In the 1960’s, a unique community development project on Chicago’s west side named “5th City” successfully pioneered the implementation of economic, social, and cultural programs that engaged all the residents in dealing with the problems in their community. The impact of the “Fifth City” project was impressive, and it grew into a global movement that saw the establishment of “Institutes of Cultural Affairs” around the world. ICA Canada was a product of this movement, and was incorporated in 1976.
After 40 years, ICA Canada continues its capacity building work to meet the diverse needs of communities by empowering individuals with practical participatory and self-reflective methods. In leadership workshops in a downtown Toronto hospital, in trainings that help Kenyan villagers expand their successful HIV prevention work throughout their region and in partnering with First Nation’s organizations to reclaim dying languages and restore dignity, well as helping youth find the skills to address their challenges…these are some of the ways in which ICA Canada continues to live its original mandate today.
Our mission remains the same a third of a century later; “ICA Canada exists to develop the capacity of all people to contribute to positive social change.” As we continue to do so, we invite you to join us in both honouring our rich history while unleashing new community-driven futures.