NEW YORK — The PR Council is expanding its membership to include Canadian agencies through a merger with the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms, which soon will be closing up shop.

The partnership adds 19 Canadian agencies and Canadian offices of global firms to the PRC’s membership, marking the PRC’s first North America expansion in its 26-year history. The group has roughly 150 members.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Canadian membership of CCPRF into the PRC and look forward to the addition of their voices in the critical conversations we are leading to shape the future of the public relations profession,” said PRC president Kim Sample.

The CCPRF will be shutting down after more than 16 years as a volunteer-run organization.

As part of its final year, CCPRF will be honoring students in the field of public relations with awards. The Champions of Public Relations Excellence awards will be open to graduating students at Humber, Centennial College and Durham College, with each school managing the administration process.

“We are proud of our many years of collaboration and cooperation of CCPRF members to promote the role of public relations in business strategy, advance public relations education, champion paid internships, and promote diversity, equity and inclusion in our industry,” says Judy Lewis, volunteer chair of CCPRF and co-founder and partner of Strategic Objectives.

“It has been an honor to serve as chair of CCPRF for more than five years. I am grateful for the support of the past chairs and the many volunteers who have contributed to the success and value of CCPRF since its founding in 2007," Lewis said. “The future is bright for our Canadian members and our profession as an active part of the PR Council.”