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Music Hall of Fame
CFCW & Vegreville Cultural Association 
Ukrainian Music Hall of Fame Inductee

 

Do you know of an Alberta musician who has made a significant and lasting contribution to Ukrainian-Canadian music?

Details and nomination forms are available here, or pick up at the Festival Office.

Details and nomination for the Posthumous award is available here.

JAMES YACEY
2024 Ukrainian Music Hall of Fame Inductee
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"I was born in Myrnam, Alberta on December 10, 1942. I went to school there and completed high school in 1961.  I was interested in music and admired many local musicians from the Myrnam - Two Hills area.

At the age of 15 I started playing on a 12 bass accordion that belonged to my Uncle Sam Hryniw. A year later I bought a used 120 bass Hohner accordion from Harmony Kids Music. I also learned to play dulcimer and banjo, but accordion was my main instrument.

At the age of 16 I started to play with Alex Rudkowski and The Northern Serenadors. A little later I played with Marshall Pankiw and The Sparkling Tones. We played many halls in the Myrnam, Two Hills, St. Paul, Vegreville and Mundare areas. I played with the Sparkling Tones until 1964. Over the years I have sat in for other musicians with other groups whenever they needed someone.

These experiences have given me an appreciation of the music and styles of many other local musicians.

In 1961 I moved to Edmonton and got a job in electronics at Certified Auto Radio.

The Cimarron Band was formed in 1965. We played Weddings, Anniversaries, Graduation dances, Malankas and many other functions. Most of these were Ukrainian events. We performed all over Alberta and also at some Ukrainian Weddings in Saskatchewan. The Cimarrons played at the Red Barn once a month from the time it opened until it was sold in the mid 1980's.

When my son Bill got interested in music, I encouraged him to learn bass guitar and violin. He originally took a few years of accordion lessons, which helped me, because I was self taught and did not know how to read music.

Bill joined our band in 1985, playing violin, bass guitar and button accordion. He still plays with us today.

Since I retired from my day job in electronics which included 34 years with Edmonton Catholic Schools, I am starting to learn to read music ( I guess you're never too old to learn. )"

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Ukrainian Music
Hall of Honour Roll

1988  Metro Radomsky
1989  Johnny Barteski
1990  Peter Holowaty
1991  John Zelisko
1992  Peter Kassian
1993  Johnny Merenick
1994  Nick Mischi
1995  Jimmy Watsko
1996  Joe Hrycyk
1997  Harry Semotiuk
1998  John Bilyk & Peter Gargus
1999  Alex Greschuk
2000  Dan Chomlak
2001  Michael Mudryk &
          Ron “The Fiddler” Boychuk
2002  Ron Corry
2003  Gene Zwozdesky
2004  Victor Holubowich
2005  Stan Lapnisky
2006  John Huzil
2007  Nick Mandrusiak
2008  Robert J. Tomkins
2009  Sylvia Kupka
2010  Harry Stelmaschuk
2011  William Zurawell
2012  Joe Nowak
2013  Emile Kryvenchuk
2014  Harry Mynzak
2015  William Chychul
2016  Steven Chwok
2017  Craig Repchuk
2018  Paul Chychul
2019  John Kusick
2022  Rick Wowk

2023  Marshall Pankiw

Violin
Playing the accordion
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LUDVIK 'LOUIS' MARIANYCH
2024 Ukrainian Music Hall of Fame 
POSTHUMOUS AWARD
 

Louis was a trailblazer in promoting Ukrainian culture, language and music his entire life. His incredibly diverse natural musical talents, endless energy, and dedication were unmatched. He conducted choirs and orchestras, performed as a vocalist and instrumentalist, organized caroling, arranged music, taught about Ukrainian heritage through Ukrainian music, thus becoming one of the most influential champions of Ukrainian music.


Ludvik grew up on the family farm near Two Hills. He earned his BA (1974) and BEd (1980) at the University of Alberta. In 1978, as Program Coordinator and Assistant Rector at St. John's Institute, Ludvik organized choirs, dance ensembles, drama, and performance concert tours of rural Alberta, until 1983. In 1982, he toured abroad as a vocalist with the ensemble Iskra. From 1984 to 2011, he taught music and Ukrainian at H.A. Kostash School in Smoky Lake, inspiring generations of young musicians through band, choir, orchestra, and the study of the Ukrainian language.

Ludvik never sat still. A few of his numerous projects included: conductor of the St. Paul Ukrainian Society Choir and Smoky Lake and District Community Choir; assistant director and stage manager for the Ukrainian opera, Kupalo (1981) and the opera Zaporozhets, Beyond the Danube (1983), at the Jubilee Auditorium; director of "Vinok", at the 1977 Vegreville Pysanka Festival; choral director of Dniester Male Chorus and Khvylia Centenary Choir, a 100-voice choir (1990-92).


Upon retirement, Ludvik did not slow down for a moment! He continued to promote, conduct, direct, arrange, and perform Ukrainian music.


Ludvik was the founder, arranger, conductor for Chaika Ukrainian Orchestra and Folk Ensemble. He encouraged, organized, mentored musicians of various instruments, performing Ukrainian music at festivals, concerts, celebrations, social events.


Louis was deservedly awarded by the Sopilka Dance Ensemble and the Honorable Don Mazankowski in 1993 and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress’ 1998 Hetman Award for his contributions to Ukrainian culture, and the Governor General of Canada Commemorative Medal for his contributions to the community and to Canada.


Ludvik’s energy and enthusiasm was infectious. Ludvik passed away all too soon on January 28, 2020, at the age of 67 years. His passing left a void in our community. However, his contributions to Ukrainian music live on.

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