Happy Leap Day!

Chloe, Elizabeth and Crystal
Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone (centre) with her Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Trust Award for Lifetime Achievement. She is pictured with Chloe Richer (left), first year student and this year's Oliver-Malone Research, Library and Archives Fellow, and Crystal Bossio, Director of Operations and Capital Projects.
February has gone by quickly and all are happy to have the bonus day this year. Our student's Leap Day's are filled with Conservation Management Plan studies and wood window conservation classes.

Board Member Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone receives the Lieutenant Governor’s Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement

Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Heritage Award on Friday, February 26th at Queen’s Park in Toronto. Elizabeth is a founding Willowbank donor and has been a member of the Willowbank board since 2002 and has worked tirelessly in pursuit of advancing Willowbank’s School. She has been a passionate advocate for the preservation of the Hamilton history, chairing the Library, Research and Archives committee and contributing the Oliver-Malone Fellowship which supports a second year student’s archival activities. Elizabeth’s love of heritage extends beyond Willowbank - she is also a member, artifact contributor and/or volunteer to the Jordan Pioneer Museum of the Twenty and Doon Pioneer Village Museum at Kitchener, the Pennsylvania German Folklore Society of Ontario, Harmony Residents Group, Friends of Fort George, Friends of Lincoln’s History, Friends of Algonquin Park, the Col. John Butler Homestead Fund and the United Empire Loyalists’ Association among others. Elizabeth’s dedication to the social heritage of the 19th century will take published form soon, with a book entitled: Recipes and Remedies in Upper Canada. A compilation of the recipes of Hannah Jarvis, which include instruction on not just food and drink, but recipes for cement, paint, cleaners, cosmetics and medicinal remedies. The book will be available for the public to purchase from Willowbank this summer.

Successful Opening Night for the Raw and Reimagined Photo Exhibit

This past Saturday, February 27th, was the grand opening of the Raw and Reimagined Photo Exhibit. The evening was a great success with over 60 guests arriving to enjoy wine, cheese and fine photography, in support of Willowbank. Many thanks to all the amazing photographers who contributed their work to the exhibit and to our event sponsors: Constellation Brands, Roman Cheese Products and The Queenston Limestone Company. Thanks also to all of the students and staff who helped set up and run the event, especially Theresa Felicetti, a third year student, who organized the entire event. If you missed the opening night - do not fret! The Raw and Reimagined Photo Exhibit will continue to run throughout this upcoming week, and will be open February 29th to March 4th from 10am-8pm and March 5th from 1pm-4pm. The exhibit is being held in the auditorium and second floor of the Lower Campus (former Laura Secord School at 5 Walnut St., Queenston.) The exhibit draws upon the photography of our wider community, bringing together perspectives on place: what they are and what they can be!
Cleveland Trip

Cleveland Field Trip

Each year second year students choose a city to visit in order to experience how heritage is interpreted, defined and evolving in different milieus. Its a chance to be inspired by a new environment and see differing approaches to heritage. This year the students visited Cleveland, Ohio, a city that has seen its fair share of economic decline in the industrial sector but which has experienced some of the amazing creativity that has helped to make many of the other 'Rustbelt' cities bastions for culture, arts and innovative approaches to heritage. While in Cleveland the students met with city planners, visited the Urban Planning Institute and the Museums of Art and Natural History. They also visited the Cleveland quarries and shops, as well as the Briar Hill Stone Company before visiting the shop of stone carver and faculty associate Nicholas Fairplay. They rounded out the trip with a visit to the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative and a tour of the Warehouse district.
Stained Glass

First Year Classes

First years had an exciting February as well! With classes in heritage carpentry, window and wood conservation, masonry conservation theory, stained glass and intangible cultural history. Students also made two field trips - one to Guelph to visit projects under the direction of Architect John Grynham, and one to Toronto to visit Wychwood Barns, Evergreen Brickworks and other adaptive reuse projects.

Open House: April 2nd, 2016

Willowbank is pleased to announce that this year's Open House will take place on April 2nd, from 12pm - 4pm. This year we are excited to be featuring a plaster demonstration and a carpentry demonstration. Staff and students will be on hand at both the Upper and Lower Campus, and will be leading tours and answering questions. This is a great opportunity to see our students in action and experience the Estate. All are welcome to drop in.

Spotlight on Alumni: Douglas Mackay

Douglas Mackay, Class of 2013, is currently an independent woodworker, specializing in the design and craft fine furniture and restoration carpentry. Douglas came to Willowbank with a background in history and an interest in quality craftsmanship. He worked in the Yukon with at risk teens immediately prior to his time at Willowbank. With this background, Douglas had and continues to have a specific interest in how culture and heritage can intersect with social justice issues, and help to improve social well-being. Upon graduation from Willowbank, Douglas went on to study at the internationally renowned Fine Woodworking program at the College of the Redwoods in California - he blogged about his experiences - here. With his specialization in fine carpentry Douglas returned to Canada to pursue a career in woodworking. Since returning to Canada he has worked on many restoration projects in Hamilton, Toronto and Montreal, as well as creating commissioned pieces for individual buyers. Doug continues to bridge wood working with social well-being and offers one-on-one woodworking classes that concentrate on mindfulness and "emphasize the fulfillment and well-being of working with your head, hands and heart in balance." Douglas can be contacted for commissioned pieces and restoration work. His website is: douglasmackay.ca.

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