The CIHC was formally incorporated as a charitable heritage organization in 2002. Since then, the CIHC has been working to promote Canada’s industrial past, and is working towards a permanent home to share all of Canada's industrial culture and history through a Heritage/Cultural space in Brantford.
The CIHC honours Canada's industrial heritage by bringing stories to life through interactive educational projects. We preserve data, resources, and artifacts and interpret it through engaging experiences and exhibits. We create diverse and inclusive heritage/cultural programs centred around industry, labour and environmental history.
Our guiding principles include a greater awareness of industrial achievements and their cultural contribution to the development of Canada. Brantford happens to be an outstanding example of the industrial development that happened in many communities across Canada.
The CIHC is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the traditional and unceded territory of the Neutral, Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon wampum belt covenant between the Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples. The CIHC gratefully acknowledges the stewardship of these Nations and strives to work in partnership with the Six Nations peoples.
The original Canadian Industrial Heritage Centre (CIHC) was born at the Cockshutt Homecoming Festival held in Brantford at Cockshutt Park in June of 2000. 6,500 people travelled from all over Canada, US and beyond, to celebrate the Cockshutt Plow Company. At this seminal event, the CIHC was formed to restore the Main Office, which later, tragically burned to the ground.
However... out of the ashes, an amazing vision has emerged. The CIHC has commissioned numerous structural assessments of the Time Keeper's Office at 66 Mohawk Street, working with Brantford City Council to retain, preserve and promote the structures that are left.
Working with architecture firm, MMMC, a heritage/ cultural space is planned once the site is cleared by the Survivors Secretariat (having once served briefly as a farm area of the Mohawk Residential School)
In 2005, the CIHC published Cockshutt Plant News, a collection of newsletters to employees of the Cockshutt Plow Company during the years of the Second World War. The CIHC has published a newsletter since 2000.
Since 2019, in partnership with Brant Theatre Workshops, Laurier Brantford and the Brant Historical Society, the CIHC has been working on the Memories of Brantford Immigrant Communities and created the Memories Website. Having produced events about the Italian, Jewish and Chinese Community we are now on to the Ukrainian community in 2023.
Some of our other projects thus far have included the creation of an archival system, production of educational materials, and various historical writings on Canada's industrial history, Canada's industries province-by-province, along with the biographies of many big names in Canadian industries.
In 2008 the CIHC became the recipient of a significant collection of artifacts and documents from the Cockshutt Plow Company, generously donated by William H. Cocksutt and his son Dean Cockshutt. William (Bill) Cockshutt is the great-grandson of the founder of the Cockshutt Plow Company. Many of these artifacts are on display at the Waterford Heritage and Agricultural Museum located in nearby Waterford, Norfolk County. The Waterford Heritage and Agricultural Museum generously houses the archival documents of the CIHC.
Board of Directors and Officers
John Kneale, Ottawa, ON
Jean Farquharson, Paris, ON
Christina Han, Brantford, ON
Ray Wright, Brantford, ON