The CCSF accepts applications from students across all fields of study and those selected for an award are all exceptional. Two named awards are offered on occasion: the Belle Shenkman Award is given to the most impressive student of Music or the Arts; the Mary Le Messurier Award to the most impressive student of History. Other named scholarships may be available, depending on the wishes of our supporters, all of whom are part of the Canadian community in the UK.
In 1967, Canadians living in the UK gathered to celebrate Canada’s Centennial with a gala Ball. Chaired by Canadian Women’s Club President, Belle Shenkman, this celebration marked the first time that Canadian organizations in London had joined together to raise funds. That evening, she announced a special Centennial project: to endow scholarships in the UK for Canadian students. The CCSF was then established and small scholarships were awarded to a few deserving students each year. In the mid 1980s, Belle Shenkman, together with Gloria Smith, CWC President at that time, Judy Searle and Mary Le Messurier, Agent General for Alberta, undertook the task of creating the CCSF as a Registered Charity in its own right. Belle Shenkman was a great supporter of the Arts. Today, her family continues to fund a music programme, performed at the National Gallery. There is also a room named in her honour at the Royal Academy in Piccadilly.
In January 2016, a reception was held at Canada House in London for a number of past recipients of the Belle Shenkman Award, attended by Belle’s daughter, Dasha Shenkman. You can read the news article here.
Photo to left of Belle Shenkman is thanks to Getty Images.
The Mary Le Messier Award for the Study of History
Mary Le Messurier was Alberta’s Minister of Culture from 1979 to 1986. Following her appointment as Agent General for Alberta, Mary and her husband relocated to the UK in 1986. During her six years in London, Mary complemented her governmental responsibilities with Canadian Women’s Club-related activities. She joined with the CWC President and others at that time in the task of establishing the Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund as a Registered Charitable Trust. In recognition of her tireless work on behalf of the CCSF and the CWC, each year a scholarship is given to a deserving student studying history. Since returning to Alberta, Mary has received the Order of Canada (1998) for her services to public life. She celebrated her 80th birthday in 2009.