Kobzar Literary Award
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  KOBZAR™ The Kobzar Literary Award - Shevchenko Foundation

Honorary Patrons

The Right Honourable
Adrienne Clarkson
The Honourable Senator
Raynell Andreychuk
Joy Kogawa
Nino Ricci

Advisors during Phase One:

Nik Burton
Coteau Books

Kitty Lewis
Brick Books

Jack Rabinovitch
Scotia Giller Prize

Antanas Sileika
Humber College School for Writers

Geoffrey Taylor
Harbourfront International Authors Festival

Nora Taylor
Charles Taylor Prize for Non Fiction
    The Kobzar Literary $25,000 Biennial Award recognizes outstanding contributions to Canadian literary arts by authors who develop a Ukrainian Canadian theme with literary merit in one of several genres: literary non-fiction, fiction, poetry, young readers' literature, plays, screenplays and musicals.

Kobzar Literary Award 2016 Shortlisted Authors Featured at International Festival of Authors

September 7, 2015 (Toronto, Ontario). The Kobzar Literary Award celebrates narratives that address Ukrainian Canadian themes.

Jury members Karen Connelly, Tamas Dobozy and Shandi Mitchell said they were " inspired by the many literary works, histories, life stories, and documentaries that were entered for this prize. We were grateful, as well, for the insights they offered us into a cultural and historical tradition that was not necessarily our own. Throughout the course of reading and viewing these works, we developed a greater understanding of and appreciation for Ukrainian culture and its importance that seems especially pressing today. We wish all of these writers continued success along their chosen paths, and thank them for bringing us into their worlds."

The 2016 Kobzar Literary Award shortlisted nominees are:

Buday, Grant The Delusionist. Anvil Press; Vancouver, B.C., Canada, 2014
Martynowych, Orest The Showman and the Ukrainian Cause: Folk Dance, Film and the Life of Vasile Avramenko. University of Manitoba Press; Winnipeg, MB, 2014
Mierau, Maurice Detachment: An Adoption Memoir. Freehand Books; Calgary, Alberta, 2014
Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk Underground Soldier. Scholastic Canada Ltd., Toronto, 2014
Zembrzycki, Stacey According to Baba: A collaborative Oral History of Sudbury's Ukrainian Community. University of British Columbia Press; Vancouver, BC, 2014.

The Kobzar shortlisted authors will read from their works at the International Festival of Authors (IFOA), on Sunday October 25 at Harbourfront. Tickets for the IFOA are available at www.IFOA.org.

About Kobzar Literary Award: Launched in 2003 by the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko, the biennial $25,000 Kobzar Award recognizes outstanding contributions to Canadian literary arts through presentation of a Ukrainian Canadian theme with literary merit. A winner will be announced at the award ceremony on March 3, 2016 at Palais Royale in Toronto. www.kobzarliteraryaward.ca

About Shevchenko Foundation: The Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko is a national, chartered philanthropic institution providing leadership by building and nurturing a permanent endowment fund dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Ukrainian Canadian cultural heritage and the advancement of a flourishing Ukrainian community for the enrichment of Canada. www.shevchenkofoundation.ca

About International Festival of Authors: IFOA presents the finest international novelists, poets, playwrights, short story writers and biographers, and provides Canadian writers with an internationally recognized forum in which to present their work. Incorporated in 1986 as a nonprofit organization with a mandate to cultivate and advance the cause of literature, the organization operates under the principal sponsorship of Harbourfront Centre.

MEDIA CONTACT: Dr. Christine Turkewych
Phone: 1 866 524‐5314

Jurors Announced
for $25,000
Kobzar Literary Award

Toronto, July 2, 2015 - The Board of Directors of the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko (Shevchenko Foundation) is pleased to announce the Kobzar 2016 Literary Award judging panel.  In alphabetical order:

Karen Connelly
Professor Tamas Dobozy
Shandi Mitchell

“The Board of Directors is proud and very pleased to have the expertise of jurors who are award winners and highly regarded in the literary world. Their choices for the Kobzar shortlist reflect their literary expertise as they diligently selected submissions that best suited our criteria,” states Andrew Hladyshevsky, Q.C., President of the Shevchenko Foundation.

The Kobzar Literary Award was created to foster cultural development through the literary arts and create opportunities for all Canadian writers to explore Ukrainian Canadian themes.

The Kobzar 2016 Literary Award shortlisted finalists will be released soon and the recipient will be announced at an award ceremony on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at Toronto’s Palais Royale.

