St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Church

35 kilometers east from Edmonton; 30 kilometers west from Vegreville

Lamont County

UCHV-UO, Alberta

St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Church had its earliest beginnings during the 1920's with its founders and supporters travelling to attend church services at Dormition of St. Mary Church in Sich-Kolomea (15 kilometers northwest of Vegreville). Over time, many individuals found it inconvenient to regularly travel to Sich-Kolomea for worship. In March 1928, the decision was made by many individuals to establish a congregation in Vegreville.

Initially, church services were held at the Vegreville National Home (5146 - 51 Avenue). It was not until 1934 that the church was completed. (1)

The design of the church was done by John Svarych. Stanley Bellegay was responsible for construction. An iconostasis was done by Ivan Tkach from Smoky Lake. (2)

In 1956, the church was expanded to accomodate the growing congregation. (3) During this time, Vadym Dobrolige painted the icons and the interior of the church. (4)

During the 1960's, the congregation once-again outgrew the church. This time, the decision was made to build a much larger and newer church near-by. In October 1973, the final church service was held. Afterwards, the church was abandoned. Over the years, various members expressed concerns about the state of the neglected church. In 1983, the "old" church was moved to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village and it was restored to its former state. (5)

The placement of the church is in a north-south direction. Based upon the traditional east-west axis, the church is designed on a central longitudinal cruciform plan following Byzantine traditions. The church has one large dome plus 2 smaller domes.

One enters the narthex through a small vestibule under the choir loft. The narthex leads into the nave with east and west transepts and a chancel on a raised floor. There is no individual entrance for each transept from the exterior. Within the chancel there is the sanctuary that surrounds the altar. In addition, there are two identical sacristies located east and west of the crossing. There is an individual entrance from the exterior for the east sacristie. There is no iconostasis.

A large drum fixture rises from the intersection of the roofs over the nave. The structure then supports a high octagonal (onion-shaped) dome. A large wrought iron cross sits on top of the dome. There are two (2) smaller domes by the entrance door.