Canadian Friends of the Hermitage
August 2003 - Volume IV, Number 3

http://www.hermitagemuseum.ca/ - ISSN 1479-8865

Russian Stars at Metropolitan Opera in New York City

March 1st to 4th, 2004

New tour - open to all! Valery Gergiev conducts Franco Zeffirelli’s sumptuous production of Verdi’s La Traviata starring Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Renée Fleming and Ramón Vargas.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky stars again in Tchaikovsky’s riveting The Queen of Spades with Plácido Domingo, Adrianne Pieczonka, Elena Zaremba, Felicity Palmer and Nikolai Putilin conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.

This Spring coach tour includes two opera evenings plus a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other New York attractions.

Indicate your interest immediately, as tickets go quickly at “the Met”. Contact Mrs. Jean Sheikh, C.T.C. Executive Worldwide Travel, 60 Queen Street, Suite 202, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5Y7 Phone: (613) 236-5555 Toll free: 1-800-267-5552 or e-mail: jsheikh@executive-trvl.com.

Moscow and St. Petersburg Tour — Cultural Capitals of Russia
Limited Space Left

September 14th to 27th, 2003

Celebrating the 300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg, we will visit the excavations of Peter the Great’s first palace under The Hermitage, during our “Special Day” at the Museum when it is closed to the public. As well, we will visit Peter’s Summer Palace and Gardens.

In the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoe Selo, the Amber Room, now fully restored, will be a highlight of the tour.

Your Canadian Friends of the Hermitage escort is Anne Duncker, who is fluent in French and English.

To receive information and brochures, please contact: Mrs. Jean Sheikh, C.T.C. Executive Worldwide Travel, 60 Queen Street, Suite 202, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5Y7 Phone: (613) 236-5555 Toll free: 1-800-267-5552 or e-mail: jsheikh@executive-trvl.com.

The Hermitage Foundation initiates Campaign for the Museum’s Collection Inventory Project

On June 3rd, 2003 the Board of Directors of The State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada Inc. officially launched its Campaign to raise $300,000 each year for the next three years to support onsite cataloguing and inventory work at the Hermitage. A Campaign Committee is being struck that will oversee the fundraising effort. “After all, helping the Hermitage preserve its collections and making it available to Canadians is what we are all about” says Robert Kaszanits, President of the Foundation. “It is not going to be easy, with so many demands being placed on Canadians for many worthwhile causes. However, I am confident that Canadians care about what happens to world culture. To see one of the world’s greatest collections of European Masters at risk is unacceptable”, says Kaszanits. Support for the project has been put in the context of what Canada is getting back. The recent exhibition “Voyage into Myth - French Paintings from Gauguin to Matisse” was seen by 377,000 people in Toronto and Montreal, a big boost to the lagging tourist industry in those cities. Therefore, everyone who cares about great art in general, and the Hermitage in particular, is invited to help out and make the campaign a success. Any and all leads will be pursued.

As well, we are looking for a volunteer who has web search expertise to help us find and list USA and Canadian Foundations sympathetic to the protection of world art and culture. If you, your friends, children and/or grandchildren would like to offer expertise, it would be invaluable to the Campaign.

Reach Bob Kaszanits, who is heading the project, at: Phone: (613) 489-0794 or e-mail: ktrbmgt@attglobal.net

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The Hermitage Magazine Launched

The Hermitage has a wide range of activities beyond traditional museum services — from its own orchestra, radio station, film studio and e-shop, to its two regular television series, publishing department and world class internet site. And now the Museum has published its own magazine! It will be released twice a year and is of very high quality, filled with interesting stories about the Museum and its collections.

Bob Kaszanits, President of the State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada Inc. was delighted with the prospect of a Hermitage magazine and made a commitment to distribute 2,000 copies of the initial issue across Canada. The Canadian Friends of the Hermitage worked closely with the UK publisher for the Hermitage Magazine to distribute these copies. The magazine was given as a gift to universities; to members of the Canadian Museum Association and the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums; to the Russian Embassy; Sotheby’s and Christie’s; the Board of the National Gallery volunteer organization, travel writers and all the principal newspapers across Canada as well as our valued members. We provided one copy to each of our members along with a second copy to provide as a gift to a friend who shares a love of art.

