[Bulletin - Volume IV, Number 1 ISSN 1497-8865]

Special Screening of "Russian Ark" in Ottawa

We have a very special film for you to see in the New Year. It is called Russian Ark, and it is an award-winner. Last fall, at the Toronto Film Festival, this film by Alexander Sokurov won the Independent Film Channel Visions Award. Now, Seville Pictures, the Canadian distributor of the film, has released it for a one-time only special screening to our Ottawa Chapter, before it goes into general release.

Alexander Sokurov has emerged as the most distinctive voice in Russian cinema. Russian Ark reflects his obsession with time unfolding - the film is constructed in one long steadycam take: there are no cuts. The film - shot entirely in the Hermitage Museum, moves steadily through three centuries of Russian history in 95 minutes.

The cast numbers almost 900 and features three live orchestras, including one conducted by Valery Gergiev. Actors represent tsars and courtiers, from Peter the Great through Nicholas II and his family. An actor representing the Marquis de Custine, a Frenchman who visited Russia in 1837, acts as master of ceremonies.

When asked "Why make such a film?", Sokurov replied: "I was curious to know how it was to live inside a work of art - in the Hermitage Museum, an architectural monument, as well as in the Hermitage, the historical residence of the Russian state. Have a try to live inside a piece of jewellery - in a Fabergé egg!"

This special event is co-sponsored by the Friends, the Canadian Film Institute and the Embassy of the Russian Federation.

Saturday February 8, 2003, 7:00 p.m.
Auditorium, National Library of Canada
395 Wellington Street

A reception follows.

Admission to this special Ottawa Premiere is $8 for members of the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage, The Canadian Film Institute, Friends of the National Library of Canada and students with valid identity cards, and $10 to members of the general public.

Tickets will be available at the door.

Special Tours

Please note the enclosed flier describing our special pre-opening tour on January 30th to see "Voyage into Myth" at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the September 2003 tour to Moscow and St. Petersburg.

[Hermitage Canal View]

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Travellers' Tales I

From November 2 to November 10, we were honoured with a visit to Canada by Svetlana Philippova, Friends' Co-ordinator at the State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg. She travelled to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

The purpose of her visit was to see how the Friends operate and to learn about Canadian practices in managing volunteers, membership and fundraising. Her visit was funded by the State Hermitage Foundation of Canada.

In Toronto, she had a meeting with the local chapter of the Friends, visited the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Art Gallery of Ontario (where she saw the "Voyage into Myth" exhibition). She also had time to visit Niagara Falls and a show.

In Ottawa, she met with President Doris Smith and with staff of the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Civilization and the Canadian Museums Association, as well as with the Executive Committee of the Friends and Foundation President Robert Kaszanits.

In Montreal, Svetlana met with staff of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and members of the local chapter of the Friends, and toured Old Montreal.

Svetlana remarked on how different the three cities that she visited were, and how much she had learned from her stay in Canada.

Travellers' Tales II

In December, it was the Canadians' turn to visit Russia. From December 5 to December 11 Robert Kaszanits, President of the State Hermitage Foundation of Canada, and a few members of the Foundation, as well as Joan McNabb, President of our Toronto Chapter and Ethel Kesler, President of the Montreal Chapter, attended the first meeting of the International Conference of the Friends of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

The meetings were devoted to reports by Presidents of Friends' organizations and discussions of opportunities for closer cooperation among the Friends' organizations and with the Hermitage Museum itself.

The Friends Education Project - an Update

The response has been very positive and Judith Parkes, our executive member in charge of this project, is discovering that the scope of the project could well be extended beyond the material available in the kits. The education kits have been widely distributed within the Ottawa school system. Bookings and presentations have been made at nine high schools in the area, and further presentations are planned for other schools, the University Women's Club in Belleville and at the National Gallery.

This is an update on a report on the Friends' Education Project that first appeared in Volume III No. 3 of the Bulletin.

For more information, please contact Judith Parkes at 613-569-3715, or by e-mail at friends@hermitagemuseum.ca

People Who Make a Difference

An appeal to our members to help establish scholarly exchanges between the Hermitage Museum and Canadian universities has resulted in many generous gifts made to the Canadian Friends' Academic/ Outreach Fund, which now stands at $4,470. These gifts will help to establish lasting links between the Hermitage and Canada.

We thank our donors and list below the names of donors whose gifts were received by December 15, 2002.

