Contributing to the success and
development of emerging artists
from around the world since 1955.

JAMES LAHEY, 1987 Grantee
Cloud over a Field (spring), 2010
Oil and alkyd on canvas
© James Lahey

About the foundation

The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation was created in 1955 by Charles Glass Greenshields, Q.C., a distinguished Montreal lawyer and amateur artist, in memory of his mother, Elizabeth.

Mr. Greenshields considered discipline and serious training in the traditional means of artistic expression fundamental to the growth and development of the artist. Through his involvement with the artistic community, he saw how difficult it was for artists to obtain the financial support required to pursue their training. His determination to help emerging artists prompted Greenshields to establish a foundation dedicated to contributing to the development of artists of genuine distinction in their particular fields.

Charles Greenshields personally directed the Foundation that he created for the first 13 years of its existence and remained active in its organization until his death, in 1974. His vision and his mission live on through the foundation that he so generously endowed.

Mr. Greenshields wished to help and encourage serious art students, artists and sculptors who recognize that there is no short cut to competence and who evince a willingness to do the hard work and subject themselves to the discipline required for the mastery of their craft. He was also convinced that the mastery of their craft first required them to master the traditional means of artistic expression. As a result, he directed that the funds of the Foundation be used to help talented individuals in their formative years, to acquire the necessary training, skills and competence in the traditional artistic methods, specifically excluding all grants to students, artists or sculptors “who show clearly a disposition to use the purely abstract or non-objective method in their work.”

The philosophy outlined by Mr. Greenshields in his endowment has informed the mission of the Foundation over the previous 60 years and it continues to do so to this day.

The mission of the Foundation is to promote and encourage the acquisition and development by students and artists of the necessary training, skills and competence in the traditional means of artistic expression. The Foundation provides financial assistance, by way of grants, to students and artists in the early or developmental stage of their career who work in a representational style of painting, drawing, sculpture or printmaking and demonstrate a commitment to making their art a lifetime career. The Foundation does not provide funding for the pursuit of abstract or non-objective art.

The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant is one of the most prestigious grants available to emerging figurative artists, as well as one of the most substantial. It is one of the longest standing, with an illustrious history of recipients spanning more than half a century. It is also unique in its scope, in that it is available to students and artists around the world.

To date, the Foundation has provided financial assistance to more than 1600 students and artists in 40 countries. Its grantees are renowned artists, both nationally and internationally, as well as highly respected art professors, teachers and mentors. The Foundation is extremely proud of its grantees and of their accomplishments. A selection of the works of some of the Foundation’s previous grantees can be found in the Gallery.

First grants are in the amount of CAD $15,000 each. Subsequent grants are in the amount of CAD $18,000 each. Grants are made directly to the beneficiaries, not through other organizations. The Foundation reserves the right to award grants in other amounts and to disburse funds in whole or in part, as it deems advisable. Grantees may not receive more than three grants in their lifetime.

Grants are awarded based solely on the information contained in the Application Form and the supporting documentation and material submitted with it. The Foundation does not conduct personal interviews. The decision of the Foundation is final and is not subject to review or appeal. 


The Foundation welcomes applications throughout the year; there is no deadline for filing an application.

Applicants must be in the early or developmental stage of their career, work in a representational style of painting, drawing, sculpting or printmaking and demonstrate a commitment to making their art a lifetime career. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of submitting their application.

Grantees who have complied with the terms and conditions of a grant previously awarded to them by the Foundation may apply for a second or third grant one year after the award of their previous grant.

Applicants who have previously applied for, but not received, a grant may reapply after two years.

Only those applicants who work in a representational style of painting, drawing, sculpture or printmaking will be considered. The Foundation does not accept applications from commercial artists, graphic designers and illustrators; photographers; cartoonists; animation artists; video artists, filmmakers and digital artists; craft-makers; or any artist whose work falls primarily into these categories. The Foundation does not provide funding for the pursuit of abstract or non-objective art.

How to apply

Applications must be completed online, then printed, dated and signed by the applicant, and submitted by mail. Applicants may not submit applications by fax, email, internet or other electronic means.

All information, supporting documentation and material required in the Application Form must be provided. Incomplete, unsigned or undated applications will not be considered.

The documents required include:

  • Proof of identity
    A copy of an official photograph attesting to the identity, date of birth and address of the applicant (driver’s license, citizenship card, passport photo, student ID, etc.).
  • Proof of acceptance
    If the applicant is applying for a grant to further his or her art education or training, a letter or other proof of acceptance from the school, university or other institution where the applicant intends to study or train confirming his or her acceptance, by name, to the selected program of studies or training for the period or academic year(s) specified.
  • Artistic Proposal
    A detailed description of the proposed work, project, course of study or training that the applicant intends to undertake with a grant from The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, with an explanation of the representative works submitted in support of the application.
  • Budget
    A detailed budget for the proposed work, project, course of study or training described in the applicant’s Artistic Proposal. Please note that grants are not intended for the purchase, construction or improvement of any land or building, or the purchase of materials or equipment of a permanent nature or that have a life beyond the project described in the Artistic Proposal (other than paints, brushes and similar working tools and accessories required in connection with the specific project undertaken).
  • Portfolio
    Images of six representative original works (no more or less) produced by the applicant alone in the last two years, on a USB key or a PC-compatible CD; works submitted with an application for a second or a third grant must be different from those submitted with the previous application(s). Images must be submitted in the required format (see the “Format of Images” section in the Instructions that accompany the Application Form). Material that is not formatted correctly will not be considered. The USB key or CD and the application must be submitted together, not under separate cover. USB keys or CDs submitted to the Foundation will not be returned.
  • Letter of reference
    A signed letter of reference from a teacher or professor, an artist or a gallery, museum or exhibition curator who is known to the applicant and able to support his or her application.
  • Exhibition and press materials
    Copies of invitations, reviews, announcements, press clippings or press releases and other written material relating to any exhibitions or shows of the applicant’s work.

All documents and material must be submitted in French or in English. Documents or material in another language must be provided to the Foundation in their original language, along with a French or English translation.

The Application Form may be accessed by clicking here.

Apply now

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