To finish a project to repair the amphitheatre stairs at the Selo Site, the Ukrainian Folk Arts Centre & Museum is asking for some money.

Identical requests for $10,000 have been sent to the City of Dauphin and RM of Dauphin.

The project’s expected to be finished in time for Dauphin’s Countryfest in 2021.

The Repair Project

Since the amphitheatre is built out of wood on the side of a hill and has been there since the early 1980s, pressure from the soil pushing against the stairs and seats over the years has shifted them to the point that they are considered hazardous.

Jim Perchaluk, president of the Ukrainian Folk Arts Centre & Museum, says after doing some research, they found out that replacing the stairs would cost half a million dollars.

“In consultation with a facility consultant from the Province of Manitoba we found that there is nothing wrong with the timbers, it was just that they were unsettled and if we could level them off, and some boards have to be replaced, we could do a repair project and some replacement. So we elected to go that route.”

To work on the stairs, all of the handrails had to be taken out. So, the handrails are being reinstalled and additional ones have been purchased because there were some areas that needed handrails.

A little bit of work has been done this fall in the project’s first phase.

Perchaluk says phase 1 was also a bit of a test to make sure it’s what they wanted. With the work looking good so far, phase 2 of the project will be done in spring 2021 with the goal of being finished before Dauphin’s Countryfest in 2021.

Funding For The Project

In total, the project will cost $126,000, with phase 1 being estimated at around $26,000 and phase 2 $100,000.

Already, they’ve received $81,851 from the Federal Government Social and Economic Development and $11,585 from the provincial government’s Building Sustainable Communities Fund. That leaves the organization needing $32,489.

In the past, the Ukrainian Folk Arts Centre & Museum has had fundraisers in addition to CNUF and Countryfest, but COVID-19 has made revenue for Selo Ukraina zero.

Perchaluk says they’re hoping for some community contributions as the site is a community facility that brings tourism to Dauphin.

“This is why we are knocking on the door of the City of Dauphin and I’ll mention also the RM of Dauphin. They got almost identical requests in for $10,000. So we’re looking for, we’re benefitting the community and area and here’s an opportunity that they can help us out, so we can return it in terms of improving the structure, facility for a continuation of the festivals in the future there.”

If the requests are accepted, that’ll leave $12,489 for Selo Ukraina. Perchaluk says they have a plan to get the rest of the money.

“We’re also knocking on the door of our Dauphin and District Community Foundation, we’ve got an application in for their fall intake and also Fusion Credit Union, their Red Circle Fund there. We’ve sent applications to them, normally those are smaller grants and our plan, if we’re successful in everybody giving what we’re asking for, there’ll still be a few dollars that we’re contributing and we’ll make up the difference.”

Perchaluk adds that if they don’t get what they're asking for, the organization will likely take out a bank loan with Fusion Credit Union.

Larry Hrytsay, on the board of directors, says if it wasn’t for COVID they probably would’ve been able to pay for the project themselves with some money from the government.

“Chances are pretty good we would’ve had maybe one or two more major events. There are some parties interested in it. Things have gotten on hold for various other reasons over the last couple years.”

Perchaluk says if the community wants to help them, an endowment fund was created for the costs associated with operating and maintaining the site. It’s targeted at the museum aspect, the Ukrainian Heritage Village at the site. Right now, for every two dollars contributed to the endowment fund, the provincial government will contribute one dollar.