Autumn Newsletter

Photo credit: Alex Pawelek

Willowbank Welcomes New and Returning Students

September saw our six new 1st year students begin their Willowbank journey. The Class of 2022 comes from backgrounds of archaeology, carpentry, construction, and art.

Our 2nd year students have an exciting autumn: in November they will be heading to Miami for the annual Association of Preservation Technology (APT) Conference. This is the third year that Willowbank students have competed against engineering schools in the Design-Build contest, coming 3rd and 1st in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Each year, the students’ participation in APT is completely voluntary, self-organized and self-funded. We wish them luck, though they probably don’t need it.

After a brief stint on campus in September, our 3rd years have flown the nest, spreading across Canada from Victoria to Charlottetown, with one heading out to Germany. For the next six months, they will be working in the heritage conservation field in roles as varied as their interests: conserving government buildings, conducting research, planning, and reporting, and undertaking independent restoration projects. We look forward to their return in March.

1st year students building a drystone wall. Photo credit: Rick Pali

Willowbank Welcomes New and Returning Students

2nd and 3rd year students erecting a timberframe pergola. Thanks to Brock Builders for sponsoring this course! Photo credit: Tanya Dare

The Board of Directors Appoints New Members to Advisory Council

The Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Ashleigh Bell to its Advisory Council. Ashleigh graduated with the Willowbank class of 2013 and currently holds a position with the Tourism & Culture division of the City of Hamilton, coordinating capital projects on municipally-owned cultural facilities, museums and historic sites. She is involved with a number of community and professional organizations, including the Hamilton Community Land Trust and the Hamilton-Burlington Society of Architects, for which she has coordinated two educational series on conservation discourse. Ashleigh attended OCAD and has a background in Interior Design. She currently teaches Architecture in Canada and Architectural Styles courses with first years in the Diploma program and Historic Interiors with second years. Willowbank thanks retiring Advisory Council members for their valued contributions.

Ashleigh Bell, Class of 2013

Chloe Richer Joins the Board of Directors as Alumni Chair

After a Call for Applications in Summer 2019, Willowbank is pleased to welcome Chloe Richer, Class of 2018, as inaugural Alumni Chair for 2019-2020. For a one-year term, Chloe will serve in an ex-officio capacity on the Board of Directors, helping to foster Willowbank’s network of talented graduates and to oversee Willowbank’s dynamic range of programming. Chloe’s career has spanned Toronto, Waterloo and St. Catharines, where she works as a municipal heritage planner, as well as Hamilton, where she is active in the Bartonville neighbourhood association. The new role of Alumni Chair complements the continuing participation of alumni as full members of the Board of Directors. 

Chloe Richer, Class of 2018

Summer 2019 Field Schools

Five Willowbankers had the incredible opportunity to attend Messors Fornello Sustainable Preservation Project in Italy and the Prince’s Foundation Summer School in the UK. We are hugely thankful for the generosity of the Humeniuk Foundation, which funded two students’ trips to Italy and two to the UK, and the Dalglish Family Foundation, which sent one of our Class of 2019 grads to the UK and then onto further travel in Scotland.

Drystone Building

Thanks to funding from The Jules Foundation, the drystone building at Upper Campus now has a slate roof and copper ridgecap. In the coming months, the gable ends will be enclosed and doors and windows constructed, as per designs from our 2nd year students. The work will largely be carried out by 1st and 2nd year students.

Willowbank Alumni 10 Years Celebration

Willowbank Alumni celebrated 10 years of graduating classes at the Willowbank Estate on September 28. In the first gathering of its kind, a full-day program provided alumni a chance to reconnect with their peers on campus, and culminated in a roundtable discussion in the Bright Salon. Moderated by Julian Smith, Director Emeritus, and Keith Blades, Faculty Associate, the lively discussion saw alumni reflect on their experiences working as heritage practitioners. Together with their families, alumni also enjoyed campus tours and a social program in the picturesque surroundings of the estate. Willowbank is grateful to all those who participated, and particularly to alumni organizers Elaine Eigl, Megan Hobson, Kristina Martens and Laura Wickett.

Photo credit: Tanya Dare

Willowbank Alumni 10 Years Celebration

Congratulations to the following alumni and faculty:

Sydney Martin, ’11 – CAHP Award of Merit in the Small and Lovely category for the Parkwood National Historic Site Greenhouse Conservation Project.
Kristina Martens, ’13 – CAHP  Award of Merit in the Documentation and Planning category for the Exhibition Place Cultural Heritage Landscape Assessment by Archaeological Services Inc. Kristina was the Project Manager and Cultural Heritage Specialist.
Jason Gibson – CAHP Award of Merit in Heritage Education, Awareness and Scholarship for Jason Gibson Timber Framing Courses.
Megan Hobson, ’11 – Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee Award in the category of Heritage Property Developer Recognition for the William Thomas Student Residences by James Street Residence Inc. Megan was the Heritage Consultant on the project.

If you have any awards or accomplishments you’d like us to share in future newsletters, please get in touch.