[Bulletin - Volume III, Number 2 ISSN 1497-8865]

Reception at the Russian Embassy

[Catherine the Great and Grigory Potemkin]
Pictured are Catherine the Great, modelled by Ms. Anastasia Nifontova, and her Prime Minister Grigory Potemkin, modelled by Mr. Eugeni Sementsov

A most successful event took place on March 15, 2002, at the Embassy of the Russian Federation on Charlotte Street in Ottawa. Co-hosted by Ambassador Churkin and Friends' President Doris Smith, the evening consisted of a tableau of 20 Russian-style costumes from the era of Catherine the Great, which were modeled by the children of embassy staff, and a vernissage of works by three prominent Russian artists (Evgania Ioganova, Lina Rubinova and Piotr Schwartzman). Both the costumes and the works of the three artists were widely admired.

Some 150 Canadian Friends of the Hermitage attended the evening and enjoyed the gourmet buffet of traditional Russian food and drink. They were welcomed by Ambassador Churkin, who expressed the thanks of the Russian government for the support of the Friends in assisting with updating the catalogue of the Hermitage collection.

Special thanks are due to Ms. Maria Vinogradova, of the Masquerade Theatre International of Toronto, for supplying the costumes used in the musical show, and to Mr. Valery Nazarenko, First Secretary at the Embassy, for organizing the program of the reception.

Ramon John Hnatyshyn Scholarship Students

We are very pleased to report that the first two successful candidates have been selected to undertake an internship at the Hermitage later this year. They are Ms. Abbey Peters and Ms Maria Hsiuya Loh, both graduate students at the U of T. Our heartiest congratulations to them both. We should also note that our Honorary Patron, The Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, has recently been appointed the next Chancellor of Carleton University. Our congratulations to him also.

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Visit to the Baltic capitals and St. Petersburg

We would like to remind all members of the forth-coming Friends visit to the Baltic capitals and St. Petersburg, The dates are September 21 to October 5 2002. This special tour for Canadian Friends of the Hermitage will include 3 nights in Riga, 3 nights in Tallinn, 6 nights in St. Petersburg, one night in Vienna, Return travel will be by Austrian Airlines from Ottawa, Montreal or Toronto. All stays will be at conveniently located, first-class hotels. Cost is $4,995, double occupancy.

For further information and to register, contact: Jean Sheikh, Executive Worldwide Travel, 60 Queen Street, Suite 202, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5Y7, or phone 613-236-5555 or 1-800-267-5552. Or E-mail at jsheikh@executive-trvl.com.

Voyage into Myth

The exhibit of post-Impressionist paintings from the Hermitage will open at the Art Gallery of Ontario on October 12 and close on January 5, 2003. The exhibition then moves to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

The Canadian Friends will be included in several pre-opening planned events, including breakfast with Professor Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director of the Hermitage, at the Munk Centre for International Studies.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is offering temporary memberships to all Canadian Friends. Please note that in order to facilitate arrangements for Hermitage Friends to be included in these AGO-sponsored events, we will be sharing our mailing list with theirs. If for any reason you do not wish to have your member name forwarded to the AGO, please advise the Friends at the Ottawa office by June 1st.

State Hermitage Museum Shop

We are pleased to share some good news we have received from the State Hermitage Museum Shop in St. Petersburg. In cooperation with IBM, the Museum has opened the Internet Shop.

Its address is www.shop.hermitagemuseum.org, and Canadian Friends are being offered a 10% discount on all purchases. Our ID is [see paper edition], and is valid until January 1, 2003. When making a purchase, please indicate the ID and its validity where necessary.

Education Project Report

Judith Parkes is developing a package of educational programs to provide information on the history and collections of in the State Hermitage Museum for use by high school and elementary school students in Canada.

The proposed secondary school kit outlines include slides, question sheets, essay topic sheets, videos, computer and written work. Elementary school content is in preparation. Both packages are being prepared in consultation a number of local school teachers, Bob Kaszanits (President of the State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada), and staff members of the education department of the Hermitage.

Judith will be visiting the Hermitage in June to confer with museum staff, in order to refine material content and to lay the groundwork for the educational program in accordance with Ontario school curriculum requirements.


Discussions are continuing on plans to organise a Montreal chapter of the Friends. The overall game plan is to start small and grow from there. The arrival of the Hermitage exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts/Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal in February 2003 will provide a timely catalyst.

If you know someone who would like to join the Montreal chapter, or serve on the executive of the chapter in that city, please contact our National Office at 613-236-1116 or by e-mail at friends@hermitagemuseum.ca, or Mrs. Ethel Kesler at 514-934-0821 or ethel.kesler@mail.mcgill.ca

[Diamond Dots]

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Ottawa Chapter News

Baltic Evening: June 11, 2002

We have invited members of the Latvian and Estonian community in Ottawa to a Friends meeting on Thursday June 11 at 7 p.m. in Room 156 at the National Library on Wellington Street. They will give us a briefing on their respective countries, past and present, and about some of the outstanding sites and sights our Baltic Travel group can expect to encounter on our tour to the Baltic States and St. Petersburg this coming September.

All those contemplating taken part in this tour should be sure to attend this meeting. Admission is of course free for members, $5 for non-members. For more detail on this trip, please see the item on page 2.

Spring into Fall

Catherine Lane reports our popular lecture series "Images" will return this fall It is designed to complement the exhibition of works from the Hermitage Museum "Voyage into Myth" coming to Toronto in October 2002, and to Montreal in February 2003.

