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Willowbank Signs Agreement with The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community

  Willowbank is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, a non-profit organization in the United Kingdom which has been teaching and demonstrating sustainable development through community engagement, as well as providing training in traditional building skills for over 20 years. The charity was founded by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Patron of Willowbank. Read the full press release here: Willowbank MOU PFBC 2016 May

April 2016 – Newsletter

Graduation 2016
On April 16th Willowbank celebrated it's 8th graduation. Pictured left to right: Dean of Faculty Julian Smith, Angus Affleck, Jeremy Bridge, Leena Ceylan, Theresa Felicetti, Katie Hollingshead, Sherri Koabel, Lita Ratha and MPP Wayne Gates. Congrats Class of 2016!

School's out for Summer

The coming of April has brought the end of another school year, and was marked with great celebrations, fine conversations and a few rounds of farewells. Willowbank wishes all its students a happy summer break!
Class of 2016 Graduation Willowbank welcomed it's 8th graduating class to the ranks of alumni on April 16th, 2016. The beautiful day was accompanied by words of wisdom: MPP Wayne Gates welcomed the class and class representative Sherri Koabel quoted the X-Ambassadors, telling her fellow classmates, "It's our time to make a move; It's our time to make amends; It's our time to break the rules...So let's begin..." This theme was picked up by Dean of Faculty Julian Smith who urged the students to "stand up and make a difference" and to "fight for diversity" stating "you are the generation that is going to make the difference." The graduates were the first class to celebrate their graduation in the Bright Parlour. The ceremony was an intimate gathering of friends and family, who retired to Reif Hall for refreshments before touring the grounds. Willowbank now boasts over 50 graduates, and looks forward to reporting the successes of these new alumni in the years to come.
Elaine O'Sullivan will depart as School's Director in 2016-17 Continues involvement in advisory and teaching rolesElaine O'SullivanWillowbank wishes to announce that Elaine O'Sullivan will be stepping down as Director of School when the new school term begins in September 2016. A passionate advocate for Willowbank's educational programming, Elaine will be assuming her new appointment to the Willowbank Advisory Committee, and will continue to engage its students in a new teaching role as a Faculty Associate. Elaine's involvement with Willowbank began at the Italy Field School in 2013, and ever since, she has helped expand Willowbank's reach in the field of sustainable design. Primed by her graduate work at the Centre of Alternative Technology in Wales, and her experience with natural and historic building practices in Ireland, Germany and Spain, Elaine took on Willowbank's academic programme in summer 2014 having left her native Ireland to pursue a more inter-disciplinary role in the field of heritage. A cornerstone of the educational programming at Willowbank during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, Elaine looks forward to continuing her engagement in her new advisory and teaching roles. She will remain in her current position on a part-time basis this upcoming summer, as we plan for the 2016-17 school year. A call for applications will be announced in the weeks to come.
Willowbank welcomes guests from Clarence House and The Prince's Charities CanadaJames Furse & Amanda SherringtonOn April 15th, Willowbank staff and students welcomed Clarence House Board Member James Furse and his wife Amanda, as well as Matthew Rowe and Amanda Sherrington from The Prince's Charities in Canada. The Prince's Charities Canada celebrated it's 5 year anniversary earlier in the week, and welcomed the Clarence House Board member and his wife to Canada as part of the anniversary proceedings. Willowbank received the patronage of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in 2014 and staff and students were happy to welcome their visitors, providing a tour of the grounds, hands-on demonstrations and conversations on the convergence of sustainable contemporary design, heritage places, traditional trades skills with Willowbank's alternative educational model.
