Here is a handy news summary section that Spirit Wrestlers' followers might find interesting. This NEWS is not a chronicle of every Doukhobor event, but only a highlight of those that are most significant and not covered elsewhere whether in printed form or on the web. To include everything that Doukhobors do each year would be overwhelming in terms of time and space. If you have any newsworthy items that you feel might be added to this list please don't hesitate to e-mail me and 'thank you' in advance! Find more events at: Special Events on USCC calendar, ISKRA Magazine, Canadian Doukhobor Society, Doukhobor Discovery Centre News and Archives, New at the Doukhobor Genealogy Website, Doukhobor Message Board, Doukhobor Dugout House Current Events, and National Doukhobour Heritage Village.

1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Recent and Upcoming Events


  • March 12 — Price of my new book Spirit-Wrestlers Pioneers... has been reduced to $45.

  • September Photos of glaciers around the world at Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in Banff, Alberta by artist Jan Kabatoff of Canmore, Alberta. See: Doukhobor Artist Jan Kabatoff Prepares Exhibit on Glaciers

  • June 28 Doukhobor Peace Day, Saskatoon SKSaskatoon Doukhobor Society is commemorating the annual Peace Day to honor our ancestors and their contributions to peace and a life of peace, at  525 Ave. I South, Saskatoon, on Sunday, June 28, at 11 am, with a prayer service, choirs, singers, guest speakers, guests from Quaker, Mennonite and Peace communities. A noon meal will be served. All guests are welcome. Contact:

Past Events and Comments


  • January  — The Doukhobor Dugout House publishes their first brochure which you can also download.

  • January 17 — BBC NEWS: In pictures: The Doukhobors of Georgia  Also: The Doukhobors of Georgia — 12 photos posted by photographer Agnes Montanari of Doukhobors in Djavakhetie (Javakheti) region, Georgia. See these and more photos on her website. Doukhobors recently inhabited Ninotsminda, Gorelovka, Orlovka, Zdanova and Tambovka. Only Gorelovka has a kolkhoz. The Doukhobor Genealogy Websites lists more articles and a map about Doukhobors in Georgia.

  • February 13, 14 — Film: 'A Scattering of Seeds': Wrestling With The Spirit: A Doukhobor Story, (2000, 23 minutes) shown on the Saskatchwan educational SCN TV show: 'A Scattering of Seeds'.  Click here to see it nowSee overview.
  • February 17 — Sun — 11 am —- Day of Love — Salmo Doukhobor Hall. BC. —- Prayer Service, followed by Potluck Lunch, to promote a time of concord, harmony and love. — Guest Speakers: Dr. Duncan Grady and Dr. Rosalyn Grady, Selkirk College — Bring a vegetarian dish for the potluck lunch.  Bring your friends for fellowship and bonding. There will be speakers, music , guitars, singing, visiting, laughter and LOVE. — Contact: President CDS,, or Newsletter editor

  • February 24 — 3 PM — During Heritage Week — Grand Forks USCC Cultural Centre — 3 groups sing: Grand Forks Psalmists, The Slocan Valley Psalmists and the Psalmist Group from Krestova.  Psalmist Project presented by Doukhobor Discovery Centre to commemorate  the centenary of the Doukhobor move from SK to BC.

  • February 27 — 'Духоборы после многих веков изгнания получили возможность вернуться в исконные земли'  ('After many centuries, Doukhobors have received the means to return to their indigenous homeland'), Другие Новости (Drugie Novosti, Russian News, Channel 1, Moscow)

  • April 27, 10 a.m. prayer service followed by the official opening at 2 p.m. — Doukhobor Discovery Centre's season opening, Castlegar, B.C. — Contact Larrry A. Ewashen, Curator, (250) 365-5327. The Bridge Plaque commemorating the Doukhobor bridge over the Kootenay River will be presented during the opening. Anyone who would like to share their stories or art during this event is asked to contact the Curator.

  • May 17-18 — USCC 61st Annual Union of Youth Festival, Brilliant Cultural Centre, Castlegar, B.C. Theme: 'Reflection and Progression, Celebrating 100 Years of Doukhobors in British Columbia 1908-2008'. Contact Marcie at the Brilliant Cultural Centre (250) 365-3613 ext. 21. Admission to the Saturday evening cultural program is by advance tickets. Sunday will begin with a spiritual mass moleniye followed by a program in the Centre.

  • Spring — Riverlands Heritage Region Phase I Brochure printed. — The Saskatchewan Russian Club plans to finish Phase I of a series of historic route maps featuring historic sites, ov which many are Doukhobor.

  • July 5 — Sat — 11 AM — Свадьба: Doukhobor Wedding Renewals — Re-enactment of a Doukhobor wedding at the Dugout House, Saskatchewan. Guest Speaker Norm Rebin, speaking about our Doukhobor pioneer, P.G. Makaroff who played a role in Doukhobor marriages being recognized by the government. Renew your vows. Call for details! Tours to follow. Everyone welcome. See website for link to free tickets. DDH open only on Saturdays in Summer.

  • August 16 — Sat — 11 AM — Dedushka (Gradfathers') Day — Tours to follow. Honoring our Grandfathers, pillars of the earth, those strong, honorable hard workers who made our foundations, who gave us their legacies. Bring your Dedushka to the Doukhobor Dugout House, Saskatchewan and let him join our discussions or come and tell your best Dedushka story. Everyone welcome. See website for link to free tickets. DDH open only on Saturdays in Summer.

  • October 26 John J. Verigin dies at age 86, Honourary Chairman of the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ (USCC) from 1962 to 1999.

  • October 30 - November 2 — Funeral Summary, news links: John J. Verigin Sr. (1921-2008), A brief Biographical Tribute to John J. Verigin Sr


  • February 11, 2007 — 10 am — Salmo, BC:  DAY of  LOVE — The 14th Annual DAY of  LOVE to be held in the Salmo Doukhobor Hall, Airport Road 1227, Salmo BC V0G 1Z0 — After prayer service there will also be a guest speaker, potluck lunch, congregational singing, music, vocal entertainment and prizes. Come to enjoy a day of fellowship, food and fun. — Hosted by the Canadian Doukhobor Society

  • April 5 Thur 5pm Russian Language and Culture Meeting University of Saskatchewan, Education Building, Room 1038. Members of the Dukhobor community are invited, especially those in a choir are invited to  attend a meeting of the U of S undergraduate students' Linguistics Club. This is a very informal gathering for students. The topic of the meeting is 'Russian language and culture'. A talk on sound features of Russian will be followed by a short Russian lesson and learning a Russian song. Performance of Russian music will follow. I am an assistant professor in linguistics in the U if S. I am Russian. I met the members of the Dukhobor Choir a while ago at the Mutifaith Festival, November 2006. I believe it would be nice to have contacts between the language and linguistics students and members of Dukhobor community. I know that most members of your community are very elderly people, but if any of them may be interested in coming and communicating with very young people, they are most highly welcome. Sincerely, Veronika Makarova, Assistant Professor, Department of Languages and Linguistics, University of Saskatchewan. Phone: 966-5641, or e-mail me for future meetings.

