Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 142 years

Memorable Manitobans: Svetlana Zylin (1948-2002)

Actor, playwright, director.

Born in Belgium in 1948, one of three children of Russian immigrants Konstantin Zylin (?-1982) and Irene Zylin (c1918-2003), she came to Winnipeg with her family in 1954. She attended the University of Manitoba and graduated in 1968 with a BA degree. She later received an Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia. In 1972, she founded the Women's Theatre Cooperative in Vancouver and went on to a long and highly regarded career in Canadian theatre as a director, dramaturg, artistic director, playwright, performer, and administrator. Among her plays were One on the Way (1980, co-created by Zylin, Gay Hauser, Nicola Lipman, and Mary Vingoe), Djuna: What of the Night (1991, co-created by Zylin and Cynthia Grant), and The Destruction of Eve (1998, written by Zylin with music and lyrics by Connie Kaldor). She received awards and grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council. She has also officiated on juries and panels for the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council, and Yukon Arts Council. Her final job was at the Manitoba Arts Council, which she took up in 1999. She died at Winnipeg on 15 July 2002.


Obituary [Konstantin Zylin], Winnipeg Free Press, 6 February 1982, page 34.

“Arts officer named,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 September 1999, page 33.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 16 July 2002.

“They will never be forgotten” by Kevin Rollason, Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2002, page A8.

We thank Samantha Machado for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Ian Stewart.

Page revised: 3 October 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z | 2017

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Our Inspiration | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2021 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.