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Willowbank’s Julian Smith named to Order of Canada


Willowbank Centre director Julian Smith named to Order of Canada

 Queenston, Ontario, Canada – December 30, 2016

Willowbank is pleased to announce that Julian Smith, Director of the Willowbank Centre, was today named a Member of the Order of Canada by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. He is among 100 new appointments to one of Canada’s highest civilian honours, recognizing outstanding achievement, community dedication and service to the nation.

The announcement comes during the 10th anniversary in 2016-17 of Willowbank, which Julian has been instrumental in establishing as Executive Director from 2008-2014 and currently as Director of the Willowbank Centre. The more than 50 diploma graduates he has mentored to date have become leaders across a range of careers from skilled trades to design firms to community development. A world-renowned architect, scholar, conservator and educator, Julian’s dynamic career has involved culturally-significant places across Canada, the U.S., France, Italy, India, Sri Lanka and Japan.

“Julian has been fundamental in shaping Willowbank’s unique curriculum in apprenticeship and theoretical learning,” said Crystal Bossio, Executive Director of Willowbank, “he has touched many hearts and minds with his vision for a more sustainable future and we are delighted at this news”.

Julian’s remarkable career includes leading conservation projects at Canada’s Vimy Monument in France, Ottawa’s ByWard Market and Aberdeen Pavilion, Queen’s Park in Toronto, and an historic college in south India. He has also been influential in developing conservation policies worldwide, for federal and provincial agencies in Canada, and through international cultural bodies such as UNESCO, for which he led a North American report on culture, heritage and urban sustainability in his capacity at Willowbank, informing the UN Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016. In August, Julian featured on CBC Radio One’s “Ideas” as part of a Willowbank panel on nature and culture.

Willowbank is a non-profit advanced educational institution based on a National Historic Site on the Canada-U.S. border in Queenston, Ontario. Its interdisciplinary approach to heritage conservation balances skills with theory, raising leaders able to integrate sustainable development, traditional knowledge and contemporary design. This entirely new approach to learning is complemented by the work of the Willowbank Centre to understand the complex connections between natural and cultural heritage. Its Royal Patron is His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who met Julian at a roundtable of urban designers, planners, developers and civic leaders on The Prince’s last visit to Canada in 2014.

Created in 1967, close to 7,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order. Appointments are made by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada. Julian will be invited to accept his insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

The official announcement is available at www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=16670&lan=eng

More information is available in Willowbank’s Annual Report published this month at www.willowbank.ca/wpdir/annual-report-2015-16.

Crystal Bossio
Executive Director, Willowbank
905-262-1239 ext. 205

Download a copy of the News Release: Willowbank_News Release_2016-12-30

Julian Smith in Toronto’s Union Station, 2016 (Credit: Jonathan Castellino)

Julian Smith with students at Willowbank in Queenston, Ontario, 2012 (Credit: Cosmo Condina)