July 2016 – newsletter

Our Dean of Faculty, Julian Smith, pictured here in Union Station, will be featured in this month's Canadian Geographic magazine! (Photo: Jonathan Castellino)
Our Dean of Faculty, Julian Smith, pictured here in Union Station, will be featured in this month's Canadian Geographic magazine! (Photo: Jonathan Castellino)

July Newsletter

We're keeping it short and sweet in the summer heat.

Dean of Faculty to be featured in Canadian Geographic Magazine

One of Canada's best read publications interviews Julian Smith An interview with Julian Smith, the visionary conservation practitioner who continues to shape Willowbank, will run in an upcoming issue of Canada's 3rd-most read magazine, Canadian Geographic, with an audience of millions. The article will comes on the eve of the UN Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador, for which Willowbank was commissioned to inform deliberations on culture, heritage and urban sustainability. Julian led the effort to contribute a North American perspective for the summit which only takes place every 20 years. The Royal Canadian Geographical Society publishes Canadian Geographic, in its mission to foster deeper appreciation of Canada’s natural, cultural and social heritage. The Society's work has intersections with Willowbank's mandate, and among its Fellows are faculty associates Victoria Angel and Lisa Prosper, along with former board chair Christina Cameron and diploma graduate Nigel Molaro. This wonderful exposure comes on the heels of Julian's participation in our Canadian Environment Week salon which airs on CBC Radio One's Ideas later this summer. The October issue of the magazine arrives in stores in early September, or you can subscribe in advance to enjoy Julian's interview at home.

Summer Garden Workshops Continue Generously funded by the Niagara Community Foundation

On July 5th at 7pm, we were excited to have Kerry Royer from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, who came to discuss habitat restoration and re-naturalization. The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority has helped us with our own re-naturalization projects in the Lower Meadow and with our Native Species Garden at the Lower Campus. Upcoming garden workshops will include a children's gardening workshop which will be held with the Niagara On The Lake Horticultural Centre for the Niagara Regional Native Centre's Ak:wego Urban Native Children program mid- August. We will also be hosting a public Foraging workshop right here on the Willowbank estate on September 2, with Jennie from itsawildthing.com, stay tuned for more details but in the meantime you can check out Jennie's amazing foraging photos @realwildthing on Instagram.

Prince’s Foundation for Building Community Summer School Willowbank student and alumni return this week

Current second year student Kitty Mahoney and alumni Ashleigh Bell have been in the UK for the last 3 weeks immersed in a world of traditional design, crafts skills and building. We look forward to a full update on the projects they undertook while in London, UK and Dumfries Scotland. We've been following them on Twitter, and Instagram as they took over the Willowbank accounts for the month of July - check out some of the amazing pictures @Willowbank_ on Twitter and @Willowbankschool on Instagram.

Review of Recipe and Remedies in Upper Canada Published in the Fife and Drum - Fort York's Newsletter

Hannah Peters Jarvis would be proud! Recipes and Remedies in Upper Canada has been reviewed by the Fife and Drum, Fort York's newsletter and you can check it out here.  Edited, compiled and published for Willowbank by Board member and Library and Archives Committee Chair Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone, Recipes and Remedies brings together the recipes of the original residents of Willowbank. Read the review and itching to try some of the recipes for yourself? We still have a few copies left and you can order yours online.

Willowbank Presents: Stonesthrow Stone Festival 2016 - September 30th, October 1st, October 2nd

Join us for a weekend of learning, live music and artisan crafts. This year's "Stonesthrow" Stone Festival will feature a series of lectures, short courses and workshops that celebrate stone and traditional building crafts, including a drystone walling course, stone carving courses, a traditional mortars workshop with an old fashioned lime burn, a plastering workshop and a blacksmithing workshop thrown in for good measure! If you would like to expand your knowledge into the traditional arts and get a taste of Willowbank's curriculum this is the event for you! You'll have access to some of our amazing Willowbank faculty associates - but hurry and book today - spaces are limited! If short courses aren't your thing you can dance the night away on Friday, September 30th to a local band and enjoy some local wine and brew. Or check out live local music throughout the day on Saturday, October 1st and wander through an artisan market with over 20 vendors of handcrafted and vintage wares. Register on-line today for your preferred activity or just mark your calendar for a one of a kind experience!

Summer Experience Spotlight: Sainte-Marie Among The Hurons Justine Southam and Hallie Church

This summer two of our third year students, Justine Southam and Hallie Church have had an amazing in the field conservation experience working on the Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons site in Midland, Ontario. Located on the shores of Georgian Bay, the Huronia park offers an incredible interpretation of one of the earliest - 17th century - settler contact sites in Ontario. Working with Willowbank Faculty Associate and Stone Conservationist Keith Blades and alongside graduates Emma Kuckyt (Class of 2014) and Alex Blades (Class of 2015), Justine and Hallie have gained first hand experience in the documentation, research, analysis and conservation of the remains of one of the The Great Fireplace, that would have been a cookfire in the original village and is still visible within the walls of the recreated village to this day. Through the archaeological documentation the students have been able to trace the evolution of the site through its rediscovery in the early 20th century, through layers of historic interpretations to its current state. A full scale documentation of the fireplace stones was undertaken to ensure a record of existing conditions and to aid in the conservation effort before carefully deconstructing each course from previous layers of inappropriate (too hard!) mortar, conserving individual stones and relaying stones in a soft historic mortar - made with lime fired on site!

Two Weeks in Italy: Messors Summer Program Alumna Theresa Felicetti returns to Fornello

This year Alumna Theresa Felicetti (Class of 2015) returned to Fornello Italy to continue preparing the caves for the use of the traditional shepherds and cheese makers. Combining the protection and documentation of the built heritage site with an understanding of the needs of the current inhabitants who continue to face the destruction of their cultural practises and traditional livelihoods, this year the participants employed dry stone walling techniques to re-stabilize the exterior walls of a cave, learned to remove salt accretions and clean the Frescoes in the caves and took part in archaeological digs throughout the site. You can read more about Theresa's time in Italy and see some of her amazing photos in her blog post.

Upcoming Events

  • Ongoing to August 26th, 10am-4pm, Monday - Saturday, 5 Walnut St, Queenston, Exhibit - Domestic Gems: The Architecture of Nicholson and Macbeth, free admission - donations appreciated!
  • Willowbank presents: Stonesthrow Stone Festival 2016. Join us for short courses, live music and an artisan market on the weekend of September 30th-October 2nd. Find out more at stonesthrow.willowbank.ca. 
  • Interested in helping out? Call Shelley Glica at 905-262-1239 ext. 24 to book your training and become a Willowbank Volunteer today!
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