Image by Al Klymochko
The Shevchenko Foundation is a national organization located in Winnipeg, Manitoba – home to diverse Indigenous, First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Peoples. We acknowledge the support and partnership provided by Indigenous Peoples to Ukrainian Settlers that have enabled Ukrainians to survive and thrive in what is now called Canada.
We honour and respect the deep and spiritual connection of Indigenous Peoples to this land from time immemorial and into the future. We are committed to working with all who live on this land to build a better world in which the fundamental rights to freedom and dignity are respected, and in which one’s culture can never be erased.
In 1959 the Ukrainian community in Canada embarked on a significant undertaking – to place a monument to Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine’s national poet, on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature. $175,000 was raised for this endeavour.
Two years later, on July 9, 1961 nearly 25,000 Ukrainian Canadians from across the country gathered in Winnipeg to witness Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker officially unveil the monument.
The fundraising for this monumental project led to a surplus of $30,000, which was invested into an endowment fund dedicated to the preservation and development of Ukrainian culture in Canada – the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko.
Through the efforts of Senators John Hnatyshyn, William Wall and Paul Yuzyk, and MP Nicholas Mandziuk, Bill S-21 – “An Act to Incorporate the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko” was successfully introduced in the Canadian Parliament, and signed on July 22, 1963 by Governor General G.P. Vanier.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) appointed the first Board of Directors, and in 1964 the Shevchenko Foundation was officially launched. Dr. Isydore Hlynka was founding President of the Foundation, serving for its first fifteen years.
Shevchenko Foundation Timeline
The first grant of $400 is disbursed.
The first large grant of $5,000 is awarded to UCC for the publication of 3 books: The Ukrainian Poets 1189-1962, and The Poetical Works of Taras Shevchenko both translated by Andrusyshen and Kirkconnell, and Taras Shevchenko the Artist by Keywan.
The Shevchenko Foundation receives charitable status.
The first largest single grant of $5,000 is made in support of the development of audio-visual methodology and materials for teaching Ukrainian language in public schools.
A donation of $10,000 from the Ukrainian Literary Society of T. Shevchenko, Kenora, ON is received.
The Foundation is accepted as a member organization of the UCC. The President of the Foundation becomes a member of the UCC Board of Directors.
The Foundation reaches its first one million dollars.
The Foundation reaches $1.5 million dollars.
The Foundation receives its first designated fund from Stefan and Maria Yankowski of Winnipeg MB.
The Foundation purchases one-half interest in the land and building from UCC located at 456 Main St in Winnipeg MB where the offices of the Foundation are located.
The Foundation disburses over $200,000 in grants.
The Board of Directors appoint an Investment Committee with Wally Shoemay as Chairperson. The first meeting of the Investment Committee is held.
The Foundation receives its’ first insurance policy gift.
President Andriy Hladyshevsky, Q.C., initiates the Kobzar Fellowship Program.
The first 11 members of the Kobzar Fellowship are inducted at a launch ceremony in Saskatoon.
The Foundation launches its official website.
The first Shevchenko bilingual Bookmark “Educate Yourselves, my Brethren” is issued.
The establishment of the Kobzar™ Literary Award is announced.
The Avramenko exhibit is unveiled at the UCC Congress held in Winnipeg.
The Walter Halchuk Memorial Book Award is established.
The John Syrnick Journalism Award is launched and presented to Mark MacKinnon of the Globe & Mail for his coverage of the Orange Revolution.
The first Kobzar™ Literary Award of $25,000 is presented to Danny Schur for STRIKE! The Musical and to Laura Langston for Lesia’s Dream.
Anne Smigel is the first donor to the Kobzar™ Literary Award designated fund with a donation of $25,000.
The KOBZAR Writer’s Scholarship at the Humber School for Writers is established.
The first recipient of the Kobzar Writer’s Scholarship at the Humber School for Writers is Helen Pretulak. Victor Malarek receives the John Syrnick Award for Journalism.
The Government of Canada grants $10 million to the Foundation to establish the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund.
The winner of the Kobzar™ Literary Award is Janice Kulyk Keefer The Ladies’ Lending Library and shortlisted are Marusya Bociurkiw for Comfort Food for Break-ups: The Memoir of a Hungry Girl; Roman Paul Fodchuk for Zhorna: Material Culture of the Ukrainian Pioneers and Lisa Grekul for Leaving Shadows: Literature in English by Canada’s Ukrainians.
