Shulakewych architectural retrospective held at ACUA

Yarema Shulakewych speaking at the opening

NP-UN Western Bureau.

The Alberta Council for Ukrainian Arts (ACUA) held a week-long retrospective on the work of architect Yarema Shulakewych at its Edmonton gallery Oct.14-21.

Introducing Shulakewych at the opening Oct. 14, ACUA member Elena Scharabun noted that Yarema’s work includes a fairly wide variety of building designs such as residential homes, museums, senior residents, a fire station, and other fine structures.

Yarema’s career was based mainly in Edmonton where he was a principle in architectural firms including: Tetra Architectural Group Inc & Kontakt Canada International Ltd., Spectra Architectural Group, and Spectra Computer Group before working with the International Development Research Center in Kyiv on a rehabilitation clean-up project of the Dnipro River and starting a business centre with Small Business & Economic Development in Ivano Frankivsk.

Yarema continues to run Kontakt Canada International Ltd. designing homes for private clients, assessing their needs, design development, model building, and more.

Yarema has been active in many organizations, holding various executive positions. These include: Plast Ukrainian Scout Association the Edmonton-Goldbar Progressive Conservative Association, Ukrainian Canadian Social Services, the Alberta Handicapped Housing Society, the Friends of the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village Society, and the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association.

Yarema is married to Slavka Yaremenko Shulakevych and they have three children: Ilarion, Lada and Oresta who Yarema considers his favorite projects.

Yarema spoke briefly after the introduction by Elena. First of all he described art as an expression/feeling which we all demonstrate in various ways. This includes forms of art such as painting (this is obvious), but there is the art of music, the art of fashion, the art of gourmet cooking, and we omit “The art of the Deal” which is not art but something that we can’t print….. Art provides the expression of us as individuals and/or as clients and includes our mood, our philosophy, our religion our culture. Art can interpret the past, reflect on the present and wonder about the future.

Architecture is considered the pinnacle of art and science because it synthesizes many elements such as function, form, aesthetics, budgets, rules, etc. Yarema joked that mistakes are made by many professions: the artist can repaint or destroy his painting, the doctor buries his mistakes but an architect can only grow ivy.

In conclusion Yarema said that his whole career was aimed to become acquainted with all the parts that go into producing quality buildings. He started by working at Alberta Public Works as a functional programmer defining the 3 main concerns of a client – scope of the project, schedule (time), and budget. As a designer and subsequently as a registered architect he would design projects from preliminary sketches to final designs, doing working drawings and specifications. To complete and understand the building of his ideas he (and his company) would do construction management (similar to contracting) and even go on site to hammer nails, paint, put up gypsum board, etc. Thus there was a more complete understanding of the client’s needs and systems of construction.

Yarema took questions after he described his work and the representative projects that included photos, drawings and models. Many people wanted to know how an architect develops his ideas, how conflicts are resolved between client and architect, how are costs controlled, were any new systems used in the designs such as geothermal heating and styrene walls with metal studs, etc. A lively discussion ensued. At the end Yarema invited everybody to consume his master piece of edible architecture – the secret family recipe of multifaceted canopies.