Presented every two years, the $25,000 Kobzar Literary Award recognizes a Canadian writer who best presents a Ukrainian Canadian theme with literary merit. Each shortlisted author receives $1000.00 .

For more information, view:

Contact: Dr. Christine Turkewych, Director of Literary Arts

For Immediate Release:
March 5, 2014


TORONTO - At a ceremony at the Palais Royale on March 5, 2014, the $25,000 Kobzar Literary Award was presented by the Shevchenko Foundation to Diane Flacks, playwright, in collaboration with Andrey Tarasiuk and Luba Goy for the play Luba, Simply Luba (Scirocco Drama, J. Shillngford Publishing Inc, 2013) first staged at the Berkeley Street Theatre in the spring of 2012.

“The play presents poignant moments of Luba Goy's life, as an icon of comedy and Canadian entertainment.  Ms. Goy’s views on Ukrainian and Canadian politics, her aspirations as a female Canadian actor, her views on motherhood, aging and meeting Viktor Yushchenko, president of an independent Ukraine, create a memorable and inspiring dramatic narrative,” says Andrij Hladyshevsky, president of the Shevchenko Foundation.

The Shevchenko Foundation created the biennial award in 2003 to celebrate outstanding contributions to Canadian literary arts on a Ukrainian Canadian theme in one of several genres: literary non-fiction, fiction, poetry, young readers’ literature, plays, screenplays and musicals. The other 2014 nominees included Erin Moure for The Unmemntioable (House of Anansi, 2012); Michael Mucz for Baba’s Kitchen Memories (University of Alberta Press, 2012); Barbara Sapergia for Blood and Salt (Coteau Books, 2012) and Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch for Making Bombs For Hitler (Scholastic Canada Ltd., 2012). Each shortlisted author received $1000.00.

The adjudication panel of esteemed Canadian authors Joe Kertes, Frances Itani, Annabel Lyon and Olive Senior made their selection with criteria for best development of a Canadian Ukrainian theme with literary merit. It was a difficult decision—as Itani observed, “All of the nominated books met the criteria.”

For Senior, the vibrancy of Flacks’ words stood out: “It was so alive, and I loved the combination of the contemporary and the past, and the way those were woven together into a narrative. It was striking all the way through.”

As Joe Kertes put it, “We were looking for something that was original, something that would last. We wanted it to outlast a generation and be read in 50 years.  So it had to be something fresh, original, and well-written, and that’s what [Luba, Simply Luba] was.”

About the Winners:

Diane Flacks is a writer/performer in theatre, TV, radio and fiction. She won an Emmy award for writing for the Canadian TV series The Kids in the Hall and is a regular contributor to CBC Radio. Her book Bear With Me: What They Don’t Tell You About Pregnancy and New Motherhood was published by McClelland & Stewart.

Andrey Tarasiuk is acting Producer of Pleiades Theatre in Toronto, and previously spent 8 seasons at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival as artistic director and head of new play development. He initiated and produced Toronto’s Dream in High Park, and he received the Derek F. Mitchell Artistic Award and the Tyrone Guthrie Award from the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Luba Goy is an actor and comedienne best known as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Farce. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, and previously appeared on stage at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. During her time with the Royal Canadian Air Farce, Goy received the Gemini Humanitarian Award, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, two honorary Doctorates, 15 ACTRA Awards, a Juno, a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, and the Women in Film and Television Award.

Kobzar Award Ceremony 2014 Committee

For more information please visit:

Contact:  Dr. Christine Turkewych,
Director Literary Arts Program at christine@shevchenkofoundation.ca

    Kobzar Bookshelf

Key Dates

September 25, 2015
Deadline for submissions to Humber College for Kobzar Writers' scholarships

March 2, 2016

6th Kobzar Literary
Award in Toronto

January 15, 2017
Deadline for submissions for awarding in March 2018

What's New

August 23, 2015
Shevchenko Foundation offers Writers' Scholarships at Humber School for Writers Creative Writing Workshop

October 25, 2015

Kobzar 2016 shortlisted authors read at International Festival of Authors (IFOA) Harbourfront in Toronto

June 2015
Matthew Fisher of Post Media News receives 6th John Syrnick Journalism Award
Previous Winners

Click here to view the
previous winners of
The Kobzar Literary Award.
© 2010 KOBZAR™ The Kobzar Literary Award. Shevchenko Foundation.
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