Kaye-Kysilewsky, Vladimir

Kaye-Kysilewsky, Vladimir [Кисілевський, Володимир; Kysilevs'kyj, Volodymyr], b 4 August 1896 in Kolomyia, Galicia, d 30 July 1976 in Ottawa, Ontario. Historian and civil servant; son of Olena Kysilevska. During the First World War he served with the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen and the Ukrainian Galician Army. After the war he studied history at Vienna University (PH D 1924). After emigrating to Canada in 1925, he became editor of the newspapers Zakhidni visty in Edmonton (1928–30) and Ukraïna in Chicago (1931). He then worked as director of the Ukrainian Bureau in London (established in London, England, by Yakiv Makohin) (1931–40), where he completed his doctoral studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (1933–6). He returned to Canada in 1940 and, eventually, worked for the Department of National War Services (DNWS) as a liaison officer with ethnic groups. He played an advisory role (together with George Simpson and Tracy Philipps) in the formation of the Ukrainian Canadian Committee. After the Second World War he continued his career in the civil service with the Citizenship Branch that succeeded the DNWS and taught history and Slavic studies at the University of Ottawa (1948–60). In 1954 he was elected first president of the Canadian Association of Slavists.

Kaye-Kysilewsky undertook some important work in the field of Ukrainian-Canadian history. His major achievement in this regard was Early Ukrainian Settlements in Canada, 1895–1900: Dr. Josef Oleskow’s Role in the Settlement of the Canadian Northwest (1964), a groundbreaking study that established Osyp Oleskiv’s critical importance to Ukrainian emigration to Canada and chronicled the early years of mass Ukrainian settlement there. He compiled biographical dictionaries of the Ukrainian pioneer settlers of Manitoba (1975), Alberta (1984), and Saskatchewan (as yet unpublished). He also wrote Ukrainian Canadians in Canada’s Wars (1983). In 1974 Kaye-Kysilewsky was appointed to the Order of Canada. His papers, including a valuable diary from the 1930s, are housed at Library and Archives Canada.

Martynowych, Orest. ‘A Ukrainian Canadian in London: Vladimir J. (Kaye) Kysilewsky and the Ukrainian Bureau, 1931–1940,’ Canadian Ethnic Studies, Vol. XLVII, no. 4–5 (2015)
Prymak, Thomas M. ‘Vladimir-Kaye-Kysilewskyj in Europe, Canada, and Britain,’ www.slideshare.net (2019)

Andrij Makuch

[This article was updated in 2007.]

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