The Foundry A History

The creation of Artcast Inc. began in 1964 when three men, Eric Knoespel, Barry Hadley, and Allan Rice were having a quick lunch discussion and they thought that it was time to start their own company.

They met and had been working together at a casting company in Brampton when they decided to strike out on their own. As a result of their lunch discussion, Canadian Investment Casting, a precision industrial casting company was established and was later incorporated to become Mid Canadian Investment Castings Ltd. As an interesting aside, the three partners were really good friends and kept their business relationship quite casual. So much so, that on the way to the lawyer’s office to setup the company they drew matchsticks to establish their administrative structure. Thus it became that Eric was President, Barry was Vice-President and Al became Secretary Treasurer.

The first building that housed Mid Canadian Investment Castings Ltd. Was a double mechanic’s garage on Guelph street at Mountainview Rd. in Georgetown Ontario. As time passed and as they required more space the three partners moved their business down the street to 11 Mountainview Rd. In 1974, ten years after Canadian Investment Castings began, they sold shares to Cercast of Montreal and became Cercor. The experience of working as a supervisor in an industrial casting environment would benefit Eric throughout the years as the driving force behind Artcast Inc.

Mid Canadian’s first non-industrial casting was a 50-year anniversary coin for Milton Hydro Electric in 1964. Years later, Cercor was primarily a high quality industrial foundry, however they would occasionally cast sculptures for artists. One of the first artists to cast with Mid Canadian was Almuth Lütkenhaus. Word spread fast that there was a foundry that was capable and willing to cast high quality fine art pieces. It is very hard to standardize methods and procedures for castings that are as dynamic as works of art. Although all castings are treated like industrial castings, methods had to be adjusted to accommodate challenging gating structure or a solid original might have needed to be made hollow. In order to handle these new castings, a division of Cercor was established and Artcast was born.  Finding the art division to be intriguing and interesting, Eric branched off on his own in 1979 to expand Artcast as its own foundry. With expertise and methods developed for precision casting, Artcast produced and has continued to produce high quality castings for 50 years. Artcast Inc. remained at 11 Mountainview Rd., sharing space with Cercor, until 1981 when it moved around the corner to 14 Armstrong Ave. The new space was better able to accommodate the demands of casting large sculptural pieces. Artcast has remained at this location ever since.

Although in their teenaged years all three of Eric’s children, Andrea, Mona, and Marcus held jobs at Artcast, after graduating high school they went their own directions. In 1988 Marcus and Mona came on board for a second time. Mona was a major part of the customer relations team up until her sad passing in 2006. Marcus was a large part of the technical team an­­d has now stepped up as the current president. Marcus is now the main contact for Artcast Inc. and is currently running the business. Over the years, Artcast has been featured numerous times in national newspapers like the Toronto Star, The Ottawa Citizen, & The Globe and mail, in Magazines like Equinox, and many times in industry specific publications such as Canadian Copper. Artcast has also worked with the Government of Ontario to produce provincial publications regarding sculpture and casting. As the foundry moves forward under the direction of Marcus, there is still a large component involving the casting of works of art. Art is and always has been a huge part of Artcast’s success. Artcast also feels that restorations, reproductions, unique prototypes, architectural elements, and project management are integral to keeping Artcast’s image alive for at least the next 50 years.


Artcast is a member of:

Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce
The Canadian Foundry Association
The American Foundry Association, Ontario Chapter
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Canadian Copper and Brass Development Association
Medallic Art Society of Canada
Supporting Member of the Sculptor’s Society of Canada
Canadian Association for Family Enterprise 
The Investment Casting Institute

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