CONTEST HISTORY: THE BEGINNING AND BEYOND

______________________________________

Miss Ukraine Canada 1955Miss Ukraine Canada pageant is rooted in the history of Ukrainians in Canada. The pageant was a product of its times. In the decades just prior to its creation, there was a marked transformation around women’s roles in society, with expanding social, political and cultural activity for women.

Currently, one of the earliest evidence of existence of the Ukrainian Canadian pageant is a picture of the Miss Ukraine Canada conducted in 1955 (to compare, the first Miss World pageant was established in the UK in 1951, just a few years earlier).

The Manuscript Division of Public Archives of Canada contains a unique collection of documents of Ukrainian National Youth Federation of Canada where one may find a few references to the Contest also conducted in 1959 (Miss Ukraine Canada Contest), 1961 (Miss Ukraine Canada Contest & Folk Dance Competition), 1963 and 1966 (Miss Ukraine Canada Contest).

Today, 60 years later, the Miss Ukrainian Canada contest is an attempt to restore the original Ukrainian Canadian tradition and refresh it by adding new interpretation, fashion and format.

Photo: Miss Ukraine Canada, 1955. Oksana Hrycenko, Uliana Yakorsky and Joanne Hlibchnuk (left to right). Ukrainian National Youth Federation of Canada. Source: The Public Archives of Canada.