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10 Years of Willowbank - A Media Retrospective Looking back at our favourite news articles As part of our continuing celebrations of our 10 year anniversary, Willowbank is pleased to publish a 10 year retrospective of our favourite media coverage. It gives us a great sense of how far the organization has come in 10 years and serves as inspiration for the next 10 years to come.
INTBAU INTERNSHIP Introducing Alex Krucker As part of Willowbank's hosting agreement with INTBAU, Willowbank was most pleased to have the opportunity to support and introduce a new internship for our students. One of our current first year students, Alex Krucker will be the first to take on this mantle. Alex came to Willowbank with a background in Humanities from Carleton University, and experience in heritage restoration working for a developer in his hometown of Guelph, Ontario. As Alex continues his education, he says he has “…come to respect the wealth of historic knowledge and traditional skills as well as their relevance to the modern world,” a sentiment very fitting for the INTBAU internship. As the first of this internship, Alex has been hard at work creating the INTBAU forum, which will be released and announced in the coming weeks. The forum will allow paying INTBAU members and student members the opportunity to have open conversations about traditional building, architecture and urbanism. INTBAU membership fees go directly to supporting the INTBAU intern at Willowbank - if you are interested in becoming a member please join here. 
Niagara Foundation Scholarship At Willowbank our students are fortunate to be supported by our local community and a number of bursaries in honour of local donors and community groups have been established. One such scholarship is the Niagara Foundation Scholarship, which is awarded each year to a third year student who wishes to pursue an independent research project on an architecturally significant building or typology within the Niagara area. Last year’s scholarship was awarded to Sherri Koabel who recently submitted her project on the early Mennonite architecture of the Twenty Valley. We are pleased to announce that this year’s scholarship has been awarded to Stephen Telford. Stephen’s project will focus on a concrete house in St. David’s which is a wonderful and unique example of early cement construction. The house was built by the Ushers of the Queenston Cement Works, which operated from the 1880s to 1905. The house has been home to many distinguished local figures and has an intriguing vernacular form, known by each inhabitant by a different name (‘Glencree', 'Millpond Cottage', and 'M'Benmost Bower’), the current residents refer to it as Greyhame. As part of his study, Stephen is on the lookout for other early concrete/cement buildings of a similar era. Should you know of any or happen to own one within the Niagara region, Stephen wants to hear from you and can be contacted at Stephen.L.Telford@gmail.com. 
Messors Fornello Field School Announcing new Messors Scholarship for Willowbank Students and Alumni Once again we are partnering with Messors, which runs a field school in the region of Puglia, Italy. This year we have been very lucky in that Messors has extended an opportunity for one of our students or alumni to attend the Fornello Sustainable Preservation Project that will run this July. The Fornello site is a fascinating site which includes a cave with Byzantine frescos, twelve additional cave dwellings and evidence of a settlement dating back to the 3rd century B.C.E. The 2017 field school has the aim of working to stabilize the cave entrances and the natural skylights, will incorporate a drystone walling component and will have an introductory module to the restoration of the cave frescoes. In addition, the Fornello project incorporates a fantastic experience of the cultural landscape of the Altamura area, including making cheese and other foods of the area, walking tours of local heritage sites and an introduction to local shepherds whose traditional way of living is being threatened by modern agricultural practises. If you are interested in the Messor’s field schools, please visit their website.
Alumni Spotlight Lisa Palmer Lisa was in the very first year of students that joined the bold experiment at Willowbank in 2006, graduating in 2009. Lisa is a local, and still remains in the Niagara-On-The-Lake area. Since her time at Willowbank, Lisa has had many adventures, working as a heritage consultant on many smaller projects in the Niagara-on-the-Lake community, including the deconstruction and documentation of a historic conservatory. An entrepreneur and small business person, Lisa has run antique shops and home staging companies. Inspired by her time at Willowbank and instructors who introduced her to the beauty of the Niagara River Corridor and how integral it was to the Niagara cultural landscape, Lisa started the successful Niagara Kayak Rentals, which operates guided kayak tours out of Niagara-On-The-Lake and down the Niagara River for a first hand experience of the ecosystem and cultural history of the river. Never one to turn down an opportunity to flex her heritage knowledge, Lisa is also a realtor with Bosley Real Estate where she specializes in heritage home sales.

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)