  • April 14, 2007 — Variety Night in Saskatoon — Saskatoon Doukhobors are participating in a month-long series of musical peace celebrations that will peak in a Global Wave of Music planned for April 22, 2007. Participants will have a sunflower placed on a global map. See article in Hodge Podge. — Contact Mae Popoff

  • April 21, 2007 Saturday 7pm Victoria Doukhobor Choir Concert, St. Aidan's United Church, 3703 St. Aidan's Street (1 km. east of Univ. of Victoria), Victoria, BC, Canada - (250) 477-2089 Contact Johnny Popoff. Hosted by V.I.D.C.A., the new Vancouver Island Doukhobor Community Association.

  • May 19-20 2007  — 60th Annual USCC Union of Youth Festival at the Brilliant Cultural Centre, Castlegar, British Columbia. The theme will be: "Inheritance". Admission:  $15. At the Festival, the third annual Psalm Session will be held May 19, 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Everyone is welcome to attend.  — See Iskra for Community News and Announcements or contact Ernie Verigin at (250) 365-0728.  The May 4 issue of Iskra (pp. 20-23) carried a feature on how the Annual Festival began in March 28–29, 1948 at the converted blacksmith shop serving as a USCC Community Centre in Grand Forks, BC.

  • May 26-27 — Victoria Doukhobor Choir, Seattle WA — Seattle Center (downtown, home of the 1962 World's Fair and the Space Needle) — Free Admission
    • May 26, Saturday — 12:00 noon — Narrative Stage: "The Doukhobors: A Russian-Canadian Community", by Doukhobors from Castlegar & Victoria, BC
      6:30 pm — Intiman Theatre: "Traditional Russian Hymns & Folksongs"
    • May 27, Sunday v 11:40 am— Mural Amphitheatre, "Traditional Russian Hymns & Folksongs"
  • May 26 — Sat. — 10:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. — 'Doukhobor Place Names', a presentation by Jonathan J. Kalmakoff, Room 100, Arts Building, University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Jon, who hosts the Doukhobor Genealogy Website, will focus on the names of early Doukhobor settlements in Saskatchewan, 1899-1907; Doukhobor place naming, beliefs, collective history and world view; geography, settlement patterns and land use; Russian language and orthography; and types of Doukhobor place names according to their meaning and mechanism of origin. All are invited.the 41st Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Names, to be held in conjunction with the 2007 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, May 26-27, 2007. More information is posted on the Doukhobor Message Board.
  • May 27 — Sun. — 11 a.m. — National Heritage Doukhobor Village, Veregin, SK — Moleniye [prayer service]. The Saskatoon group will lead. Moleniye will be followed by Pot Luck and Social Time. Generally, fresh bread will be available every long weekend. Museum phone: (306) 542-4441. Or contact elders: Dr. Fred Strukoff (306) 542-2123; Keith Tarasoff or (306) 563-5941. [Also posted on the Doukhobor Message Board.]

  • June 3 — Sun. — National Heritage Doukhobor Village, Veregin, SK —  Museum Appeciation Day — Free admission: borshch, fresh bread, piogi, piroshki, bake table, and program. [Also posted on the Doukhobor Message Board.]

  • June 24 — Sun. — 10 a.m. — Peter’s Day / Peace Day in Castlegar, British Columbia. — Gather at Verigin´s Memorial Park where we will remember our elders who brought us to Canada and in particular, Peter V. Verigin (Петюшка Господний). -- Then we travel to the Doukhobor Discouvery Centre (formerly: Doukhobor Village Museum) for a photo opportunity at Tolstoy’s statue.  We will recall how this famous man helped our forefathers leave Russia. — The concluding session will be at the Sandman Inn for a no-host brunch where we will break bread together in fellowship. — Hosted by the Canadian Doukhobor Society. Contact: Alex Wishlow

  • June 24 — Sun. — 11 a.m. — The Doukhobor Society of Saskatoon invites all to the Annual Doukhobor Peace Day/Petrov Dien at  at the Community Home, 525 Avenue I South, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Lunch will follow the program. Guests and presenters are welcome. Contact elders: Mae Popoff (306) 373-2991; or Bill Kalmakoff (306) 373-0952.

  • June 29 — Friday — 11 a.m.— National Heritage Doukhobor Village, Veregin, SK — Annual Peace Day, Commencing at the Verigin Cementery. [Also posted on the Doukhobor Message Board.]

  • June 29–July 2 — Whatshan Lake Retreat — The Dove, April 2007, page 28: "Looking forward to seeing you all real soon. Our 2007 social is underway – we have the costing calculated. Cost per person for the weekend including cabins, meals and facilities are $125.00 each. The cost could change depending on the members. There will be an additional cost for the two breakfasts we will be making and sharing together. Snacks and drinks will be provided during the day.  For the cabins you will need bedding, towels and toiletries, etc. If you have Bocci Ball or horseshoes or any other outdoor games please bring them along with your spirit of adventure. A deposit of $50.00 is required. To be submitted no later than May 31st, 2007. Please make the cheque payable to ‘Doukhobors in the Spirit of Harmony’ c/o Marilyn Verigin, 902 – 6th Street, Castlegar, BC  V1N 2E5.  For more information the following people can be contacted:Jeannette Stringer  1-306-242-0452, Edna Wright, Mae Popoff, Allan Popoff. — Koozma’s note: First suggested by Mich Ozeroff of Langham, Saskatchewan, the idea of the Whatsan Retreat is to bring together informally Doukhobors from Western Canada in a weekend of singing, music, games, socializing, hiking, and generally getting together to know each other better. A great idea!

  • July 7, 2007 — 11 am — Memory (Память) Ceremony — Doukhobor Dugout House, Saskatchewan — Official opening with plaque unveiling, guest speakers, Doukhobor women pulling the plough, 105-year-old historical mark, wool spinning demonstrations. Tours to follow. Norm Rebin will speak about "The Value of Collective Memory".

  • July 14 — Sat — 10 a.m. — National Heritage Doukhobor Village, Veregin, SK — Guitar Day,  A day and photo opportunity with the 6 String Nation Guitar. In addition, guitar players, groups, and bands are invited to take part in a Guitar Concert at 7 p.m. [Also posted on the Doukhobor Message Board.]

  • July 15 — Sun  — 9 a.m. — National Heritage Doukhobor Village, Veregin, SK — Heritage Day, Moleniye, The Kamsack group will lead. Blini Brunch from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by a program at 1 p.m. [Also posted on the Doukhobor Message Board.]

  • July 20-22 — 7th Annual Whatshan Lake Music Festival! — Featuring Country, Light Rock, Bluegrass, Rhythm and Blues, and Folk Music.
  • August — Meagan Brooks' article "Connecting the Present with its Past: the Doukhobor Pit-House Public Archaeology Project" is published in Archaeology As a Tool of Civic Engagement, by Barbara J. Little, Paul A. Shackel, Chapter 10, Pages 203-222.

