The Contents of the Demchinsky Collection

Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church -
Arbakka, MB


The Demchinsky Collection contains photographs of churches taken each year from 1995 to the present. The collection contains many thousands of photographs and it continues to grow each year. The collection includes exterior photographs for all the subject churches but in some instances I have been lucky enough to take interior photographs as well.

Some the photographs were taken with 35 mm film and others, particular interior photographs, were taken using medium format film (60 mm). Thus all of the photographs on this website are from scanned prints.

The Content

The primary theme of the collection is churches that have served the Ukrainian-Canadian community. Therefore, the great majority of the photographs are of churches from three major jurisdictions. They are the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, and the Orthodox Church of America. These jurisdictions are familiar to Ukrainian-Canadians and therefore need no introduction.

There are also some churches that do not belong to these jurisdictions but have played an important role in serving Ukrainian-Canadian communities. They might be Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox, or Romanian Orthodox and some of these churches are present in the Demchinsky Collection.

The interior of the historic chapel of the Ukrainian Catholic
Basilian Fathers Museum, Mundare, AB

In some instances, I have photographs of Ukrainian Protestant churches. These usually are churches that once belonged to what was known as the Independent Greek Church. This was a church that was subsidized by the Presbyterian Church primarily prior to World War One. Its goal was to convert Catholic and Orthodox Ukrainians to a Protestant form of religion. It was not very successful but there still are a few examples of structures dating back to the era of the Independent Greek Church.
I took most photographs during the summer since that is the easiest time of year to travel. However, there sometimes are winter photographs, as well, since Ukrainian Churches take on a special beauty in winter.

In some instances the photographs feature particular elements of Ukrainian churches, such as belfries, domes, cemeteries, memorials, etc. I love to receive permission to photograph church interiors and my interior photographs often feature icons, iconostasi, kivoti, banners, processional crosses, and all the components that make Ukrainian churches so unique and beautiful.

The Actual Location of the Photographs

Most of the prints are currently stored in my home. However, I am slowly cataloguing and scanning the prints and donating them to the National Library and Archives of Canada (located in Ottawa) since I no longer have room for them in my home.

In those instances where I have duplicate prints, I will donate them to the archives of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (both of which are located in Winnipeg).

I never give out my negatives. However, I am willing to discuss providing duplicates of photographs from my negatives on a case by case basis. I will not charge a fee for my time but would expect to be compensated for any costs incurred by the photofinisher.