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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!


September 2016 – Newsletter

Welcome BBQ 2016
Some of the incoming students of Willowbank's 10th class - the Class of 2019! On campus for the welcome barbecue on September 8th.


September News

Students return to Campus as we celebrate 10 years of the Heritage Conservation Program at Willowbank!
Willowbank Welcomes Students for the 2016-17 School year Welcomes 10 year anniversary class Willowbank was pleased to welcome our tenth year of incoming students in this year’s class, just as we received the news of the extension of the Royal Patronage of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. The class of 2019 comes to us with a wide diversity of experience and backgrounds but the common desire to learn about why our historic places matter and how to conserve them in a sustainable fashion. This month the students began classes in cultural landscape theory, archaeology, carpentry and drystone walling among a full slate. We also welcomed home our class of 2018, who have already begun their Conservation Management Plans. This year the class has split into two groups. One group will study the Seneca-Cazenovia district in South Buffalo. The other has taken on the study of Grimsby Beach. The class of 2017 returned for their three week September stint before they head out for their third year internships/projects in October. The class has found interesting internships across Canada and internationally. We have a student who has already made their way to Paris to intern at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, another is headed to India in October to do an intensive research project comparing architectural styles and rituals of different cultural groups, and we have a student interning at a timber framing company in Nova Scotia and another at a masonry company in Ottawa. Closer to home we have a student undertaking a report for a structure in Beamsville, two working for the Ontario Heritage Trust and one at Niagara Parks. We wish them all the best of luck and look forward to seeing them again at the end of March.
LG lunch 2016
The Lieutenant Governor and guests in the Bright Parlour after lunch on the porch at the Willowbank Estate House. The Lieutenant Governor brought her guests, members of the Toronto Diplomatic Corps, to Niagara for the Ontario Wine Awards.

Lieutenant Governor & Toronto Diplomatic Corps visit Campus for Wine Awards

On September 7th, Willowbank was pleased to host the Lieutenant Governor and her guests as they toured Niagara on the occasion of the 2016 Ontario Wine Awards, which encourage Ontario viticulture and wine making. Willowbank’s Executive Director led a tour of the estate for distinguished guests from the Toronto diplomatic corps, representing 13 countries from South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. Guests then retired to the porch for a delicious locally sourced luncheon provided by Niagara College.

Stonesthrow Stone Festival This Weekend!

If you haven’t made your plans to come to this weekend’s Stonesthrow Stone Festival you’ll be missing out! This Friday afternoon Willowbank will welcome Dominion Carver Phil White for the opening lecture at our Lower Campus at 5 Walnut Street. Friday evening, come and enjoy live music with the Hammer Brothers for an old-school gym dance. We are still accepting registration for short courses on Saturday and Sunday - so come and try your hand at drystone walling, blacksmithing or stone carving! Or you can register for our short course on historic mortars which will include a lime burn. If you want to just come and enjoy the campus there will be live music from 12pm-8pm on Saturday afternoon at the Willowbank Estate House, you can enjoy local beer and wine and have lunch while listening to local talent. After lunch you can visit our lower campus, where an artisan market will run from 12pm-4pm, featuring local artisans wares as well as an acoustic stage. Please go to our website stonesthrow.willowbank.ca for more details on vendors, musician lists and short course registration.

Infrastructure Upgrades Update Electrical Site Services installed

The next phase of site servicing has been undertaken with the installation of a new transformer which will increase the electrical supply for the upper campus. Feeding both the barn workshop and the estate house - this work is integral to the sustainablity and accessibilty of the Upper Campus. October will see the interior infrastructure upgrades begin in earnest.

