Since 1972, Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) has been the national advocacy association for the interior design profession. This year IDC is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

To commemorate the milestone, IDC has created a multi-faceted campaign to celebrate interior design and IDC members. The campaign’s focus is honouring designers and showcasing diverse perspectives through the decades – from the early 70s to today, and into the future.

“Our hope is to archive IDC’s history through the collection of stories from those who were engaged in those initial conversations about the possibility of a national association, back in the early 1970s,” says Trevor Kruse, IDC CEO. “We want to preserve memories and pay tribute to those who paved the way for the industry that we all enjoy today and for the future of interior design.”

One of those prominent figures was Saskatchewan-based interior designer, Doris Hasell, who along with many other dedicated volunteers, helped build IDC from the ground up. Unfortunately, some of the original founders have passed on, but those who are still around, like Hasell, have fond memories of those early years.

The Interior Designers Association of Saskatchewan (IDS) was formed in 1968 by eight interior designers in Saskatoon and was one of the original signatories to the IDC charter in May 1972, formalizing IDS with the Saskatchewan government.

“Progress was slow in the beginning, pre-computers and emails; we relied on the post and telephone,” says Hasell. “I think that it took us about three years, and provincial representatives often changed, and agreement of French/English translation of minutes, for example, was always slow and challenging.”

Hasell shares that the practice of interior design in the 70s was different and often challenging because designers had to draw blueprints by hand, write specs on a typewriter, keep a library of numerous resources, run around between clients, architects, engineers, and blue printers.


Fifty years later, Hasell is hopeful that the interior design profession will become more visible, and more designers will become licenced. She believes it will keep the profession going for many more decades to come.

Jennifer Heffel, the 2020-2022 President of Interior Designers Institute of British Columbia (IDIBC) echoes this sentiment. “We are now on the way towards establishing interior design as a fully recognized profession, with IDIBC providing regulatory oversight,” says Heffel. “The regulation of our profession will help protect and safeguard the public, and this next year will be a game-changer.”

Another prominent designer, Georgi Sizeland, was instrumental in the formation of continuing education for interior designers in Canada. She, along with other dedicated volunteers helped form the organization know as the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC).

“Continuing education for interior designers in Canada was not fully initiated until 1983,” says Sizeland.

IDC and the Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba (PIDIM) hosted the International Federation of Interior Designers and Interior Architects Continuing Education Forum in Winnipeg, in August 1983 – one of two key forums focused on the need to develop professional continuing education standards. This resulted in the formation of the Continuing Education Forum with IDC a key founding member. The forum was renamed the ‘Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC)’ in 1991.

Sizeland notes that the interior design continuing education in Canada has gone through many changes.

“The last two years have seen a plethora of online learning in a multitude of formats capturing the most current subject matter. Interior design continuing education in Canada has gone through quite a metamorphosis in the last 50 years. It is exciting to think about what the next 50 will bring,” she says.

Throughout the year, IDC will share articles about interior design trailblazers in the early years who have shaped the organization, honour notable designers who created the much-needed changes within the industry and at IDC and share ideas about the future of design from members who will carry the legacy.

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