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CANADA’S PREMIER HERITAGE CONSERVATION SCHOOL

95% Graduate Employment Rate

Internationally Renowned Faculty

Experiential Hands-on Education

Personalized Learning Outcomes

WELCOME TO WILLOWBANK

Willowbank is a unique private career college in Canada and has been on the vanguard heritage conservation and the adaptive reuse of existing buildings since 2006. We are the Canadian headquarters of INTBAU, a global network promoting traditional building, architecture, and urbanism.

Our unique Three-Year Diploma program provides students with a professional network that can take their career path in many directions. Coursework focuses on developing skills and knowledge related to conserving our built and cultural heritage. Our focus on providing a well-rounded education in heritage conservation and sustainability is made possible by the exceptional faculty practitioners who came from across Canada, the United States, and Denmark.

Follow us at @willowbank_school and our Facebook page Willowbank

Latest News

WILLOWBANK SCHOOL OF RESTORATION ARTS CELEBRATES 15 YEARS

September 27, 2022

Unveiling of Willowbank painting

Willowbank chair Patrick Little, Lord Mayor Betty Disero, Willowbank benefactor and director Victoria Broer, artist Marilyn Cochrane and vice-chair John Scott with Cochrane’s painting of Willowbank. Photo taken by Mackenzie Campbell.

On Thursday, September 22, the Board, Staff and Students of the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts held a reception to mark 15 years of providing excellence in education to those studying heritage restoration. As the only school of its kind in Canada, Willowbank offers hands on experiential learning in restoration disciplines. One of its most compelling aspects is the gradual restoration of the historic Willowbank mansion through its use as a “living lab”. Graduates of the program have moved on to successful careers in various aspects of heritage restoration. In fact, there are a number of grads currently employed in the restoration of the Parliament Buildings!

Earlier this year, following a tour of Willowbank, renowned local artist Marilyn Cochrane offered to develop a painting of the mansion highlighting its two-hundred year history. After immersing herself in the Willowbank archives, Marilyn worked through the summer and emerged with an exceptional impression of the mansion and its living history. In her remarks at the reception Marilyn underscored that she had been “captivated” by Willowbank and all that it represents.

Her stunning work was presented to Victoria Broer who represents the Bright-Urban family on the Board of Directors and whose family foundation both facilitated the original purchase of the Estate and has continued to provide operational support. In accepting the painting Vikki said – “this is an incredible piece of work and my family is honoured to have played a role in Willowbank”. She went further to state “this amazing work belongs here at the mansion”. As a result of her generosity those visiting Willowbank will be able to enjoy the painting as it will be prominently displayed in Bright Parlour.

The first and only full-sized print of Marilyn’s work was presented to Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone who has been steadfast in her volunteer and financial support of Willowbank since its origin. Elizabeth still serves as the archivist and librarian for the facility. She remarked that it was the pleasure of her and her late husband to assist in facilitating both the School and the preservation of the Mansion.

The presentations were made by Lord Mayor Betty Disero, Willowbank Chair Patrick Little and Artist Marilyn Cochrane. On behalf of the Board, Chair Little offered the effusive thanks of the Board to Marilyn for her incredible contribution to Willowbank.

The final word goes to Marilyn “I am honoured to be a part of Willowbank”. Indeed Marilyn, we are honoured to have you!

WILLOWBANK ANNOUNCES SALE OF FORMER LAURA SECORD MEMORIAL SCHOOL

July 8, 2022

The Board of Directors of the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts has sold the former Laura Secord Memorial School in the Village of Queenston to Canadian Niagara Heritage Inc. of Niagara Falls for the sum of $2,275,000.00.

“We thank everyone involved for their patience over the past few months” said Willowbank Chair Patrick Little.

A spokesperson for Canadian Heritage Niagara responded: “We are pleased to have acquired this property and have agreed to permit the School to run certain classes at the site until the end of the year”.

Willowbank will use a portion of the funds to discharge a mortgage and invest the balance to support School operations into the future. “The certainty of annual contributions from the investment will be a welcome supplement to the resources needed to provide our students with the best learning experience possible in restoration arts”, commented John F.T. Scott, Willowbank Vice Chair.

