Over 100 Year Old Church To Become Site For Tourists
Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Gardenton, Manitoba want to draw tourists to southeastern Manitoba.
The first wave of Ukrainian immigrants that settled in Manitoba in 1896 built St. Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the first Ukrainian church in North America. The church was consecrated on October 14, 1899 and Arseny says it took them a few years to complete because the entire church was built by hand.
The church was used actively until 1935 but Arseny says there is still a pilgrimage service held once a year.
Board Member Wayne Arseny explains the hope in creating a site where tourists come to, is they will then visit other communities and historic sites in the RM of Stuartburn and the rest of southeastern Manitoba.
«Tradition was that they would start in Gardenton and they would walk the three miles to this particular site and finish the service here," he explains. "Tradition, I think, is important. We're depicting history as what life was like and it's a tradition carried on. It's an enlightenment of what traditions and what culture was like in different parts of the world and here in southern Manitoba," Arseny said.
"So the restoration and the upkeep of this building is an ongoing maintenance project but a pride for us to participate in for the betterment of Manitoba as far as tourism in this part of the world."