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River East Transcona School Division
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​In Our Schools

Stained-Glass Window Project

English-Ukrainian Bilingual Program
February 18, 2022

Stained 1.JPG(Left to right) Two windows at Prince Edward School, a window at Chief Peguis School, and detail from the Chief Peguis window commemorating the English-Ukrainian Bilingual Program's 40 years in RETSD (Photos by Norbert K. Iwan).

Some beautiful stained-glass windows now adorn the buildings of Prince Edward School and Chief Peguis Middle School, and students in the English-Ukrainian Bilingual Program in RETSD have been part of the process of creating them right from the start.

This stained-glass window project, led by languages consultant Ingrid Moehlmann and teachers in the program, was the last step of a multi-year and multi-disciplinary inquiry initiative designed to commemorate 40 years of Ukrainian language instruction in RETSD.

Students asked the essential questions, "Why is art important in Ukrainian culture?" and "What is characteristic of Ukrainian stained glass?" They researched the work of Winnipeg artists Leo Mol and Ben Wasylyshen, visited the University of Manitoba archives and various Ukrainian cathedrals to study examples of Ukrainian stained glass, and had nurturing sessions with artist Ben Wasylyshen, who taught them about line, colour, and the symbolism in Ukrainian art.

Featured in the windows are many natural elements, including the orbs of the moon and sun, the stars, the blue of the sky, and the gold of wheat, as well as a stylized book, which refers to the colouring book of stained-glass designs the Ukrainian students published in 2019. White textured glass references the linen used by Ukrainians to cross-stitch their colourful shirts, called "vyshyvanka." Cross-stitch in red is also featured at the base of the windows to evoke Ukrainian design.

In addition to artist Ben Wasylyshen, the program would like to thank Carpathia Credit Union, the Manitoba Arts Council, Manitoba Parents for Ukrainian Education, The Osvita Foundation Inc., Prince Edward School, River East Transcona School Division, Susan Zuk, and the Wasyl Topolnicky Foundation Inc. for funding this beautiful project.