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Liz was the finest friend of Willowbank. Inspired by Laura Dodson’s vision for a School at the Willowbank Estate both Liz and her husband Nick volunteered at fundraising events such as Willowbank’s Lecture Series, Jazz Festivals and soirees. With Dave and Rosamund Hennessey, Liz and Nick even spent many hours groundskeeping the Willowbank estate’s 12 acres. Liz was inspired by Willowbank’s heritage architect and former Executive Director, Julian Smith and was a great friend to his wife Betsy Smith. In 2008, Liz was invited on to the Board of Directors as Chair of the Friends of Willowbank, which she had helped to create—almost single-handedly—and which she ran for many years. This corps of dedicated volunteers and supporters turned out for all the public events and carried the word about this wonderful and exceptional place. Liz loved Willowbank - and took her great affection to all her friends - a myriad of friends, and not just in this town but all over the world. If you were a friend of Liz, you were a Friend of Willowbank. Beyond her loving care and support for her children and grandchildren, her philanthropy also included the grandmothers (nyanyas) of the Stephen Lewis Foundation in Kenya. She faced Nick’s sudden death and later her own illness with courage and resolve. A generous and passionate person, her spirit will continue to inspire all of us here at Willowbank. Liz Ikonikov


As the diploma program in Heritage Conservation at Willowbank is approaching its 10 year anniversary, we will be hosting a photo exhibit that helps to appreciate the beauty of heritage in our communities. The exhibition will be held at Willowbank on February 27, 2016 Every place we encounter presents itself in different forms: what it is, what it was and what it could be. The theme of this exhibition, "Raw and Reimagined" explores these perspectives of place through photography. Our initial introduction to a place is in its rawest form. We can see its current state: as a school or hospital, former industrial site or someone's home. At the same time we also see its layers, the remnants of what it once was. "Raw" calls for photos that capture a place as is, when it is initially experienced, whether it is in use or abandoned. Submitted images can focus on the beauty held within and the story told by the place. Photos can range from those that capture the feel of a whole space or can narrow down to the stories told by specific details (a window frame, a door, or a person interacting with the space etc). Appreciating what a place was, and is, frames our initial experience. We can choose to focus on its current state, or begin to imagine its potential for new uses, new stories and new experiences. The "Reimagined" calls for images that bring that potential to life by taking an existing space and using a traditional form of photo/image manipulation to help a viewer see how a space can take on a new shape and tell a new story. Other ways to convey this are also acceptable. Be creative! Submissions can be sent as JPEG files to tfelicetti@students.willowbank.ca Submission Deadline: February 1st 2016 Email Questions and Submissions to: tfelicetti@students.willowbank.ca
city scape
Photo Credit: Jonathan Castellino
Photo Credit: Jonathan Castellino

Happy Holidays

Sending you the warmest of the Season's Greetings all of the Willowbank Students and Staff!

Over $7,000 dollars raised for Bright Parlour Cornice Restoration

We have currently $7,320 of our overall goal of $20,000 on The National Trust for Canada’s initiative This Place Matters. If you are still looking for a gift for the person who has everything, consider a donation to our Bright Parlour plaster restoration at thisplacematters.ca.

Holiday Party

Staff and students hosted a Holiday Party before the students left for December break. Thank you to everyone who contributed food and items to the silent auction. We raised over $600 from our silent auction!

Willowbank Alumni covered in National Trust Blog

Walter Furlan (Class of 2015) was featured in a recent National Trust blog post entitled: "When the Fix Isn't Big and Small is Beautiful" about urban regeneration in Hamilton, Ontario.

Niagara-On-The-Lake Santa Claus Parade

The weather was great, spirits were high and the atmosphere was festive at the annual Santa Claus Parade. Students and staff came out to celebrate the kick off to the Holiday season and topped off the thirst-inducing day of parading with a few rounds at the pub. A great time was had by all!

Spotlight on Alumni

As part of our continuing feature on graduates this month we introduce you to: Nigel Molaro (Class of 2015). One of our newest graduates, Nigel is currently in Ottawa at Watson MacEwan Teramura Architects, where his primary focus is the preservation of two towers of Parliament's Centre Block. He is a liaison between various disciplines in the project that involves rehabilitating the iconic sandstone, and introducing steel reinforcement inside the 100-foot towers. While on the scaffold, he has been fortunate to see some of Willowbank's faculty associates at work. From a more cultural perspective, Nigel has also been on a team creating values-based design principles for the rehabilitation of the whole building, set to begin in 2018. For him, it's a return to Parliament Hill, where he once worked at the centre of Canada's political life. Nigel continues to be involved in Willowbank, serving on a committee of its board of directors, as well as in the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, where he is a member of its College of Fellows, and he continues to pursue he is special interests in mid-20th century architecture and places of worship.
St. Alfred's Church
Nigel stands in front of St. Alfred's Church, St.Catharines - part of his third year project on Mid-Century Modern Churches in Niagara.

Our Willowbank Hoodies and Toques are still available - the Santa Claus Paraders can attest to their coziness.

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. email willowbank@willowbank to reserve your size and pick up in the New Year.
Santa Claus Parade
Students and staff warm and cozy in their Willowbank hoodies and toques at the Niagara-On-The-Lake Santa Claus Parade.


  • January 6, 2015 - The Willowbank Centre Presents: Interactive Storytelling about Complex Spaces: A discussion with Practical Examples - Introduced and moderated by Evan Wexler. Evan is a visual journalist specializing in innovative and immersive forms of storytelling for PBS Frontline. The evenings presentation and discussion will focus on upcoming works on India and South Sudan.
  • Fan of Photography? Third-year student Theresa Felicetti is planning an upcoming photo exhibit entitled "Raw and Reimagined". The Exhibit will explore how we conceptualize place - as they are and as they could be. For more information about submissions or to be the first to know about the dates of the exhibit join our Facebook page or contact tfelicetti@students.willowbank.ca.