or correct, anything in case someone overlooked something in a rush.

Ladies gathered and baked trade mark pirozhki, made pelmeni, many families made various sweets for the buffet.  N.M. Akson brought her wonderful rum “bombs”, and our dear L.P. Krutskevich, year after year, baked her famous “layered cake” for us.  Every morning a team came to cook fresh borsht - one red and one green - both were very popular among our own and among the visitors, both were a constant success.  A special joy was the fact that the young people helped.  Time passed - a new generation of young people grew up as a replacement.  Sveta and Mika Sakuta, Misha Wickeler, Shurik Ivanov, Alik Shishkov, Vitya Akson, Kira Maslova, and others - they were few, but they were reliable.  One of the last days before the beginning of the “Caravan”, they gathered and prepared the green stuffed pepper, and before that, as usual, they cleaned, prepared, and decorated the house - they prepared according to all the rules.  Once again, we painted a red walk way from the gate to the entrance, above which a sign with the name of our pavilion was placed:  Metro International Festival Caravan, NOVGOROD. Every evening, everyone who could, came to help - we felt as though we were one big family.  At the very traditional Russian entrance, framed with the blooming lilacs and gentle birch greens, the guests were greeted by the Mayor and the Princess, dressed in national costumes, prepared especially for the occasion.  In general, all, who worked at the “Caravan”, were dressed in national costumes, creating an atmosphere of a Russian feast, and some little boy  in a side buttoned collar shirt, or a doll sized girl in a Russian jumper, always evoked a tender feeling.  Usually, the Mayor and Princess were elected at the conclusion of each “Caravan”, they were given a year to prepare, and already before the beginning of the festive the presentation of the pavilions, where they had to be present, began.  On the second floor, in our small concert hall, along with the heraldic shields of the Russian cities, painted by the wonderful artist and iconographer I.P. Sukhachev, we had an entire photo gallery of our Mayors and Princesses, as well as a small exhibit of the prizes that were given to our pavilion by the organizers of the “Caravan”.

The back decoration was beautifully done and on account of that, the stage looked like a Russian room, while the performances of artists, musicians, and dancers were always very interesting and jolly, mind you, during the day, especially on the weekends, when usually there were more visitors, the programs changed all the time and our guests stayed for several hours in order not to miss such a rare opportunity to enjoy the Russian folk song, to listen to the Russian folk instruments:  balalaika, bayan, or the seven stringed Russian guitar; the dance “Valenki”, performed by the younger members of our “Polyanka” group, or the fiery gypsy dance by the older group were always accompanied by a thunder of applause; the performance of the ensemble “Echo of Russia” was a real folk show.  Our guests also had their favorites, whom they came to see every time, looking up the concert programs ahead of time.  Some of the regular participants in the concert programs, from the very beginning, were the “Sonya & Rita” ensemble, children’s ensemble “Kersdale Kids”, they were very popular with the Canadian public; Nadia Milostnaya and Maria Bakhlova sang; we never had a lack of artists.  Already at the end of the 90s, Andrei Denga had his own following, he performed Russian romances excellently and played the violin in a way that made everyone start dancing; people especially came to see and listen to the balalaika virtuoso Nikolai Tischenko, and when the three rowdy girls came up on stage and did their “Sweets-Pastries” routine, even the kitchen staff stopped and went upstairs to have some fun with everyone else.

Between the concert programs, also on the second floor, souvenirs were sold.  I think that all these years S.K. Sukhacheva with her team was in charge of that.  Sylvia Karlovna has a marvelous gift of making an offer one can not refuse.  No one could ever compete with her in the way she sold the passports, ball tickets, lottery, and souvenirs.  People used to joke, saying that she could even sell snow in the winter time!