  • August 11, 2007 — 11 am  — Babushki Day (Grandmothers' Day) — Doukhobor Dugout House, Saskatchewan — Honouring our grandmothers, with special stories and guest speakers. Bring your grandmother or her memories. This event marks the end of the season. Tours to follow.

  • August 26 — Sun. — 11 a.m. — National Heritage Doukhobor Village, Veregin, SK — Moleniye [prayer service]. The Saskatoon group will lead. Moleniye will be followed by Pot Luck and Social Time. Generally, fresh bread will be available every long weekend. Museum phone: (306) 542-4441. Or contact elders: Dr. Fred Strukoff or (306) 542-2123; or Keith Tarasoff or (306) 563-5941. [Also posted on the Doukhobor Message Board.]

  • September 21 — Grand Opening: Mir Centre Centre for Peace, Selkirk College, Castlegar, B.C. 100s gathered for the ceremony to signify the official launch of our commitment to understanding and building cultures of peace through education. Two new degrees are offered: (1) Associate of Arts Degree in Peace Studies1 focuses on peace and the environment, and (2) Liberal Arts Diploma in Peace Studies emphasizes peace in a cultural and international context.

  • September 30 — Sun. — 11 a.m. — National Heritage Doukhobor Village, Veregin, SK — Moleniye [prayer service]. The Canora group will lead. Moleniye will be followed by Pot Luck and Social Time. Generally, fresh bread will be available every long weekend. Museum phone: (306) 542-4441. Or contact elders: Dr. Fred Strukoff or (306) 542-2123; or Keith Tarasoff or (306) 563-5941. [Also posted on the Doukhobor Message Board.]

  • December 19 — Riverlands Heritage Region Formed in Saskatchewan. Purpose: to preserve the historical contributions of Russian peoples who settled on the Canadian prairies over a century ago Preliminary news bulletin.


  • March 30 — I submitted: "The Mysterious Death of Doukhobor Leader Peter V. Verigin in 1924" for the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History website (below).

  • April 26 — I fly to Victoria BC and lecture on my October 2005 essay on "How the church, the media and the zealots hijacked the Doukhobor Name". See: "Site Adds Doukhobor Mystery" by Jim Zeeben, Saanich News, Apr 21 2006. The next day:

  • April 27 — I helped launch "Explosion on the Kettle Valley Line: The Death of Peter Verigin", the Doukhobor history module of the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History website, University of Victoria, BC.  See "Analysis of Peter Veregin's death on new website" with 16 official photos, links to news about this project, and my contributions.

  • May 1-31 — Cultural Bridgebuilding Project. I drive a Russian Doukhobor across Canada to visit the major Doukhobor settlements and learn about the problems and challenges of Doukhobor brothers and sisters in Russia today. Guest: Aleksei Oslopov (80), Tbilisi (now living in Toronto with son Petr). Unfortunately 2 guests from Russia did not get their visas in time Nikolai Alekseyevich Strelyev (58), Volgodonsk, Rostov and son his Andrei (33). I hoped to tour with 3 guests, but did well with one. 143 photos posted.

  • May, 2006 Why the Path to Peace is Often Paved in Conflict: A Historical Examination of the Doukhobors of British Columbia. MA Thesis by Stacey Makortoff, Canada. Peace and Conflict Studies, European University Center for Peace Studies, Stadtschlaining/Burg, Austria

  • May 19-21 USCC Union of Youth Festival, Brilliant, BC. Order a 3-hour DVD (2 disks) of this "best UYD Festival in 5 years" for $15 at from Baba's Home Cooking. Also see 25 photos of Youth Festival from Cultural Tour.

  • May 27 — Kirilovka Doukhobor village archealogical research published and presented at conferences:
  • June 25. Sunday, 1 p.m. — World Peace Forum 2006, Vancouver. In the program "Choral Peaces 1 PM" at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, University of British Columbia, the Forum featured a the 175-voice "Doukhobor and Friends" acappella choir with a slide show (Power-Point presentation). The 111th  anniversary of the Doukhobor Arms Burning will be noted as the historic event of the Doukhobors that pioneered the notion of the need to get rid of the institution of militarism and war and instead work towards the creation of a nonkilling society. Free admission. See 4 reports and 7 photos of the Forum and March.

  • In Western Canada, the 111th anniversary of the Doukhobor Arms Burning will be celebrated at the following locations and dates:
    • June 25. Sunday, 11 a.m. — Doukhobor Community Home, Blaine Lake, Sask. This will coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Doukhobor Home. Contact: Mabel Androsoff 306-497-2242.
    • June 25. Sunday, 11 a.m. — Doukhobor Community Home, Lundbreck, Alberta. Contact: Michael Verigin 403-628-3898.
    • June 29. Wednesday, 10 a.m. — Verigin Heritage Village, Verigin, Sask. Prayers will begin at the Matvey Lebedev’s Nadezhda Cemetery gravesite north of Verigin and the program will continue at the village. Contact: Fred Strukoff 306-542-2123

  • July 6-9 — Our Way Home Peace Event and Reunion, Brilliant Cultural Centre, Castlegar, BC. (See full program in Iskra, May 17, 2006, pages 39-40.). Featured speakers will include Tom Hayden, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Brewster Kneen, Svend Robinson (former MP), Mark Nykanen (four-time Emmy Award winning investigative journalist and novelist), Kim Phuc, George McGovern and Arun Gandhi. Performers will include Buffy Saint Marie, Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, Khac Chi Vietnamese Ensemble, Bill King, Pied Pumpkin, Ronnie Gilbert, Doukhobor Men’s Choir and D.O.A. For tickets, go to Our Way Home website.

  • July 8, 2006 — 12:50 p.m. —Victoria Doukhobor Choir performs in Victoria, on the Main Stage, Inner Harbour, at the ICA FolkFest — Traditional Doukhobor hymns, Russian folk songs, & original works. The Inter-Cultural Association of Victoria hosts Vancouver Island’s largest international Arts Festival, 10 days of music, dance, theatre, circus, film and culinary arts. Their CD is $20. — See/hear: Sredi Dolinyi Rovniya (video) with Vancouver Doukhobor Choir

  • July 14-16 — 6th Annual Whatshan Lake Music Festival. Featured artists will include: Tom Jackson, The Cruzeros, Nancy Nash, Sazacha Red Sky, The Kimberlites, Blue Moon, Uncorked, Tya Voykin, and Whatshan House Band. The 200-acre retreat site offers the following: a large partially serviced campground, walking and biking trails, a swimming hole on site, nearby access to boat launches, beaches and swimming, fishing at nearby Whatshan and Arrow Lakes, spectacular waterfall on its own 5-acre site, cabins available for on-site accommodation, society-sponsored annual music festival, golf course nearby, separate amenities centre with patio, laundry, showers and kitchen, a new stage, and concession for rent. The project now is practically fully completed and is debt free. Its core initiator and registrar Elmer Verigin reported at the Annual Meeting of The Doukhobor Heritage Retreat Society, May 22, 2006, that he is stepping down as President. The project is advertised as a Family Affair, Concessions on site, and Proceeds towards youth projects.

