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Month: November 2015

Winter is on its way…

Lloyd Johnston and students
Students gather around Blacksmith Lloyd Johnston during a week long introduction to the fundamentals of blacksmithing.
With this warm fall it is hard to believe that winter is almost here and that the Fall semester is almost over. After three months packed with masonry, carpentry and field trips, the students will be heading home for a well-deserved winter break in December.

Support for the Bright Parlour Plaster Restoration continues to grow!!

We have currently raised $2,840 of our overall goal of $20,000 for our first ever online crowdfunding campaign on The National Trust for Canada’s initiative This Place Matters. A big thank you to everyone who has already donated! At the outset RBC Canada pledged to match 50 cents for every dollar raised and has recently upped the ante - announcing that they will match dollar for dollar the amount raised! We have 88 days left in our campaign - and we hope you’ll help us reach our goal! Visit thisplacematters.ca to support this restoration! As a lead up to this restoration, we hope to hold our Spring Lecture Series and a design charrette in April and May 2016, which will focus on just what the restoration of the Bright Parlour will look like - we will announce lecturers as they are confirmed - keep apprised of all of our upcoming events through this website.

Alumni and Student Mixer

At Willowbank we are appreciative of our larger alumni network - and this past month we held an alumni and student mixer to help introduce our current student body to our amazing and successful alumni. We had a great turnout and students got to hear about the successes of our alumni and the impact they are making in the heritage field.  Thank you to everyone who contributed food for this great event!


First year students spent a week learning the fundamentals of blacksmithing and as part of our mandate to foster public education on traditional skills, Willowbank held a public blacksmithing workshop on October 31st with Lloyd Johnston and Lisa Langdon at our lower campus. The workshop was a hit; the class focused on the philosophy and basics of blacksmithing and drew participants from the Niagara area and Toronto.

Grimsby Beach Field Trip

Our students are lucky to have great instructors who work in the field - and are often taken out onto job sites, historic buildings, and exciting neighbourhoods to witness heritage in action. Second year students were able to visit the Grimsby Beach neighbourhood with Willowbank faculty associate and Grimsby planner, Michael Seaman for a tour of the colourful neighbourhood. Students heard about the history of this former Methodist campground from a local historian and were able to discuss the planning tools that could be used to ensure the waterfront neighbourhood’s protection and evolution. Fun facts: Like the Niagara-On-The-Lake Chautauqua neighbourhood and Chautauqua, New York, Grimsby Beach is characterized by the small tent lot sizes, narrow roadways and campground feel unique to these wonderful sites. The Grimsby Beach site was the first of these Methodist campgrounds and features a grove of designated trees from the original campground.

Centre Director Lisa Prosper presents at Cultural Heritage Symposium

Joining esteemed panellists from across the heritage field, including architects, planners, archaeologists, curators and authors, Centre Director, and Faculty Associate, Lisa Prosper presented on the Cultural Landscapes panel.  Lisa spoke to the ecology of place that is fostered when a cultural landscape approach is taken in assessing our heritage places, stating: "Rather than limiting our understanding of cultural heritage to discrete tangible heritage resources, what if we also thought of cultural heritage as the everyday ecology of places that is the amalgamation of all that we do in places, how places look and feel, the complex history of places, the economy of places and the representation of places understood in relation to the physical features, or absence of features, both natural and man made in a given geographical area. Cultural landscapes provide this conceptual framework for understanding the ecology of places as an integrated whole." - Lisa Prosper The Ontario Heritage Trust's Cultural Heritage Symposium was held to help inform the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport's Culture Strategy. The public has until December 8th to comment on the new strategy - you can add your voice at ontario.ca.

Annual General Meeting of the Willowbank Board of Directors

On November 20th, 2015 the Willowbank Board of Directors met for the Willowbank Annual General Meeting. Willowbank is happy to announce that Vikki Broer has accepted the position of Chair of the Willowbank Board of Directors! Willowbank thanks our outgoing Board President Dr. Christina Cameron for her time spent leading the board. Willowbank also extends many thanks to the following outgoing board directors: George Dark, Richard Moorhouse, Donna Scott, Robert Skerker, Sandy Smallwood and Chris Wiebe. As part of conforming to new non-profit legislation in Ontario, our Board of Directors will now consist of a maximum of 11 directors that will be supplemented by advisory committees. Willowbank welcomes its new Board of Directors: Stephen Bedford (Secretary), Emily Bright, Vikki Broer (Chair), Clinton Brown, Elaine Eigl, Michael Howe (Treasurer), Patrick Little, Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone, Brad Nixon, Frank Racioppo.

Spotlight on Alumni

As part of our continuing feature on graduates this month we introduce you to: Elaine Eigl (Class of 2010). Elaine currently works for the City of Mississauga as a Heritage Coordinator - a position that came out of her membership with the City's Municipal Heritage Committee. In her role Elaine undertakes research in support of heritage designations, ultimately helping to write designation by-laws and cultural heritage assessments. She is currently working on her first Heritage Conservation Easement Agreement - a project that encapsulates the Willowbank approach to facilitating heritage conversations - as Elaine helps to mediate the voices of many City departments from Planning to Parks, and Legal to Real Estate. Elaine has sat on the Willowbank Board for the past 3 years. She was the first Alumni to sit on the board and has sat as the Chair of the Capital Advisory Committee. She is also an active member of the Mississauga South Historical Society and Heritage Mississauga.

Willowbank Hoodies and Toques - On sale now!

Haven't started your holiday shopping yet? Look no further! On sale now our Willowbank Hoodies and Toques are the perfect gift for all your family and friends (and maybe yourself, too!). Hoodies: blue with white lettering, available in unisex sizing: S - XL. Available with embroidered lettering = $60; or with printed lettering = $40. Toques: blue with white lettering, one size = $15. Give us a call at (905) 262-1239 to reserve your size - they will be available for pick up on and after December 3rd. hoodietoque


December 3, 2015, 6-7PM - "Build or Rebuild: Transformative Change by Design" - A public Lecture with Jean Carroon - Tickets are $25 and space is limited. Jean Carroon is a Willowbank faculty associate and Principal of Design, Preservation and Sustainability at Goody Clancy Architects in Boston. Her innovative book - Sustainable Preservation: Greening Existing Buildings was published in 2010. DONATE NOW