Description & History


The Aberdeen Angus Breed has a tradition in Canada going back over 130 years. Today all Angus registration papers are processed through the Canadian Angus Association office in Calgary, Alberta. All animals registered in the Canadian Angus Association Herdbook are 100 per cent purebred.

The Canadian Angus Association registers both red and black Angus. Both colours offer the same traits, but Canadian registration papers easily indicate the colour of the animal.

Angus can be found throughout all provinces and territories in Canada, meaning access to cattle is excellent. Strong commercial demand ensures the basic traits of mothering, muscling and marbling are kept in the forefront. Along with the polled factor, natural to Angus, these traits have often been imitated but never duplicated by other breeds.

Canadian Angus has seen dramatic growth in the past few years, and international interest in our genetics continues to grow. Canadian Angus have been exported with great success to all five continents and are generally regarded to be of superior quality in global genetic circles.


Angus animals arrived in Montreal, Quebec by 1860 and some landed in Victoria, BC in 1874. The first recorded importation was in 1859 by Sir George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson Bay Company. No progeny was recorded, therefore credit for the first productive importation was given to Professor Wm. Brown at the Ontario Experimental Farm in Guelph, Ontario.

“The first of the breed born in North America” is commemorated on a bronze plaque in Guelph recognizing the birth of Eye Bright 2nd on January 12, 1877 sired by the bull Gladiolus.

In 1882 there were 323 Angus imported from Scotland. The Hon. M.H. Cochrane had his headquarters in Montreal and a ranch in Alberta. He purchased ten animals from Scotland in 1881 for the tremendous sum of $9,975. These were the days when top bulls were selling for $300. The town of Cochrane, just west of the city of Calgary, received its name from this early booster of Aberdeen Angus cattle.

By 1884 the Dominion Polled Angus Herd registry was established in Toronto. An unfortunate fire in 1894 destroyed all Aberdeen Angus manuscripts. Circulars were sent to all breeders in an attempt to reconstruct the records. A large number were secured and sent in, but many others were lost.

In 1905 the records were nationalized and the recording office moved from Toronto to Ottawa. Breeders decided to form the Canadian Aberdeen Angus Association to be incorporated under the Dominion Act respecting Livestock Records Association.

The Association chose not to recognize the Old Herd Register but to register all living animals. All animals to be registered had to pass a standard inspection by an authorized inspector, Mr. James Bowman of Guelph, Ontario. Expenses were paid by the Department of Agriculture. He reviewed the records and pedigrees of all Angus cattle in Canada and provided the data for the first Canadian Aberdeen Angus Herd Book published in 1908.


Our Association had a rocky start when two factions, one in the east and the other in the west disagreed on the need for a Canadian Association. The same situation affected other breeds and was resolved only when a suggestion was approved to have one organization formed where all breeds could register. Canadian National Livestock Records was formed and located in Ottawa. Our Registry remained in Ottawa for 90 years until 1996 when the Association assumed responsibility and transferred the records to its office in Calgary.

When the Canadian Aberdeen Angus Association was formed, all officials and directors were from Western Canada and the breed office was established in Winnipeg. The Constitution and Bylaws were approved at a meeting in Brandon, Manitoba on March 1, 1906, and formally accepted by the Minister of Agriculture in Ottawa on July 11, 1906. The “Canadian Aberdeen Angus Breeders Association” was incorporated May 4, 1906. The first Annual Meeting was held in Winnipeg, July, 1906, with the first President, Hon. W. Clifford, of Manitoba.

The head office of the Association did not remain in Winnipeg. It moved to Brandon in 1911, Calgary in 1947, then to Guelph in 1964, to Regina in 1988 and back to Calgary in 1995. In 2013, the Association moved into its first member-owned building in Rocky View County, Alberta, about 10 minutes north of Calgary.



The Canadian Association registers both black and red Angus. The first herdbook specifically excluded males red in color, but red females were permitted. However in 1921 the bylaws were amended to exclude all red animals. Red animals kept occurring in herds and several breeders sought to have them included in the herd book established in 1954 by the Red Angus Association of America.

The Annual Meeting of the Association in 1967 approved a motion that red animals be eligible for registration. This was officially approved by the Minister of Agriculture of Canada on April 3, 1968.

Timeline in Angus History

1859 – Angus Importation

First recorded importation by Sir George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

1877 – Angus Born

First of the breed born in North America at the Ontario Experimental Farm, Guelph, Ontario.

1881 – First Angus Auction

The first auction sale of purebred Aberdeen-Angus in North America was held at the Ontario Experimental Farm in Guelph where professor William Brown held an auction sale. Bulls are recorded as having sold in prices ranges of $116-134 and heifers selling at $306. Two years later the prices of bulls would increase by five times.

1883 – Founding Members in US & Canada

John Geary of Geary Bros at Bothwell, ON was a founding member of the American organization and is so designated on their “Petition for Charter”.

1886 – Productive Importation

323 Angus imported from Scotland to Canada’s Ontario Experimental Farm in Guelph, Ontario.

1884 – Dominion Registry

Dominion Polled Angus Herd Registry established in Toronto.

1894 – Records Destroyed

All breeding records were destroyed by fire and breeders were asked to contribute information to replace lost records.

April 19, 1905 – Government Recognition

Minister, the Honourable Sydney Fisher, the Dominion Department of Agriculture approves the covenant of our Association. Samuel Martin, John Turner, James Bowman, and F.J. Collyer were four members who signed on behalf of the Canadian Angus Association.

