Tkachuk, Mary (1912-2003)

Mary Tkachuk.
Larissa Lozowchuk

Mary Tkachuk (née Janishewski) was a mentor, businessperson, and leader in the Ukrainian community in Saskatoon, with a special interest in music. Born in Mundare, Alberta on March 6, 1912, she was educated in Edmonton and attended Teachers’ College. In 1935 she moved to Saskatoon with her husband, Paul. They established a music store that became known for its extensive stock of music, ethnic handicrafts, literature and, later, videos. She soon became active in the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada, and in 1936 was a founding member of the Ukrainian Museum of Canada. In 1964 she helped to found the Saskatoon Folk Arts Council, and later became Saskatchewan’s director on the National Folk Arts Council. She served as first woman president of the national Ukrainian Self-Reliance League (1990–96). As well, she was committed to encouraging the appreciation of, and participation in, the world of music: she conducted adult and children’s choirs for over sixty-five years in both Ukrainian and mainstream communities, and produced three publications featuring Ukrainian music. Tkachuk received awards such as the Saskatoon Century Award, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Centennial Medal, and the American Association for State and Local History Award of Merit. She died in Saskatoon on April 28, 2003.

Natalie Ostryzniuk