The first Night of Taras Fundraiser is held in Winnipeg MB to promote the Kobzar™ Literary Award and to build the Kobzar™ Literary Award Designated Fund. The Winnipeg Free Press receives the John Syrnick Award for Journalism for their coverage on the Holodomor.
The Foundation goes on-line with credit card donations and a Facebook page. The Kobzar™ Literary Award is presented to Randall Maggs for Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems.
Shortlisted are Elizabeth Bachinsky’s God of Missed Connection; Paul Laverdure’s Redemption and Ritual: the Eastern – Rite Redemptorists of North America, 1906-2006 and Murray Andrew Pura’s Zo.
The Foundation celebrates the 10th anniversary of its bookmark campaign by distributing over 32,000 bookmarks to Ukrainian Canadian youth across Canada.
Frederick Laval from the La Presse receives the John Syrnick Award for Journalism.
Kobzar™ Literary Award is presented to Shandi Mitchell for Under this Unbroken Sky. Shortlisted are Larissa Andrusyshyn’s Mammoth; Myrna Kostash’s Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium; Myroslav Shkandrij’s Jew in Ukrainian Literature: Representation and Identity and Rhea Tregebov’s The Knife Sharpener’s Bell.
The Board of Directors approves a new logo for the Foundation. The Globe and Mail articles written by Brian Bonner, Hon. Derek Fraser, John Doyle and John Stackhouse receive the John Syrnick Award for Journalism.
Kobzar™ Literary Award is presented to Diane Flacks, playwright, in collaboration with Andrey Tarasiuk and Luba Goy for the play Luba, Simply Luba. Shortlisted are Erin Moure’s The Unmemntioable, Michael Mucz’s Baba’s Kitchen, Barbara Sapergia’s Blood and Salt, and Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch for Making Bombs for Hitler.
Shevchenko Foundation celebrates its 50th anniversary in Nanaimo, BC, Thunder Bay, ON, Halifax, NS, and other centres in Canada. As an anniversary project, Shevchenko Foundation releases a 3-disc compilation CD – Golden Harvest: A Musical Celebration of Ukrainian Canadiana, featuring songs and music by artists who had received funding from the Foundation over the years.
Kobzar™ Literary Award is presented to Maurice Mierau for Detachment: An Adoption Memoir. Shortlisted are Grant Buday’s The Delusionist, Orest T. Martynowych’s The Showman and the Ukrainian Cause: Folk Dance, Film, and the Life of Vasile Avramenko, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch’s Underground Solider, and Stacey Zembrzycki’s According to Baba: A Collaborative Oral History of Sudbury’s Ukrainian Community.
Shevchenko Foundation launches its $20 million dollar Our Legacy Our Tomorrow Capital Campaign in Toronto (September, 2015) and Winnipeg (February, 2016).
The Shevchenko Foundation launches its redesigned and mobile-friendly website. The Our Legacy Our Tomorrow Capital Campaign continues to gain momentum with informational evenings in Saskatoon, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
Kobzar™ Literary Award is presented to Lisa Grekul and Lindy Ledahowski, editors for Unbound: Ukrainian Canadians Writing Home.
Theatre artist Andrew Kushnir of Toronto receives the inaugural awarding of the new REACH Mentorship/Residency for the Arts. Fifty students from Ukraine take part in the Mitacs Global Link Internship program, a component of the newly established Shevchenko Foundation Future Leaders Fund.
The Board of Directors appoints David Chucko as Chair of the Investment Committee and welcomes Bohdana Bashuk as the new Executive Director. The Kobzar™ Book Award is presented to Laisha Rosnau for Our Familiar Hunger. Playwright Liana Makuch receives the 2020 REACH Mentorship/Residency for the Arts Award. Tanya Berezuk receives the inaugural Shevchenko Foundation Emerging Writers Short Prose Competition.
The Shevchenko Foundation initiates special support measures for grant applicants in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Illustrator Anna Bucciarelli, soprano Natalya Gennadi and vocalist Stacey Yerofeyeva share the 2021 REACH Mentorship/ Residency for the Arts Awards. Adrian Lysenko receives the Shevchenko Foundation Emerging Writers Short Prose Competition. Boris Balan is appointed President.
In response to the unprovoked war by Russia against Ukraine, the Shevchenko Foundation introduced special grants designed to assist the community in welcoming Ukrainians to Canada displaced by the war. Illustrator Veronica Post won the 2022 REACH Mentorship/Residency for the Arts Award. Matthew Kruchak won the Emerging Writers Short Prose Competition. The KOBZAR Book Award was presented to Maria Reva for Good Citizens Need Not Fear during a virtual ceremony.