Hamazkayin’s first-ever North America chapter was established in August 1963 in Montreal, Canada (Quebec province.) The chapter unified the choir, dance ensemble, and theater troupe that had formed in the community since 1955.
The Toronto Chapter (Ontario Province) was created in 1969.
In June 1975, the executive body of Hamazkayin Cultural Association in Eastern North America was formed at the initiative of the two Canadian chapters, as well as of Armenian cultural associations in Boston, New York, New Jersey, and Detroit. The objective of this body was to gather all the groups under the name of Hamazkayin, as well as to foster cooperation amongst them.
The executive body established t he Hamilton and Cambridge chapters of Hamazkayin in 1976. The Vancouver Chapter was established in 1981.
The General Assembly – held in Toronto in December 1976 – decided to unite the Canadian and Eastern USA regions of Hamazkayin. In June 1977, the first regional representative meetings were held in Boston for the Eastern USA region, and Hamilton for Canada Region. Representatives at the meetings elected the first-ever Regional Committees.
In 1978, the Regional Committee of Canada created a book- promotion committee, which took upon the task of distributing Armenian books, recordings, and films in all Canadian cities with vibrant Armenian communities . This is the most well- organized Armenian book- promotion initiative in Canada and consistently satisfies the literary and Armenian textbook needs of Armenian bibliophiles, as well as of the Armenian schools in Canada.
In 2002, taking advantage of a new bylaw developed by the 4th General Assembly, the Regional Committee encouraged the formation of Hamazkayin units.
Thus, in 2006, the Canada region of Hamazkayin boasts the following status, with 347 members.
- Sanahin: Montreal, Laval 269 members
- Klatsor: Toronto , 77 members
- Datev: Cambridge , 7 members
- Varak : Vancouver, 5 members
- Haghpad: Quebec city, 3 members
- Amaras: Hamilton, nominal
- Armash: Saint Catherine’s , nominal
The main task of the Regional Committee in Canada is to invigorate the chapters, as well as to foster relationships between the chapters and those of other regions in North America.
Since 1995, 15-hour summer courses in Armenian studies take place under the sponsorship of the Regional Committee. The courses are taught by specialized guest lecturers from Canada and abroad.
The chapters conduct various activities.
The Sanahin Chapter in Montreal is home to the Ani Dance Ensemble, Bedros Atamian Theater Troupe, Knar Choir, as well as literary, plastic arts, library, and book- promotion committees. It also possesses a unique collection of Armenian royal costumes. The c hapter maintains the biggest Armenian library in Canada with 12,000 volumes. From 1969-1991, the chapter produced the local Hamazkayin radio hour .
Klatsor Chapter in Toronto is home to the Georges Sarkissian Theater Troupe, Erepouni Dance Ensemble, Kousan Choir, and Arshil Gorky art studio. Every September since 2007, the chapter organizes Nour Armenian Film Festival . Furthermore, the chapter also has library and book- promotion committees. The latter also organizes literary events and lectures. In 2005, the construction of Hamazkayin Theater Hall was part of the expansion of the Armenian Center complex and the construction of a youth center in Toronto . The construction was made possible due to the generous donation of Hamazkayin advocates Simon and Maral Haserjians.
The Hamazkayin radio hour has always aired in Hamilton.
For major united events, Hamazkayin collaborates with other Armenian cultural organizations in the community.
Lastly, through its chapters and units Hamazkayin attempts to present the Armenian people and its culture to the people in Canada. Additionally, Hamazkayin aims to have direct input in various inter-cultural and multicultural events and collaborate with specialized local art groups and, through them, present an opportunity for Armenian artists to gain notoriety to a larger public.