Olga Wirsta Award In Communications, Journalism And Media Studies

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The Olga Wirsta Award in Communications, Journalism and Media Studies was established in 2004 in response to a bequest of the estate of Olga Wirsta.

The purpose of the award is to encourage and assist students in Communications, Journalism or Media Studies at the Masters or Doctoral levels who are enrolled in an accredited Canadian University, during the project, thesis or dissertation phase of their program of study. The project, thesis or dissertation will have as its focus a topical issue of importance to the Ukrainian-Canadian community or alternatively promotes a better understanding of the Ukrainian-Canadian experience.

Selection of the recipient is based on academic excellence, letters of recommendation, and the quality of thesis or dissertation proposal.

Conditions governing the award, including adjudication, rest with CFUS.




Only one award is granted annually to a qualifying student either at the MA or at the PhD level in the amount of $2,500 and $4,000, respectively.




  1. Students enrolled in a graduate program in Communications, Journalism or Media Studies leading towards an MA or PhD degree at an accredited University in Canada;
  2. Student has completed at least one year in the graduate program enrolled in and has achieved an average grade of not less than B+ (or comparable); if it is a 1-year MA program, has completed all the course requirements;
  3. Student is working on (or has completed) as part of the approved course of study a project, research paper, thesis or dissertation that is on a topic related to Canada’s Ukrainian community (see selection criteria below);
  4. Student has not previously received this Award (i.e., applicants may apply more than once but may be awarded only once);
  5. Student is a Canadian citizen or a landed immigrant.




The merits of the submitted project, research paper, thesis or dissertation will be evaluated according (but not limited) to the following criteria:

  1. Contributes to a better understanding of the Ukrainian-Canadian community; and/or
  2. Promotes the economic, cultural, historical, educational, social or political interests of the Ukrainian-Canadian community; and/or
  3. Recognizes or records the achievements or history of the Ukrainian-Canadian community or an individual or group within that community; and
  4. Reflects good scholarship; shows originality or creativity; is well-defined in terms of objectives, implementation and expected results; and
  5. Will be available for public access or dissemination when completed; and
  6. If the project is not yet completed, the Applicant demonstrates ability to successfully undertake and complete the project.




  1. If the project, paper, thesis or dissertation is not fully completed at the time that the Award is to be given, only half the value of the Award will be given to the Applicant, with the balance to be paid out to the Applicant upon the project’s completion and its acceptance by the educational institution where the Applicant is enrolled.  A copy of the finished paper, project, thesis or dissertation must be submitted to the Foundation.
  2. A qualifying Applicant who is also a descendant or relative of a member of the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada will receive extra consideration for being so classified so that, all things being equal, priority would be given to this Applicant.
  3. The decision of the Selection Jury will be final.  No individual critiques will be provided.
  4. All submissions become the property of CFUS; no submitted materials will be returned to the applicant.
WIRSTA Award Application Form