The Hermitage Magazine is currently available through subscription at www.subscribeonline.co.uk/hermitage

Exhibitions and Useful Websites

THE MYTHS OF ST. PETERSBURG, Impressions of the City from the Hillwood Collection Washington, D.C. — Until 31 December, 2003

Hillwood houses Marjorie Merriweather Post’s collection, the most comprehensive outside Russia, (which includes Russian Imperial fine and decorative arts, such as Faberge eggs, porcelain, icons, silver and portraits) displayed beautifully in her former home, set in 25 acres of spectacular gardens.
Hillwood Museum and Gardens, 4115 Linnean Ave N.W., Washington D.C. 20008
Reservations Required (202) 686-5807 Tuesday - Saturday 9:30 am-5:00 pm

P.O. Box 567, Montpelier, VT USA 05601
Phone: (802) 223-4955 Toll-free: 1-800-639-4301 Fax: (802) 223-6105
e-mail: sales@rispubs.com
1 year Subscription: $38.00 USD (for non-US residents), GST is included in price for Canadian subscriptions

St. Petersburg, Russia

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Ottawa Chapter Presents
The Doris Smith 2003 Lecture Series

A six part lecture series is planned, to take place in room 156 of the National library and Archives, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa. All lectures will be held between 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
September 20th/03
Paul Francis19th Century Russia - The Glitter that was not Gold. Followed by a video entitled "The Hermitage - A Russian Odyssey: From Czars to Commissars"
October 4th/03
Rose Ann Hoffenberg
National Gallery docent
What comes to mind when you think of Russian Art?
November 1st/03
Agnes BeckettLecture on Russian Icons (and possibly a tour of the Russian Orthodox Church on Scott Street)
November 15th/03
Françoise Kaye
National Gallery docent
L‘impératrice Catherine et l’Ermitage
November 22nd/03
Nancy ScarthPersonal experiences on the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur railways (slides)
November 29th/03
Monique Michaud“La Danse: Le Kirov et le Théâtre Mariinsky”
Cost for members:$40.00 for all 6 lectures
Cost for non-members:$60.00 for all 6 lectures
Individual lectures: $10.00 members  $12.00 Friends of the National Library  $15.00 non-members

Please send your cheque to the Friends‘ office at 280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400, Ottawa K2P 1R7 or pay at the door. Any questions can be directed to e-mail: friends@hermitagemuseum.ca

More Ottawa News — A Feast to Remember

On June 19th, a wonderful Russian Feast was enjoyed by 80 Friends at The Lindenhof Restaurant. There were delicious Russian hors-d’oeuvres, drinks and traditional Russian music provided by Vasili Kosenko on guitar. There was also a display of art works by Lina Roubinova whose nature-inspired birchbark pictures were stunning; Tatiana Vartanova who had pictures of her magnificent icons and icon restorations; and in the dining room, our eyes were delighted by Ihor Andriviv’s scenes of Ottawa. These talented artists are represented in European, Russian and Canadian galleries.

An eye-catcher in the restaurant was a large pink Fabergé-style egg, greatly admired by all, made entirely of spun sugar by Tatiana of Cakes by Tatiana. (see pg. 83 of your Hermitage Magazine).

The dinner itself was a culinary delight of Russian specialties. During the meal, the guests at each table were “serenaded” by a delightful accordionist playing well known traditional music which was particularly appreciated by our Russian guests, some of whom joined in the singing!

KALINKA - Try the new Orlov Family Restaurant in Ottawa. 2280-6 Carling Ave. South side - West of Woodroffe. (613) 321-3088 Soon to be licenced Russian/Ukrainian cuisine. Show your Hermitage Card.

HERMITAGE DAY DINNER Don’t forget to set aside Dec. 6th, 2003 for our popular Dinner and Silent Auction to be held at Algonquin College restaurant. More details in the next Bulletin.