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

Willowbank presents: Stonesthrow Stone Festival 2016. Join us for short courses, live music and an artisan market on the weekend of September 30th-October 2nd. Find out more at stonesthrow.willowbank.ca Community Garden Closing with the Indigenous Community and SOADI - October 7th, 10am-2pm. Interested in helping out? Call Shelley Glica at 905-262-1239 ext. 24 to book your training and become a Willowbank Volunteer today! October 19th-22nd - National Trust for Canada's Heritage Rising Annual Heritage Conference - talks at the event will be given by Willowbank staff and a tour of the grounds is scheduled for registrants - register at nationaltrustconference.ca

August 2016 – newsletter

Ashleigh - summer school
Alumna Ashleigh Bell ('13) at The Prince's Foundation Summer School in Dumfries, Scotland - undertaking a design using traditional building materials and methods.

August Newsletter

The 2016-17 school year is right around the corner!
We've made the move! Willowbank shifts operations to the Lower Campus 
In preparation of a fall schedule of work installing a fire suppression system and other infrastructure upgrades to the Estate House, we’ve moved operations to our Lower Campus. We hope to be back up at the Upper Campus for the Spring/Summer 2017! Classes and events will take place primarily at the Lower Campus and in the barn at the Upper Campus. All of our contact information remains the same (with a few changes to our extensions).
Reimagining Ecology: CBC Radio One’s Ideas with Paul Kennedy
We hope you caught the broadcast of the Ecology Reimagined Salon hosted by the The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, 29th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario on CBC Radio One. The radio coverage was broadcast on Thursday August 25th and featured a conversation between Poplar River First Nation community leader Sophia Rabliauskas, Minister of the Enviroment and Climate Change and MPP for Toronto Centre Glen Murray and our very own Dean of Faculty, Julian Smith. If you missed the broadcast (or just want to listen to it again!) you can tune in anytime online at http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas. 
Willowbank welcomes new Director of Education Nancy Oakley 
Along with our new and returning students who will commence studies in September, Willowbank will welcome its new Director of Education, Nancy Oakley. Nancy comes to us via Whitehorse, Yukon, where she was the Executive Director of the Yukon Historical & Museums Association. Prior to her time in the Yukon, Nancy gained experience in the Heritage field through stints as a Heritage Planning Consultant, Researcher and Heritage Interpretor at various consultancies and planning practises in Ontario, B.C and Alberta. Nancy will bring a passion for heritage education and advocacy and her experience working in the non-profit sector to her position as the head of the Diploma program. She is a board member with ICOMOS Canada and an active volunteer with the National Trust for Canada. Nancy will transition into the role with continued access to our outgoing Director of Education, Elaine O’Sullivan, who will be joining our Advisory Council in the Fall.
aug newsletter 2
Estate House Window Conservation at Willowbank Third Year Student Stephen Telford
At Willowbank we have the opportunity and actively encourage our students to engage with our evolving national heritage site and landscape. Over this past summer, one of our students Stephen Telford (entering 3rd year) has had the chance to experience the hands-on conservation of the Estate House’s ground floor windows. Stephen has undertaken this project from start to finish, from planning to production and now can boast a holistic understanding of window conservation. Stephen began the conservation process through a full conditions assessment of the ground floor windows which he incorporated into a windows documentation of the entire estate house’s glazing - a document Willowbank will be able to use in future years for conservation. Stephen then moved on the planning process, writing full specifications for the windows conservation, from which he was able to quantify his materials and labour needs. Once a full understanding of the planning process for the project was gained, Stephen switched his hat for that of the contractor and began the hands-on work of conserving six of the ground floor windows. Using best practices, including steam removal of paint, and Allbäck products for both the reputtying and repainting of the window sashes, Stephen has gained great knowledge of how to undertake and solve the problems that necessarily arise when working with historic materials during a conservation project. Thank you to our funders for this undertaking: The National Trust for Canada and the Town of Niagara-On-The-Lake. Special thanks to faculty associates: Craig Sims and Walter Furlan for their advice and mentorship.
The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community Summer School Second year student Kitty Mahoney and graduate Ashleigh Bell attend 
