Ethnic Enterprises

The Project

  1. Collecting all the Ukrainian folk tales to retell in English.

  2. Collecting humorous stories of the Ukrainian pioneers in North America.

I am collecting stories from and about the Ukrainian pioneers. As you can imagine, there aren't many pioneers left, so we have to get the stories while we still can. I have been publishing collections of stories since the fall of 1991, and there is still a long way to go.

If you have any stories, please contact me or send them to me by email, on paper, floppy disk, cassette, audio reel, fax, video, 8mm film, or verbal. Let's preserve the heritage and have some fun! -- Danny Evanishen  

The urgency:

There are few living pioneers remaining, and they are the ones who know the stories. We must get the stories while they can still tell them.

The method:

Make it known to everyone that we are looking for stories. The more noise we make about the projects, and the more media exposure we get, the more likely people are to give us their stories.

The object:

To preserve and to share with everyone in the world the wealth, diversity and humor of the Ukrainian experience in the New World.

Stories Now Appearing

Danny Evanishen's search for stories is finally beginning to bear fruit. While the targets of the search, the few remaining Ukrainian-Canadian pioneers, are almost all gone, their descendants are finally starting to share their stories with us.

"In most years," says Evanishen, "I collect two or three stories. In 1999, I collected close to forty. At Dauphin's Ukrainian Festival alone, I got fifteen stories. It's finally starting to happen."

Attributing this success to his perseverance, Evanishen says, "The more noise I make, the more people know about my story collections. And I like to make lots of noise."

Evanishen has been searching for stories since 1991, and has been travelling to the Ukrainian and multicultural festivals since 1994. "I have to go where the people are who know the stories," says Evanishen. "I couldn't possibly contact as many people by visiting them individually."

The aim is to collect all the Ukrainian folk tales in Canada and funny stories of pioneer days.

"These stories were never collected," says Evanishen, "and someone has to do it. It might as well be me." Now, after eight years of collecting, Evanishen has found about two hundred and fifty folk tales, and hundreds of funny stories.

"There are many more folk tales to be collected," Evanishen says. "I just hope that I can find them before they are forgotten. If they are not written down, they will be lost, not only to me, but to all Canadians, and to all people everywhere who like a good tale or a story well told."

Evanishen's book for 2000 is called "Carrots to Coins and Other Ukrainian Folk Tales Retold in English." It contains twenty different folk tales which have not appeared in the previous books.

This year Evanishen also published a book in the field of Canadian history, written by political scientist David Doyle and titled 'From the Gallows The Lost Testimony of Louis Riel.'

If you have any stories, please contact Danny Evanishen.

"Telling Tales" by Daniel Evanishen - First published in the summer, 1999 issue of Contact, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, British Columbia Newsletter