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Toronto Chapter 2003/2004 Lecture Series

A Programme of Russian History, Literature and Music : 2003 - 2004

Russian History:Professor Robert E. Johnson
Tuesday October 21/03Moscow’s Legacy
Tuesday November 4/03A Window on the West
Tuesday December 2/03Dilemma of Empire Series
Russian Literature:
Tuesday February 10/04Professor Donna Orwin
The Coming of Age of Russian Psychological Prose —The X1Xth Century
Tuesday March 2/04Professor Leonid Livak
The Reinvention of the World: Russian Modernism and the Avant-Garde
Tuesday March 23/04Professor Kenneth Lantz
Writers in Prison: Literature of the Gulag
Three Great Russian PianistsRick Phillips, broadcaster and teacher of music appreciation
Tuesday May 4/04Sergei Rachmaninov
Tuesday May 11/04Vladimir Horowitz
Tuesday May 18/04Sviatoslav Richter


Cost for Members:$55.00 per series - $150.00 for all 3 series
Cost for non-members:$60.00 per series - $165.00 for all 3 series

The Toronto office of the Friends can be reached at @50 Baldwin Street, Toronto ON M4T 1L4, Phone: (416) 979-0932 or e-mail: toronto@hermitagemuseum.ca

New Toronto Chapter Executive

PresidentSusan Marcus
Vice-PresidentMandy Macrae
SecretaryJoan Masson
TreasurerLarry Blaine
Past-PresidentJoan McNabb
Director, Education ProgrammingTheresa McGrail
Director, External CommunicationCae Fogden
Director, Computer ProgrammingPeter Masson

Members of the Toronto chapter can be contacted at the street and e-mail addresses shown above.

Charter to Niagara-on-the Lake

Despite the poor weather, the Toronto Chapter enjoyed an excellent outing to see the Shaw Festival’s production of The Three Sisters by Anton Chekov. Organized by Joan McNabb, a bus was chartered, a box lunch was provided, and specially priced tickets were purchased.

The participants were prepared for the play the previous week by a penetrating analysis delivered by Professor Ralph Lindheim of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Toronto.

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Learning more about Russia

The Ottawa based Russian Study Group has been meeting monthly for more than a year now and has progressed to the late 19th century in its study of historical background, with forays into arts and letters along the way. This is an informal group with various members giving short papers, followed by discussion, and questions which often need further study. As an example, were the serfs better off after their freedom was granted in 1861? How was Pushkin’s black ancestry viewed in Russia? We have also realized that there is a treasure trove of Russian painters to whom we have never been exposed.

Membership in the group is open, and no prerequisites or fees are required. The meetings are usually the first Thursday of each month at 1:00 p.m.(other than July and August). Our next meeting is on Thursday, September 4, 1pm at 63 Kings Landing Private. (Judith Parkes, 569-3715) Subject: Tsar Nicholas II For more info: N. Scarth (613) 826-1090 e-mail: scarth@monisys.ca

Studying a foreign language leads to a better understanding of a country and its people and it is good mental exercise for all. Those who live in the Ottawa and Toronto regions have a great opportunity to do this through an international languages program funded by the Ontario Government. These FREE weekly courses can lead to a student receiving a secondary school credit in languages such as Mandarin, Arabic, Finnish — and Russian.

In Ottawa, the International Language Program is managed by the Ottawa Carleton Catholic School Board; classes take place on Saturday mornings, September to June, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Adults and beginners are welcome.

Registration: Saturday morning, September 6 at Pius X Secondary School on Fisher Avenue, Ottawa. Phone: (613) 224-0509

Similar courses are given in the Toronto area

Ottawa Based Volunteer Recognition

The National Executive would like to take a moment to offer our most sincere thanks to the dozens of Ottawa based volunteers that help make the Friends the successful organization that it is. We would like to thank the following people in particular.

Diane Festeryga for her hours on the telephone advising members of upcoming events.

Carmen Rombough for her invaluable help in keeping track of reservations, for calling to confirm bookings and for being our friendly greeter during the lecture series.

Sue Valiquette for her telephone skills, and for also being at the door for the lecture series to take cash and welcome people.

Agnes Beckett, Linda Jenkins, Carmel Rombough, Judith Parkes and Paule Sirois, who collectively put together the dynamite Fall 2003 lecture series.