The five lectures will open with a look at political, cultural and historical events in Russia in the years leading up to WWI, then move to the artistic achievements of Paul Cezanne, Maurice Denis, Paul Gauguin and Pablo Picasso.

So mark these Saturdays from 11:00 to 12:30 on your calendars now: November 9, 16 and 23, and December 7 and 14. More detail and a registration form will be sent out in the early fall.

Toronto Chapter News

50 Baldwin Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1L4 Tel. 416-979-0932. Fax 416-348-0438
Please note our e-mail address: cfh@lefca.com

Toronto Symphony Orchestra

On May 16, at Massey Hall, the Canadian Friends and their guests enjoyed an evening of Russian music with a pre-concert cocktail reception. The conductor (Gennady Rozhdestvensky) and his son, violinist Alexander Rozhdestvensky, delighted us all with an all-Russian program of works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Schnittke and Rachmaninov.

Preview of activities for fall and winter

September: Susan Marcus, a former lecturer in art history at U of T, will conduct an informal study group for those interested in learning more about the paintings coming from the Hermitage to the AGO in October. Beginning September 24 for eight weekly sessions (afternoon and/or evening if there is sufficient interest). Please call 416-979-0932 or E-mail cfh@lefca.com or susanmarcus@utoronto.ca. Space is limited.

October 2: The Canadian Opera Company's production of The Queen of Spades at the Hummingbird Centre Special ticket prices have been arranged for Canadian Friends and their guests to see Tchaikovsky's dramatic

opera about the conflict between the love of a woman and the love of gambling. We are also invited to a pre-performance Opera Chat at the Hummingbird theatre prior to the performance. For further information, contact Joan McNabb at the same source as the previous item.

October to January: "Voyage into Myth" exhibition.

November 4: Mr. Rick Phillips, host of the CBC radio program Sound Advice and lecturer in Music Appreciation at the Conservatory, will give a sound-accompanied lecture on 19th century Russian music to complement the Hermitage exhibit at the AGO. The lecture will be held at the Royal Conservatory of Music.

December 5: On this date we will be holding the second Annual Hermitage Day Dinner. Plan to set aside this evening as this was a most popular occasion last year and space will again be limited.

[Diamond Dots]

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Thumbnail Sketches of Friends' Executive Members

GERRY GLAVIN (Vice-President, Administration) - a retired management consultant, Gerry has been an active member of the friends of art galleries in various parts of the country for many years, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the National Gallery (Washington D.C.) and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

ANNE-MARIE HALL (Membership) - Born and educated in Quebec City, a busy life at home and abroad offered opportunities to indulge her interest in travel and art in most of Western Europe. Anne-Marie's latest journey was to the Hermitage which resulted in her volunteer work with the Friends/Amis.

JEAN-MARIE JOLY (Education - French) - As the leader of francophone volunteer docents at the National Gallery, Jean-Marie has become a superb interpreter of the Hermitage collections and its Friends. He is keen to make use of his knowledge of art and his skills as a docent to develop programs, especially for our francophone audience.

JOAN McNABB (President, Toronto Chapter) - Joan has served in a variety of volunteer activities including fund-raising projects for the Royal Ontario Museum. She helped establish the Volunteer Committee of the Toronto Dance Theatre and served as its president for three years. Since retirement, she has visited Russia on three occasions.

JUDITH PARKES (Education - English) recently retired from teaching biology at the secondary school level. Some years ago Judith became fascinated by art and art history, and after extensive studies in Canada and overseas became a sessional lecturer in the Art History Department at Carleton.

NANCY SCARTH (Secretary). After many varied careers as a Professional Engineer (Queens, Eng. Physics '49), real estate salesperson, farmer, editor of various newsletters, among others. She earned a BA in Slavic Studies recently at Ottawa U. and has visited Russia seven times (so far).

PATRICIA SIMMERMON (Tours). Pat Simmermon has been involved in the planning of the past two successful tours to The Hermitage by the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage. A travel professional for over twenty-five years, she has enjoyed many years in planning and escorting international cultural tours.

JOHN SKEGGS (Communication/Bulletin) - For almost 50 years, John has had a strong interest in things Russian. He first visited the Hermitage in 1962, just prior to taking up residence in Canada. He is looking forward to editing the Bulletin, and sharing it with other members of the Friends.

DORIS SMITH (President) spent 18 years as a docent at the National Gallery of Canada, was President of the Friends of the National Gallery and coordinated the Rideau Chapel Restoration Campaign. She has also served on the Board of the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museum.

DAVID WAIT (Treasurer) is an accounting professional with over 30 years experience in financial management of a $15 million+ annual budget non-profit organization. David has been responsible for financial administration of CIDA-sponsored educational and socio-economic projects in many parts of the world. He is a member of IASC (International Accounting Standards Committee).


Volume III, No. 2, Summer 2002.
ISSN 1497-8865. Published in English and French.
The Bulletin is on line at:
National Office/Ottawa Chapter:
Canadian Friends of the Hermitage
280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400
Ottawa, ON  K2P 1R7
Telephone: (613) 236-1116
Fax: (613) 233-5438
e-mail: friends@hermitagemuseum.ca
National Executive:
Doris M. Smith, President
Gerald Glavin, Vice-President
Nancy Scarth, Secretary
David Wait, Treasurer
Members-at-large: Anne-Marie Hall, Judith Parkes, Jean-Marie Joly, John Skeggs, Pat Simmermon, Joan McNabb.
Charitable Registration No. 878799865 RR0001