  • July 15   9 a.m. — Tour of Northern Colony in Saskatchewan. This will be  followed on July 16th with Heritage Day beginning with a traditional prayer service at the National Doukhobor Heritage Village, Verigin, Sask. Brunch at 9:30 a.m. Program 1 p.m. A celebration of 25 years as a museum. Contact the Village at 306-542-4441.

  • July 23-25 — Festival of Freedom at the Forks, 4th Annual Concert at the USCC grounds in Grand Forks, B.C. Featured artists will include: West Africa born Alpha Yaya Diallo, Tanya Tagaq, Wil and Freeflow, Sarah Metzner and the Tuques, the Wassabi Collective, John Gilliat, Agnostics, the band Chilliwack, and many others. For information call toll free: 1-877-442-5661. The Festival’s mission is to promote ‘building cultures of peace, respect for human dignity and ecological integrity’.

  • July 29 — Professor Hawthorn died. He was the Chairman of the Doukhobor Research Committee from 1949 to 1955; and in the 1960s my professor. See: In Memory of Anthropologist Harry Bertram Hawthorn (1910-2006)

  • August, September A big part of the Kirilovka Doukhobor village site was scheduled for complete removal by Saskatchewan Highways and Transportation to expand Highway 5 with new lanes. Law requires that historic data not be distroyed so archealogists were hired to completely excavate, map, document and preserve artifacts from the village and farm locations. Western Heritage Services Inc. got the contract and many students helped. WHS posted their report by Peggy McKeand: Rescue Excavation of the Kirilovka Doukhobor Village Site. Students at the University of California, Berekely, enrolled in Anthropology 2 (Introduction to Archaeology) Fall 2003 with Professor Ruth Tringham did 13 research projects posting these reports:


The year 2005 marked the 100th birthday celebrations of the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta Heritage Days Celebration 2005.  For Doukhobors this was a special occasion to commemorate their Russian pioneers who settled on the Canadian prairies, broke the land, joined other immigrants in building the railroads, and helped to give order, creativity, and growth to our economic, social, and spiritual institutions. The annual Doukhobor Peace Days (Petrov Diens) were held in Blaine Lake and Verigin in Saskatchewan; in Lundbreck, Alberta; as well as in Castlegar, British Columbia. Doukhobors participated in the 20th Anniversary of the Canadian Peace Alliance in Ottawa in October, as well as in other peace gatherings including the Centennial Peace Project 'What Peace Means to Me'. A Heritage Doukhobor Aul or cave site [Doukhobor Dugout House] was opened June 25th eight kilometers south of Blaine Lake; Lieutenant Governor Dr. Lynda Haverstock officially opened the event and declared it as a Provincial Heritage Property [Doukhobor Dugout House Provincial Heritage Property Plaque Unveiling]. Heritage commemorations were held in various communities such as Saskatoon, Langham, Henrietta, Pelly, Canora, and Kamsack. In Verigin, July 14-17, there were tours of historic sites, media publicity, pirogee and blini brunch, choral presentations from BC choirs (from Victoria, and the Mens Tri-Choir from the Kootenays) the Sask. Heritage Choir, Canora and Kamsack choirs as well as the Saskatchewan Centennial Choir, CCUB meeting, and a general sobranie. The Saskatoon Doukhobors again participated during the Exhibition Week by selling at least 1,200 loaves of brick-oven bread daily for a full week. Every day was a sellout. A large Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan was released and featured two entries on the Doukhobors.I had two entries on the Doukhobors in it.

The Annual Convention of the USCC was held in February 26-27 at the Brilliant Cultural Centre, BC. It featured a creative workshop on seeking a common-ground understanding of the movement — a kind of laboratory to rediscover our historic roots.

The Doukhobor Village Museum in Castlegar opened for the season on April 24th with Larry A. Ewashen, Curator, presiding. The exhibit featured restored pioneering autochrome images of Doukhobors, one of which was presented to the Lieutenant Governor of BC, Iona Campagnolo, who was on hand to officially open the event. The Doukhobor Song Library on the web continued to be refined and expanded (see The Brilliant Suspension Bridge proposed Regional Park is proceeding (see The Vergin Tomb in Brilliant was renamed to the Verigin's Memorial Park with a new building, restroom and running water installed.

This year Jon Kalmakoff's website/research work has gone beyond his original genealogical efforts. Here are few examples of his 2005 contributions to the enlargement of the Doukhobor story: Russian Archival Records, Doukhobor Cemetery Transcription Project, 1853 Tax Register of Doukhobors in the Caucasus. As well, Jon has recently been the official who named two geographic features in the province of Saskatchewan (a creek and a spring) in commemoration of the Doukhobors. These "Doukhobor" place names help put the Doukhobors "on the map" in terms of preserving their memory in districts to which they played a significant historical role. See Jon's website for other interesting items on the Doukhobors, many of which Jon has uncovered for the first time.

In British Columbia, the 58th Annual Union of Youth Festival was held in the Cultural Centre of Brilliant, near Castlegar, with nearly 2000 locals and visitors participating. Its theme was 'Praising God Through Deeds'. Earlier, on May 1st, the 50th Annual Children's Sunday School Festival took place at Brilliant with much success. Both events were held under the auspices of the USCC (Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ), with John J. Verigin Sr. as Honourary Chairman, and his son John J. ('JJ') as Executive Director under a Board of Directors which is elected yearly.
The Mountain View Doukhobor Museum in Grand Forks, BC is now called the Hardy Mountain Doukhobor Village Historic Site. Extensive restoration and construction work had been done in summer and for the first time in 30 years the museum was closed to the public. Heritage Canada has recently recommended that the project become a national historic site.

ISKRA journal of the USCC relocated in the fall from Grand Forks to Brilliant (Castlegar), with Lisa Poznikoff as the new editor. She replaced Jason Harshenin who resigned and became the editor of the Grand Forks Gazette.

The 5th annual Whatshan Lake Music Festival in July featured the Grand Opening of the Acoustic Stage. The Retreat Society under Elmer Verigin continues to expand the facility for public use.

March: The 2005 film about the Georgia Doukhobors "Lost Land" (Потеряный край) was shown at the 9th annual Moscow International Festival of Mountaineering and Adventure Films “Vertical”, in the category: Mountain and wild nature. The 35 minute film is authored by
S. Kochrgina and Andrei SlastuhinSummary: "In the Caucasus on the Dzhavahetskoe plateau (2000m) several special villages prospered. Today, left in independent Georgia, they are at the line of extinction. The commune, that is keeping the foundations of the doctrine could be put in the Red book of the humanity." I translated this film for English subtitles and am trying to get it distributed in North America.