Donna and David Butler without whom we would not have the delicious feasts for the Hermitage Day dinner and the Museum’s Day lunch.

Anne Marie Hall who has spent hours in the office processing memberships.

Vera Artemieff who is always willing to stuff envelopes and provide translation and graciously offered help during the Russian Ark presentations.

Bev Coon manned the brochure table at the ByTowne Cinema numerous times during the showing of the Russian Ark

Betsy Clarke for her invaluable help related to the Academic/Outreach Fund Appeal.

Anne Duncker for her assistance on the Tour programme.

Mary Eady who is an excellent and willing envelope stuffer.

Tamara Galko proof reads and edits The Bulletin. She also worked on the 2001 Silent Auction and has escorted two tours to Russia.

Alla Kostenko who helped develop the mailing lists for the Hermitage magazine.

Paule Sirois who is assisting with the Education kit and co-ordinating the French Lecture Series in Ottawa.

Joan Van Duzer who is a journalist and the producer of a video of the 2002 Baltic Capitals/St. Petersburg Tour.

and last but certainly not least.........

Alex Smith who is our extraordinary computer wizard — providing the Friends‘ professional web page; the database program for membership processing and desk top publishing for the Bulletin just to name a few of his many talents and contributions.

And, thanks to you, our loyal members, who attend the events and lectures - making it all worthwhile!

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2002 Friends‘ Annual General Meeting Highlights

The following is a summary of the business conducted at the AGM held in Ottawa on May 14, 2002.

Financial Report: The Friends continue to be in a stable financial position; our main income is from memberships and main expenditure is for The Bulletin. We must continue to recruit new members and ensure that members consider renewal in the organization worthwhile. Our budget is approved by the Foundation and accounts are audited by their auditor.

Chapter Reports: Activities in the past year in Montreal and Toronto were centred around the “Voyage into Myth” exhibition and the “Russian Ark” film. Both were responsible for a steady growth in membership. Ottawa and Toronto continue to sponsor a varied program of social, cultural and educational events.

Volunteer Recognition: Inscribed plaques were presented for exceptional volunteer services to Anne-Marie Hall, the Friends’ membership secretary, and to Donna and David Butler, who so ably organize our many popular events involving food catering.

Academic Outreach: The Academic Outreach Fund: now stands at $6,250 and a $4,000 scholarship is available this year for a university level conservator or similar.

The School Project: Under Judith Parkes‘ expert guidance, the program is experiencing a growing demand for education kits, and it will be expanded.

Election Matters:
Vice-President, Administration & Planning: Robin Young;
Secretary: Nancy Scarth;
Treasurer: David Wait;
Education Programming: Judith Parkes;
Travel: Pat Simmermon;
French Communications: Louise Simard Dupuy;
Francophone Development: Paule Sirois;
English Communications & Bulletin: John Skeggs;
President, Toronto Chapter: Susan Marcus.
Presidents, Montreal and Ottawa: open.
Bob Kaszanits will act as Executive Director during the nomination and appointment process for an Executive Director of the Friends.

Election of Executive Director for the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage:
A motion was passed that the Executive Director (formerly known as President) of the Friends be elected by the membership-at-large and that a special meeting be called in the fall of 2003 to elect same, as well as to confirm the elections of Montreal and Ottawa Chapter presidents by their respective chapter members.
Note: Nomination form enclosed in this Bulletin. DEADLINE is September 15, 2003

Report by Foundation President:
Bob Kaszanits gave a short report on exciting Hermitage/Canada exhibitions underway or in the planning stages. He also announced that Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson has accepted to be the Honorary Chair of the Foundation.

Report by President of the Friends:
President Doris Smith made special note of the pleasure of working with her enthusiastic and capable Executive Committee and Chapter Presidents, and a vote of thanks to Doris for her inspiration and hard work as founding President of the Canadian Friends was heartily endorsed by all in attendance at the meeting.

Minutes and reports are available from the Secretary, Nancy Scarth at scarth@monisys.ca. Thirty members were present in person and 34 by proxy, constituting a quorum.