During the breaks between programs and after their end, people went into the lower hall, which for that time became a small, cozy and hospitable Russian restaurant.  This hall was painted in Novgorod style by N.P. Sukhacheva, the sister of Igor Petrovich.  At the entrance, the guests were greeted by a lady in a Russian costume, who took them to their seats, where they were offered our various national delicacies - everything that made the Russian cuisine famous.  Without false humility, one may say that all of our treats were a great success.  Someone would always take something home in order to share the treat with the family.  Hospitality, great food, always “live” music (one of our musicians played every evening, having gotten comfortable on a tiny platform in the corner), people in folk costumes, all that created a wonderful atmosphere.  The last concert finished before 9:00 PM, but the guests stayed long after midnight, and the next day, they once again appeared at the entrance of the Russian pavilion NOVGOROD.

The organizers of the “Caravan”, at first, as though didn’t notice us, but with time, many even came to have lunch at our place, some alone, others with their friends.  It was interesting, once, a very famous actress, Vera Lynn, who came from England, was brought to us.  Before that, she sang in a large concert on a square downtown, and in the evening, she was brought to our place to rest.  I recall how Sylvia Karlovna even gave her the recipe for our green borsht and explained that she had to put diced boiled egg and sour cream into it.

Very often, Hungarian princess from the Estergazi family visited us.  She would sit down and, smiling at me, would say:  “Finally, I can rest at your place”.  She would stay for a long time, spending two, or three, hours, listening to music and talking with the guests and hosts.  Notice, Toronto had a Hungarian pavilion, which was two to three times bigger than ours.

After the “Caravan” closed for the season, there was a reception at the Russian house for all, who worked and performed - it was nice for everyone to recall how things went - and, once again, the guitar played, we sang Russian songs, danced, and rejoiced that next year there will be another “Caravan”.  The organizers of the festival also gave a main reception, which was more like a ball, with prizes and awards given to those, who were especially distinguished during the time of the festival.  Almost always, we received the first prizes:  12 times - for the best cuisine, 10 times - for the hospitality, 3 times our Princesses and 4 times our Mayors were recognized as best.  In 1990 we gathered a real harvest - 6 !!! first prizes!  Our NOVGOROD was pronounced best out of 45 pavilions at the “Caravan”.

In 1996 we were called the Little Jewel in the Caravan Crown because our pavilion was the smallest, yet represented the traditions and culture of one of the greatest countries in the world.

In these 29 years of existence of the “Caravan”, so many people worked sacrificially, giving their time, strength, and means, realizing that without this work we are simply vanishing, dissolving, losing our roots, not receiving new ones in exchange.  We do not keep what we have and, having lost it, we lament…

In order for that not to come to pass, we united 60 years ago.  A bow to the ground and most profound gratitude are due to all those, who dedicated their lives to this common undertaking!

Yet…  nothing is constant under the moon… Time came and “Caravans” ceased to exist, the enthusiasts of this wonderful initiative grew old and left.

Our Jewell also got old and, with time, ended up in a bad neighborhood.  Renting our building out - this way we used to support the Russian house in the last years - was no longer possible because of a change in civil regulations.  Various Russian organizations, the ones that found shelter under the roof of the Russian house (the youth theater and various dance groups), always used our building free of charge and, unfortunately, the financial situation of the Russian house and the possibility of sustaining and maintaining it declined.

However, it was no longer possible to save the Russian house with everyone’s help.  The organizations that used the Russian house as a free rental space developed, grew and got strong - some of them became independent dance, music, and theater schools.  In particular, the youth theater even had the opportunity to obtain a charitable status, something that the Russian Society was able to do only almost after 60 years of its existence.  In 2009, thanks to the efforts of V. Nikitin and T. Mukelova, head of the Chamber of Commerce, we obtained the charitable status from the government and hope to strengthen and widen the financial possibilities of our Society with it.  We express our deepest gratitude to all individual who made it possible.

Our contemporary life is not without “trip-ups”.  A certain young man, as though within the framework of the Russian Society, used the Russian house to organize a video library, but later it was discovered that Russian House is the name of his own personal business.  All these years of existence of our dear Russian house we didn’t even think that our name must be somehow officially registered somewhere, and it was simply stolen from us and registered under the name of this sorry entrepreneur.  In other words, in essence, the very name “Russian house” was not available because it already belonged to another organization and not to us.

