The William Shenkman Foundation is governed by an independent Board of Directors. The Foundation has a long history of supporting a wide variety of charities and causes, having supported over 100 charities over the past fifteen years alone. The Foundation remains committed to deliver or support programs which benefit the community overall, with a particular emphasis on programs that benefit children, promote education, and those that serve to enhance the health and well-being of all persons.
Shenkman Arts Centre
In September 2007, it was announced that the William Shenkman Foundation made a $1 million gift to the Arts Ottawa East ARTicipate endowment fund to create a funding vehicle to support the east-end arts community and to create and implement new and expanded arts programs. Financed through a private-public partnership, the new Orleans Arts Centre will be named the Shenkman Arts Centre, and will be a community focal point offering English and French programs and entertainment at all levels.
The Shenkman Arts Centre, which opened in 2009, was being built in Orleans, in the east end of Ottawa. The 84,000 square foot facility features the 500-seat Harold Shenkman Hall, a municipal art gallery, 100-seat studio theatre and visual arts and pottery studios.
The William Shenkman Foundation is committed to supporting programs that benefit the local arts community and education. The Foundation is proud to be part of a program that will ensure a future of arts and culture in this community and supports the various arts partners.
Kids and Value in Motion
The late Harold Shenkman, patriarch of the Shenkman Family, consistently encouraged children to participate in physical fitness activities. In his honour, the Shenkman Family Foundation designed a special initiative to remove barriers for under-privileged children in Ottawa so that they may enjoy a fun, outdoor activity: riding their own bicycle.
“Kids and Values in Motion” is a program whereby the Foundation has chosen to purchase and donate new bicycles to children attending The Beacon Schools for Success in the area. The Foundation has donated more than 4000 bicycles since the program’s inception in 2002. This program is a community partnership between the Foundation, the National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA, the City of Ottawa Public Health and the Ottawa Carleton District School Board.
The Ottawa Carleton District School Board has designated specific schools in their board as Beacon Schools for Success. Beacon Schools for Success are located in areas of the region where the need is greater than others. Each participating school’s graduating class has been chosen to receive bicycles.
The William Shenkman Foundation presents each student (presently attending the graduating classes of their respective schools ~ grades 5 and 6) with a bicycle, safety helmet, lock and bell.
In order to receive these four items, each student is required to write a positive message as part of their curriculum. The positive message depicts the 4 core values of the National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA ~ caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. This exercise of expression allowed the students to articulate their feelings and act as role modes within their respective schools.