Video release of National Doukhobor Heritage Village: Prayer Home 100 Years

A video described as an “exceptional documentary which has been two years in the making” is now ready for public viewing.

On October 4 there will be a public screening of the video National Doukhobor Heritage Village: Prayer Home 100 Years, at the Neatby-Timlin Theatre, University of Saskatchewan (U of S). The screening is free, and open to the public.

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“The beautiful complex of the National Doukhobor Heritage Village and its profound connection with Saskatchewan’s Doukhobor community are explored in this documentary film produced and directed by Dr. Veronika Makarova (PhD), a professor in the Department of Linguistics,” said information found on the Internet.

The film will be briefly introduced by its producer and director, Makarova, who conducts research on Doukhobor language, beliefs, and culture, and has multiple publications in these areas.

“The footage was filmed by individuals from the University of Saskatchewan on July 14 and 15 in 2017 at a gathering to celebrate the centennial of the Veregin Prayer Home,” said Walter Ostoforoff of Canora, chair of the National Doukhobor Heritage Village. “The footage filled four individual discs.”

The weekend included bus tours of the area to see the sites of the original villages and cemeteries and to point out where past enterprises such as the brick factory and flour mill were located near the village of Veregin. There were tours of the Prayer Home, a banquet, prayer service and brunch, as well as performances by the Saskatchewan Doukhobor Choir and the visiting CCUB (Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood) Choir of B.C., presentations and a plaque unveiling. Visitors came from all parts of North America for the event, and included dignitaries Cathay Wagantall, the Yorkton-Melville MP; Terry Dennis, the Canora-Pelly MLA; Ken Cheveldayoff, provincial minister of parks, culture and sport, and Johnathon J. Verigin, descendant of Peter Verigin.

To learn more about the film, one may contact Ostoforoff or any board member of the National Doukhobor Heritage Village or by sending an email to

The National Doukhobor Heritage Village is both a National and Provincial Historic site. Located at Veregin, this museum complex depicts the lifestyles of the Doukhobor immigrants who settled the area. The village features a museum, administrative building, bakery with brick oven, bath house, Prayer Home, barns, and blacksmith shop. Also on site is a gift shop and picnic area.

In 1982 the province of Saskatchewan declared the Doukhobor Prayer Home a Provincial Heritage Building. The Verigin Doukhobor Prayer Home is a landmark of the area, with architecture that can be traced to the mid-1800s in Russia. Built in 1917, it served as a Prayer Home and residence of the two Doukhobor leaders, Peter V. Verigin and his son Peter P. Verigin. Today it is part of the National Doukhobor Heritage Village.

The National Doukhobor Heritage Village was officially opened June 29, 1980, the day which the Doukhobors celebrate annually as Peter’s Day. It is the day which commemorates the burning of the arms and which led to the Doukhobor emigration from Russia. Cement foundations give evidence of several business and residential structures that were once located there. Of the earlier buildings, only the Verigin Prayer Home, a machine shed and grain elevator remain.

Two buildings, both of which are Prayer homes and facing one another, were the beginning of a Heritage Village Complex. The much larger Prayer Home was symbolic of the earlier community which began in 1899, flourished for two decades, and then saw the majority of its people relocated to British Columbia. The smaller brick prayer home is reminiscent of the prayer homes located in each of the more than sixty villages which sprang up in the first years of the century.

Other buildings, typical of the village dwellings of an earlier age were added in 1981 and 1982. In all, thirteen buildings make up the Heritage Village Museum Complex. The early homes reveal the life and the habits of the pioneer Doukhobors. A “peche” (a brick oven), a “banya” (bathhouse) and several household articles and utensils can be found in the homes. The brick Prayer Home (built of native brick) serves as the historical or literary area of the Heritage Village. The Museum and Administration Building holds a few thousand Doukhobor artifacts, ranging from photos and handicrafts to clothing and hand tools. Barns, a blacksmith shop, and a collection of agricultural equipment complete the Doukhobor Heritage Village.

Declared a National and Provincial Historical Site, the Doukhobor Village depicts the lifestyles and habits of the Russian Doukhobor People who immigrated to Canada in 1899.

Settling on the prairies the Russian Doukhobors started to build a communal operated enterprise consisting of; grain elevators; flour mills; brick plants and lumber mills. These hard-working, determined people lived in communal villages spread out on approximately three-quarters of a million acres of land. The Veregin Site operated until 1939.

In 2018, the grain elevator constructed in 1908 by the Doukhobor settlers of the community, and located directly across the road from the Doukhobor Prayer Home, received both federal and provincial heritage property designations.