This summer Willowbank was excited to extend a generous offer from an anonymous donor to our students and alumni to attend the 27th annual summer school of The Prince’s Foundation held in the UK and Scotland, as we continue to exchange ideas and students through our Memorandum of Understanding with The Prince’s Foundation. The program extends an ecological view for modern design and living that is based in traditional philosophies of building, agriculture and crafts. During their first week of studies, the students were exposed to both life drawing and sacred geometry lessons while studying in London, England. During their second week, the students travelled to Dumfries, Scotland where the students dove into a hands on experience of the traditional crafts including stone masonry, timber framing, lime plastering and — two new areas for our Canadian students — pargetting and thatching. This exploration of drawing in their first week and traditional building methods in their second week of studies, would form the basis for their third week at the Summer School where the students were given the task of designing a building suited to its site in both design and materials. Both Kitty and Ashleigh returned from the summer school inspired and determined to put their lessons to use. Of her time at the summer school, Ashleigh (’13) stated, “ My time in the UK reminded me of my time at Willowbank…how we build and live within our environment affects our psychology, our culture, our well being. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to have gone away and learn from some of the best in design and traditional building and I hope in time to put some of that wisdom to use here in Canada.”  Kitty Mahoney (’18) a current second year student and one of our international students from Buffalo, NY, stated, “The intensive three week program was an invaluable opportunity, which will only continue to prove its worth as I progress in the heritage field…my Willowbank education provided a stable-bridge with my course mates. I felt comfortable not only as an active participant but also as a leader.”
aug newsletter 3
Willowbank Stonesthrow Stone Festival September 30th, October 1st, October 2nd - Shortcourse spots still available
Our Stonesthrow Stone Festival is fast approaching. This year our festival will run September 30th- October 3rd and will feature a slew of short courses in stone work and other traditional building trades. Space is limited in the short courses - so if you’ve always wanted a taste of the Willowbank curriculum - sign up today! Short courses on offer: Intro to Drystone Walling* Intro to Stone Carving Advanced Stone Carving Plastering Blacksmithing Historic Mortars and Lime Burn *Certifications for experienced wallers are available on Monday, October 3rd. If you want to come and check out what’s happening but not immerse yourself fully in the crafts, come have a wander - check out the opening public lecture on September 30th with Dominion Sculptor Phil White and then join us for a dance that evening. Saturday, October 1st will also feature live music all day with an Artisan Market featuring local vendors. We hope to see you there! www.stonesthrow.willowbank.ca
aug newsletter 4 Alumni Spotlight Alex Blades
Growing up Alex was surrounded by heritage conservation, whether it be living in a historic home or visiting sites, literally all over the world.  It was inevitable that she would somehow end up working in historic building conservation. Alex came to Willowbank having studied history and having started a career in the museums field before deciding to make a change to Heritage Conservation. In her third year internship Alex had the opportunity to work on the West Block of the Parliament Buildings Restoration/ Rehabilitation Project in Ottawa and at the Saskatchewan Legislature Building in Regina, as a Junior Conservator for RJW Gem Campbell Stonemasons. Working as part of the masonry conservation team Alex carried out an extensive range of conservation procedures including;  documentation, cleaning techniques, including laser, steam, abrasive and poulticing; mortar patches, crack and injection repairs, and grouting. Alex found her third year to be an incredibly valuable period where she gained varied experience in techniques and skills from stone masons and conservators from all over the world. After her third year internship period, Alex continued in this role for a further 18 months. Currently Alex is working as Site Conservator on a 1640’s masonry ruin at Saint Marie Among the Hurons in Midland. She is responsible for the extensive documentation of each phase of the work; the repair of shattered stones and the take down and rebuilding of the stonework.
Upcoming Events
  • Willowbank presents: Stonesthrow Stone Festival 2016. Join us for short courses, live music and an artisan market on the weekend of September 30th-October 2nd. Find out more at stonesthrow.willowbank.ca. 
  • Interested in helping out? Call Shelley Glica at 905-262-1239 ext. 24 to book your training and become a Willowbank Volunteer today!