March 9, 1906 – National Recording Office

The Live Stock Record Association was incorporated in Ottawa.

May 4, 1906 – Incorporated Association

The constitution and bylaws of the “Canadian Aberdeen Angus Breeders Association” which today is the Canadian Angus Association were approved at a meeting in Brandon, MB on March 1. The Association was officially incorporated on May 4.

July 1906 – Annual General Meeting

Canadian Aberdeen Angus Breeders Association’s first Annual Meeting was in Winnipeg, MB, held with Hon. W. Clifford of Manitoba acting as President.

1908 – First Canadian Herdbook Published

All living animals that passed an inspection were included in the published book.

1908 – Reds First Inclusion

Canadian Aberdeen Angus herdbook published excludes red males but permits red females.

1911 – Office Moved

Head Office moved to Brandon, Manitoba.

December 1912 – First International Win

James D. McGregor of Glencarnock won International Grand Champion Bull, 1st prize Mature Cow, 1st prize 2-year-old Heifer and 1st prize Graded Herd at the Chicago International Show.

December 1920 – First Breed Publication

Canadian Aberdeen-Angus Recorder, edited by Walter Crawford, first published.

March 15, 1921 – Exclude all Reds

Bylaws of the Association were amended to exclude all Red animals.

1941 – Registration of Herd Names Begins

Breeders could register a herd name for their exclusive use for the first time.

June 1, 1942 – Tattoos Become Mandatory

Ear tattoos mandatory.

1947 – Office Moved West

The headquarters moved to Calgary.

1964 – Office Moved East

The head office moved back East but farther this time to Guelph, Ontario.

April 3, 1968 – Red Angus Eligible for Registration

The Minister of Agriculture of Canada officially approved that Red animals be eligible for registration.

1972 – Canadian Red Angus Promotion Society Founded

1976 – First Canadian National Junior Angus Heifer Show

Held at Bashaw, AB.

1985 – Canada Hosts Fifth World Angus Forum

The Queen Mother was an honoured guest for this event held in Edmonton, Alberta.

1988 – Office Moved Back West

The CAA relocated to Regina, Saskatchewan.

1993 – Canadian Angus Foundation Incorporated

Registered charity formed to promote research, historical preservation, education and youth development.

1995 – Office Moves to Calgary

The office again moved this time to Calgary, Alberta.

1989 – Gold Show Program

Developed to provide incentive for breeders to move between regions to show cattle.

1996 – Registry Moves In-House

After 90 years of registering animals through the Canadian Livestock Records Corporation, the Association assumed this responsibility. The Canadian Angus Performance Program was also launched.

1997 – Official Archives Created

A significant donation of memorabilia in 1996 resulted in two custom display cabinets being commissioned and the first official archive display was created in 1997

 1998 – Long-Term Recognition

Members recognized for 50 years or more of continuous membership.

1998 – CAA Goes Online

The Association launched its website

1998 – First Beef Breed to Use DNA Testing

1999 – Angus Tags

Angus-specific ear tags for animals with at least 50% Angus that meet national identification requirements.

1999 – Canada Hosts World Angus Secretariat

Technical meeting.

1999 – CJAA Formed

The Canadian Junior Angus Association was formed.

2000 – Angus Feeder Sales

Association-sponsored sales began for cattle with Angus indicators.

2000 – First Showdown

Canadian Junior Angus Association national show.

2005 – Junior Ambassador Program Created

Robert C. McHaffie Junior Ambassador Program created.

February 2006 – First GOAL Conference Held

Guiding Outstanding Angus Leaders conference arranged by CJAA and held in Calgary, Alberta.

July, 2009 – Canada Hosts 11th World Angus Forum

The first World Angus Forum to include an official youth program. International embryo project allowed other countries to showcase their best through 26 live calves. Over 1500 head stalled in the barns at Spruce Meadows, AB.

2011 – New 75 and 100 Year Awards

The long-term recognition program was expanded in 2011 to recognize members for 75 (Heritage) and 100 (Pioneer) years of continuous family membership.

July, 2011 – Purchase of 2.696 Acres east of Balzac, AB

The CAA Board decides to move forward with constructing the first CAA member-owned national headquarters, seeking to create unprecedented membership value.

2012 – Social Media for CAA Communications

CAA profoundly increases its use of and reliance on various social media platforms to inform and interact with our membership.

June, 2012 – First Building the Legacy Sale

The first sale in support of the Canadian Angus Foundation is held, raising $40,470.

September 24, 2012 – Breaking Ground: New National Headquarters

2012 – Angus Registers More Cattle than All Other Breeds Combined

Angus registrations surpass 50% of all purebred beef cattle registrations in Canada for the first time in recorded history.

October, 2013 – Champion Youth Team Challenge

The New Zealand-hosted World Angus Forum holds first Youth Programme competition in which Canadians bring home both the World Champion and Reserve Champion Team honours.

December 11, 2013 – Angus Central Opens

The first national headquarters owned by the Angus membership, Angus Central, has its Official Opening.

Canadian Angus Association

292140 Wagon Wheel Blvd,
Rocky View County, AB T4A 0E2

Tel: (403) 571-3580
Fax: (403) 571-3599
Toll Free: 1-888-571-3580
Text Line: 587-439-3440*
*Please note: this is an incoming text line only.  Responses will not be given from the same text line.

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Vision: The Canadian Angus Association exists to preserve and expand the Angus breed for Canadian cattle producers and beef consumers, providing the best opportunities for profitability today and for future generations. Mission: To maintain breed registry, breed purity and provide services that enhance the growth and position of the Angus breed.
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