Vita

Discover Vita, Manitoba: A Multicultural Community with a Rich History

Vita, Manitoba, a local urban district in southeast Manitoba, is a vibrant community with a rich history and a diverse population. Settled by Ukrainian immigrants in the late 1890s, Vita is approximately 50 km by road from Steinbach, nestled in the Rural Municipality of Stuartburn. The community is a melting pot of various ethnic backgrounds, with Ukrainian and Mennonite being the most prominent.

The Historical Journey of Vita, Manitoba

Originally known as Szewczenko, Vita was named after the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko. However, with the arrival of the railway in 1910, the community's name was deemed too long and difficult to pronounce in English. The rail-line laying foreman, of Italian descent, took the liberty to rename the stations along the line in Italian, thus changing "Szewczenko" to "Vita."

Demographics of Vita, Manitoba

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Vita had a population of 512, a 6.9% increase from its 2016 population of 479. The community, with a land area of 3.06 km2, had a population density of 167.3/km2 in 2021.

Amenities in Vita, Manitoba

Vita is home to Shevchenko School, part of the Border Land School Division, which offers education from Kindergarten through Grade 12. From 1965 to 1991, the school also offered Ukrainian language instruction. The community boasts a variety of businesses and services, including a restaurant, fuel station, hospital, credit union with a drive-thru ATM, post office, two grocery stores, an arena-curling rink, a liquor store, and a hotel-motel.

Cultural Highlights of Vita, Manitoba

Vita is served by two traditional Ukrainian churches: Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church and St. Demetrius Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The community also has a Ukrainian National Home, which serves as a community hall. Vita is renowned for its grand Canada Day celebration on July 1 each year, featuring a softball tournament, rodeo, beer gardens, live entertainment, and a spectacular fireworks display.

Climate and Natural Disasters in Vita, Manitoba

Vita has experienced its share of natural disasters. In 1955, a devastating tornado damaged many buildings, including the hospital. Despite the destruction, no lives were lost, although several people were injured. In 2012, a wildfire swept into Vita, destroying four homes and a bridge. The community was evacuated, but the high winds eventually calmed, and the evacuation order was lifted. The region received relief from the fires in the form of an early winter storm, which caused power outages and prompted voluntary evacuations to the local community centre.

Sources