2012 - Current News & Events of Doukhobor Interest
December 25, 2012 - Update: BCC Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve Program live broadcasts - We would like to thank all performers and participants for their involvement in this year's Christmas Eve Program at the Brilliant Cultural Centre and express our appreciation to the video streaming team for making the event available to our online viewers. We are pleased to say that we have now added the video to our website archive where it will remain conveniently online as a lasting record of this popular event (Video 09).
Video archive link.
December 16, 2012 - BCC Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve Program live broadcasts - We have confirmed that our USCC BCC Video Team will once again be filming and broadcasting the USCC Christmas and New Year's Eve programs from the Brilliant Cultural Centre later this month. For the convenience of our viewers, the live Ustream broadcasts can be viewed here on our website: livestream.htm Visit this same page for broadcast times.
The USCC Web Group has only recently implemented a process for archiving these broadcasts and a number of previous videos can be viewed on our Video Archive page here. Read an earlier posting about the video archive on our "New on our Website' page.
December 14, 2012 - Vision of Peace Choir Spaghetti Dinner
Please note: The date of this event has been changed from Saturday, February 9th, 2013 to Saturday, February 2, 2013
The following request was just received for posting:
Dear USCC Members and friends,
Every year during our Christmas Eve program at the Brilliant Cultural Centre we feature photos, messages, and short videos (under one minute) from people who aren't able to be there but would still like to pass along their Christmas greetings. Please forward this email to your family and friends who either live outside of the Kootenays or who are unable to attend the program and encourage them to compose messages and send us their Christmas photos! To have greetings shared during the program, photos and messages should be sent to Marissa Kalmakoff at: email@example.com by the 10th of December. Thank you for helping to make our Christmas Global Messages a hit and we hope to see you all at the Christmas Eve program.
Warm wishes, The Union of Youth Council
New USCC Editors Announced
The following announcement appeared in the most recent issue of ISKRA (No. 2061, December 1, 2012). It is posted here in both languages, just as it appeared in ISKRA.
Dear Readers of ISKRA:
As you know earlier this fall Lisa Poznikoff resigned as Editor of ISKRA to pursue other opportunities. As Editor, Lisa put her heart, soul, and intellect into her work. Her accomplishments were most deservedly and eloquently outlined by former Editor Jim Popoff, in the October issue of ISKRA
All of us, members of the USCC, the wider Doukhobor community and readers of ISKRA from far and near, thank Lisa for her contributions to our publication over more than seven years and wish her the very best in her future endeavours.
Replacing Editors is not an easy task, and the Executive Committee of the USCC, the publisher of ISKRA, was surprised by the quantity and quality of applicants, and wishes to thank those individuals for putting their names forward. Several applicants were short listed for interviews by a selection committee designated by the USCC Executive Committee.
Concurring with the recommendation put forward by the selection committee, the Executive Committee is pleased to announce that Barry Verigin and Stephanie Swetlishoff will be assuming the position of Co-Editors of ISKRA. We welcome Barry and Stephanie to their new responsibility. Stephanie has served as assistant Editor for four and one half years, and Barry, although new to this type of position, has demonstrated his writing skills and brings publication insights to his position.
We are certain that our membership, the wider Doukhobor community and all readers of ISKRA join us in wishing Barry and Stephanie the very best as they put their special imprint on a publication whose mandate is not only to be the voice of the Doukhobors, but to keep the Doukhobor spirit alive and well.
Дорогие читатели ИСКРЫ:
Как вы уже знаете, ранее этой осенью, Лиса Позникова оставила пост редактора журнала ИСКРЫ, следуя своему жизненому пути. Как редактор, Лиса вкладывала свое сердце, душу и интеллект в свою работу на протяжение более семи лет. Ее творчество было по достоинству и красноречиво описано в общих чертах бывшим редактором Дмитрием Поповым в октябрьском номере ИСКРЫ этого года. Все мы выражаем благодарность Лисе за её вклад и желаем ей самого лучшего в ее будущих стремлениях.
