Our History

The Ukrainian Canadian Art Foundation is a registered charitable foundation that is a very active cornerstone of Toronto’s vibrant Ukrainian community. ʺKUMFʺ, the popular name of our institution is sort of a misnomer. It works only in Ukrainian, as it stands for ʺКанадсько-Українська Мистецька Фундаціяʺ or ʺKУMФʺ. The English name ʺ Ukrainian – Canadian Art Foundationʺ should have produced the acronym UCAF but it never found favour with the public, thus KUMF it remains in both languages.
KUMF was founded in 1975 as a foundation by Mykhailo and Yaroslawa Shafraniuk who loved art and who wished to enrich Ukrainian-Canadian culture. They endowed it with their personal collection which formed the nucleus of our Permanent Collection and gave it the mandate to grow and foster Ukrainian art in Canada. This mandate was an awesome challenge and KUMF took it on with enthusiasm carrying out its activities through the KUMF Gallery. The energy of the respective Boards of Directors and contributions of volunteers produced numerous events, exhibits, and publications. The KUMF Gallery featured well known artists but it also gave beginners their first opportunity to be seen and recognized. The popularity of the KUMF Gallery attracted other organizations to hold their events on our premises and we welcomed their presence. The many lectures and literary evenings held within our walls enriched the cultural life of the community.
Nowadays, the KUMF Permanent Collection consists of more than 500 works of fine art by 155 artists representing a span of over 90 years. The Permanent Collection contains paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture executed in a wide range of artistic styles, genres and media. Works of well-known Canadian and American artists of Ukrainian background, as well as works of outstanding visual artists from Ukraine, dominate the Permanent Collection. Selected art from the Permanent Collection is frequently exhibited in the KUMF Gallery. In 1994, the Foundation donated 38 paintings to the State Museum of Ukrainian Visual Art in Kyiv.
Over the past forty one years, the KUMF Gallery has become a centre of Ukrainian life in Western Toronto, where a large number of Ukrainians live. It is also home to the Ukrainian Association of Visual Artists of Canada