The Canadian Association for Theatre Research was originally created in 1976 under the name “The Association for Canadian Theatre History.” Since its inception it has been the principal catalyst for expansion of theatre research in Canada, as evidenced by the change in name in 1990. It aims to shape Canada’s theatrical present and future by preserving and interpreting our theatrical past and investigating areas of contemporary theory and performance. Specifically, the Association works to promote research and publication of the results of this research into Canadian theatre and drama, to encourage the collection and analysis of Canadian theatre materials, and to maintain a communications network for the exchange of information and research in progress.
The Association’s membership consists of theatre professionals, scholars, students and other interested individuals. Among its activities is an annual conference with papers and addresses on a variety of themes in French and English, and the publication of the bilingual journal Theatre Research in Canada (formerly Theatre History in Canada). It communicates regularly to members to inform them of the Association's activities and of new developments in the field.
The Association seeks to promote public awareness of the tangible significance of theatre and drama to our cultural heritage, and makes representations to various funding bodies to support research in this field.