Pass the Pyrahi

Sandra Makortoff (left) and Nellie Popoff have a long history of creating delicious things in the Taghum Hall kitchen.

Taghum Hall’s roots are steeped in Doukhobor culture, from floor-stomping polka dances to weddings, funerals, choir practices—and food, of course. Taghum Hall celebrates those roots at a special B.C. Culture Days event on Friday, September 23 with displays, demonstrations, and pyrahi (traditional fruit-filled tarts) from 2pm to 5pm, plus an evening program of songs and stories from 7pm to 9pm.

The Doukhobor people first arrived in Taghum around 1911. They planted gardens and orchards, and they built a community. Within a few years a school was built on the shores of the river on the site of where Taghum Hall now stands. Destroyed by fire in 1947, a new hall was rebuilt with salvaged lumber—some of it from the Lemon Creek Japanese internment camp—and a lot of community love. Volunteer carpenters were fed mountains of food prepared by the Doukhobor women. Some say that Taghum Hall’s history is steeped in borscht.

The afternoon portion of Taghum Hall’s Pass the Pyrahi Culture Days event is a drop-in open house. Everyone is welcome to enjoy demonstrations such as spoon carving and spinning, learn about Taghum’s rich history, read first-person memories, explore historical displays, appreciate some music, and chat with your friends and neighbours over tea and pyrahi.

The evening begins at 7pm with live music, literary readings, and a multimedia talk about Doukhobor history in Taghum—with plenty of surprises. A special reading by author Vera Maloff from her memoir Our Backs Warmed by the Sun: Memories of a Doukhobor Life was made possible by the Canada Council for the Arts Reopening Fund through The Writers Union of Canada. There will be time to socialize, and, yes, there will be pyrahi.

Pass the Pyrahi is a free event. As always, donations are accepted to keep the doors open and the pyrahi baking.

Vera Maloff reads from her memoir Our Backs Warmed by the Sun: Memories of a Doukhobor Life, as part of the evening program.


23 Sep 2022


2:00 pm - 9:00 pm