Title: Klymkiw Family fonds.
Extent: 10.5 m of textual records and other material.
Biographical sketch: 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, when he attended 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 to being the 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. He fostered 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 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. They honoured 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 died at the age of seventy-four in Winnipeg.
Custodial history: The fonds was donated by Dr. Robert (Bohdan) Klymasz on behalf of Mrs. Mary Klymkiw and her sons, Myroslaw (Slawko) and Paul, to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections in 2001.
Scope and content: 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) Pprograms, xiii) photographs, xiv) videos, xv) audiocassettes, xvi) scores and sheet music (subseries: liturgical music, handwritten musical notes), and xvii) miscellaneous. The scores segment of the scores and sheet music series is held in the Slavic Collection of the Elizabeth Dafoe Library.
Source of supplied title: Title based on contents of fonds.
Language: English and Ukrainian.
Restrictions: One folder has been designated confidential.
Accruals: Further accruals are not expected.
Separated materials: Video and audio recordings were separated from the manuscript collection and relocated in the photograph collection (PC 152) and the audiotape collection (TC 98).
Finding aid: Printed finding aids are available in the Archives reading room and on-line finding aids are available at the links below: