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Prince Charles and Sahra Campbell

May 2016 – Newsletter

Summer Tidings

We've got big plans for the summer season, we'll be building on our relationship with the Prince's Foundation for Building Community, we'll be hosting an exhibit in conjunction with the Niagara Society of Architects and we are launching a Docent Program!

Willowbank signs Agreement with The Prince's Foundation for Building Community

At the beginning of May, Willowbank was 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. The agreement with The Prince’s Foundation outlines the common goals of both institutions through education and training programmes which transform lives by building resilient communities. Both organizations promote ecological and integrated approaches to design and development that are based on traditional knowledge, innovative sustainable building techniques and best practices in urban design, architecture, planning and construction. The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community runs several courses that aim to address the growing lack of craftspeople skilled in traditional building crafts. Their education work focuses as well on sustainable planning skills, offering both an MA and an MSc in these areas. Both institutions have agreed to collaborate on research and projects and exchange students, faculty and alumni when possible. “This collaboration with the Prince’s established initiative is the perfect opportunity to strengthen our approaches to fostering resilient communities,” said Vikki Broer, Chair of Willowbank’s Board of Directors, “It enriches Willowbank’s role on the world stage as our school programme is about to mark its first decade.” “We are delighted to announce our collaboration with Willowbank,” said Simon Sadinsky, Head of Education. “We share the same vision ­ of transforming lives by building resilient places – and we hope this relationship will help inspire and develop the next generation of craftspeople, architects and others working in the built environment who will help preserve and shape the beautiful, resilient places of tomorrow.” Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2016, the Willowbank School offers an integrative and innovative three-year Diploma in Heritage Conservation that combines the theory and practice of conservation. Its Centre for Cultural Landscape, which builds on the experience of Canada’s First Nations and rich multi-cultural reality of contemporary Canada, also offers field schools, short courses and public lectures. The Prince of Wales became Willowbank’s Patron in 2014.

The Prince of Wales meets a Willowbank graduate for the first time, at Canada House

The announcement of the MOU between PFBC and Willowbank was made on the same day The Prince of Wales visited Canada House in London, home of the Canadian High Commission in the UK. During the visit, which was organized by The Prince's Charities Canada to highlight His Royal Highness's charitable interests in Canada, The Prince of Wales met Sahra Campbell, a graduate of Willowbank's class of 2015 who is working in the conservation field in London Like other Willowbank graduates finding immediate successes across a range of careers, from skilled trades to design firms to community development, Sahra Campbell has made a successful transition to the conservation of historic materials. As part of her Willowbank internship in the United Kingdom, she headed the documentation team for the restoration of the Temperate House at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the world’s largest surviving glasshouse of its time, and she is currently conserving the Victorian interiors of Delapré Abbey in Northampton.
Shaw Street Collective

Portrait of the Grasslands: The Shaw Street Collective Live in Concert May 29th, 2PM, Bright Parlour

The Willowbank Centre is pleased to present a live concert by The Shaw Street Collective in the Bright Parlour on May 29th at 2PM. The concert, entitled Portrait of the Grasslands was conceptualized during an artist residency in the village of Val Marie, Saskatchewan, which borders the Grasslands National Park – 900 square kilometres of bison, badlands, and breathtaking vastness. It is inhabited by people who understand and love where they live. The Shaw Street Collective, which is based out of Toronto, arrived in the prairies last fall with the expectation of beauty, approaching the community and the landscape as indivisible from one another. By combining their visual and musical experience of this unfamiliar space, they were able to enter into an exploration of what it means to take beauty seriously every day. The fruit of this was Portrait of the Grasslands, a show which they toured at venues across Central Canada on the way back to Ontario. The concert performed at Willowbank will include music by Arvo Pärt, Chick Corea, and others, and will also feature some new material and original arrangements and compositions by the group's members. The Shaw Street Collective is a New Classical ensemble made up of trumpet, trombone, marimba, and cello, and will be performing Portrait of the Grasslands in conjunction with the recent release of their EP, Grasslands. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online or at the door.

Yates Street House Domestic Gems: The Architecture of Nicholson and Macbeth Presented in association with the Niagara Society of Architects

This exhibition celebrates the influence of two prominent St. Catharines Architects, Arthur Edwin Nicholson (1881-1945) and Robert Ian MacBeth (1891-1978), on the built landscape of the Niagara Peninsula. Whether working together as the firm of Nicholson and Macbeth (circa 1918 to 1930) or independently, these two men were responsible for much of the region’s best architecture. In the 1930s A.E. Nicholson was responsible for major alterations to Willowbank for the Bright family and for restoring the home of William Lyon Mackenzie, both in Queenston. Opening reception June 11th 6-9 pm.

Willowbank Summer Docent Program Willowbank is looking for Volunteers!

As a not-for-profit organization and National Historic Site we are looking for individuals who are interested in volunteering their time to help share the story of Willowbank through exhibition tours, archive organization and event assistance. Training sessions will be held on June 6, 13 and 20, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. Lunch will be provided. Please contact Shelley Glica at 905-262-1239 ext. 24 or at: shelley.glica@willowbank.ca.
Plane and plan

Infrastructure Upgrades - UPDATE

Throughout the summer, we'll be keeping you posted as our infrastructure upgrades progress. We will be upgrading the water and electrical services and increasing the services within the building. Our ultimate goal is to be able to invite our students, and guests to the Willowbank Estate House all year round for special events. Stay tuned for more updates! All upgrades have been generously supported through private donations for this capital project. If you'd like to make a contribution to these capital upgrades please contact our Director of Operations and Capital Projects, Crystal Bossio at crystal.bossio@willowbank.ca or online here.
Upcoming Events
  • May 29th, 2pm, 2016, Bright Parlour, Shaw Street Collective Live In Concert, Portrait of the Grasslands, Featuring music from their new EP Grasslands - Tickets: $20 - available at the door or online.
  • June 6 - August 26th, 10am-4pm, Monday - Saturday, 5 Walnut St, Queenston, Exhibit - Domestic Gems: The Architecture of Nicholson and Macbeth, free admission - donations appreciated!
  • June 6, 13, 20, Docent Training Days, call Shelley Glica at 905-262-1239 ext. 24 to book your training and become a Willowbank Volunteer today!

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!

DONATE NOWSUPPORT WILLOWBANK Our mailing address is: 14487 Niagara Parkway, Box 212, Queenston, ON L0S 1L0  

Happy Leap Day!

Chloe, Elizabeth and Crystal
Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone (centre) with her Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Trust Award for Lifetime Achievement. She is pictured with Chloe Richer (left), first year student and this year's Oliver-Malone Research, Library and Archives Fellow, and Crystal Bossio, Director of Operations and Capital Projects.
February has gone by quickly and all are happy to have the bonus day this year. Our student's Leap Day's are filled with Conservation Management Plan studies and wood window conservation classes.

Board Member Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone receives the Lieutenant Governor’s Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement

Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Heritage Award on Friday, February 26th at Queen’s Park in Toronto. Elizabeth is a founding Willowbank donor and has been a member of the Willowbank board since 2002 and has worked tirelessly in pursuit of advancing Willowbank’s School. She has been a passionate advocate for the preservation of the Hamilton history, chairing the Library, Research and Archives committee and contributing the Oliver-Malone Fellowship which supports a second year student’s archival activities. Elizabeth’s love of heritage extends beyond Willowbank - she is also a member, artifact contributor and/or volunteer to the Jordan Pioneer Museum of the Twenty and Doon Pioneer Village Museum at Kitchener, the Pennsylvania German Folklore Society of Ontario, Harmony Residents Group, Friends of Fort George, Friends of Lincoln’s History, Friends of Algonquin Park, the Col. John Butler Homestead Fund and the United Empire Loyalists’ Association among others. Elizabeth’s dedication to the social heritage of the 19th century will take published form soon, with a book entitled: Recipes and Remedies in Upper Canada. A compilation of the recipes of Hannah Jarvis, which include instruction on not just food and drink, but recipes for cement, paint, cleaners, cosmetics and medicinal remedies. The book will be available for the public to purchase from Willowbank this summer.