Замена редакторов не является простой задачей, и, издатель журнала ИСКРЫ Исполнительный Комитет Союза Д.О.Х. был удивлен количеством и качеством претендентов и очень благодарит за то, что эти личности выдвинули свои имена. Несколько претендентов прошли интервью со специальным отборочным комитетом, созванным Исполнительным Комитетом Союза Д.О.Х.
Соглашаясь с рекомендацией, выдвинутой отборочным комитетом, Исполнительный Комитет объявляет, что Василий И. Веригин и Сара Веригина (Светлищева) будут принимать позицию Ко-Редакторов журнала ИСКРЫ. Мы приветствуем Васю и Сару на их новом посту. Сара работала заместителем редактора почти пять лет, а Вася, несмотря на то, что он новичок, продемонстрировал свои письменные навыки и особые способности для такого рода позиции.
Мы уверены, что наше членство, духоборческое общество и все читатели журнала ИСКРА присоединяются к нам в пожелании Васи и Сары самого лучшего, поскольку они вкладывают свой индивидуальный след в публикацию, задача которой не только, чтобы быть голосом Духоборцев, но и чтобы сохранить духовность Духоборцев живой и здравой.
От Исполнительного Комитета
Союза Духовных Общин Христа.
November 26, 2012 - Georgia Doukhobors on Human Rights Web Portal.
Below is a recent posting on 'Gorelovka -- Sorrow of the Last of Doukhobors'. In the 1980s, more than 2,000 families of Doukhobors lived in the village, but their number is now just 40.
Story and photos:
October 30, 2012 - Local film has world premiere.
An inspiring new film, made in Nelson, BC over the past two years, holds its world premiere at Nelson's Capitol Theatre on November 1st. "The Change Agents" deals with the impact of Alberta's Tar Sands development, and a growing movement of young people who have something to say about it. The fictional story centres on Carly Dutoff, a 17-year-old with a Doukhobor activist background. For more information about the film, as well as Premiere tickets, visit the following sites:
September 28, 2012 - Mir Lecture Series: Dr. Ronald Wright: Homo Sapiens, Repeat Offender?
Award winning historian and novelist, Dr. Ronald Wright will be speaking on humankind's increasingly precarious "experiment" with civilization. Dr. Wright will offer a reflection on how progress and technology have put us in jeopardy but may also have the key to our salvation.
Recent provocative bestsellers:
"What is America"
"A Short History of Progress"
Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 7pm
Location: Capitol Theatre, Nelson BC
Fee: Adults $16 - Students/Seniors $13. Tickets available at Selkirk College Bookstore, Castlegar (250.365.1281) and Capitol Theatre, Nelson (250.352.6363) in September.
photo credit: Michael Creagen
For more information, please contact:
Randy Janzen firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250.365.1234.
September 25, 2012 - Two Historical Plaques to be Unveiled at Local Museum
Two historical plaques are to be officially unveiled this Sunday, September 30th, at the Doukhobor Discovery Centre. The plaques are the fruition of recent initiatives by Parks Canada to recognize the historical significance and contribution of women, Aboriginal peoples and ethnocultural communities across Canada. Parks Canada is assisted by the Historical Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) in these initiatives. This Board is composed of various distinguished historians, archaeologists, sociologists, geographers, museum and government officials, who assist with the research and selection of suitable places, persons or events of interest worthy of special national recognition.
The Historic Doukhobor Brilliant Suspension Bridge has recently achieved special status as a National Historic Site (NHS). The plaques to be unveiled this weekend will celebrate Doukhobor leader, Peter V.Verigin as a National Historic Person (NHP) and the Mass Migration of Doukhobors to British Columbia as a National Historic Event (NHE). (Upper photo of Peter V. Verigin with congregation, from Parks Canada program booklet - lower photo of the BC Migration from our USCC collection).
The event at the Discovery Centre will begin at 1:00 pm with a prayer followed by the unveiling and official bilingual presentations on behalf of Parks Canada. Various speakers are also expected to comment on the significance of this occasion. Local entertainment and refreshments will help mark this weekend as the end of the Discovery Centre 2012 season.
Telephone 250 365-5327 for more information.
