THE PRINCE OF WALES EXTENDS ROYAL PATRONAGE OF WILLOWBANK
As we mark our first decade as an educational institution
Willowbank is pleased to announce that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has decided to extend the Royal Patronage first granted to its School of Restoration Arts in 2014. The news comes as Willowbank prepares for the first day of courses in its 10th anniversary year on September 12.
On the advice of the Government of Canada, applications are made to Royal Family members who grant their Patronage to recognize the achievements of organizations and the contributions of different sectors of public life. Patronages maintained by The Prince, a global leader in sustainable development and the rehabilitation of historic places, reflect his areas of personal interest.
"Willowbank benefits enormously from the leadership of His Royal Highness in advocating an integrated approach to cultural heritage, environmental stewardship and contemporary design,” said Dean of Faculty, Julian Smith, who presented to The Prince in 2014 on his last visit to Canada, “The Prince’s support as our bold educational experiment comes of age is extraordinary.”
Situated on a National Historic Site along the Canada-U.S. border in Queenston, Ontario, Willowbank is unique in the world for its three-year diploma which combines academic with apprenticeship learning. Independent and not-for-profit, it is re-defining approaches to heritage conservation by integrating sustainable development, traditional knowledge and contemporary design. Since 2006, more than 50 diplomas have been awarded and there is a waiting list for teaching positions.
The School’s graduates work across a range of careers, from skilled trades to design firms to community development, with employment levels above those of universities and colleges. They work for skilled tradespeople, architects, local and provincial governments, property managers, and as small business owners. Their portfolio of projects reaches across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.
Willowbank also operates the Centre for Cultural Landscape, a hub of dialogue, research and workshops recently commissioned to inform UNESCO on culture, heritage and urban sustainability at the UN Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador, this October. During Canadian Environment Week in June, in partnership with the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor and The Queen’s Representative in Ontario, Willowbank convened a national conversation with the participation of the Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.
On Wednesday, the Lieutenant Governor visited the Willowbank campus while on a tour of the Niagara Peninsula presenting Ontario wineries to an international audience. Her Honour was accompanied on the visit by Toronto-based diplomatic representatives from 12 countries.
Royal Patronage has created new exposure for Willowbank, and connections with The Prince’s own initiatives, including a partnership signed in April with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community and links with Prince’s Charities Canada. There is no set duration to Patronage and it was originally granted to Willowbank for two years. The first ever recorded Patronage was in the 1750s to the Society of Antiquaries for the study and conservation of art and architecture.
Activities planned at Willowbank during its 10th anniversary year include undertaking capital upgrades to the 180-year old estate house at the heart of the campus, hosting stone masons and carvers at a public festival later in September, and welcoming the annual national conferences of both The National Trust this October, and the Society for the Study of Architecture, in May 2017.