The ICOMOS Canada National Conversation on Cultural Landscape (NCCL) launched its monthly online discussion series as well as its website this fall. The first speaker in the series - Nancy Pollock-Ellwand, VP for North America of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes - looked back in her presentation on the last half-century of landscape thinking in heritage conservation and identified three perspectives - ecological, indigenous and non-Western - as key opportunities and challenges for current and future cultural landscape thinking. The second speaker - Marta Farevaag, Principal of PFS Studio, Vancouver - presented her own evolving thinking on cultural landscapes through a set of her firm's case studies. Both discussions were informative and stimulating and drew participants from across the country and overseas. More speakers are planned and will be announced on the ICOMOS Canada NCCL website. In November, Willowbank’s Lisa Prosper and Victoria Angel were both elected Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. They are shown below with other newly elected Fellows and keynote speakers Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson at the 2015 Royal Canadian Geographical Society Annual College of Fellows Dinner held at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec. At the 2015 Annual Meeting of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (ISCCL) held in November on Jeju Island, Korea, Lisa was elected a Contributing Member of the committee for a three year term. The ISCCL "promotes world-wide cooperation in the identification, increased awareness, study, education and training for protection, preservation, restoration, monitoring, and management of cultural landscapes". Also in November, Lisa joined panellists from across the heritage field, including architects, planners, archaeologists, curators and authors to present on the Cultural Landscapes panel at the Ontario Heritage Trust Cultural Heritage Symposium in support of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s development of the Ontario Culture Strategy. Lisa spoke to the ecology of place that is fostered when a cultural landscape approach is taken in assessing our heritage places, ”Rather than limiting our understanding of cultural heritage to discrete tangible heritage resources, what if we also thought of cultural heritage as the everyday ecology of places that is the amalgamation of all that we do in places, how places look and feel, the complex history of places, the economy of places and the representation of places understood in relation to the physical features, or absence of features, both natural and man made in a given geographical area. Cultural landscapes provide this conceptual framework for understanding the ecology of places as an integrated whole." Centre Associate and Dean of Faculty Julian Smith travelled to Australia in November to be a keynote speaker at the annual conference of ICOMOS Australia entitled Fabric. He then travelled to Bangalore, India to present at the ICOMOS India International Conference of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Theory and Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration and the International Committee on Historic Towns and Villages entitled Conserving Living Urban Heritage: Theoretical Considerations of Continuity and Change.
Now that Willowbank has a growing number of alumni, and our profile is reaching further and further afield, the Centre has introduced an Associate category to identify a small group from within the Willowbank community who shares an interest in cultural landscapes. The Centre is pleased to introduce inaugural associates Julian Smith, former Executive Director of Willowbank, and current Dean of Faculty, and Angela Garvey, the first recipient of the Susan Buggey Cultural Landscape Fellow. Each Cultural Landscape Fellow will automatically become a Centre Associate upon graduation - next up will be Juliana Glassco, currently undertaking an internship at the World Heritage Centre in Paris. ICOMOS Canada elected a new president this spring as well as new members to the board. Christophe Rivet takes over from Centre Associate and Dean of Faculty Julian Smith as the new President of ICOMOS Canada, and Centre Director Lisa Prosper was voted to the ICOMOS Canada Board of Directors for a three year term. The ICOMOS Canada AGM was held in Edmonton this May and was an opportunity to see first hand the work being done on Whyte Avenue using the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) framework.
Every three years, ICOMOS hosts a combined General Assembly and Scientific Symposium. This year was the 18th ICOMOS General Assembly entitled Heritage and Landscape as Human Values, held from the 9th to the 14th of November in Florence, Italy. The event gathered over 1650 participants and guests from 94 countries and saw 73 ICOMOS National Committees represented. Centre Director, Lisa Prosper and Susan Buggey Fellow, Angela Garvey joined a large contingent of Canadian ICOMOS members from across the country attending the event. Led by ICOMOS Canada president Julian Smith, the group gathered informally to talk shop and share experiences at the Assembly, as well as to engage in some strategic discussions regarding Canada’s role at the international level. Also, congratulations to Angela, who presented at the Scientific Symposium.