Anonymous donors (3)
Agnes Beckett
Ann E. Bell
Mildred Blais
Betsy Clarke
R. Cosstick
Courtney and Helen Gilliatt
J. H. Glavin
Margot Gualtieri
Dr. and Mrs. Roger Hackett
Eve Hampson
Michael and Britta Jarvis
Dr. R. H. Johnston
Elsje Mandl
Jean MacDonald
Dr. William Macrae
Carol Seaborn
Jennifer Sheppard
Doris M. Smith
Joan and John VanDuzer
Irina Vladimirskaia
James and Barbara Whitfield

If you have not yet made your donation to the Fund, and wish to do so, please make your cheque payable to Canadian Friends of the Hermitage, mark it "Academic/ Outreach Fund" and mail it to our National Office at 280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400, Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7. Donations are always welcome and fully tax-deductible. Thank you!

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"Voyage into Myth" coming to Montreal

As you know, the Hermitage's "Voyage into Myth" exhibition is moving to Montreal in the New Year. It will be on view at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from January 31 to April 27. The Museum will be open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

By special arrangement, all members of the Friends of the Hermitage have been accorded temporary membership at the MMFA for the duration of this exhibition. Please note that your temporary membership card is enclosed with this issue of the Bulletin.

To have priority access, all temporary members must have a photo on the back of the membership card. Please use the plastic film included with your card to attach your photo to the card.

If your membership card has no photo attached, you must go to the ticket counter to receive a day pass. If you lose or forget your membership card, please show valid identity proof at the ticket counter to receive a day pass.

Your membership entitles you to:

A series of three free lectures will be held while "Voyage into Myth" is at the MMFA. All will be held at the Maxwell Cummings Auditorium:

Ottawa Chapter News

280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400, Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7. Tel. (613) 236-1116; Fax (613) 233-5438

Hermitage Day Dinner

The Ottawa Chapter's Hermitage Dinner on November 30, 2002 at the International Restaurant of Algonquin College was a great success.

The event was sold out, and the restaurant was filled to capacity with 111 diners happily working their way through a special six-course dinner of Russian inspiration.

The silent auction raised $1,700. Special thanks are due to those who donated the items sold at the auction.

[Diamond Dots]

Upcoming Lectures and other Events

In 2003, plan now to attend the following events:

  • April 12, 2003, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
    "19th Century Russia-the Glitter that was not Gold"
    Illustrated lecture by Paul Francis.
    Auditorium, National Library.
  • May 14, 2003
    Museums' Day Lunch
    Joan Debardeleben, Special Guest Speaker
    Director of European and Russian Studies, Carleton University.
    International Restaurant at Algonquin College.

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Call for Nominations

The members of the National Executive are elected for a period of one year at the Annual General Meeting. The third AGM of the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage will be held in May 2003.

Are you interested in serving on the National Executive?
Would you like to know what is involved?
Do you know of anyone who would make a good addition to our team?

Please contact the Nominating Committee, Canadian Friends of the Hermitage, 280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400, Ottawa, ON, K2P 1R7, or call a member of the Committee for further details.
Robert Kaszanits, Chair613-489-0794
Catherine Lane 613-729-9760
Doris Smith613-729-3504
Anne-Marie Hall613-747-6554

According to our by-laws, the National Executive consists of a Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Presidents of local chapters in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, and other Directors with duties as required. Such duties at present include travel, communications, school project, special projects, marketing and development, English and French programming, and volunteers.

The term of office of the elected members of the National Executive is one year, with a maximum of three consecutive terms for any one position. The present members of the National Executive in office are all eligible for re-election.

The Canadian Friends of the Hermitage will be headed by an Executive Director, who is appointed by the Steering Committee of the Board of the State Hermitage Foundation of Canada.


Volume IV, No. 1, Spring 2003
ISSN 1497-8865
Published quarterly in English and French.
Distributed free to Canadian Friends of the Hermitage.
Editor: John Skeggs

The Bulletin is on line at:

National Office:
Canadian Friends of the Hermitage
280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400
Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7

Telephone: (613) 236-1116;
Toll-free: 1-866-380-6945
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
Ethel Kesler, President, Montreal Chapter
Joan McNabb, President, Toronto Chapter
Members-at-large: Catherine Lane, Judith Parkes, John Skeggs, Pat Simmermon

Charitable Registration of The State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada: No. 878799865 RR0001


For information on programs offered by our Montreal and Toronto Chapters, please consult Bulletin III, 4 or contact

Canadian Friends of the Hermitage, Toronto Chapter at 50 Baldwin Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1L4, telephone 416-979-093, fax 416-348-0438; e-mail: cfh@lefca.com

Canadian Friends of the Hermitage, Montreal Chapter at 730E - 4300 de Maisonneuve West, Montreal, QC H3Z 1K8, telephone (514) 934-0821; e-mail: ethel.kesler@mail.mcgill.ca