The first North American chapter of the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society was established in August of 1963 in the city of Montreal, by uniting the Choir, the Dance ensemble and the Theatre company which had been active in the community since 1955. The Chapter, which later adopted the name Sanahin, has more than 300 members and a large number of supporters who participate in the different cultural activities.

Executive committee, 2017-2018

Tamar Chahinian Chairperson, Movie club, ”Coffee, Tea and Ideas” club and special projects representative.
Rosemarie Sahagian Secretary, Representative of Fine Arts committee, “Story Time” and “Nanor” choir.
Manuel Afarian Treasurer.
Nanor Snabian Representative of Literary events, the Bookstore and The Library.
Rita Chamlian Representative of “Knar” choir.
Hratch Seraydarian Representative of “Ani” dance groups.
Roupen Sarkissian Representative of "Bedros Atamian" Theater group and "Netlinks" group.

A third party, Sossy Bedrossian assumes the accounting of the association.

The Ani Dance Ensemble consists of two folkloric dance groups : one, directed by Mrs. Eva Airapetian, has evolved over the years, and integrates modern creative ideas; the second group, formed in 2016 and directed by Mr. Joe Avakian, is of traditional cultural expression. The dance school has different classes by age group, from 4 to 18 years old. At the age of 18, the dancers join the Ani Dance Ensemble. The different groups present annual shows and perform in various Armenian and multicultural festivals.

The Knar Choir of the Hamazkayin Armenian Cultural Society, was founded in 1940 in Cairo, Egypt, by maestro Yervant Alexanian. When the maestro immigrated to Canada, the Knar Choir was resuscitated and resumed its activities in Montreal in 1964. After the death of Mr. Alexanian, the choral ensemble continued performing and was directed successively by maestros Mr. Bedros Shoujounian, Mr. Ara Alexanian, and Mr. Varuzhan Margaryan. Currently, the choir has members aged between 18 to 55 and is directed by Mrs. Lori Antounian. In addition to the annual concert, it performs at different musical and artistic events.

The bookstore offers publications for sale in various languages (for both adults and children), as well as CDs and DVDs. It is open every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The committee organizes exhibitions of paintings and sculptures, to showcase the works of contemporary artists.

Located at the Armenian Community Center, the library offers the public a large choice of more than 35,000 books in Armenian and other languages. It’s considered to be the richest in North America.

The committee also organizes presentations of new publications contributing to their diffusion to a larger public.

The Club «thé,café Et Opinions» organizes gatherings followed by debates discussing topics related to literature, art and music.

The Chapter oversees a Ciné-club which presents movies from established movie directors. Screenings are followed by a debate.

Story Telling Hour is a monthly activity addressed to children from 4 to 8 years old. The reading and the presentation of a story helps awaken in them the love for books and reading. Every session is followed by manual activities.

The Hamazkayin theatre company staged its first production in 1958. Between 1962 and 1966, it was named Theatre Chirvanzade and was renamed in 1976 after the well-known actor Bedros Atamian. During the past 60 years, under the direction of 16 successive directors and the participation of hundreds of actors and actresses, it staged 68 plays and 80 productions. The Bedros Atamian theater company continues to stage new productions, allowing passionate theater lovers to fulfill their goals.