Category Archives: Events

Centre News – Fall 2015

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. Lisa and Vic RCGS fellows 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.

Centre News – Winter 2015

Capitalizing on the goodwill and camaraderie developed in Florence, along with a strong sense that Canada had a significant contribution to make on the subject of cultural landscapes, a small working group of ICOMOS Canada members, including the Centre's Lisa Prosper and Susan Buggey Fellow Angela Garvey, have begun efforts to facilitate an ICOMOS Canada National Conversation on Cultural Landscapes. More to come soon. Also in December, the interview with Centre Director Lisa Prosper conducted by Ron van Oers during his visit to Willowbank in July 2013 was published in Reconnecting the City: The Historic Urban Landscape Approach and the Future of Urban Heritage, edited by Francesco Bandarin and Ron van Oers. In March, Lisa travelled to the Isle of Vilm, Germany to take part in the final workshop of the Connecting Practice project, which is a joint initiative of ICOMOS and IUCN seeking to define new methods and strategies to support nature and culture through engagement in the World Heritage Convention. "The Connecting Practice project aims to explore, learn and create new methods of recognition and support for the interconnected character of the natural, cultural and social value of highly significant land and seascapes and affiliated bicultural practices." Over the course of four days, the final workshop of 23 participants from 12 countries heard presentations on the three pilot field trips and made a series of key suggestions on lessons learned and next steps for the initiative.

Centre News – Fall 2014

ICOMOS-Canada-Firenze-2014 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.

Centre News – Spring 2014

In part to accompany the announcement of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales agreeing to become the new Royal Patron of Willowbank, Julian and Lisa were invited in May to participate in The Prince’s Roundtable on Urban Sustainability in Winnipeg. Hosted by the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, urban thinkers from across the country were invited to give their thoughts on urban sustainability in Canada. The Prince joined the discussion and shared his thoughts on what sustainable communities meant to him. Julian and Lisa were honoured to meet The Prince of Wales on this occasion as well as the evening before as guests of the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba at a reception held in honour of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. Also in May, on the occasion of the ICOMOS Canada AGM, Lisa was invited to give the annual Martin Weaver Memorial Lecture at the Bytown Museum in Ottawa. Her presentation entitled Why Landscape suggested that landscapes can promote certain shifts in the conceptual framework for heritage thereby making room for the emergence of a more diversified and integrated heritage practice.

Centre News – Winter 2014

In February, Lisa was honoured to be the plenary speaker at the 2014 Heritage Saskatchewan Forum entitled The Landscapes of Living Heritage. Held in Saskatoon, the Forum brought together a large and diverse audience of heritage professionals from around the province. Her presentation, Looking to Landscape: Shifting our Approach to Heritage, outlined some of the characteristics and advantages of a cultural landscape approach to heritage. March brings with it the annual University of Montreal Roundtable hosted by the Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage, Christina Cameron. This year’s theme, Exploring the Cultural Value of Nature: A World Heritage Context was in part a response to some of the challenges raised by the Canadian nomination bid of Pimachiowin Aki to the World Heritage List. The deferral of the nomination bid by the World Heritage Committee has prompted a closer look at how the World Heritage Convention might better accommodate future nomination bids like Pimachiowin Aki that demonstrate a close bond between nature and culture. Julian and Lisa were privileged to join an esteemed group of national and international colleagues around the table and the proceedings have proven a significant contribution to this important discussion. Willowbank students - Angela Garvey, Sahra Campbell and Angus Affleck - joined colleagues from Carleton University and the University of Montreal as rapporteurs for the two-day event.

2014 Willowbank Lectures

Join 5 conversations contemplating the meeting ground

between nature and culture


March 15 | Renate Sander-Regier, Geographer and Naturalist, Ottawa

Human well-being and ecological well-being: exploring human-nature relations

March 29 | Sophia RabliauskasPoplar River First Nation, Manitoba

Spiritual connection with the land: sustaining traditional territory

April 12 | Jan Haenraets and Alyssa SchwannPreservation Landscape Architects, Vancouver

Global perspectives on landscape design and preservation: Scotland, India, Canada

April 26 | Victoria Dickenson, Director, McMichael Gallery, Kleinburg

The herons are still here: history, nature and culture

May 3 | Robert MellinArchitect and Scholar, Montreal and Newfoundland

Winter in Tilting: slide hauling in a Newfoundland fishing village


$20 lecture or $85 | series 

For more information or to register visit:

Sponsored by:

2014 Willowbank Lectures

The relationship between nature and culture - between geography and identity - is a perennial theme in the Canadian narrative. Not only has our experience of nature shaped our culture, but our culture has transformed the natural environment into the unavoidably cultural landscapes we inhabit. This fertile exchange has defined Canada.

The 2014 Willowbank Lectures takes an eclectic look at the relationship between nature and culture, both past and contemporary. They gather a diverse group of speakers from inside and outside Canada who explore and interpret the meeting ground between the natural and the cultural.

Speakers to be announced soon. 

Centre News – Spring 2013

In May, upon the invitation of UNESCO, the Director of the Centre for Cultural Landscape, Lisa Prosper, presented at The Hangzhou International Congress Culture: Key to Sustainable Development in China. Over 400 experts from around the world gathered to focus on the linkages between culture and sustainable development. Given the absence of culture from the Millennium Development Goals, this occasion provided an historical opportunity to contribute to the post 2015 global sustainable development agenda. The event culminated in the Hangzhou Declaration Placing Culture at the Heart of Sustainable Development Policies. Aside from the privilege of participating in this important event, travelling to China and being part of a UNESCO initiative were both thrilling firsts for Lisa. Postcard The annual Willowbank lecture series, renamed as the Willowbank Lectures, turned its attention to the urban milieu this year. Urban Dwelling: Creative Ways to Engage with our Shared Urban Landscape brought together a diverse and provocative group of speakers to discuss innovative, collaborative and sustainable ways of engaging with our shared urban landscape. We were privileged to have Gustavo Araoz, President of ICOMOS, as one of our speakers as well as Owen Rose and Andrew Emond from Montreal, Amy Lavender Harris from Toronto and John Schofield from the University of York in the U.K. The Willowbank Lectures also experimented with travelling off-site to the Young Centre in the Distillery District in Toronto and The Pearl Company in Hamilton.