Welcome to WAHC!
The Workers Arts and Heritage Centre was started over 25 years ago by an ambitious and dynamic group of labour historians, artists, and union and community activists who saw a need for a community museum that could celebrate the history of workers and labour. Over the years, we have expanded our vision of work to include both paid and unpaid work, and to be as inclusive as possible of the experiences and histories of the least visible work and workers.
WAHC is housed in the heritage-listed Custom House building. In 1995, after intense work by a volunteer board of directors, the (Ontario) Workers Arts and Heritage Centre purchased the historic Custom House in the north end of Hamilton. The building stood deserted until WAHC was able to purchase it. Over $1.5 million went into the restoration of this majestic historic building.
As a community museum and arts centre, we offer a diverse array of exhibitions, workshops, educational programs, digital projects, and community events that explore perspectives in labour history, social justice, and contemporary labour issues. WAHC also has a permanent collection of artifacts that relate to labour history and workers’ experiences. We bring together members of our community, unions, local arts organizations, workers’ groups, and artists to share and celebrate the stories of working people. Ours our collaborative ventures.