Honorary Patrons of the KOBZAR™ Book Award

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

The KOBZAR™ Book Award

Presented biennially, the $25,000 KOBZAR™ Book Award recognizes outstanding contributions to Canadian literary arts by authors who write on a topic with a tangible connection to the experiences of Ukrainian Canadians. Genres include literary non-fiction, fiction, poetry, young readers’ literature, play, screenplay, and musical. Distinctive to this Award is monetary recognition for both the winner and the winner’s publisher.

The Shevchenko Foundation launched the KOBZAR™ Literary Award at Hart House in Toronto on May 14, 2003. The inaugural Award Ceremony was held in March 2006 in Toronto. At the 2018 Award Ceremony, the Shevchenko Foundation announced a change in the name of the award to KOBZAR™ Book Award to better reflect the many different genres of works submitted for award consideration.

The Award fills a very important niche in the Canadian and North American book and literary awards scene. It impacts the lives of authors by giving them recognition while providing resources to enable them to continue their work. It also creates a place for the experiences and stories of Ukrainian Canadians.

In a world where we are bombarded with information, sound bites, and uncurated content, the KOBZAR™ Book Award carves out an avenue for documenting the stories and history of Ukrainian culture in Canada.

The KOBZAR™ Book Award is named for the travelling 19th-century minstrel wanderers, “Kobzars,” who narrated and sang a repertoire of historic epics, religious and folk songs, and stories of the day to the instrumental accompaniment of a bandura or kobza.