The USCC will be honoring and observing the 21st International Day of Peace at the Brilliant Cultural Centre with an outdoor ceremony starting at 6:00 pm. This event is co-sponsored by the Kootenay Region United Nations Association (KRUNA) and a USCC Working Group. It will be followed by an indoor Mir Centre For Peace presentation by Justice Murray Sinclair, beginning at 7:00 pm.
Justice Sinclair is Chair of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
He will be speaking on the Commission's goals:
• to acknowledge the Indian Residential School experiences, impacts, and consequences
• to promote awareness among the Canadian public so that we may learn from our past and create a future based on justice and peace.
Location: Brilliant Cultural Centre, 1876 Brilliant Road, Castlegar, B.C.
Time: 7 pm, Friday, September 21, 2012
Cost: Adult $16 | Senior $13 | Student $13
Tickets: Tickets are available at Selkirk College campus bookstores 250.365.1281 and
Otter Books in Nelson 250.352.3434.
For more information visit www.selkirk.ca/mir or call 250.365.1234.
Do you have editorial experience? Are you looking for a rewarding career? We invite you to apply your talent and energy into forming and shaping the direction of ISKRA - the "Voice of the Doukhobors". If you are interested in heading the monthly bilingual publication that has been encouraging the spiritual growth amongst its global readership since 1943, an exciting opportunity is in store for you.
July 7, 2012 - Verigin Memorial Park Opens for the Season
The Verigin Memorial Park, an important Doukhobor heritage site and popular local landmark, has recently been opened to the general public for the summer season. Summer hours - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Contact the Brilliant Cultural Centre - 250 365-3613, for information and special arrangements.
View web page ...
View and download an informational brochure ...
June 13, 2012 - Doukhobor Discovery Centre Launches New Website
Our congratulations to the Kootenay Doukhobor Historical Society and the Discovery Centre on the recent launch of their new website. Under the oversight of the new museum curator, Netta Zeberoff, the updated website appears to be well positioned to take advantage of recent advancements in online content management and media presentation. Much more than a simple facelift, the site has been completely redesigned on the popular open source Wordpress platform, which is supported by thousands of volunteer enthusiasts world-wide. We look forward to its continued development and growth, in our shared commitment to the celebration and preservation of our Doukhobor heritage and culture. USCC Web Group
Visit the new website here ...
June 12, 2012 - Young Women Peace Maker Camp - July 6-8
In partnership with the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, The Mir Centre is proud to co-host the Young Women Peace Camp, July 6-8. Activities begin at the Mir Centre for Peace on Friday, July 6th in the morning.
This weekend workshop is open to young women age 15-35 with interest
or experience in careers and volunteer activism, reducing violence,
conflict resolution, nonviolent models of security and protection services,
peace studies, reconciliation, and other forms of creating a culture of
Registration is online: www.selkirk.ca/ce
View poster ...
May 12, 2012 - Live Video - 65th Union of Youth Festival
We have confirmed that the USCC video team will be streaming festival live video from the Brilliant Cultural Centre as they did last year. Watch live video starting at 2:00 pm Saturday afternoon and 7:00 pm Saturday evening.
You can view the Ustream video here on our website: http://www.usccdoukhobors.org/galleries/livestream.htm
April 23, 2012 - 65th Annual USCC Doukhobor Union of Youth Festival
Theme - Celebration of Youth Through the Ages - May 19 & 20, 2012
Program information posted on the Union of Youth Website -
April 23, 2012 - Okanagan Boundary Kootenay Peace and Justice Conference
The Mir Centre for Peace at Selkirk College will be hosting the biannual Okanagan Boundary Kootenay Peace and Justice Conference
Date and time: Saturday, April 28th, 9:30 am -5 pm
Cost: $15 including lunch
Location: Mir Centre for Peace, Castlegar Campus
Please rsvp with JJ Verigin: email@example.com or phone 250-442-8252 for more info.
Pre-registration is appreciated for catering purposes.