Willowbank Centre's Views On A Room Symposium The Willowbank Centre hosted the Views on a Room Heritage Symposium this past weekend on Saturday, April 23rd. The all-day event featured panels on Conservation Philosophy, Interpretive Approaches and Materials and Systems considerations, and centred on a discussion of the Conservation of the Bright Parlour. The keynote address was made by special guest, Franklin Vagnone, Architect and Public Historian, of the blog twistedpreservation.com and former Director of the New York Historic House Trust. Franklin is the co-writer of the best-selling "Anarchist's Guide to Historic House Museums" and his talk did not disappoint. Franklin seeks to shake up the heritage field by refocusing on innovative programming and putting the needs of the local community at the heart of our heritage places. A big thank you to all of those who came out and participated in the event, including our wonderful panellists, our alumni moderators and our incredibly engaged audience. We look forward to building on the panels' discussions on April 30th and May 1st when students from across Canada and the US will gather at Willowbank to participate in a heritage charette on the Conservation of the Bright Parlour. The Symposium and Charette have been generously sponsored by: Heelis, Little and Almas LLP and Quartek Group Inc. While prizes for the Charette have been provided by the National Trust for Canada and the Ontario Heritage Trust.
Recipes and Remedies in Upper Canada by Hannah Peters Jarvis Edited, compiled and published by Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone Remedies in Upper Canada Willowbank proudly announces that the book "Recipes and Remedies in Upper Canada" is now available. The book, compiled and edited by Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone, features the recipes and remedies of Hannah Peters Jarvis, who lived at Willowbank for over 10 years, and was the mother of Hannah Owen Hamilton, the first mistress of Willowbank. Hannah Peters Jarvis, came to Canada - having been born in the United States and spending much of her youth in England - and moved to Newark as part of Governor Simcoe's government in 1792.  The book features recipes gathered between 1780 and the 1830s, and allows great and delightful insights into the life of an 'elite' woman in Upper Canada in the 19th century. Recipes include New York butter biscuits, corn pudding and preserving of meats, salmon and eggs. There are numerous recipes for ale and practical instructions for the making of cement and paint, candles and cosmetics. A pharmacopeia for children and adults, as well as remedies for cows and horses rounds out the offerings. The book was published through Gaspereau Press and is available for sale for the price of $25 (tax included) + shipping and handling, there are limited quantities available.
  All proceeds from sales go to support Willowbank.
Alumni Spotlight: Sahra Campbell, Class of 2015 Sahra Campbell Sahra came to heritage work with a background in fine arts and furniture making and an interest in the conservation of old buildings. Since graduating from Willowbank, her preference for getting her hands dirty has led her more towards site-based conservation work. In the summer leading up to her third year, she interned at Jablonski Building Conservation in New York and worked on several projects including historic paint research at St. Michael's Cathedral in Toronto and stone conservation work at Prospect Cemetery in Queens, NY. For her third year she moved to London, England. She spent the first twelve months heading the documentation team for the dismantling and restoration of the Temperate House at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. During this time she also undertook a chemistry course for conservators, volunteered on other small projects throughout the city and learned gilding and wood carving from some talented carvers who also quickly became good friends. All of this helped her to lay the groundwork to give it a go on her own and she is now working as a freelance conservator. Working freelance has allowed her to move around on a variety of projects and work with many different people in the field, which she feels is invaluable in these early years of her career. She is currently with Hirst Conservation working on the Victorian interiors of Delapre Abbey in Northampton, where the scope of work includes sensitive cleaning, repairing of decorative plaster ceilings and cornices, researching and matching historic paint finishes, gilding and modeling/casting of lost elements. She finds the work very gratifying and is hopeful that these opportunities will continue to grow and come her way while she is in the UK.
Upcoming Events