Successful Opening Night for the Raw and Reimagined Photo Exhibit

This past Saturday, February 27th, was the grand opening of the Raw and Reimagined Photo Exhibit. The evening was a great success with over 60 guests arriving to enjoy wine, cheese and fine photography, in support of Willowbank. Many thanks to all the amazing photographers who contributed their work to the exhibit and to our event sponsors: Constellation Brands, Roman Cheese Products and The Queenston Limestone Company. Thanks also to all of the students and staff who helped set up and run the event, especially Theresa Felicetti, a third year student, who organized the entire event. If you missed the opening night - do not fret! The Raw and Reimagined Photo Exhibit will continue to run throughout this upcoming week, and will be open February 29th to March 4th from 10am-8pm and March 5th from 1pm-4pm. The exhibit is being held in the auditorium and second floor of the Lower Campus (former Laura Secord School at 5 Walnut St., Queenston.) The exhibit draws upon the photography of our wider community, bringing together perspectives on place: what they are and what they can be!
Cleveland Trip

Cleveland Field Trip

Each year second year students choose a city to visit in order to experience how heritage is interpreted, defined and evolving in different milieus. Its a chance to be inspired by a new environment and see differing approaches to heritage. This year the students visited Cleveland, Ohio, a city that has seen its fair share of economic decline in the industrial sector but which has experienced some of the amazing creativity that has helped to make many of the other 'Rustbelt' cities bastions for culture, arts and innovative approaches to heritage. While in Cleveland the students met with city planners, visited the Urban Planning Institute and the Museums of Art and Natural History. They also visited the Cleveland quarries and shops, as well as the Briar Hill Stone Company before visiting the shop of stone carver and faculty associate Nicholas Fairplay. They rounded out the trip with a visit to the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative and a tour of the Warehouse district.
Stained Glass

First Year Classes

First years had an exciting February as well! With classes in heritage carpentry, window and wood conservation, masonry conservation theory, stained glass and intangible cultural history. Students also made two field trips - one to Guelph to visit projects under the direction of Architect John Grynham, and one to Toronto to visit Wychwood Barns, Evergreen Brickworks and other adaptive reuse projects.

Open House: April 2nd, 2016

Willowbank is pleased to announce that this year's Open House will take place on April 2nd, from 12pm - 4pm. This year we are excited to be featuring a plaster demonstration and a carpentry demonstration. Staff and students will be on hand at both the Upper and Lower Campus, and will be leading tours and answering questions. This is a great opportunity to see our students in action and experience the Estate. All are welcome to drop in.

Spotlight on Alumni: Douglas Mackay

Douglas Mackay, Class of 2013, is currently an independent woodworker, specializing in the design and craft fine furniture and restoration carpentry. Douglas came to Willowbank with a background in history and an interest in quality craftsmanship. He worked in the Yukon with at risk teens immediately prior to his time at Willowbank. With this background, Douglas had and continues to have a specific interest in how culture and heritage can intersect with social justice issues, and help to improve social well-being. Upon graduation from Willowbank, Douglas went on to study at the internationally renowned Fine Woodworking program at the College of the Redwoods in California - he blogged about his experiences - here. With his specialization in fine carpentry Douglas returned to Canada to pursue a career in woodworking. Since returning to Canada he has worked on many restoration projects in Hamilton, Toronto and Montreal, as well as creating commissioned pieces for individual buyers. Doug continues to bridge wood working with social well-being and offers one-on-one woodworking classes that concentrate on mindfulness and "emphasize the fulfillment and well-being of working with your head, hands and heart in balance." Douglas can be contacted for commissioned pieces and restoration work. His website is: douglasmackay.ca.

Upcoming Events