Over 1.5 trillion dollars is spent each year by governments worldwide on militaries and war. If you want to work for peace and are interested in learning how to keep your tax dollars from supporting war, attend the Peace Café hosted by Selkirk College's Mir Centre for Peace and Conscience Canada at Selkirk College's Castlegar campus on Thursday, April 19.
Event organizer, Anna Kirkpatrick says people have been approaching Conscience Canada wanting to learn more about the concept since BC Southern Interior NDP MP Alex Atamanenko introduced his private members Bill C-363 – an act respecting conscientious objection to the use of taxes for military purposes – to Parliament late last year.
Kirkpatrick says she is personally opposed to having her hard-earned dollars used to fund the military.
"I want to dedicate my money and my time to creative, constructive, peaceful solutions," Kirkpatrick notes. "I cannot, in good conscience, allow my tax dollars to fund the military."
Mir Centre for Peace Chair, Randy Janzen adds that the face of war has changed over the years and the secret to resisting it now lies in the financing of it.
"A few generations ago they conscripted our young men," Janzen says. "War has changed. Now they need our money more than our young people. So the notion of conscientious objection has changed. If we don't believe in war to solve our problems, we need to stop contributing financially. Instead we need to redirect our money to fund practices and research that utilize nonviolent strategies."
"The timing of this peace Café coincides with the upcoming deadline to file our income tax," Janzen added. At the event Mr. Atamanenko will speak about his bill, followed by two short documentaries: Death and Taxes, and Conscience Canada's own short film, Work for Peace, Stop Paying for War. The evening will finish with an opportunity for questions and discussion.
The Peace Café starts at 7:00 pm, with admission by donation. Refreshments will be served. To learn more about Selkirk College's Mir Centre for Peace, visit:
April 03, 2012 - Whatshan Music Festival - July 6-8, 2012
Join Castlegar's Freedom Quest Regional Youth Services - July 6-8, 2012 as it presents its main fundraiser - the 12th Annual Whatshan Music & Family Festival (near Nakusp). See headliners such as Barney Bentall, Henry Small Band (Prism Lead singer), Good for Grapes, Blues singer Darren Johnson, Celtic Trio; Rough Pearl, Kimberlites, Ray Lemelin, & local up and comers – Jason Thomas, Lisa Nicole and many more. Daily activities include: Belly Dancing; Yoga; Bocce; Horseshoes; Bingo; Silent Auction; Second Stage Jam Sessions; Children's Arts, Crafts and Activities; Ladies Hollering Contest, Sunflower Seed Spitting Contest, food vendors and artisans. Come and enjoy all of this and explore over 100 acres of pristine private wilderness. Book your tickets and campsites early! For more information visit the Festival website: www.whatshanmusicfestival.com Learn all about the Whatshan Lake Retreat at: http://whatshan.com/
The Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ (USCC) held its annual convention in Castlegar on February 25 and 26 at the Brilliant Cultural Centre. Delegates representing member communities in the Kootenay Boundary, and the Vancouver, Okanagan and Calgary regions, and organizational committees and groups met to review the organization's spiritual and cultural activities, the state of its finances and assets, and structural changes implemented in 2010.
Delegates expressed their appreciation to members of the organization's governing body, the Executive Committee composed of Chairperson Jim Horkoff of Nelson, Treasurer Robert Zwick of Glade, Secretary Michael Davidoff of Ootischenia, Spiritual and Cultural Development Liaison Barry Verigin of Grand Forks, Finances and Asset Stewardship Liaison Briane Verigin of Winlaw, Youth, Membership and Communications Liaison Bonnie Strukoff of Delta, and External Relations and Administration Liaison Maxim Voykin of Vancouver , for their effective implementation of structural changes and their prudent management of organizational affairs.
USCC Community Representatives for Spiritual and Cultural Development, Colin Markin (South Kootenay Communities), Leonard Markin (North Kootenay Communities), and Stephanie Swetlishoff (Grand Forks Communities); for Finances and Asset Stewardship, Fred Bojey (South Kootenay Communities), Lovette Nichvolodoff (North Kootenay Communities), and Larry Jmaiff (Grand Forks Communities), and for Youth Membership and Communications, Wendy Voykin (South Kootenay Communities), Paris Voykin (North Kootenay communities) and Ellen Strelaeff (Grand Forks Communities), were also thanked for their work in advancing structural changes and for initiatives undertaken within their respective communities and across the organization during their terms of service.