The Festival of Freedom at the Forks held its 3rd Annual Freedom Rocks Concert at the USCC grounds in Grand Forks, BC July 22-24.

April 4: 2005 Season Opening of the Kootenay Doukhobor Village Museum, Castlegar, B.C., Remarks by The Honourable Iona Campagnolo, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia

October 13-16 'Ethnicity and Social Justice: The Case of the Doukhobors' was a special session held at the Biennial Conference of the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association in Ottawa, Ontario in October 14th. International scholars presented the following papers:

  1. "'Official Nationality' and the Russian Sectarians: The Doukhobor Case." By Dr.John R.Staples, State University of New York at Fredonia and the University of Toronto.
  2. "Pathologizing and Criminalizing Cultural Protest: the Law and Vital Statistics, Truancy and Nudity among Canadian Doukhobors." By Dr. John McLaren, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC.
  3. "Minority Children in Neglect: The Doukhobor Example." By Dr. John Friesen, University of Calgary, Alberta.
  4. "How the Church, the Mass Media, and the Zealots Hijacked the Doukhobor Name." By Koozma J.Tarasoff, Ottawa, Canada.

(See Abstracts in Iskra, Nov. 16, 2005: 55-57)

Russian language classes continue as part of the regular curriculum in Castlegar and Grand Forks, BC. They are part of the federal experiment begun in the early 1970s to see how pluralism can work in Canada.

The Cultural Interpretive Society has enlarged its Arts and Crafts Training and Exhibition Center in Brilliant, BC. Its products such as handicrafts and wooden coffins are used to fund humanitarian causes.

Internationally, the highlight of the year was the official opening September 21st of the Bakery Cafe and Communications facility in Yasnaya Polyana, Tula, Russia. This bridge-building event culminated the dedicated efforts of work between Yasnaya Polyana and the Doukhobors of Canada. A bilingual DVD was viewed and showed the historic relationship between Lev N. Tolstoy and the Doukhobors.

The all-Doukhobor Council of Unity Convention in Russia, which was held October 1-2 in Archangelskoye village south of Tula, reelected Alexei Kinakin as Chairman of the organization. The Russian Doukhobors have appealed to their Canadian brethren to help them sustain their heritage in the face of assimiliation, apathy and the challenges of change itself in the new Russian Republic. Russian Doukhobors are now scattered in over 25 different locations.

Meagan Brooks submitted her M.A. Thesis: Public Archaeology with a Doukhobor Descendant Community. University of Saskatchewan, Department of Archaeology.

Finally, the Doukhobor Think Tank idea was introduced by Allan Markin of Penticton, BC, but at the end of the year it was deferred to a later time.


August to December:

Mary Fofonoff (1927-2004) passed away. She was one of the exceptional contributors to the Doukhobor and wider societies.

November 19-21: International Peace Conference sponsored by Kootenay Regional United Nations association of Canada and Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ: A Convergence of All: Building a bridge into a future of peace, Brilliant Cultural Center, Castlegar, B.C.

Artist Dorothy Knowles was appointed as a member of Order of Canada. For the past 40 years, she has dedicated herself to bringing Saskatchewan's rich and colourful countryside to life. Her husband William Perehudoff, also an artist, received an Order of Canada in 1999.  They also both recieved the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Dorothy in 1987. and William in 1994. Last year William recieved an honourary doctorate from the Univerisity of Regina. See more of their art.

The Doukhobor Village Museum in Castlegar has had another record year of attendance. For the 2005 season, which opens May 1st, the Museum will feature a major exhibit of lantern slides or autochromes showing excellent views of the Doukhobor villages.

Work is proceeding on the Brilliant Suspension Bridge (near Castlegar, BC), to return it to the brilliance of 1913 when it was built by the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood.

The Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba is in the process of being built. It has been suggested that Doukhobors ought to be properly represented in this internationally-recognized venue. The facility is slated to open by 2008.

Dr. Ron Plotnikoff, a behavioural epidemiologist and director of the Physical Activity and Population Health Promotion in Edmonton, Alberta, is heading a milti-million dollar project seeking effective motivations that promote healthy, active living The Physical Activity and Population Health (PAPH) Research Laboratory.

A group of former internees of the New Denver Residential School camp attended the opening of the Legislature in Victoria, British Columbia, to hear the Attorney-General of BC read a government 'expression of regret' for what happened to those children in the 1950s in New Denver. The group of 'survivors' are not satisfied with this expression because it falls short of expressing an official government apology for their treatment.

An Armenian journalist Mark Grigoriyan is a producer with the Central Asian and Caucasus Service of the BBC World Services in London, England. He and his photographer friend Ruben Mangasaryan have been following the story of the Caucasus Molokans and Doukhobors for the past four years. In September Mark published a report on The Last Days of Doukhobors in Georgia in which he pointed out the dire situation of the remaining Doukhobors in the area.

Koozma has been interviewed recently for a number of venues:

  1. Susan Poizner, producer for Mother Tongue: The Other Side of History is a 13-part TV series that documents Canada's multicultural history from the female perspective.
  2. Kevin Mitchell, Sportswriter for the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix interviewed me on my personal relationship with baseball legend Tyrus R. Cobb: "The Koozma Tarasoff Story: Ty Cobb's Good Side, Ottawa Citizen on Ty Cobb being a mentor to Koozma Tarasoff"
  3. Larry Hannant, historian of University of Victoria and Camosun College, is doing research on the unsolved death of Peter V. Verigin in a train explosion on 29th October 1924. Larry was in Ottawa doing research and he met with Koozma. (See Ewashen's letter to editor in The Beaver, Feb/Mar 2005.)

At this time, I would like to bring to your attention the state of my new book Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers' Strategies for Living. In October, my co-publisher Dr. Leonard Sbrocchi and I met and decided to accelerate the sales and make the book more affordable.Effective immediately, the book will now be sold for $69.95 plus $10 postage. Already, the book and a separate CD-ROM ($30) have proven to be most effective in dispelling the many misconceptions of the Doukhobors. I would therefore urge you to purchase this volume as a gift for family and friends. By acquiring this landmark publication, you will help distribute an important resource to the wider public and thereby recognize some of the pioneers of the 20th century who have made a valued contribution to society.

<>Koozma's digitized select 1800 images on the Doukhobors are available for viewing by invitation only.

November 19 — Archaeology: Meagan Brooks presented 'Connecting the Present with its Past: the Doukhobor Pit-House Public Archaeology Project' at a meeting of the Saskatoon Archaeology Society, 7:30 pm in Room 132 of the Archaeology Building, University of Saskatchewan.
July 23-25, 2004:
Festival of Freedom at the Forks: "Building cultures of peace, and respect for human dignity, and ecological integrity." Grand Forks, B.C.

