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March/April 2017 Newsletter

First year students investigate stone arch at former Niagara Falls post office.

March and April have been action-packed. Click here for all the details on The APT Stone Arch Competition, the Montreal Roundtable on Heritage, our Stone Conservation Field School in Sainte-Marie Among The Hurons, the THA Canada 150 Event, the return of the 3rd Year students, and more.

February 2017 Newsletter

Second year students look out over Chaudière Falls during their visit to Ottawa in February.
  Field Trip - Second Year Students In Ottawa
A trip to the nation's capitol
As we celebrated Heritage Week, Willowbank second year students took a break from working on their Conservation Management Plans and hit the road to visit Ottawa. The group braved the snowy streets to explore the capital’s heritage, meeting with politicians, tradespeople, community and national advocates, architects and educators in the heritage sector. Students explored the complexity and diversity of Ottawa’s heritage: from the newly-restored Bank of Montreal building, to the redevelopment of the Chaudière Islands District—a cultural landscape with rich indigenous and industrial heritage. A major highlight of the trip included attending the Heritage Ottawa lecture on the new Aga Khan Global Centre for Pluralism. Willowbank also shared thoughts on the importance of heritage to community and economic development, and the scarcity of heritage skilled trades in Canada with their MP Rob Nicholson with a visit to the Sir John A. MacDonald building. Willowbankers also participated in the NCC Urbanism Lab on Heritage and Sustainability, contributing our ecological approach to heritage and the sustainability of public spaces, buildings and communities. Students enjoyed connecting with fellow Willowbank instructors, alumni and students including Justine Southam, a third year student who is currently completing a stone carving internship with Smith & Barber Atelier. A big thank you to all those who welcomed us to the nation’s capital!

First Year Students in February
Our first year class had a busy February - despite a winter break halfway through the month. Students headed to Buffallo for a visit to the Art Conservation program and labs, for an indepth look at materials conservation. Special thanks to SUNY Buffalo for the warm welcome. Classes also included Fire and Risk Management with Chris Marrion out of New York, where students took an indepth look at the lower campus as a case study. Classes rounded out with a full week of Introduction to Stone Carving with Danny Barber of Smith and Barber Atelier, and classes in Photography and Documentation.

Willowbank Launches Stone Conservation Field School at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons National Historic Site
Willowbank was pleased to announce a three-week field school at Sainte-Marie Among The Hurons in Midland, Ontario which will run from June 10 to June 30 2017. Recognized as one of the first sites of contact between the Wendat peoples and settlers, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is a National Historic Site dating to the 1600s and is part of Huronia Historical Parks run by the Province of Ontario. The field school will focus on the conservation of the 1639 stone fireplace remains located on the site. It is the earliest European masonry located in Ontario and together with other archaeological remains, form the basis of the National Historic Site designation. The field school will be led by Willowbank faculty associate Keith Blades, one of Canada’s leading stone conservationists. Keith has been involved with the conservation of the original stonework at the Saint-Marie among the Hurons site since the mid-1990s and last year he led a team of Willowbank alumni and students on the conservation of one of the fireplaces in the summer of 2016. That project was carried out in conjunction with Philip Hoad, another Willowbank faculty associate, Director of Empire Restoration. To register or for more information on the field school or on Willowbank’s three year diploma program, please visit www.willowbank.ca.  For more information on the Sainte-Marie among the Hurons site and Huronia Historical Parks, visit: www.hhp.on.ca. 

INTBAU Canada Forum Launch
Creating conversations across Canada
We are pleased to launch the INTBAU Canada Forum. Designed to facilitate conversations about traditional architecture and urban issues across Canada. The Forum is accessible for paid members of INTBAU Canada and will host conversations moderated by our INTBAU Intern, Alex Krucker, who was introduced in our January newsletter. To check out the forum and register to join the discussion, please check out the INTBAU Canada website: http://willowbank.ca/wpdir/intbau/.

T.A.L.L TALKS: Traditional Architecture in Local Landscapes
A Willowbank and INTBAU Canada Initiative celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary
INTBAU Canada and Willowbank are proud to launch T.A.L.L TALKS 2017 - a national event meant to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary and inspire Canadians to find inspiration in their local architectural traditions and shine a light on traditional building methods. The aim is for a series of public and free events to occur across Canada throughout June and July. Each event would feature a theoretical and hands-on component. For instance a short lecture from a local historian, architect or enthusiast about a local landmark could be followed by a workshop or demonstration that allows those attending to experience and gain appreciation for traditional building methods key to that landmark’s construction. How it works:
  1. Come up with a lecture topic.
  2. Pair it with a workshop or demonstration.
  3. Find a place to host your lecture and worshop.
  4. Use the promotional materials INTBAU Canada/Willowbank provides to get the word out about your T.A.L.L. Talk.
For more information about how to create your own T.A.L.L talk and to put forward a simple proposal, check out the announcement here.  