The Willowbank School of Restoration Arts is an internationally acclaimed, not for profit, private career college in Queenston, Canada (PCC #103175). The future of heritage is being shaped by our graduates. With an employment rate of 95%, their impact ripples outwards across a range of careers, from design to skilled trades to community development. Willowbank has been on the vanguard of heritage restoration, conservation and the adaptive reuse of existing buildings since 2006. We are the Canadian headquarters of INTBAU, a global network promoting traditional building, architecture, and urbanism. The patron of Willowbank is HRH Prince Charles.

Canadian Niagara Heritage Inc is owned by the Shahani family of Niagara Falls with a purpose of the responsible development of heritage properties.

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Media Enquires
John F.T. Scott, Vice Chair Willowbank School of Restoration Arts
jftscott@willowbank.ca
647-403-9099

Willowbank receives $50,000 donation to support school’s programs

In this week’s edition of The Lake Report you can get up to speed on the extremely generous donation by The Humeniuk Foundation’s towards Willowbank’s students and curriculum. We are so grateful for this partnership and appreciative of their support of our mission. Together we are making great strides in the world of heritage restoration and conservation. Read the article in full here

 

Latest News continued

WILLOWBANK SCHOOL OF RESTORATION ARTS AND NIAGARA COLLEGE SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

On May 11,  Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, a non-profit private career college for heritage conservation located in Queenston, and Niagara College signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore opportunities to work together.

Willowbank School of Restoration Arts Board Chair Patrick Little and Niagara College President Sean Kennedy signed a Memorandum of Understanding on May 11, 2022 to explore opportunities for both institutions to work together. Little and Kennedy are joined from left to right by Caitlin Wooll, Director of Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, John F.T. Scott, Willowbank Board Vice-Chair, Nancy Smith, Willowbank Board Director, Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone, Willowbank Board Director, Katie Houghton, Willowbank Business Manager, and NC Vice-President Academic, Fiona Allan.

NC President Sean Kennedy and Vice-President Academic Fiona Allan met with college management and members of the Willowbank Board including Chair Patrick Little and Vice-Chair John F.T. Scott outside the Willowbank Estate House to sign the agreement.

“Niagara College is very pleased to partner with Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, a local and highly specialized college, to share expertise and create new opportunities that will benefit students from both our institutions,” said NC President Sean Kennedy.

Willowbank is globally recognized for its expertise in heritage conservation and adaptive reuse of existing buildings. Their expert faculty from across the world are preparing graduates for careers in heritage restoration and conservation.

“We are excited to start working with Niagara College to explore areas that will lead to enhanced learning experiences and we appreciate the openness that both institutions have demonstrated in developing this historic MOU” stated Willowbank Chair Patrick Little.

The MOU will form the basis of a collaborative relationship between the two institutions, as they explore mutually beneficial opportunities that could range from joint research projects to the creation of academic pathways between the organizations.

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.

The Willowbank School of Restoration Arts is an internationally acclaimed, not for profit, private career college in Queenston, Canada (PCC #103175). The future of heritage is being shaped by our graduates. With an employment rate of 95%, their impact ripples outwards across a range of careers, from design to skilled trades to community development. Willowbank has been on the vanguard of heritage conservation and the adaptive reuse of existing buildings since 2006. We are the Canadian headquarters of INTBAU, a global network promoting traditional building, architecture, and urbanism. The patron of Willowbank is HRH Prince Charles. Learn more, visit willowbank.ca.

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Media inquiries, please contact:

Michael Wales
Director, Communications, Niagara College
905-328-4101
mwales@niagaracollege.ca

Jessica Torok
Communications Consultant, Niagara College
519-809-7634
jtorok@niagaracollege.ca

Caitlin Wooll
Director of the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts
905-262-1239 ext 200
willowbank@willowbank.ca

John F. T. Scott
Vice Chair of the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts
647-403-9099
jftscott@willowbank.ca

 

Willowbank Venue Rental and Weddings

Whether you’re looking to host your next corporate meeting, private event or whimsical wedding, there’s a whole host of  celebratory options at Willowbank.  With Covid-19 restrictions easing we are pleased to share that we have plenty of availability throughout 2022 and 2023. 

Photographer, Creative Director, Concept Creator & Co-stylist: Lisa Vigliotta Photography lisavigliottaphotography

Land Acknowledgement

Willowbank is located on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Ojibway/Chippewa and Haudenosaunee peoples. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum agreement. Today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples and acknowledging reminds us that our great standard of living is directly related to the resources and friendship of Indigenous people. (Source: DSBN)

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