A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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Subject Profile: Martha Black

Elena Kudaba

Born to a prominent Lithuanian theatre family, Elena Kudaba’s future seemed scripted for success. Critics applauded her youthful turns on stage and her career rose as dramatically as the curtain itself. Historical forces swooped in from the wings, however: World War II began and decades of Soviet occupation followed.

As the iron curtain descended on her homeland, Elena was on the other side, a displaced person who finally found refuge in Hamilton, Ontario in 1949. Sacrificing her own professional ambitions, she immediately established Aukuras “Eternal Flame”, an amateur drama group, to ensure that Lithuanian culture would flourish even in exile.

Elena’s determination to keep the past present in the future has inspired generations of Lithuanian-Canadians, many attending performances, some participating in productions. Over fifty years and three children later, Elena continues to command centre stage, rightfully admired by her community, supported by her family and ably assisted by her eldest daughter, Danute.

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