Armenian Relief Society (A.R.S.) History
The Armenian Relief Society (A.R.S.) is a philanthropic organization, founded in New York City in 1910 by Edgar Agnouni. The primary mission of the A.R.S. was to care for the survivors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. After World War I and II, the A.R.S. played an important role in receiving and resettling thousands of Armenians deported from their homes.
Today, the A.R.S. has grown to over 14,000 members worldwide. The A.R.S. Canada Region branched off from A.R.S. North America in 1990 to better serve the humanitarian needs of the Canadian and Armenian communities. Since it assembled its first convention in 1991 in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, A.R.S. Canada has evolved as a vibrant and progressive entity, in keeping with long-standing A.R.S. traditions.
Armenian Relief Society (A.R.S.) Mission
The Armenian Relief Society (A.R.S.) is an independent, non-governmental and nonsectarian organization, with affiliate groups in 26 different countries serving the social and educational needs of communities everywhere. A.R.S. seeks to preserve the cultural identity of the Armenian nation, and, whenever the need arises, to bring humanitarian help to all communities in distress - Armenian and non-Armenian alike.
A.R.S. pursues the following aims: To promote the spiritual and physical well-being of our communities; to enhance the education of its members and encourage their involvement in public service; to encourage participation in local organizations engaged in community activities and social services compatible with the principles of A.R.S.; and to cooperate with organizations with similar humanitarian aims. www.ars-canada.ca
Armenian Relief Society (A.R.S.) Day School History
A.R.S. Armenian Private School is the largest co-educational, Armenian-Canadian bilingual and bicultural day school in Ontario, catering to students from Kindergarten through to Grade 12. The A.R.S. Babayan Kindergarten and Kololian Elementary School was founded in 1979 by benefactors The Babayan Foundation charity and Mr. & Mrs. Kevork and Armenouhie Kololian respectively. With an initial student roster of only 69 from J.K. to Grade 2, the Armenian Community Centre housed the school’s first classrooms.
In 2001, the ARS Armenian High School was established, starting with the pioneer grade 9 class. In 2004, a new High School and a Youth Centre, adjacent to the Community Centre was completed which now houses grades 4 through 12. Our student body has grown from 69 in 1979 to over 600 in 2016.