The main role of the Shevchenko Foundation is to financially support the promotion and development of Ukrainian cultural heritage in Canada. It fulfills its mandate by disbursing grants in support of various initiatives that assist groups and individuals in making a lasting contribution to a flourishing Ukrainian community for the enrichment of Canada.

The Shevchenko Foundation receives requests for funding and allocates money for projects that reflect a high degree of excellence and reach a diverse and broad audience. Throughout its history, the Shevchenko Foundation Grants Program has continued to evolve in response to the changing needs of the community. In 2012, the Grants Program was restructured to reflect projects in four specific categories, or pillars:

Arts Program

The Arts Program recognizes the value of the arts as a fundamental aspect of expressing a unique cultural identity and promotes the creation, advancement and dissemination of Ukrainian Canadian artistic endeavour. The programs awards grants in the categories of Dance, Literary Arts, Media Arts, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts.

Community Development Program

The Shevchenko Foundation is committed to the sustainability of a vibrant and flourishing Ukrainian community in Canada through the fostering of a sense of common identity and fellowship, participation in community life and the strengthening of community institutions.

Education Program

Knowledge of the Ukrainian language, culture and history are important components of Ukrainian community identity in Canada and in recognizing the contribution Ukrainians made to Canadian society and history. The Education Program seeks to increase and disseminate knowledge of all aspects of Ukrainian life in Canada through traditional and non-traditional educational programming. The program also includes bursaries.

Heritage Program

The Heritage Program is intended to ensure that the history of the Ukrainian community in Canada is preserved and that the important sources of Ukrainian Canadian history and life are not lost to future generations.

The first large grant in the amount of $5000 was awarded in 1965 to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) for the publication of three books: Anthology: The Ukrainian poets 1189-1962, the poetical works of Taras Shevchenko – Kobzar, and Monograph: Taras Shevchenko the artist.


Some of the major grants awarded throughout the Shevchenko Foundation’s history include:

  • 1968: $5000 in support of the development of audiovisual methodology and materials for Ukrainian language instruction in public schools.
  • 1983: $50,000 to the Ukrainian Famine Research Committee of the Toronto based Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre for the production of a film about the Holodomor, Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-33, Harvest of Despair. This was one of the first documentary films produced in Canada in several languages about this period in Ukraine’s history and is still used today as a resource on the subject.
  • 1985: $17,000 to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress for republishing Taras Shevchenko’s Kobzar in the English language.
  • 1987: $25,000 to the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre for the documentary film Between Hitler and Stalin: Ukrainians during World War Two.
  • 1988: $45,000 allocated over a three-year period to Grant MacEwan College (today Grant MacEwan University) to establish the Ukrainian Research and Documentation Centre.
  • 1988: $20,000 to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress for projects related to the commemoration of the millennium of Christianity in Ukraine.
  • 1994: $20,000 for the documentary film Freedom Had a Price: Canada’s First Internment Operations 1914-1920.
  • 1995: $25,000 for development of the curriculum Ukrainian Language Development Nova 3.
  • 2000: $200,000 committed over a number of years for the establishment of the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage at St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan. The allocated funds enabled St. Thomas More College to raise enough additional money to complete the project.
  • 2001: $25,000 committed to the Royal Ontario Museum for the exhibit Legacy of Gold.
  • 2001: $100,000 granted over a ten-year period to the Peter Jacyk Centre for Ukrainian Historical Research, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, for the publication of one volume of Mykhailo Hrushevskyi’s History of Ukraine.
  • 2005: $100,000 committed to the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies for the publication of the Ukrainian Experience in Canada.
  • 2006: $50,000 granted to the Royal Ontario Museum toward a new digital gallery that includes a state of the art learning studio for students showing Canadian themed programs.
  • 2008: $100,000 granted to the Royal Ontario Museum for the exhibit Mysteries of Ancient Ukraine: The Remarkable Trypillian Culture.