Rich in heritage, alive with culture.
Located on Tupper Street in Alliston, Ontario, the Gibson Centre for Community, Arts and Culture is the perfect example of the unique mix of urban and rural that has come to define this particular community. ‘Rich in heritage’, this historically and architecturally significant landmark dates back to 1889 and was initially built by the Mercer Manufacturing Company, who used the structure as a factory for building farm tools and machinery.
After serving as a farm implement manufacturing factory for many years, It was at this time that the Gibson family purchased the property to utilize for their growing transport operation. Although the structure wasn’t ideal for their business needs, the family recognized the historical and community importance of this landmark and decided to maintain ownership of the property.
The Gibson’s were not the only ones in the community who recognized the importance and the potential of this particular structure. In August of 2000, a group of community leaders presented the Gibson family with op and purchased by a transportation company, made its final transition, officially opening its doors as a new community centre for arts and culture on July 1st, 2001.
Today, the centre is ‘alive with culture’. Used as a meeting space and a cultural hub, the historic landmark has blossomed into a space to showcase, encourage and cultivate a passion for, and knowledge of, the arts and artistic pursuits.
‘Today, the Gibson Centre is ‘alive with culture’. Used as a meeting space and a cultural hub, the historic landmark has blossomed into a space to showcase, encourage and cultivate a passion for and knowledge of the arts and artistic pursuits.’
Regular art exhibitions are always on display at the Gibson Centre and the building maintained ties to the agrarian lifestyle, transitioning into a Co-op where local farmers could purchase grains, farming equipment, farm tools, and machinery.
The 1960’s brought about another change for the building, a change that is reflected in its present day title. an idea for a new direction for the landmark, a direction that would help commemorate its historic importance, provide for its restoration and also help to enrich the local community.
Donated as a non-profit corporation, the building that was once a manufacturing factory, a farmer’s Cofocus on a broad range of concepts and artistic media. In an effort to encourage local creativity, the Centre is also always searching for new ideas, new concepts, and new artistic works and encourages individuals to submit proposals and submissions for exhibitions of artwork in any visual media.
The Gibson Centre also offers visitors the opportunity to catch a live concert in this unique, intimate venue. In fact, it has featured many well-known and talented musicians including Craig Cardiff and John McDermott.
Dance classes are also a regular occurrence. Offering opportunities to learn and express through dance, the centre offers drop-in jazz and contemporary/modern dance classes throughout the year for teens and adults.
If you have a flair for the dramatic, the centre also provides improv and other acting classes and workshops. It’s also home to the Gibson Theatre School, an organization that provides teens and adults with the opportunity to learn and develop their acting chops and find joy in the creative process involved in theatre.
In addition to the Gibson Theatre School, the centre is also home to many other people and organizations including an artist-in-residence, an active group of local artists, the local Alliston Radio Station 92.1 myFM, the Rotary Club of Alliston and the Nottawasaga Handweavers and Spinners Guild.
There’s also a cafe and pub restaurant. Open Tuesday to Thursday from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, the Gibson Cafe provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy the ambiance and stunning architecture of the building, as well as a light lunch and dessert served by friendly volunteers.
For something a little more hearty, visitors can also check out the Mercer Pub. Located in the basement of the Gibson Centre, the Mercer serves up delicious pub-style food and local craft beers, including Creemore and Hockley Beer. Live music and pub nights are often enjoyed here, including the infamous Robbie Burns Night.
For more culinary delights, the centre is also host to ‘Taste of the Town’. This annual event features delicious samples from local restaurants and caterers, live music, as well as a silent auction. All proceeds from this event are used to support the Gibson Centre and the many programs and services it offers.
The Gibson Centre is also available for rent for meetings, special events, and celebrations. In fact, enraptured by its uniqueness, the beautiful architecture and the history of the building, many brides and grooms have chosen the Gibson Centre for their wedding ceremony or reception and it continues to be a popular location for many couples to celebrate their big day with family and friends.
Whether you are looking to immerse yourself in art and culture, experience and appreciate unique architecture and history, or for a beautiful space to hold your next celebration, event or meeting, the Gibson Centre has it all. Stop by today and experience how this unique landmark unites local history, art, culture, creativity, and joy.