July 9-11:
Whatshan Lake Music Festival in northern British Columbia featured a variety of singing and entertainment including Randy Elvis Friskie and Friends, Cruzeros, Canadian Whitewater Bluegrass Band, Dundeel, High Water, Random Act, Jim Stevens, and Dave Lyons. Early Bird Weekend Passes are $40 per person, if obtained before June 5th. All camping spots are $10 a night. Visit the website at

May 22-23:
The 57th Annual Youth Festival was held at the Brilliant Cultural Centre, Castlegar, BC. Theme: Consulting the past, reviewing the present, and divining the future. The public is invited to this major cultural event of the year with choral singing, Saturday night entertainment, speeches, food, and sales of books, CDs, and handicrafts. Contact

April 25:
The Doukhobor Village Museum oppened for the 2004 season April 25th. Vladimir Ilyich Tolstoy, great great grandson of Leo, and the current Director of the Yasnaya Polyana, oppened a special visiting exhibit from the State Museum of Leo Tolstoy in Russia.

The exhibit featured Sergei Tolstoy, Leo Tolstoy's oldest son, who came with the Doukhobors to Canada on the first ship in 1899. The exhibit highlighted his life and times. His diary on this occasion, A Journey to Canada, has been recently translated and is available at the Art Gallery of the Museum, in which he describes his journey, his fellow travelers and his impressions of Canada.

Dr. Galina Alexeeva, recent recipient of the auspicious cultural award by V. Putin was here as curator from Yasnaya Polyana who assisted with the installation. Join us and our guests, as well as other dignitaries for this singular event.

There was also be a dedication of the Memorial Library in honour of the Peter Legebokoff collection. Light refreshments will be provided as well as some Doukhobor singing.

March 20:
The latest meeting of the Council of Doukhobors in Canada was held in Airdrie, Alberta. Using the consensus decision-making model, the meeting acknowledged the value of its Calendar of Doukhobor Events in Canada; it reaffirmed activeness in the peace and humanitarian movement; and it drafted a letter to the BC government in support of the New Denver brothers and sisters in their redress actions following the 1950s New Denver School fiasco. Contact Chairman George Marken at

The Doukhobor Village Museum across the Castlegar Airport of BC, launched a new website which is the new virtual home of the Museum and provides a link to its Digital Jukebox. While this collection does not include the entire holdings of the Doukhobor recorded repertoire, it is a cross representation, including home produced records and early tapes. Curator Larry Ewashen has coordinated the project, while Ron Mahonin, a multimedia expert, has done the digital production and restoration. The music site can be found through the museum's website or directly at

The Mountain View Doukhobor Museum in Grand Forks, BC moved a step closer to permanent protection, as The Land Conservancy of British Columbia announced that they are joining a campaign to purchase and protect this important heritage site. The TLC will be working closely with the Boundary Museum and others in the community to raise the necessary funds to make this project a success. Founded in 1972 by its owner, the late Peter M. Gritchen, the museum features one of the last remaining traditional Doukhobor communal village houses, built around 1912. All donations are tax deductible and can be sent to TLC. Contact TLC Head Office at 250-479-8053 or see:


After giving so much pleasure to the people of Saskatchewan and the world through his artwork in the course of a remarkable career, it was appropriate that a public institution in the province took the opportunity to give something back to William Perehudoff of Saskatoon and Langham. The University of Regina did just that at its fall convocation earlier in the year, presenting the internationally renowned landscape and abstract artist with an honourary Doctorate of Laws.

The long-awaited interactive CD-ROM of Spirit-Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers' Strategies for Living was finally released. Ron Mahonin and his team authored this work for Koozma J. Tarasoff on the book by the same name published earlier in May.

A "Festival of Freedom at the Forks", designed to build cultures of peace and respect for human dignity and ecological integrity, was held in Grand Forks, BC on the USCC grounds. Among the performing artists featured were Terry Jacks, Sue Medley, Cruzeros, Shari Ultrich, Billy W. Chernoff and Bobbi Smith. For more information visit the website at or phone 250-442-8252.

July 11-13:
The Doukhobor Heritage Retreat Society #1999 held its 3th annual Whatshan Lake Music Festival featuring Gary Fjeligaard, The Cruzeros, Bill W. Chernoff, Tovarish Fred Zibin, Banjo Allen, Colin Bunt, Diana Stom, Whatshan House Band and others. Contact Elmer Verigin (250-304-1720 or or Bill Penner (250-269-7246).

Improvements and enlargements of the Whatshan facilities are proceeding ahead. This year five new fully-equipped cabins were built under an apprenticeship program with local high schools. Another five are scheduled for next year. Also a permanent acoustic stage is planned for 2004. The Whatshan Retreat has the magical possibilities of building bridges of understanding between the ages, the generations, across geographical and political boundaries, and most of all across the boundaries of our minds. It is a place for fun, purpose, and spirit.

July 13-15:
Koozma was featured speaker with Volodia Tolstoy (Director of Tolstoy's Estate Museum at Yasnaya Polyana, Russia) at another Yasnaya Polyana settlement in Bulgaria near the Black Sea, at a Writers Conference on Lev Nicholaevich Tolstoy and the Challenge of the Next One Hundred Years.

Koozma spoke on the relationship of the Doukhobors to Tolstoy, while Volodia talked about his family's connection and his work at the Russian estate museum.

Koozma stated: "Doukhobors and Lev N. Tolstoy are deeply rooted in Slavic soil. Both arose out of the sweat and toil of Russian peasantry. Both evolved out of the turmoil of the times seeking to gain some measure of equality and justice for its citizens. And both were pioneers in discovering the notion of the goodness of God within each individual thereby minimizing the role of the organized church. Tolstoy elegantly expressed it in his book The Kingdom of God is Within You."

Towards the end of his talk, Koozma said: "Tolstoy and the Doukhobors looked at the Big Issues in society. Violence for them was uncivilized. Militarism and wars have long outlived their usefulness. Instead, citizens ought to use nonviolent personal example to set thing right."

May to June:
Koozma J. Tarasoff took his new book on the road for 7-weeks of readings, signings, and promotions in Western Canada. Logging in some 13,000 kilometers, Koozma personally delivered books to customers en route (and mailed others from Ottawa), met them first hand, autographed the books, and thanked his supporters for making it possible to help finance this very expensive $100,000 book project with CD-ROM. When government agencies refused to provide any funding, Koozma went to the people for pre-publication sales; the response showed trust when 400 books were purchased before the product came out. As well there were others (such as Bill Kanigan, Florence and Any Markin, Bill Perehudoff) who donated funds for the venture. Co-publisher Leonard Sbrocchi of Legas was most generous when he agreed to pay all of the printing costs. Developer Ron Mahonin and his team agreed to provide a quality product and have contributed hundreds of hours of expertise to complete it. Others sent articles and photographs to illustrate the book. In brief, this was a co-operative venture of many peoples!

