About the Council
The Council for Canadian American Relations was created in 1972 as American Friends of Canada by prominent U.S. banker David Rockefeller and the late Prime Minister of Canada, The Rt. Hon. Pierre Elliott Trudeau. It was supported by an exceptional group of political and business leaders that included Henry Ford II; Robert Sarnoff, Chairman of RCA; art collectors Norton Simon and Lila DeWitt Wallace, and notable Canadian philanthropist Bluma Appel. The original mission was to foster and encourage awareness, understanding and appreciation between the peoples of Canada and the United States through the arts. These visionaries knew that by creating a tax-wise program to encourage cross-border donations to the arts, they would be opening a door between the peoples of Canada and the United States. It has been a very wide door. Over its 40 years, CCAR has approved more than 100 institutions of art and culture for support. It has loaned and gifted hundreds of works of art and cultural objects to museums, galleries, concert halls, and theaters in Canada and the United States; provided financial assistance in the form of individual grants, annual funding, capital campaign support, and endowments; and established cultural programs that encourage dialogue through the arts between Canada and the United States.
Beginning in 2013, CCAR launched a series of special programs and events celebrating Canadian-American collaborations through the arts to provide even greater support for cultural organizations in the two countries.
Today, CCAR honors the cultural achievement and the leadership of those whose contributions have made a significant impact in both Canada and in the United States. Its special programs and events provide forums to engage in broader dialogue, with a view to strengthening the bonds between the two nations.
CCAR operates a program that makes it possible for individuals in Canada and the United States to receive a tax benefit when supporting arts and cultural institutions across the border. CCAR has been recognized by the US Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt under section 501 c ( 3 ) of the Internal Revenue Code and, as a public charity, is qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions. By making gifts to CCAR, US donors are able to realize tax benefits that they would otherwise sacrifice if they gave directly to a Canadian charitable institution. Additionally, CCAR has been recognized by the Canadian government as a charity to which Canadian citizens may make a donation and receive a Canadian tax credit.