Why Give to Willowbank?
Donors make Willowbank happen. We are a non-profit, independent institution creating an important new model of post-secondary education in the conservation field, in a dramatic historic setting. There is no ongoing government support for any of our programs, which is both an enormous challenge but also a source of great flexibility and freedom. Under the guidance of a remarkable international Board of Directors, we are able to pursue our vision of a new kind of institution responding to the priorities of a new generation.
Willowbank is at the cutting edge of a global shift towards a more ecological and sustainable approach to heritage conservation and contemporary development. This is a move from the object-centred focus of the 20th Century - buildings, landscapes and artifacts in isolation - towards a more holistic view of their interconnectedness and the rituals that sustain them. It is an approach that is dynamic rather than static, and that celebrates the creative continuity of all cultural traditions.
Willowbank believes that theory and practice are inseparable. This sets it apart from most academic institutions, which privilege abstract theory and the classification of knowledge. It also differentiates it from many skill-training programs, which downplay the academic component. Willowbank gives equal weight to hands-on skills and academic performance, and this is central to all its programs. It also welcomes the intersection of the traditional and the contemporary – the study and practice of appropriate contemporary design and craftsmanship skills is part of its mission.
We need people who share our vision to help support our development as an institution and as a leader in the fields of heritage conservation and contemporary design. It is individual and corporate donors who have created Willowbank and who continue to be its most important source of intellectual and financial support.
To meet the Founding Donors, those who helped create the institution during the critical ten-year period from the beginning of 2002 to the end of 2011, click here.
"Willowbank is a model for sustainability. It is where I found my community of shared ideas and people - a place where I didn't have to choose between using my hands or my mind."
Sasha Knight, Graduating Class 2014
How Will My Support Help?
Your financial support will enable Willowbank to continue delivering its high quality educational programs. It will also help support the conservation of the Willowbank estate, a rare and beautiful National Historic Site with a cultural history stretching back 8,000 years. The Classical Revival mansion and its extensive grounds are the living classroom for our students, who are working to restore it. This approach has the dual benefit of ensuring preservation of the site while providing a unique hands-on learning component to our programs. Willowbank has recently acquired an adjacent historic elementary school complex, which provides another opportunity for careful conservation and creative adaptive reuse.
Join us in the critical five-year period, from the beginning of 2012 to the end of 2016, when we secure Willowbank’s growing international reputation and create a sustainable financial future.For a description of current donor opportunities, click here.
Your donation is an investment in Willowbank, and in a young generation committed to making the world a richer and more sustainable place for all of us.