How your support helps

Your support is helping Willowbank students to shape the world around us. Willowbank’s approach to hands-on training in traditional building skills provides an intimate understanding of materials and techniques that comprise our heritage structures. At the same time, by exposing our students to contemporary planning approaches and diverse cultural philosophies we are creating a community of meaningful and valuable uses for heritage structures in today’s complex world. Our graduates boast a 96% rate of employment, with 91% of those, employed in the heritage field.

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Rosi Zirger

Class of 2010, Heritage Planner, Ontario Ministry of Culture

"Willowbank offered a unique educational experience. I gained a comprehensive core knowledge of accepted Heritage Conservation theory and practices through a wide range of courses and workshops not obtainable elsewhere. The program allowed me to build on my eclectic educational and work experience to develop solid skills for a growing field. For me the most valuable part of the program was the opportunity to work directly with top architects, conservation specialists and crafts people often working on actual projects involving prominent Canadian heritage buildings."

Carolyn Samko

Class of 2009, Senior Project Manager, City of Hamilton

"While I already had an appreciation for historic architecture, the Heritage Conservation Program at Willowbank has given me a hands-on knowledge of the craft behind the building and a grounding in the ethical decision making processes necessary to making sound decisions when working on heritage buildings. I was given the opportunity to lead, to work on varied and challenging projects and to pursue my own interests. The time I spent here allowed me to access the connections I needed to start my career in the Heritage Conservation field."

Ashleigh Bell

Class of 2013, Heritage Facility Program Coordinator, City of Hamilton

“Adapting and restoring existing buildings and infrastructure to be more efficient and attractive, honouring cultural layers and striving to be socially inclusive are ways that the architectural and planning fields are evolving. Where these themes converge is exactly what the Willowbank program focuses on — in ways that none of the professional design disciplines have really been able to articulate. I find it very amusing that in 2016, the School of Restoration Arts is actually in many ways, the avant-garde design school of our time. I am incredibly proud to be a Willowbank graduate.” 

Elaine Eigl

Class of 2010, Heritage Coordinator, City of Mississauga

“I have thrived as a student at Willowbank. I have finally realized my life’s passion. I have been privileged to participate, in a very small way, in the history of the beautiful building called home by the Hamiltons and the Brights and a few fortunate others.”

Kristina Martens

Class of 2013, Heritage Specialist, Taylor Hazell Architects

“Willowbank provides a deeply immersive experience for its students which has benefitted me greatly in my career. While at Willowbank, I gained practical knowledge in existing heritage policies and the built environment. Coursework in Canadian architecture strengthened my background as an architectural historian providing me with a local understanding of place and a world perspective.”