A brief history of the Iroquois Falls Arts Council

The original Iroquois Falls Arts Council was formed and incorporated in 1988, under the leadership of energetic volunteer, Marie Boyle. The main goal of the IFAC at that time was to get a community auditorium built inside the existing local secondary school, which was scheduled to undergo extensive renovations. Marie rallied the stakeholders: the school boards, both French and English; Town Council; the major employer, Abitibi Price; the provincial government; and the federal government. The Arts Council's goal was achieved in 1992, when the newly constructed auditorium opened its doors for the first time, with a concert by the Moe Koffman Quintet. In recognition of Marie's hard work, the newly constructed auditorium was named the Marie and Dr. Michael Boyle Community Auditorium.

Throughout the '90s, the IFAC was busy filling the 385 seats of the auditorium. There were performances for children and adults, in both French and English. However, as so often occurs, the small group of dynamic and dedicated volunteers got tired. Sadly, Marie passed away. Around the year 2000, the IFAC quietly went dormant. The corporation was never dissolved. The bank account was never closed.

In 2015, local resident Louis Decaire, discovered that a small balance of money that had once belonged to the IFAC, had been transferred to the Bank of Canada as a dormant account. "We must bring that money back to Iroquois Falls," said Louis. The decision was made to re-establish the IFAC.

In 2017, a steering committee was formed, tasked with reviving the IFAC from its dormancy. A community survey went out, asking residents what they wanted from their 'revived' arts council. A successful Open House was held for the community in October 2018, letting residents know what the IFAC hoped to offer.

In February, 2019, after an almost 20-year hiatus, the Iroquois Falls Arts Council was formally re-established. The Vision Statement is now broader, “To foster a community that embraces the arts.” The new IFAC emphasizes education in art-related matters, advancing appreciation of the arts and participation in the arts in their diverse forms.

The global COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to our planned fundraising activities, however the Board of Directors continued to meet monthly during 2020 and 2021 to make plans for the future. It is hoped that as soon as the health unit gives the green light, we will be able to resume our fundraising events.

A view of the 385-seat Marie an d Dr. Michael Boyle Community Auditorium, located inside Iroquois Falls Secondary School.