A world where the performing arts reflect our society, challenge us, and inspire human transformation.
To create meaningful connections between artists and the community through inclusive and creative experiences.
Membership in the Society is divided into two classes: voting members and non-voting members. Non-voting members do not have the right to vote at general meetings, however, they are entitled to receive all notices and other information sent to members and are encouraged to attend general meetings.
Voting members include individuals who have been alumni of the College for less than two years, individuals who have made a donation greater than $25 to the Society in the current or immediately previous financial year, and persons who have made an application to the Board to be voting members.
Non-voting members include students at the College, staff, faculty, and individuals who have been alumni for two or more years, unless they are also voting members.
CHAS was incorporated in the province of British Columbia in 1990 for the purpose of promoting the arts through education, training and performance. The society became a registered charitable organization in 1991, and commenced a highly acclaimed national touring program in 1992. It went from “mile zero” on the west coast to “mile zero” on the east coast and back again, followed by a trip through the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. Titled Experience Canada, the tour included presentations of the show Spirit of a Nation, created by Jacques Lemay and Janis Dunning, the founders of the Canadian Heritage Arts Society.
The production reached over 800,000 people at festivals, schools and in theatres. In addition to being nationally televised on CBC, it was also featured in the Canada Day broadcast from Parliament Hill.
Spirit of a Nation was not only a show, but an outstanding youth ambassador and job training program. It offered jobs for university-aged Canadians, training to launch them into professional careers. In the summer of 1997, CHAS brought Spirit of a Nation, and its now renowned training program, home to Victoria, British Columbia. The Canadian College of Performing Arts was then founded in 1998, to promote higher education and support young people who wish to establish careers and contribute to Canadian society. The College benefits promising talent, attracting students from across the nation and around the world.
In 2021, CHAS founders Janis Dunning and Jacques Lemay received the Order of Canada for their numerous contributions to the arts and to the development of young artists.
The Canadian Heritage Arts Society has continually endeavored to invest in the future of Canada by enriching the inter-regional and historical awareness, cross-cultural understanding, and the national pride of our youth.