CIS History

In January 2000, the USCC Cultural Interpretive Society was formed as a sub-group of the USCC Kootenay Ladies Organization.  USCC women recognized the importance of preserving heritage skills, arts and crafts within the organization and the broader Doukhobor community. .  The construction of the upstairs women’s section of the USCC Interpretive and Training Centre was funded by the USCC Kootenay Ladies Organization as a joint centennial project with the Kootenay Men’s Group who now occupy the lower level of the building.  The CIS is responsible and accountable to the Kootenay USCC Ladies organization as illustrated by the policies in place.


The official grand opening of the CIS was in May 2000 at the Annual USCC Union of Youth Festival with fibre art displays from different eras of Doukhobor history. The displays were planned with a vision of future endeavors of heritage preservation.


In order to begin any form of operation, equipment, furnishings, materials, etc .as well as money to begin our activities were required. The CIS began by applying for grants from various agencies with the underlying theme of our mission statement:  Cultural Preservation in a Contemporary Setting. Recognizing the uniqueness of the proposed projects, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (Areas I and J), the Castlegar Arts Council, the Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance, and the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood were generous with their support.  Also, donations of fabrics, heritage linens and used bedding by members of the local community flooded the Centre..  The CIS soon realized that the charitable Doukhobor spirit needed to be shared, hence the beginnings of the charitable component of the CIS.  Volunteers sew quilts to maintain a humanitarian focus that makes a positive difference to those less fortunate, locally and globally.  In January 2001, the CIS had 5 scheduled classes for the Winter/Spring season: “Making Good Bakers Better”,  Rug Braiding, Placemat Sewing Class, Shawl Embroidery  and Learning to Weave.


Over the years the CIS has grown and has established networks with many agencies and other non-profit organizations with similar mandates. The community continues to be supportive of the cause as the CIS continues to preserve various aspects of the local heritage through training, documentation, and exposure of the arts and crafts. The activities planned by the Society offer participation from the community at large where everyone is welcomed.






CIS Copyright