Old Firehall Arts Centre
In 2003, Theatre Ancaster and The Hamilton All Star Jazz Band began creating an Arts Centre at The Old Firehall on Wilson Street in downtown Ancaster. The first phase of the project featured new heating and air conditioning, rehearsal space for the two arts organizations, and a small performance space for 75-100 people on the first floor to showcase local talent on the weekends. The project was roundly supported by Ancaster Councillor Murray Ferguson, and funded in part by The Ontario Trillium Foundation.
The warmly decorated performance room holds an audience of 100 comfortably in soft seats and tables for four. The quietly lit lobby contains a bar featuring wine, beer and soft drinks along with light snacks.
Old Firehall Arts Centre at 334 Wilson St. East L9G 2C2 in Ancaster
Gala Opening October 26, 2005
Theatre Ancaster and The Hamilton all Star Jazz Band combined for an evening of great music to celebrate the renovation of the downstairs of the Old Firehall Arts Centre. More than 40 performers delighted the full-to-capacity audience of family, friends, community dignitaries, local politicians who had helped promote the renovation, and members of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Since then, the Old Firehall has housed a variety of plays and concerts for all ages in the community.
Second Floor Renovation 2013
In 2013, Theatre Ancaster was awarded an Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant of $74,700 to upgrade the upper floor of the Old Firehall to provide better use of space for rehearsals and educational program needs. Renovations included new hardwood floors suitable for dance, upgraded electrical, refurbished kitchen servery, new cupboards and added storage areas, larger rehearsal rooms to replace smaller less useful rooms, new automatic shut-off and temperature- controlled washroom taps, and a new washer and dryer facility to enable easier costume maintenance.
The work was carried out by the teachers and students from Mohawk College’s Building and Renovation Program without charge to Theatre Ancaster as part of the three way partnership with Theatre Ancaster, Mohawk College and The Ontario Trillium Foundation. This project marks the first-ever collaboration on a capital project between the Ontario Trillium Foundation and a community college.
Mohawk students received “on-the-job-training” in all aspects of building and renovation from organizing the job with the client to the production of plans, the gaining of permits, and the renovation work itself. Theatre Ancaster gained a refurbished facility through which to serve the community better, and The Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthened its community outreach by fostering a new partnership arrangement that strengthened the skills of college students and provided upgraded community facilities for delivering camp and education programs for young people, teens and adults.
On the Job - Day 1
On the Job - Day 3
On the Job - Day 5
The Finished Product
See the before, during and after photos [pdf] »
Open House May 4, 2013
Theatre Ancaster hosted a fun-filled afternoon for families and friends from the community. Activities included balloons and face painting, performances by members of Stage 2 and Stage 3 youth programs, kid songs with Ben, souvenir pictures of individual youngsters in costume and with props, a giant “Best Wishes” book, refreshments, tours, and video and power point presentations of the renovations. Everyone had a great time celebrating the people and the transformation of the second floor of the now refurbished Old Firehall Arts Centre.
See the open house photos [pdf] »