In his travels, many friends and acquaintances hosted Koozma, which was an indication that the hospitality ethic of the Doukhobors is alive and well. People (Doukhobors and non-Doukhobors) went out of their way to help organize the events, at times bringing with them choirs to help set the stage for his readings. Salmo Librarian, June Stockdale, co-ordinated readings in five interior BC libraries. Elmer and Marilyn Verigin of Castlegar opened their residence to Koozma and made him feel at home. Bill Anatooskin of Burnaby, BC was able to get Koozma on the prestigious Rafe Mair show on CKNW in Vancouver; Mair had read the book in advance and for 25 minutes allowed Koozma to discuss the Doukhobor pioneers before an estimated audience of 100,000. When the interview was over, Mair asked him to autograph the book for him. This was a highlight of Koozma's visit to Vancouver. Bill also got him to do readings in Chapters, Timeless Books at Westminster Quay Public Market, and a short interview on CBC Radio program 'BC Almanac'. As a pioneer himself and a master chef, 'Uncle Bill' and his wife Jackie often treated Koozma with tasty gourmet meals. As Koozma exclaimed, 'What else can one ask for?'

Koozma had the pleasure of attending and participating in the Unity Meeting in Delta, BC as well as doing a Reading at the Annual Father's Day Picnic and Molenye in Ladner, BC. The responses here and elsewhere were positive and enthusiastic. The full colour 500-page book on fine art paper and hard cover brought rave reviews. The editor of Kamsack Times published a full-page illustrated review, as did the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. John J. Verigin Sr., Honourary Chairman of the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ, read the book and called it 'the best encyclopedia on the Doukhobors' that he has ever seen.

At his readings, people appreciated being reminded about the brave and resourceful pioneers who have made a difference in our lives. Too often we have neglected them until they have died. The time is now to acknowledge and respect them for their valued contributions to society. The book is the right one for our times.

Jon-Lee Kootnekoff of Penticton, BC wrote: 'A hearty congratulations to you. What a beautiful, entertaining, colourful, educational and inspirational masterpiece. Reading Spirit Wrestlers is a mystical experience on its own it is an exceptional well-researched and well-written strategy for living life more abundantly.'

David Meakin of Regina, Sask. wrote: 'There have been many great comments on your work. Keep up the good work! I don't know if anyone has told you, but you¹re becoming a legend in the Doukhobor community through your many years of dedication.'

Dr. Glenn D. Paige (President of Center for Global Nonviolence, Honolulu, Hawaii) described the book as follows: 'What a happy surprise to receive yesterday a copy of the classic Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers' Strategies for Living. A wonderful fruit of many years labor of love. Congratulations to you and to all of your marvelous contributors. What a solid contribution to world understanding of Doukhobor culture and history. Your section on debunking myths is a great tool for education. The photographs speak powerfully to the realities of Toil and Peaceful Life. How greatly I admire all those pioneers of a nonviolent future world.

'If extra copies from the print run are available', wrote Dr. Paige, 'I would like to purchase two gift copies for the following nonviolent CGNV Associates who can help build the Doukhobor-Gandhi bridgeŠ.' Dr. Paige's wonderful book Nonkilling Global Political Science (first published in India in 2002) has already been translated into nine languages and arrangements are in process for a Russian translation in St. Petersburg. His book is posted with six other books on nonviolence at the CGNV website:; paper and hardbound copies can be obtained from, and ordered through bookstores.

Koozma Tarasoff's new book came off the press as an impressive 500-page hardcover history, art, and photography document about the life and times of Doukhobor pioneers. It is accompanied by an interactive CD-ROM that was engineered and authored by Ron Mahonin and his colleagues (the CD-ROM will be available in November). In full-colour, the book is a fitting tribute to the pioneers who showed the way by contributing generously to the local and wider society. Their values of hard work, creativity, hospitality, bridge-building, and civility are sound values that we can use in our own behaviour.

May 17-18:
The 56th Annual Youth Festival at the Brilliant Cultural Centre, Castlegar, BC, featured the theme: 'The Spirit Wrestler of Today'. The Vision of Peace Youth Choir was formed for the occasion and many guest speakers and dignitaries from across Canada and the United States participated. Marjorie Malloff, editor of Iskra, summed up the spirit of the weekend: 'The Festival isn't so much to glorify an event, but rather to acknowledge those people, performers and participants who took the time to feed their souls, so that they may have the strength to carry the lantern, illuminating the path that we all must walk, a little further in the future' (Iskra, 4 June 2003: 2).

In Koozma's talk at the Festival, he contrasted the culture of militarism (and fear) with the culture of peace (and love). The first allowed for the brutal state-sanctioned murder of 110 million citizens worldwide in the 20th century, while the second has the potential of creating a world without war. He also pointed out that Lev Tolstoy was wrong when he called the Doukhobors 'people of the 25th century' because these values are urgently needed today for the health and safely of world citizens.

Filmmaker Ole Gjerstad and writer Janice Benthin were in Yorkton, Saskatchewan (May 8) screening their new film My Doukhobor Cousins, which first premiered in Montreal on 22nd February. On the weekend of the 20 to 22nd June, the National Film Board group was in Castlegar and Grand Forks showing the film. The film provides a rare, personal look inside the dedicated pacifists who came to Canada from Russia in 1899 to build a Christian Utopia. Russian writer and philosopher Lev Tolstoy said, these people were ahead of their time. You may order an NFB video version of this film from 1-800-267-7710.

February to April:
The USA war on Iraq was opposed by millions of people around the world. Doukhobors across the country took to their feet in marching against the war drums; they wrote letters to the United Nations and Canada's Prime Minister urging the leaders of the world to stop the scourge of war; and they sang for peace and universal brotherhood. The Doukhobor Spirit Wrestlers continue to follow the path of their ancestors as they monitor the health of their communities.

Jonathon Kalmakoff has continued his archival search into family history and has discovered a total of 62 ships carrying Doukhobor immigrants to Canada (see Iskra, 23rd April: 23-24). Contact Jon about his Doukhobor Genealogy Website at

Conscience Canada has a new website at The site includes information about conscientious objection to military taxation, instructions for redirecting taxes to the Peace Tax Trust Fund, online versions of the CC newsletter, and links to kindred groups around the world. Several Doukhobors have opted not to pay their taxes for military purposes.

Doukhobor Village Museum in Castlegar, BC opened its doors April 27th for its 32nd season on several themes: Volodia Gubanov's art exhibit; the Anna Petrovna Markova¹s Room; and a new exhibit focusing on the youth. Its curator Larry A. Ewashen welcomed the public and announced that new programs are being developed for later this year. (Contact the Museum at 250-365-5327 or )

In June, Larry announced that the Museum has received a major government grant from the Province of British Columbia, which will enable it to digitize the complete holdings in the collection. Developer Ron Mahonin has already begun to digitize and restore an audio library of Doukhobor singing, and is currently developing an on-line Digital Juke Box, the Museum's image library and on-line database. This is a major development, which will place the Doukhobor Village Museum among the forefront of the modern museums of Canada and will record all of the holdings for reference classification, insurance and accessibility. Amongst the holdings are some early autochrome image plates of Doukhobor settlements - some of which have never been seen before.

