Our Beginnings


The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate School of Music began with private lessons taught by Sister Juvenalia Kaniuk, SSMI (1915-1997), in our first Toronto location on King Street, from 1944. When the Sisters moved to our present location, 5 Austin Terrace, in 1949, so did the School of Music.

As the director and teacher at the School of Music at the Sisters Servants’ Canadian headquarters in Toronto for fifty years, Sr. Juvenalia built a reputation of fine teaching, and instilled quality teaching skills in her students, Mrs. Irene Boyko, and Sr. Christine Dudych, who since taught at the School of Music since her passing. Presently, only Mrs. Boyko is continuing this tradition.

Our Founding Teacher – Sister Juvenalia Kaniuk, SSMI, ARCT (1915-1997)


Sr. Juvenalia was born in Vilna, Alberta. When her mother died, when she was five years old, her father placed her in the care of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, who conducted a children’s home in nearby Mundare. Here she received her education at the school conducted by the Sisters, who soon discovered her musical and dramatic talents.

She entered the novitiate of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate in Mundare, Alberta, on August 30, 1930, making first profession of vows on September 3, 1932, and final profession, February 15, 1939.

Among her earlier ministries, she conducted Ukrainian School for the Ukrainian National Federation in Saskatoon and in Toronto, missions she especially treasured. She staged many concerts, arranged music and composed original songs, which her students enjoyed performing and which captivated the large audiences.

Sr. Juvenalia studied music in Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg. She attended the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, obtaining her A.R.C.T. in 1947. She took post-graduate studies in Philadelphia, Florence, Salzburg, Vienna and Geneva.

Sr. Juvenalia was best known as the director and teacher at the School of Music at the Sisters Servants’ Canadian headquarters in Toronto for fifty years (Christ the King convent). She gave instruction in piano, music theory and voice and was a supervising teacher, readily sharing her expertise and experience. In 1955 she was responsible for opening a Royal Conservatory of Music examination centre at Christ the King convent and was its director for over forty years. She also taught a summer course for piano teachers at Miami University.

Sr. Juvenalia did all in her power to help her students realize their potential and continued to assist them in whatever way she was able long after they had graduated from the School of Music. She spared no effort to assist the students who participated in the annual Kiwanis Music Festival. Her students looked to her for guidance in their personal lives and valued her advice.

From 1959-1964 she was on the first administration of the Sisters Servants in the United States, serving as secretary and councillor. During this time she taught music and choir at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral School in Philadelphia.

She was an active member of various organizations: Ukrainian Opera Company, the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association, Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Associations, Alumni of the Royal Conservatory.

Sr. Juvenalia composed works for the Sister Servant Jubilee pageant staged in Toronto in 1967 in commemoration of their founding. She composed church music, including new arrangements for the Divine Liturgy and hymns celebrating the Millennium of Christianity in Ukraine.

Sr. Juvenalia prepared the musical arrangement for the Sisters’ community hymn, composed a Jubilee Hymn on the occasion of the Sisters Servants Centenary in 1992 and the antiphon to the Sisters’ co-foundress, Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska.


Some of her accomplished students: