royal alberta museum
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visitors since 1967

Cultural Communities: Collections

Over the past 100 years, Alberta's many distinct communities have shaped the history of the province. The artefacts in the collection represent the history of immigration into Alberta, and reflect the diverse experiences of newcomers to the province. The collection currently consists of superb artefacts reflecting the cultural traditions and experience of the following communities: Arab, Chinese, Doukhobor, French-Canadian, Japanese, Norwegian, Laotian, Polish, Romanian, Russian Old Believers and Ukrainian. In our efforts to better reflect the cultural traditions of those who call this province home, the Cultural Communities program is seeking to expand the collection to include artefacts from the Vietnamese, Filipino, Latin American and Somali communities to name a few.

In 2004, the Cultural Communities program received a very generous donation of Ukrainian artifacts collected by Peter Orshinsky. The over 1000 objects in this well-documented collection will make an important contribution to our understanding of the social history of the Ukrainian community in Alberta.

The strength of the Cultural Communities program is one Canada's strongest collections of living religious tradition which had been acquired by David Goa, the previous curator. Artefacts and documentary materials in the collection reflect Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist traditions in the contemporary context. Our collection of artefacts reflecting the religious traditions of the Eastern Christian communities (Catholic and Orthodox), and the life and work of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a Roman Catholic missionary society, are particularly extensive and of national stature.

For information on working with the collections, just contact the Curator, Cultural Communities.