Sylvia Fedoruk

Sylvia Olga Fedoruk [Fe-doruk], (Ukrainian: Федорук), OC SOM (May 5, 1927 – September 26, 2012) was a Canadian physicist, medical physicist, curler and the 17th Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan.

Sylvia Fedoruk

Sylvia Fedoruk.jpg
Former Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, the Honourable Sylvia Fedoruk wearing the insignia of the Order of Canada
17th Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan
In office
September 7, 1988 – May 31, 1994
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralJeanne Sauvé
Ray Hnatyshyn
PremierGrant Devine
Roy Romanow
Preceded byFrederick Johnson
Succeeded byJack Wiebe
Personal details
Born(1927-05-05)May 5, 1927
Canora, Saskatchewan
DiedSeptember 26, 2012(2012-09-26) (aged 85)
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Alma materUniversity of Saskatchewan
OccupationMedical physicist, Physicist,


Born in Canora, Saskatchewan, the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, Annie Romaniuk and Theodore Fedoruk. Fedoruk attended a one room schoolhouse in Wroxton north east of the city of Yorkton. Her father was her teacher.

During World War II, the family relocated to Ontario where her parents took war factory work. In 1946, she completed her studies at Walkerville Collegiate in Windsor Ontario, at the top of her class and was awarded the Ernest J. Creed Memorial Medal and an entrance scholarship to attend University. But the family chose to return to Saskatchewan where Sylvia entered the University of Saskatchewan at Saskatoon in the fall of 1946.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics, at the University of Saskatchewan, in 1949 and was awarded the Governor General's Gold Medal. Fedoruk completed her M.A. in physics in 1951.

Fedoruk was recruited by Dr. Harold E. Johns to be the radiation physicist at Saskatoon Cancer Clinic. She became the chief medical physicist at the Saskatoon Cancer Clinic and director of physics services at the Saskatchewan Cancer Clinic. She was a professor of oncology and associate member in physics at the University of Saskatchewan. She was involved in the development of the world's first cobalt-60 unit and one of the first nuclear medicine scanning machines. The cobalt-60 beam therapy unit, or the "cobalt bomb" as it was known, was the first of its kind to successfully use targeted radiation to treat cancer in a patient. The machine's collimated beam of radiation could be adjusted to the size of the tumor to irradiate the growth. Fedoruk's masters work on depth-dose measurements for radiation treatment were essential in the success of the beam therapy unit.[1]

She was the first woman member of the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada.

From 1986 to 1989 she was chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan. She was the first woman to fill this position at the University of Saskatchewan.[2]

She is a past president (1971 to 1972) of the Canadian Ladies Curling Association. In 1986, she was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame, as a builder, and was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. In 1961, she played in the very first Diamond 'D' Championships for team Saskatchewan as the third for Joyce McKee. Saskatchewan won the tournament. 1986 was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.[3]

In 1987, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.[4]

From 1988 to 1994, she was Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan.

In the 1990s, the City of Saskatoon named a new road, Fedoruk Drive in her honour. The roadway runs from Central Avenue to McOrmond Drive, north of the communities of Silverspring and Evergreen and south of the community of Aspen Ridge and the Northeast Swale. Fedoruk Drive serves as a minor arterial roadway in the northeast sector of the city.

On October 3, 2012 the name of the Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation (CCNI) was changed to the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation in honor of the pioneering work she did in the treatment of cancer using cobalt-60 radiation therapy in the 1950s.[5]

In 2009, she was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.[6]


Coat of arms of Sylvia Fedoruk
The arms of Sylvia Fedoruk consist of:[7]
Above a helmet mantled Bleu Celeste doubled Or on a wreath Or and Bleu Celeste a Saskatchewan coronet (on a rim Vert fimbriated Or wheat ears Or set alternately with prairie lily flowers proper) issuant therefrom a bull's head in trian aspect Bleu Celeste accorné annelled and crined Or.
Or on a pale between in chief two nuclei enclosed within a representation of three electron paths all Bleu Celeste a lion rampant Or armed and langued Gules.
Two white-tailed does Bleu Celeste each unguled Or langued Gules and gorged with a coronet of wheat ears Or.
A grassy mound strewn with prairie lily flowers proper.
Deo Et Patriae

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Building on a legacy of nuclear medicine excellence". Canada 150 @ usask. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  2. ^ "Deo et Patriae: Events in the History of the University of Saskatchewan: 1986".
  3. ^ "The Honourable Sylvia Fedoruk". Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  4. ^ Services, Government of Canada, Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, Information and Media. "Order of Canada".
  5. ^ "U of S nuclear centre to be named for Fedoruk". The StarPhoenix. 2012.
  6. ^ "The Honourable Sylvia Fedoruk". Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  7. ^ Canadian Heraldic Authority (Volume II), Ottawa, 1991

External linksEdit

Academic offices
Preceded by
Emmett Matthew Hall
Chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan
Succeeded by
E. K. Turner