My Baba's Kitchen

Animated Short Film

Filtering by Tag: Kingston


Kingston Whig Standard I said this whole story started with a photo. It's not my grandparents' wedding photo that I'm referring to though. It was a photo that was published in a newspaper that brought my grandparents together. My grandmother was living in Picton, Ontario and my grandfather was living in Kingston, Ontario. Somehow my grandfather saw a photo that was published of my grandmother and her friends which kicked him into gear to go and find them.

I've narrowed down my ideas as to which newspaper it could be. There have been long conversations with library people in Picton, Kingston, Queens, University of name a few. As you can imagine, finding  a photo from 1948, which is probably not even labelled with names, is quite a daunting task.

I've made a RACER account (an interlibrary loan service between university libraries) and have put forward a request to get the Kingston Whig Standard newspaper for the years 1947 and 1948 on microfilm. Apparently it takes a while to receive your order so I've been patiently waiting. Once I get the newspapers, which will be in a tiny format like old film reels, I'll have to sit and literally look through all  the photos and try to find my grandmother's 20 year old face.

Let the detective work begin. I'll update as soon as I start my hunt!

It's actually happening...

I've had this website for a while..but it was just floating, lingering in cyberspace. I see that some people have actually stumbled upon it, only to be disappointed, I'm sure, because of the complete lack of anything on it. Well, that's changing right now. Here, on my personal website I am going to document my process of creating my short film.

Yes, I am going to make a short film.

I've been talking about it for a while now and I figure by actually writing it down, for people to read about, it'll help with my process.

My Baba Ola and Dido Vasyl

So, this all started with a photo. Pictured above are my father's parents, my grandparents. I was pretty young when my grandfather passed away and grew up without really knowing him. It was not until the past couple years that I really started grappling for the threads that had always been dangled in my face about being Ukrainian. I never understood what that meant. I just accepted it. I am Ukrainian I would say. I had never even been to that country, let alone really knowing where it was on a map.

I can't say exactly when it was, but I reached for those threads and started pulling them apart, analyzing their colours and trying our various techniques of weaving them together. I've visited my grandparents' country three times now and understand that it is not home. Home is somewhere inside; it's a collection of what you know, what you don't know, and what you think you know. When I'm asked now, I proudly say I'm Ukrainian-Canadian. As one friend once said, I live on both sides of the hyphen. I am a combination. I'm proud to be part of a folk collective in Toronto that aims to rejuvenate but also reinvent old traditions that seem to have been lost or commercialized on their way across the ocean.

This film is my attempt at presenting the story my grandmother told me about how she and my grandfather met, here in Canada. She laughed when I first told her I was going to make a film about her. To her, it's such a simple story, not worth anyone's time. But I think it's so much more.

I want people to really start thinking about where they came from. Sure, people know the general stuff: dates and names from old photos. But there is a lack of connection. It's those little anecdotes that really connect us to our past. My grandmother lights up every time she talks about my grandfather. She says he was the "valentino" of dancing. I don't even know what that means, but just the way she says it, clasping her hands together, I know it meant a lot to her to dance with her love.

In Canada, most of us share the immigrant experience, and that is why I'm making this film. I want people to be inspired to think about their family histories, because we all have them.

 © 2016 My Baba's Kitchen