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

J. NELSON SHANKS, 1960 / 1961 Grantee
Danilova's Slipper, 1977
Oil on canvas
© J. Nelson Shanks

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 some 1800 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. 


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.

The Foundation welcomes applications throughout the year; there is no deadline for filing an 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; artists who work in the decorative arts; 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.

The Foundation has no geographic or residency requirements, grants are available to eligible applicants from around the world.




How to apply

In order to apply for a grant, an applicant must use the application accessed from this site. No other form of application will be accepted.

Applications must be completed and submitted online. Applications submitted in any other manner, including by email, mail or otherwise, will not be accepted.

Applicants must provide all of the information and upload all of the material and documentation required for the application. This includes:

  • Personal Information
    Applicant's full name, artist name (if any), gender, date of birth, contact information, country of citizenship, website URL, and how he or she heard about the Foundation.
  • Proof of Identity
    Government issued photo ID and proof of citizenship, current address and date of birth. 
  • Education and Training
    A list of the universities, colleges and art schools attended with the degrees / diplomas obtained and the date (or projected date) of graduation. 
  • Exhibitions
    A list of the exhibitions in which the applicant's work has been displayed during the previous five years, or will be displayed in the next two years.
  • Awards and Prizes
    A list of all awards and prizes received during the previous five years.
  • Portfolio
    Images of six representative works (no more or less) produced in the last two years. These must be original works produced by the applicant alone.
  • Proof of Acceptance
    If the applicant is applying to further his or her art education or training, a proof of acceptance or enrollment from the institution where he or she intends to study or train.
  • Artistic Proposal
    A description of the proposed work, project or course of study or training that the applicant intends to undertake with a grant from The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. 
  • Artist Statement
    A brief artist statement relating to the applicant's previous and current work.
  • Budget
    A budget for the proposed work, project, or course of study or training described in the applicant's Artistic Proposal.
  • Letter of Reference
    A letter of reference from a teacher or professor, an artist or curator who is familiar with both the applicant and the applicant's work and is able to support his or her application.

All documents and material (including the letter of reference) 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. An official translation of certain documents is required; these include all documents relating to the applicant's proof of identity, proof of acceptance to a program of study or training, where required, and the letter of reference.

The Application Form may be accessed by clicking here.

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