The convention expressed its appreciation to USCC Ladies Organizations and related groups in Grand Forks and the Kootenays, the Union of Youth Council, the Cultural Interpretive Society and the Kootenay Men's Group and to other organizational groups ranging from Children's Sunday Meetings to Ladies Spiritual Meetings and Psalmists groups in the Kootenays and Grand Forks for sustaining the Doukhobor Life Concept, culture and traditions, their support of the organization and their involvement in the wider community. In addition, the editor and staff of Iskra Publications and volunteers administering the organization's website were also gratefully acknowledged by delegates, who also welcomed the development of a Communications Advisory Board.
During the convention delegates adopted new bylaws as well as resolutions empowering the Executive Committee and relevant Standing Committees to investigate ethical investment options, how to leverage organizational finances and assets to advance membership benefits and organizational interests, and ways to encourage more youth and adults to become engaged in organizational affairs. Delegates were pleased by the transparency and clarity of the financial report and adopted a balanced budget for 2012, with a $30 increase to membership donations across all membership categories. Appreciation was also expressed to the Ladies Organizations and Kootenay Men's Group for their financial support, and to Tres Dergousoff for her ongoing advice and assistance.
Convention delegates expressed their appreciation to JJ Verigin for his service to the organization and membership and unanimously reaffirmed him in his role as Executive Director. Verigin thanked the delegates for their confidence and support and pledged to continue efforts to deepen the spiritual understanding and the cultural horizons of membership and to strengthen their sense of community.
A highlight of the convention took place on Sunday following a traditional Doukhobor moleniye when Nick and Mildred Relkoff and Mike and Nina Jmieff from the North Kootenay Communities, George and Katie Koochin, Peter and Vera Makeiff, and Mike and Patsy Popoff from the South Kootenay Communities, and John and Mary Harasemow, and Anne Ogloff, and Phyllis Gritchen from the Grand Forks Communities were recognized, thanked, and gifted for their lifelong dedication and service to the USCC and its membership.
The convention was ably chaired by Larry Veregin and proceedings recorded by secretaries and assistants Marcia Strelaeff and Vera Kanigan, and Val Samsonoff and Fay Malins. A sumptuous meal and snacks were provided by the Kootenay Ladies organization, and convention setup and takedown was attended to by the Kootenay Activity Fulfillment Team.
Alex Atamanenko, MP, has announced that Colleen Ross, an organic farmer and Vice President of Policy for the National Farmers Union (NFU) has accepted his invitation to be the guest speaker alongside local panellists at several public forums on Food Sovereignty that he is organizing with others for the week of March 18-23 throughout the Riding he represents - BC Southern Interior.
Besides her work with the NFU, Colleen has travelled and worked extensively with Via Campesina, the global movement of small farmers behind the famous Food Sovereignty Statement. She brings with her a wealth of stories and information on food movements in both Canada and internationally.
Atamanenko has issued the following public invitation:
"As many of you will already know, the barriers and challenges facing farmers and eaters both here and around the world to produce, trade, and access healthy and sustainable food supplies are many. The solutions to these challenges are varied and often complex, but overcoming these barriers will rely on the intentional actions of informed citizens in each and every community. It has never been more important to keep the conversation going and get everyone involved in our food future.
"I hope you will all come out to meet Colleen at one of the forums listed below to participate in what is sure to be a lively and informative discussion followed by a chance to mingle over coffee and cake. "
All forums are FREE and start at 7:00 P.M.
March 18 - United Church - 602 Silica St., Nelson
March 19 - Senior Citizens Hall - 565-71st Ave., Grand Forks
March 20 - Elks Club - 9725-360th Ave., Oliver
March 21 - Cawston Hall - 2119 Main St., Cawston
March 22 - Princeton Legion - 172 Bridge St., Princeton
February10, 2012 - Conscience Canada Peace Café
Curious to learn more about how our taxes fund the military? Eager to find constructive ways to work for peace? Attend the Peace Café gathering on Wednesday, February 22 at 6:00PM at Self Design High. Self Design High is above the Legion, across from the Nelson Library, Nelson, BC.