March - October:
The newly-formed Council of Doukhobors in Canada met in Saskatoon, Sask. (March 29) with a lengthy discussion about its mission statement on the task of facilitating communication and co-operation among the Doukhobor groups and organizations in Canada. A consensus was reached to move ahead. Another meeting was held at the White Birch Manor in Delta, BC (June 14), with Peter Rezansoff chairing it. The question of "What is a Spirit Wrestler?" was raised and a Calendar of Events sponsored by the Council was discussed. A logo submitted by Hal Rezansoff of Nelson was approved; its image of a Maple Leaf was changed to green instead of red. Another meeting was held in Brilliant and Krestova, BC on the 11th and 12th October. Contact George Marken at 250-359-7374 or

March 31:
The Yasnaya Polyana Bakery Café Project has reached its initial goal of raising $100,700.00 in aid of the world-famous Estate-Museum at Yasnaya Polyana, at the beautiful hereditary home of Lev Tolstoy. The funds will be used to design and equip a building at the site, which will comprise of a bakery/café, meeting rooms and other amenities. Doukhobors in Canada have enthusiastically embraced this project because of their appreciation of Lev Tolstoy and in furthering the historic spirit of friendship between Tolstoyans and the Doukhobors. Construction is expected to begin in 2004. Contact Alex Jmaeff at 250-428-2661 or

Dmitri E. and Eli A. Popoff launched a new Birches Publishing House in Grand Forks, BC. The House provides a variety of services in English-Russian translation, editing and writing, selling books, and more. Contact Jim at 250-442-1213, or 

February: Ole Gjerstad, Janice Benthin and a cameraman were over to Ottawa to copy some select images for their documentary film on the Doukhobors.

  • At the Annual USCC Convention in Grand Forks, BC, Jason Harshenin resigned as Editor of Iskra. For the first time the delegates sat in a circle. Marjorie Malloff took over as editor in the spring.
  • March: The Community Regulation Act of March 1914 along with some 600 other outdated acts were finally scrapped by the Provincial Government of BC.
  • 31st March: Doukhobor Unity Meeting held in Krestova, BC.
  • May 18-19: 55th Annual Doukhobor Youth Festival held in Brilliant, BC. Theme: 'Peacemakers in the 21st Century'


  • January: Koozma began a column in Iskra on 'The Doukhobor Pioneering Spirit', ending with No. 10 'Roots for Survival'.
  • February: Day of Love was held at the Doukhobor Village Museum, Castlegar, BC.
  • 28th February: Paul Rezansoff, visual arts teacher in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, was invested into the Order of Canada in Ottawa.
  • March: Jim Hamm spent several days in Ottawa interviewing Koozma and copying select photos for his documentary film on the Doukhobors. (The film, 'The Spirit Wrestlers', 94 minutes, premiered in May 2002 in Nelson, BC).
  • March 25th: Dorothy Dickie¹s 22-minute film 'Wrestling With the Spirit: A Doukhobor Story' was screened in Blaine Lake, Sask., as part of the 'Scattering of Seeds-The Creation of Canada' series by White Pine Pictures.
  • April 29: The 31st season of the Kootenay Doukhobor Village Museum was opened in Castlegar, BC, with the unveiling of the four interpretive Modules from the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Just prior to the opening, Dr. Rabinovitch, CEO of the CMC sent news that the ownership of these modules was officially granted to the Doukhobor Village Museum.
  • The former CCUB flour elevator has been saved and has been donated by the CNR to the National Doukhobor Hertiage Museum in Verigin, Saskatchewan. The elevator was built in 1908. See: "Heritage Village Acquires Doukhobor Elevator", Kamsack Times, March 29, 2001, page 1.
  • May: the 54th Annual Youth Festival was held in Brilliant, BC.
  • June 19th: Approximately 150 people gathered at a traditional Doukhobor communal home near Selkirk College in Castlegar, BC, and officially give blessings for the beginnings of a MIR Centre for Peace.
  • Russian Doukhobors celebrate 160 years of life in Transcaucasia. It was in 1841 that the Doukhobors were exiled there from their native homeland in the Crimea because of their beliefs.
  • June 30-July 1: Unity Meeting was held in Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan. Delegates explored future direction of the Doukhobor movement.
  • August 18-19: Book of Life Seminar at Whatshan Lake, BC. Participants studied the Doukhobor oral tradition and its connection to Doukhobor morality and the inner core of the Doukhobor movement.
  • September : Another Unity Meeting of Doukhobors was held in Calgary, Alberta.
  • September 20th: The oldest Doukhobor in North America, Molly Swetlikoff of Kamsack, Saskatchewan, died at the age of 108.
  • October: Plakun Trava: The Doukhobors, on CD-ROM was published with full index and some updates and corrections. This was a new venture for Doukhobors designed to tap into the new technology medium and especially focussed on the youth. 1000 copies printed.
  • Russian Doukhobor artist Volodia Gubanov has built a 5-room motel with an Art Studio featuring the Spirit Wrestlers, in Tuapse, Russia. In 1995 he was in Canada for three months as guest of Canadian Doukhobors.
  • November 2nd: The USCC Arts and Crafts Training and Cultural Interpretive Centre was officially opened in Brilliant, BC.
  • November 20, Doukhobors in the Caucasus make the news: 'Georgia: Dukhobor Tribulations' by Giga Chikhladze in Tbilisi (CRS No. 106, 20-Nov-01).
  • December: John J. Verigin, Sr., Honourary Chairman of USCC, celebrated his 80th birthday in BC. 

Preparation began on Koozma's big book of Doukhobor Pioneers of the Century. Bill Perehudoff donated a painting to the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

  • April: Jason Harshenin took over as editor of Iskra from Jim E. Popoff.
  • April 2000 to 2002: Koozma assists the National Film Board of Canada on a documentary on the Doukhobors featuring Janice Benthin¹s family (nee Lacktin).
  • May: a Doukhobor Cultural Goodwill group went to Germany accompanied by a small choral group and a collection of traditional wood and textile handicrafts.
  • Work began on scanning photos for the Tarasoff Photo Gallery as well as for select images for the new book.
  • July: Koozma spoke at the Festival of Words in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on the 'Spirit Wrestlers: Evolving Perceptions in Canadian Literature'. He continued doing more interviews with Doukhobors in Saskatchewan.
  • August: Dorothy Dickie contacted Koozma for an interview for her documentary film: 'Wrestling with the Spirit: A Doukhobor Story'. 


The 1999 Centennial celebrations of Doukhobors in Canada brought forth many projects which have already been recorded in the Time Line of Koozma's forthcoming book on Doukhobor Pioneers. A Conference on 'The Doukhobor Centenary in Canada' at the University of Ottawa, 22-24 October was one of those highlights. In addition, the year began with construction of the new Tarasoff Web Site. On Dec. 5, 1999 there was a Conference call of the Doukhobor Centennial Coordinating Committee.

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