On the other hand, as well as I know, the youth theater, celebrating its 10th anniversary didn’t even mention the Russian Society among its benefactors, people, and organizations, who helped it on its way to success.

We could omit talking about these sad things if not for the fact that “everyone is on his own” phenomenon is becoming such a characteristic of our time.

In 2008, at the expanded meeting of the Russian Society the decision to sell the Russian house was made.  At the end of May it was sold, the money was put in the bank and is there until the opportunity to purchase a new building presents itself.

It is perfectly obvious that the very existence of the Russian Society, its activity and the direction of its work must change form with time and follow a more modern way of development.  However…  how do we avoid losing our Identity, how do we not become simply russian-speaking, how do we preserve the essentially important things that unite Russian people, how do we awaken the modern individual, who is supplied and satisfied with the comfort of modern life?  Now, with the availability of publications in Russian:  magazines and newspapers; with the existence of Russian theaters,

 

stores, Russian television - with broadcasts from both Russia and from here - with all of this plethora of means available to a person, we are losing the main reason not to be lonely:  we are losing fellowship with one another, interest in common activity, mutual interests.  It is not coincidental that the very word society means a group of people, who are united by mutual interests, possessing mutual goals and tasks.

People constantly have to be reminded of that.  Live human interaction is something that, without doubt, will never compared to email, or computer in general, nor to television - nothing can replace the live communication among people!

The world of an individual is an entire undiscovered universe, which may be explored much like the far reaches of outer space.  The scientists are glad when they discover new stars, which sometimes are out of reach of not only human eye, but of the telescope as well.  However, to ignite a little star, a spark, in someone’s soul, to see the light in someone’s eyes, the light of sympathy and interest in life, what could compare with that?

That is the very reason why we decided it to be of most importance and significance to publish our magazine “HERITAGE” in order to awaken people’s interest in history, in our common past, in order to use the greatest achievements of the Russian culture exemplified by the most beautiful and profound Russian literature, and the Russian language, which, under the influence of progress, is losing its purity and originality.  Learning about the history of people, nations, countries; historical meaning and influence of Orthodoxy in the history of Russia; striving to return, or for some to foster, the historical self-realization of oneself as Russian; opening the eyes and exposing the many “corrected” pages of history; creating the conditions for all desiring to reach the reader on the pages of our magazine and to share one’s experience, knowledge, and hopes; all of this becomes possible thanks to our invaluable cultural capital, of which all of us, without exception, are the rightful heirs!

I believe that together all of us can achieve a lot.  I believe in the expanse of the Russian soul, which always strives after the like, familiar soul.  That is one of our immeasurable and priceless qualities, which all the nations surrounding us extol to this day.  Russian sacrifice, love of labour, earnestness, openness and talent will help overcome any difficulty.  I believe that, with God’s help, we shall have a new Russian house, which is needed for all Russians in Canada!!!

Dear friends, I congratulate all of you with our wonderful jubilee.  Not mentioning names in order not to forget and not to offend anyone, once again, we offer the words of our acknowledgement to all, who worked and now works, continuing our mutual undertaking.  I wish all of you happiness, health, well-being, and success in all your undertakings, wish you patience and a wonderful striving to be a Russian person!

May the Lord keep all of you!

 

President of the Russian Society

M.N. Blagoveshchensky

 

Illustration and boarder by: I.Suhacev and N.Suhacev

Reason for Registration

The Russian Canadian Heritage Foundation of Maria Blagoveshchensky has been registered as a charity because it advances religion by teaching the religious tenets, doctrines and culture associated with Russian Orthodox faith, and advances education by increasing the public’s understanding and appreciation of the arts, through the prevision of artistic performances and seminars.

Charitable Business Number

The Russian-Canadian Heritage Foundation of Maria Blagoveshchensky

 Charitable Business Number :

83990 5957 RR0001

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