March 2016 – Newsletter

Faculty, staff and students attended Université de Montréal's Roundtable on Heritage in March
Faculty, staff and students attended Université de Montréal's Roundtable on Heritage in March. This year's roundtable explored themes of heritage reconstruction and conservation in war torn areas. From left: Julian Smith, Dean of Faculty, Elaine O'Sullivan, Director of School, Patrick Brown, second year student, François Leblanc, Architect and faculty member, and Hallie Church, second year student.

March madness!


March has been a busy month for us here at Willowbank - we've welcomed back our third year students, and are gearing up for the open house and graduation in April. Summer is just around the corner!
 

Open House: April 2nd, 2016 - 12-4PM

Everyone is welcome! Rain or shine! If you are in the Niagara area this weekend you should stop in for our annual Open House.The estate will be open for tours of the house, grounds and community garden; with presentations by Julian Smith, Dean of Faculty and third year student, Angus Affleck held in the Bright Parlour. Current students and alumni will be at work in the workshops and lower campus with demonstrations on carpentry, stone carving, stone conservation, stained glass, plastering and blacksmithing. A bake sale, barbecue and marketplace will round out the activities for the day. We hope to see you there!

Université de Montréal Roundtable

Students, staff and faculty attended the Université de Montréal roundtable in March. The event brings together heritage academics to discuss current trends and topics in Heritage - this year themes of Heritage reconstruction and conservation in war torn areas were explored. Second year students Hallie Church and Patrick Brown represented Willowbank as presenter and rapporteur, respectively. Dean of Faculty, Julian Smith moderator the student discussion, while Director of School, Elaine O'Sullivan presented a Willowbank approach to conservation.

First Years - Plaster, Carpentry and Drafting in March

First year students got down and dirty with plastering classes in March. Students explored traditional plastering methods with instructor John Doran of Acanthus Heritage Plastering, while also experimenting with sustainable additives, like yak and buffalo dung! In other classes, students finished their heritage carpentry first year projects: dado panels. Fashioned by hand from rough lumber to a finished panel, the project explores wood materials from logs to lumber. Students also completed their measured drawings of our drystone forge building.

Second year Classes - Its CMP time!

Second year students have been hard at it all year working on their Conservation Management Plans (affectionately known as CMPs!) and throughout March have been putting together their final presentations and reports. This year's CMPs were three amazing sites - the Mohawk Institute in Brantford, the Cave Springs Conservation Area and the East Seneca United Church. The students will be making their presentations to community stakeholders this week and next. Students also worked on their second year carpentry projects - storm windows for the barn! Students each worked from one barn window, measuring, designing and constructing their own windows. Thomas Neumeyer, a stone conservator from Denmark, also worked with our second year students in March. Thomas, continued projects and work on gravestones from St. Mark's Church in Niagara-On-The-Lake.

Bursary Dinner

Willowbank hosted its annual Bursary dinner in March of this year. Typically celebrated in the fall, we held off on the event in order to align timing with the return of faculty member Thomas Neumeyer, who returns to Canada each year from Denmark to teach stone conservation. We were pleased to welcome Thomas and the Neumeyer family back to Willowbank, where they presented the annual award in memoriam to Per Neumeyer, an influential stone carver and conservator in Ontario. This year's Per Neumeyer bursary went to second year student Laura Wickett. The bursary dinner celebrated the awarding of the Niagara Foundation's student scholarship for 2015-16. This year's scholarship was awarded to third year student Sherri Koabel, who is conducting a study of mennonite vernacular architecture in the Jordan area. Our 2015-16 student fellows were also thanked during the celebration, and included: Mark McGaw, the Laura Dodson Student Affairs Fellow; Zara Wexler, the Community Outreach Fellow; Patrick Brown, the Susan Buggey Cultural Landscape Fellow; Chloe Richer, the Oliver-Malone Research and Archives Fellow, Hallie Church, the Library Keeper Bursar. Our board member and history keeper, Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone was also recognized by the Willowbank community for her recent Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Third Year Students return!

Each year, our third year students begin their transition into the heritage field and our curriculum bookends this third year internship and experience year with courses in September and April. We were happy to welcome our third year students back at the end of March. The students got right back into the thick of things with a class in Joinery, an Urban Regeneration module with a field trip to York Forest Stewardship Council Building where they met with Craig Applegath of Dialog Design, and began work on a Feasibility Study module with Dean of Faculty Julian Smith.
Fornello Sustainable Preservation Workshop in Southern Italy

Workshops in Southern Italy

Last summer, our third year student Theresa Felicetti took part in the Fornello Sustainable Preservation Workshop in Southern Italy run by Messors, an organization that works with the local community to offer select workshops such as art restoration, heritage conservation and culinary history. After, her experience at Fornello, Theresa felt that Willowbank and Messors shared common goals of integrating theory and practice as well as reinforcing the interconnection of people and place, and ensuring the creative continuity of cultural traditions. Theresa will be returning this summer to represent Willowbank and to explore the ways in which the organizations align for future collaborations. Check out Theresa's blog on her experience last year and find out how you can register .
 

Upcoming Events

  • April 23, 2016, Bright Parlour, Views on a Room : Heritage Symposium $80 Tickets - Open to Public!
  • April 30 - May 1, 2016, Bright Parlour, Views on a Room : Heritage Charette $50 Tickets - Open to student participants!

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