ICAC History


Original ICAC Building

130 King Street

Original home of the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre from 1972 to 1975 owned by the Town of Ingersoll. The house was sold in 1975 and the Centre moved to the Old Town Hall building.

History from 1972

The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre (ICAC) was started in 1972 by a small group of people who saw the need for artistic growth in the community. Since then, it has grown into a unique organization with a membership of individuals, families, and students, who actively participate in the multi-disciplined programs and exhibitions offered by the ICAC. This 4500 square foot Centre includes a Fibre Arts Room, fully equipped Pottery Studio, Painting Studio, Exhibitions Gallery, and Gift Shop.

The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre was established to provide the opportunity for creative expression and development of the people of this community. Under the instruction of highly qualified instructors in an open, creative setting, people of all ages and economic levels have found a friendly, nourishing environment in which to explore this aspect of their “being”. For many this has provided a very satisfying leisure outlet and for a significant number, this has been a “launching pad” for exhibitions, awards, and recognitions. It has helped many artists learn about and develop some expertise in operating a small business.

Ingersoll Old Town Hall

Ingersoll Old Town Hall

Located at the corner of King Street West and Oxford Street. Historic home of the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre from 1975 to 1986 until structural problems required the Centre to vacate the building immediately

164 Oxford Street, Ingersoll

164 Oxford Street

Home of the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre from 1986 to 1988. Our first rental property

Boy Scout Hall located in Victoria Park

Boy Scout Hall located in Victoria Park

In 1988, we were offered a vacant building, owned by the Boy Scouts, located in a town park. This building had originally been an on-site office building for the construction of the Canada Cement plant (now Lafarge), in the late 1950’s. All the construction buildings were given to Scout and Guide groups on completion of the project. When the Ingersoll Scouting Group was offered the building, the Town Council permitted them to place it in Victoria Park. Over the years it had become too costly for the Scouts to maintain. After extensive renovations, the building became the new home of Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre.

Volunteers Staining the Exterior

Volunteers staining the exterior

The Town Council granted permission to expand the facility within certain boundaries and in 1991 we embarked on another fund-raising campaign, applied for a Wintario grant and added an approximately 1200 sq. ft., $126,000 Fibre Arts wing to the building, increasing the overall floor space to approx. 4000 sq. ft.. Through the generosity of our members and the community, some profit money from the conference, and the $70,000+ grant, we were able to pay for the new addition in two years without having to take out a bank loan.

Move to our current location in 1992

The plywood-clad building was reasonably sound but had been pretty well boarded up and neglected for some time and so needed a great deal of work to transform it into a working arts Centre. Plans were drawn up and an application was made to the Ontario government for a grant to cover extensive renovations, both inside and out.

A fund-raising campaign was launched, a contractor was hired and members pitched in and did painting, both inside and out, floor refinishing etc. and by September 1988 we moved into the renovated building with many new windows, board and batten exterior siding, and bright well-planned interior.

This new Arts Centre provided widespread interest in the surrounding area and membership began to grow dramatically. At this time also, the Oxford Quilters Guild began working on plans to co-host the Quilt Canada 1990 Conference (national) in Waterloo. This drew many new members to the guild and the meeting space became very overcrowded.

Ribbon Cutting of the new wing (Fall 1992)

Ribbon Cutting of the new wing (Fall 1992)



Building Committee Meeting

Building Committee Meeting

From left to right: Norma Nixon, Pru Barker, Jean Hillis, Shirley Lovell, Ian Robertson, Jim Robins, Pat Gibson

Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre


Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre 1992

This building has served us well. Over those years, small changes have been made to accommodate the growing needs of our Arts community. Two Trillium grants have provided assistance in upgrading office and storage facilities, improved flooring in the pottery studio as well as other necessary repairs. While our focus remains as a teaching and exhibition Centre, we are also moving toward a studio-based facility as more and more of our members come to work on their own projects in this friendly and creative setting.