The national voice of the zoo and aquarium community
CAZA-AZAC promotes the welfare of, and encourages the advancement and improvement of, zoological parks, aquariums and related animal exhibits in Canada as humane agencies of recreation, education, conservation, and science.
By standardizing professional conduct and practices through a comprehensive accreditation program with a respected Code of Ethics, CAZA-AZAC member zoos and aquariums are internationally recognized for their high standards of animal care. Many Canadian Municipalities and Provinces have adopted these standards in legislation.
CAZA-AZAC member zoos and aquariums nurture, protect and care for more than 100,000 animals representing over 2000 species, many involved in important ex-situ and in-situ conservation projects. These wildlife ambassadors reach an estimated 11 million annual visitors helping develop an emotional connection, appreciation and concern for wildlife.
Animals and their habitats are respected and valued by all Canadians.
Unite the Canadian zoo and aquarium community in connecting people to nature through demonstrating dedication to conservation and excellence in animal care.
CAZA-AZAC is a registered charitable organization (BN: 123057119RR0001).
Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums - Aquariums et Zoos Accrédités du Canada (CAZA-AZAC), was founded in June of 1975 at the Palliser Hotel in Calgary Alberta, during the regional conference of what was then the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (AAZPA). This organization was later renamed the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). At CAZA-AZAC's formation it was named the Canadian Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums - L'Association Canadienne des Jardins Zoologiques et des Aquariums (CAZPA-ACJZA). This name was changed in 1997 to the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums – L'Association des Zoos et Aquariums du Canada (CAZA-AZAC). In 2012 the name was changed again to Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums - Aquariums et Zoos Accrédités du Canada (CAZA-AZAC).
The annual meetings have become increasingly important venues for discussions of legislation with regulatory agencies. Professional development, presentations of achievement awards and animal exchange activities, all combined to draw increasing numbers of Canadians to the conferences. With the exception of 1995, which was a joint meeting held with the AZA in Seattle, Canadian zoo and aquarium staff have gathered each year in a different Canadian city. The meeting held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 2005 was the 29th time delegates have gathered, this time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of that momentous day in Calgary in 1975.