Facilitating Cross-Border Arts Support for nearly 50 Years



The Council for Canadian American Relations (CCAR) advances the public’s appreciation of the arts by conducting programs and activities in Canada and the United States that support arts and cultural institutions functioning in and between the two countries. 

Christopher Plummer, Jo Carole Lauder, Guy Laliberté, 2019 Gala Honorees

Christopher Plummer, Jo Carole Lauder, Guy Laliberté, 2019 Gala Honorees


The organization was created in 1972, originally as the American Friends of Canada, at the instigation of the late philanthropist Bluma Appel, and through the guidance of the late David Rockefeller and the late Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau. 

CCAR is a U.S. nonprofit 501(C)(3) and is recognized as a Qualified Donee by Canada Revenue Agency under the Income Tax Act (Canada).

CCAR produces special programs that promote artistic excellence, honor cultural achievement, support artistic training for students, and showcase cross-border collaborations. Its activities bring Canadians and Americans together in forums that feature presentations and performances of artistic works from and between the two countries. 

The organization enjoys the support of leaders in business, arts, philanthropy, and public life from Canada and the United States. CCAR has developed meaningful corporate, diplomatic, and institutional partnerships in both countries. 

CCAR’s 15 Honorary Directors are comprised of leaders of distinguished arts institutions in Canada and the United States.

CCAR’s donations program benefits more than 200 cultural organizations. Beneficiaries range in size and scope. 

CCAR has loaned and gifted hundreds of works of art and cultural objects to museums in Canada and the United States.

In 2014, CCAR celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a special Gala in New York. The Consul General of Canada in New York partnered with CCAR to present the inaugural Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Arts in Canada and the United States. Honorees were (the late) Jacqueline Desmarais and Frank O. Gehry.

In 2016, CCAR initiated an annual program of cross-border scholarships to support students in the fields of visual arts and music. In 2019, the program was expanded to provide scholarships in dance and dramatic arts. 

CCAR’s GALA 2017 marked the capstone celebration of CANADA 150 in the United States. The Council’s second Black Tie Gala Dinner in New York City provided awards to The Honourable Hilary M. Weston and Frank Stella. A Special Tribute was presented to Norman Jewison

In 2019, CCAR honored Tony, Emmy, and Oscar winning Canadian actor, Christopher Plummer and American arts advocate and philanthropist, Jo Carole Lauder. The Council’s inaugural Creative Leadership Award was presented to Cirque du Soleil founder and visionary entrepreneur, Guy Laliberté

Gala proceeds support the Council’s annual programs and charitable arts institutions selected by each honoree. 

Banner Image: 2013 Premiere of Wagner’s Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera © Jean-Louis Fernandez. CCAR Cultural Partners: Canadian Opera Company; the Metropolitan Opera