What is the Hamilton Association?

The Hamilton Association is one of Canada's oldest independent, not-for-profit, cultural organizations. It has its origins in the Hamilton Scientific Association, founded in 1857, and counts among its founding members Dr. John Rae, Arctic explorer and physician, who served as the Association's first Vice-President and second President.

Many prominent Hamilton and area educational and cultural organizations had their beginnings in, or received early support and encouragement from, the Hamilton Association, including the Hamilton Public Library, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and McMaster University.

What does the Association do?

The Association's principal activity is the presentation each year of eight free public lectures. These are open to anyone interested in attending. One of these talks, named in recognition of Dr. John Rae, honours Rae's connection to the Canadian landscape by focussing on a topic related to the Canadian North or the spirit of exploration. From time to time the Association will work with another local educational or cultural organization to co-host a special lecture or similar event. These are also advertised on our Lectures page.

In addition, the Association encourages interest among young people in literature, science and music by providing the following annual awards for local teenagers:

Each year the Association organizes a tour of some local object of interest and a Speakers' Appreciation dinner. These are announced on our Special Events page and at our public lectures.

The Association's annual General Meeting is usually held prior to our public lecture in October. The date and times are listed on our Lectures page and our Annual General Meeting page.

What is a “member” of the Association?

A member is someone who has paid either our annual membership fee or our one-time-only life membership fee.

We encourage everyone to become a member. This is partly for mercenary reasons, as membership fees fund our lecture series and awards and help to defray our mounting operating expenses. More importantly, new members bring new perspectives, new voices and new energy to the Association. Members are always welcome to contact any member of the Executive Council to..

We endeavour to keep our members (and friends) informed in advance about upcoming lectures and other HA activities. Both members and friends receive..

For information about membership fees and other ways of contributing financially to the Association go to our Become a Member page. There you will also find..

Membership Application forms are also available at our public lectures and are distributed with our annual brochure.

Do I have to be a “member” to attend Association activities?

Certainly not!  Our lectures are open to all.  However, we do encourage you to become a member (see above).

What is a “friend” of the Association?

A friend is someone who, although not a member, wants to be kept informed about upcoming lectures and other HA activities and/or makes a special financial contribution to the Association.

You'll get the same mailings as HA members but you won't have the personal satisfaction that comes with having contributed financially to our educational efforts or awards. For instructions on how to add your name to our list of Assocation friends, go to our Become a Friend page.

Is the Association a registered charity?

The Association is recognized as a charitable organization by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Our Charitable Business Number is "11923 6651 RR0001". You will find annual financial and other information about us on the CRA's Charities Directorate website. Search for "Hamilton Association for the Advancement", not our alias "HAALSA".

Contributions for membership and our awards funds are donations for charitable purposes that convey no tangible "benefit" (a CRA term) to the donor. As such they are tax deductible at the CRA-prescribed rates.

Donors who change their address after donating should be sure to inform our Treasurer of their new address.

When does the Association issue tax receipts to its donors?

Please read the information provided on our Receipts page.

Does the Association Issue an Annual Report?

The Association does not issue an annual summary on our activities. However, our latest annual brochure provides details about our lectures series. Our website's Awards page provides details about our awards program and links to lists of recent award recipients. Our recent annual financial statements, the closest thing we have to an annual report, are available on our website, in addition to the CRA's website (see above).

Hamilton Association Executive Council

Title,  Special Interest   Name   Special Interest

Power of the Pen awards
Bernadette Ryan
Past PresidentVivian Lewis
Vice President(to be appointed)
Corresponding SecretaryAurelia Shaw
Recording SecretaryJane Brander
Treasurer and WebmasterDavid Keane
Science Fair Award
Anthony Petric
Young Musician Award
Peter Banting
CouncillorRon Gabor
CouncillorWade Hemsworth
CouncillorHerb Schellhorn

... oversees HAALSA's social media.

For more information, please contact..

Aurelia Shaw, Corresponding Secretary secretary@haalsa.org
tel: 905.527.0080
Bernadette Ryan, President president@haalsa.org
tel: 905.627.0679
David Keane, Treasurer treasurer@haalsa.org
tel: 905.527.0080
David Keane, Webmaster webmaster@haalsa.org
tel: 905.527.0080
The Association's postal address is 42 Head St,
Hamilton, ON
L8R 1P9
The email addresses provided here and elsewhere on this website are subject to the restriction that no business or organization shall send commercial electronic messages (CEMs) to any "haalsa.org" e-address. CEMs are defined in and regulated by Canada's anti-spam legislation (CASL), a summary of which is available on the CRTC website (https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/com500/guide.htm).