October 2016- Newsletter

Second year class finishing up the repointing of portions of the southwest wall. The repointing is a difficult ribbon joint with a traditional lime mortar. Here the students prepare burlap covering which will remain moist for a period of time to moderate the slow curing of the lime mortar.
Second year class finishing up the repointing of portions of the southwest wall. The repointing is a difficult ribbon joint with a traditional lime mortar. Here the students prepare burlap covering which will remain moist for a period of time to moderate the slow curing of the lime mortar.

Students continue with classes; Stone Festival is a Success!; National Trust Conference.
Willowbank's 2016 Stonesthrow Stone Festival A weekend of traditional craftsmanship and live music The weekend of September 30th- October 2nd proved a lovely weekend for Willowbank’s 2016 Stonesthrow Stone Festival, a weekend full of music and traditional craftsmanship. The opening Friday event featured a lecture by Dominion Sculptor Phil White. The lecture was followed by an evening dance with live music by The Hammer Brothers. The Stone Festival proceeded with events across our two campuses. The day featured live music by local musicians, a local artisan market, and short courses in Stone Carving, Blacksmithing, Dry Stone Walling and a Historic Mortars workshop. We thank our instructors Nick Fairplay, Lloyd Johnston, Lisa Langdon, Kenneth Davies, Phil Dolphin, Keith Blades and Alex Blades. Thank you again to our sponsors for the event: Niagara Investment in Culture, Upper Canada Stone, Traditional Cut Stone, Bosley Real Estate, The Town of Niagara-On-The-Lake, Huebel Grapes Estates, Quartek Group Inc., Ontario Power Generation, Oast House Brewery, Reif Winery, Constellation Brands Canada, Jones & O’Connell, LLP, and Lee Valley Tools.

National Trust Conference Hamilton Rising!

The National Trust Conference was held in Hamilton from October 19th-22nd and Willowbank students, alumni, staff and board members were quite involved in the conference events. Third year student Hallie Church was a respondent on the Sustainable Heritage Education roundtable. Alumni Ashleigh Bell, Megan Hobson, Carolyn Samko, Denise Horne, Angela Garvey, and Walter Furlan presented on various panels and led tours of Hamilton. Board member Clinton Brown hosted the Balancing Economics and Heritage Conservation panel, which Executive Director Crystal Bossio presented on. Dean of Faculty Julian Smith presented on Hamilton’s civic renaissance, on the Heritage Education Roundtable, moderated the Urban Exploration panel and presented on Hamilton’s civic renaissance. Crystal Bossio also led a tour of the Willowbank Estate as part of the National Trust event. Many of our students attended evening and weekend sessions of the conference through sponsorships from Allback paints at solventfreepaint.ca and the National Trust for Canada.
Student Classes First-year students have continued with many hands on classes throughout October. Students undertook a full week of Blacksmithing, classes in metal conservation and began on-going classes in drafting, glazing and heritage carpentry. Second-year classes undertook a stone carving session with Danny Barber of Smith and Barber Atelier, a two day session in repointing (on the Estate House) and studied easements with representatives from the OHT and began a course in 3-D drafting. After an action packed September with design classes, timber framing and 3-D drafting our third-year students have begun their internships and research projects.  Three of our third-year students (Laura Wickett, Erin Landry and Mike Dorcas) have contracted positions with the Ontario Heritage Trust. Zara Wexler has left for India where she is undertaking a reseach paper on traditional architecture. Hallie Church has taken a position at ERA Architects. Patrick Brown has begun an internship at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris. Mark Anderson-McGaw has begun a conservation study for the Masonic Hall in Lincoln. Stephen Telford is undertaking research for the Jordan Museum and on a local historic concrete house. Justine Southam has begun an internship in Stone Carving at Smith and Barber Atelier in Ottawa.
Infrastructure Upgrades Update Electrical Site Services installed Work has begun on the interior work for the infrastructure upgrades to the estate. Demolition on the ground floor has begun which will allow for a new sprinkler system to be integrated into the ground floor, new ducting for heat on the second floor and the insertion of an elevator shaft for accessibility.  If you would like to donate funds for the infrastructure upgrades, please click on the support us link below and follow the link to our fundraising website or call us at 905-262-1239.
Celebrate our 10 year anniversary with a Willowbank T-Shirt! In celebration of our 10 year anniversary we’ve printed a new t-shirt. Sizes M-XXL are still available for $20 + shipping.  Give us a call at 905-262-1239 to get yours today.  With fall around the corner, Willowbank hoodies and toques are also available! 2016 T-shirts

Upcoming Events

  • Interested in helping out? Call Shelley Glica at 905-262-1239 ext. 204 to book your training and become a Willowbank Volunteer today!