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Memorable Manitobans: Yaroslaw “Cecil” Semchyshyn (1930-2002)

Pharmacist, community activist.

Born at Winnipeg in 1930, he received a Pharmacy degree from the University of Manitoba in 1956 then attended the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto until 1959. He was active in Winnipeg’s cultural community, as a singer, master of ceremonies, producer-director, and translator-narrator. He was one of the founders of Folklorama. He was a candidate for the Winnipeg North constituency in the 1968 federal general election but was defeated by David Orlikow.

His volunteer effects were recognized by the Centennial Medal of Canada, City of Winnipeg Community Service Award, Metropolitan Corporation of Winnipeg Outstanding Service Award, Carling Community Arts Foundation Certificate of Honour, Folk Arts Council Community Award, Commemorative Medal for 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation. In 1977, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal. He was inducted into the Manitoba Folk Arts Council Hall of Fame.

He died at Winnipeg on 13 November 2002.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 18 November 2002.

“They will never be forgotten,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2002, pages A8-A9.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 November 2017

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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