Promoting Arts

Kobzar™ Book Award —

Kobzar Literary Award logo

On May 14, 2003, Shevchenko Foundation president Andrew Hladyshevsky, Q.C. announced the creation of the Kobzar™ Literary Award in recognition of outstanding contribution to Canadian literature through the author’s representation of a Ukrainian Canadian theme. The $25,000 award is presented biennially.

Kobzar™ Book Award Recipients:

  • 2006 Danny Schur, Strike, the Musical and Laura Langston, Lesia’s Dream
  • 2008 Janice Kulyk Keefer, The Ladies’ Lending Library
  • 2010 Randall Maggs, Night Work: The Sawchuk poems
  • 2012 Sandi Mitchell, Under this Unbroken Sky
  • 2014 Diane Flacks, Luba Simply Luba
  • 2016 Maurice Mierau, Detachment
  • 2018 Grekul, Lisa and Ledohowski, Lindy (Editors) Unbound: Ukrainian Canadians Writing Home.
  • 2020 Rosnau, Laisha Our Familiar Hunger

Kobzar Literary Award book cover strip

Shevchenko Foundation Emerging Writers Short Prose Competition

Introduced in 2019 the Emerging Writers Short Prose Competition awards new writers writing in English on a topic with a tangible connection to the Ukrainian Canadian experience. The $1500 prize is awarded annually.

The John Syrnick Award for Journalism

In February 2005, the Shevchenko Foundation launched the John Syrnick Award for Journalism. The award was named after John Syrnick, the long-time editor (1947-70) of Canada’s oldest Ukrainian newspaper Ukrainian Voice. The award recognizes the pivotal influence of mainstream Canadian media in presenting to all Canadians information on issues important to the Ukrainian Canadian community. The Syrnick National Selection Committee Members from 2005 to 2015 include pre-eminent Canadian academics and Ukrainian-Canadian community leaders. The committee is chaired by the Foundation’s Director of Literary Arts, Dr. Christine Turkewych.

Recipients of the John Syrnick Award for Journalism:

  • 2005 Mark MacKinnon, The Globe and Mail
  • 2007 Victor Malarek
  • 2009 Winnipeg Free Press Editorial Board
  • 2011 Frederick Laval, La Presse
  • 2013 The Globe and Mail articles written by Brian Bonner, Hon, Derek Fraser, John Doyle and John Stackhouse
  • 2015 Matthew Fisher, PostMedia News

John Syrnick Award 2015


Annual Bookmarks honouring Taras Shevchenko

In February 2002, the Shevchenko Foundation published its first annual bookmark in commemoration of the work of its namesake, Ukraine’s most famous poet, Taras Shevchenko. Based on Shevchenko’s poem Uchitesia braty moyi -– Educate yourselves, my brethren, 20,000 copies were printed and distributed to donors, Ukrainian full day programs, bilingual schools and heritage schools.

A year later in 2003, the Foundation began calling upon Ukrainian artists in Canada to submit works of art based on selected poems written by Taras Shevchenko.

Today, the Shevchenko Foundation produces over 30,000 bookmarks annually that are also distributed to Ukrainian dance schools, bilingual and heritage programs across Canada, and to participants of all Shevchenko concerts traditionally held yearly during the month March.



Avramenko Project

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Vasyl Avramenko, the father of Ukrainian dance in Canada, on the recommendation of interested individuals, the Board of Directorsof the Shevchenko Foundation resolved in 2003 to produce an exhibit about Avramenko, which was unveiled during the Congress of Ukrainian Canadians on October 1, 2004.

The exhibit was curated by Irka Balan, with a video presentation produced by Roman Onufrijchuk.


In 2005, the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta celebrated their centennials. That same year also marked the 80th anniversary of the arrival of Vasyl Avramenko in Canada. As a result, the Shevchenko Foundation received a grant from the Government of Canada to produce additional panels to enhance the existing 20 foot exhibit on Vasyl Avramenko, depicting the history of dance in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Promoting History

Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund —

Canadian First World War Internment Rec Fund logoOn May 9, 2008 the Government of Canada established a $10 million endowment fund to commemorate the experience of the thousands of Ukrainians and other Europeans who were interned in Canada between 1914 and 1920.

Foundation President Andrew Hladyshevsky, Q.C. signed this agreement on behalf of the Ukrainian Canadian community, witnessed by the Paul Grod, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC), and Dr. Lubomyr Luciuk, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA). These three principle negotiators, representing the Ukrainian Canadian community, along with then Secretary of State Hon Jason Kenney gathered to sign this most significant and historic document at Stanley Barracks at the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto.


This agreement established the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund (CFWWIRF) within the Shevchenko Foundation with the aim of supporting projects that commemorate and recognize the experiences of ethno-cultural communities affected by the First World War internment.

Part of the agreement established an endowment council of seven members – three members from the Ukrainian community – Shevchenko Foundation, UCC and UCCLA; three representatives named by the organizations representing ethno-cultural communities affected by the First World War Internment, and one individual acting as Chair of the Council. A descendant of a person affected by the First World War Internment is appointed as a non-voting member of the Council.

In 2010, Andrea Malysh became Program Manager for the CFWWIRF. Andrew Hladyshevsky, Q.C. was appointed by the Shevchenko Foundation as its representative to the CFWWIRF and serves as its Vice President.

Ukrainian Canadian Veterans’ Fund

UCVF logoIn 2007, the Ukrainian Royal Canadian Legion Branch 360 in Toronto resolved to establish the Ukrainian Canadian Veterans’ Fund (UCVF), a designated fund within the Shevchenko Foundation. The UCVF was created to hallow veterans of World War I, World War II, and for defending the cause of a democratic, independent Ukrainian state.