The evening will feature hot soup and plenty of food for thought, including an introduction to war tax resistance and the important work of Conscience Canada.
The event will begin with a simple meal catered by Soups in Season. Following this, MP Alex Atamanenko will speak briefly about Bill C-363. Next up will be two documentaries: the British film “Contempt of Conscience” and Conscience Canada’s own short film “Work for Peace, Stop Paying for War”. The evening will wrap up with an opportunity for questions and discussion. The event is by donation. All are warmly invited to attend!
For more information: http://www.consciencecanada.ca/ 250-551-5116
February 01, 2012 - Kootenay Festival Plans Unveiled
Audrey Maxwell Polovnikoff, Recreation/Cultural Programmer with the Castlegar & District Recreation Department, Regional District of Central Kootenay, has announced some of the plans for the 2012 edition of the ever-popular annual multicultural extravaganza. This year’s event will take place on July 14, 2012.
The mission of Kootenay Festival - Let's Celebrate! is “to produce an annual multi-cultural arts festival that will engage the public in an accessible multi-faceted cultural experience. It is the intention of Kootenay Festival - Let's Celebrate! to use this platform to encourage the appreciation and recognition of community diversity through entertainment, cuisine, education and artistic expression of all cultures” .
In past years, various local Doukhobor groups and individuals, including the Vision of Peace Youth Choir and other participants, have taken an active part in Kootenay Festival - Let's Celebrate! This year’s programme promises to be the best one yet.
For additional information visit the Festival website. Website link ...
January 30, 2012 - Doukhobors and the "Occupy" Movement
As with much of the North American and world population, the various underlying themes of the recent “Occupy” movement have resonated with many Doukhobors. Young people in particular have related to the various issues and motivations expressed by activists in the movement. This website has received inquiries as to what the Doukhobor position may be. Although there is no official position on this matter from the USCC or other Doukhobor groups that we are aware of, there have been quite a number of materials circulated that could give some insights into what a Doukhobor perspective might be like.
An excellent historical example is described by Quaker scholar and activist, George Lakey, in his article, “Waging Nonviolence - How Swedes and Norwegians broke the power of the “1 Percent”. Website link ...
Another very interesting and informative article gives an indication as to why the “Occupy” movement began in the USA. It also shows that, although Sweden and Norway (as per the above article) do enjoy the best income equality in the world (Table 7), they still have a way to go in gaining a desirable degree of wealth distribution (Table 4). Website link ...
Interested visitors to our site are encouraged to explore these and other materials and to share their own ideas by writing to our USCC Doukhobor periodical. ISKRA.
January 15, 2012 - Website Acknowledgements Posted
With sincere gratitude, the USCC Web Group is proud to post a list of financial supporters for 2011 (Webpage link), as well as the updated list of acknowledgements (Webpage link) for all those who are contributing in some way. We look forward to working with all of you, and others, for the ongoing exciting development of this website in the coming years
January 9, 2012 - Film, The War Between Us, to be screened locally.
The MIR Peace Centre at Selkirk College in Castlegar has unveiled a rich slate of programmes and events for the 2012 winter season. In addition to University programmes in Peace Studies, these include a continuing series of Peace Lectures by an array of National and International figures, a current photo exhibit on the world-wide Occupy movement, a January 28th Workshop on Nonviolent Conflict Intervention, and a January 12th showing of The War Between Us, a film about the Japanese Internment Camp Experience, preceded by a talk by Aya Hagashi, a 90 year old internment camp survivor. This feature film is being shown in conjunction with Touchstones Nelson's exhibition Two Views: Photographs by Ansel Adams and Leonard Frank. A portrayal of internment camps in the early 1940s, on display until February 5, 2012 at Touchstones Nelson Museum.
January 3, 2012 - USCC Christmas and New Year's Program Archived Videos
New Year's Eve, December 31, 2011
Christmas Eve, December 24, 2011