Get inspired and learn skills of 19th century craftspeople with apprenticeships at Black Creek Pioneer Village

- New Quilting Apprenticeships now available -

TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Black Creek Pioneer Village is known for its beautifully re-created 19th century village, but one little known fact about the Village is that it offers adults the opportunity to learn the skills of 19th century craftspeople.  Spend the day wearing a reproduction historic costume as an apprentice in blacksmithing, spinning, leatherworking, tinsmithing, heritage printing, or brewing in an authentic 19th century setting and using the real tools of the trade. Black Creek Pioneer Village has also just introduced a new apprenticeship in quilting this year.

"We are excited to add the Quilting Apprenticeship to our list of experiences," said Wendy Rowney, Assistant General Manager, Black Creek Pioneer Village. "This apprenticeship is great for anyone who wants to learn more about quilting or how to get started on a quilting project of their own.  Apprentices will have the opportunity to explore traditional skills in a heritage setting.  It's a lovely way to spend a quiet day.  Apprenticeships make a unique gift idea!"

In the new Quilting Apprenticeship, apprentices spend the day stitching alongside a skilled quilter inside a two-storey log farm house built in 1832 by the Stong Family. They begin with learning the steps required to piece a quilt top and create a quilted item to take home.  Participants will also work on a 19th century quilt frame and stitch a pattern developed in the 1800s.

During the middle years of the 19th century, many women quilted bedcoverings to keep their family warm at night. As the century progressed, these quilts became increasingly more ornate.  Today, they are often cherished as family heirlooms and as unique pieces created by skilled artists over a century ago.

This apprenticeship is open to people at all skill levels from novices who have never picked up a needle, to those who want to learn more intricate needle work. Projects will be matched to the apprentice's skill level.

On August 16 and 17, visitors interested in the world of quilts will enjoy Quilts at the Creek. Learn how quilts are made, enjoy a Quilter's Marketplace, join in an advanced quilting workshop or get a quilt appraised. This event is held in partnership with the York Heritage Quilters Guild.

There are several other apprentices available at Black Creek Pioneer Village. Brewing apprentices work alongside our master brewer inside a heritage inspired 19th century brewery. Opened to the public in June 2009, Black Creek Historic Brewery is located in the heart of beautiful Black Creek Pioneer Village. Here we have recreated a working brewery, as it would have been in the mid-1800s. Our brewers handcraft the same ales and porters enjoyed in Ontario's country villages before Confederation.

Apprentices participate in every step of the brewing process from boiling the wort to pitching the yeast. While the wort is cooling, they participate in our popular Historic Brewery Tour and learn all about the fascinating world of drinks – and drinkers – in 19th century Toronto. At the end of the day, they choose from our selection of unique brews and take home a growler (2L bottle) of ale.

"Beer was everywhere in 19th century Ontario. Many people drank beer every day!  Towards the beginning of the century, most beers were homemade, brewed by tavern owners and housewives, in small private breweries," said Wendy Rowney, Black Creek Pioneer Village. "The brewing apprenticeship is perfect for beer lovers who enjoy craft beers and unique flavours; or for the home-brewer looking for tips on brewing a fantastic beer."

Blacksmithing Apprentices spend time in a working blacksmith shop, learning the skills required to be a 19th century blacksmith. The blacksmith shop, built in Nobleton, ON in 1855, was one of the first buildings moved to what would become Black Creek Pioneer Village. They will spend the day working alongside a skilled blacksmith educator who will guide them safely through learning the beginner skills used by blacksmith. At the end of the day, they'll have made their very own s-hook and fireplace poker to take home as a reminder of their day as a 19th century blacksmith.

Apprenticeships are available to anyone 15 years and older. Brewery apprentices must be at least 19 years old.  Apprenticeships are available from May 7 - December 23. Fees: $70/members, $75/non- member, one person per day (taxes not included). Brewery Apprenticeships costs $75/ members and $80/non-members.

Adult apprentices with the Blacksmith or Tinsmith must wear their own safety approved steel-toed shoes or boots. Please call 416-667-6295, ext 2 for more information and to register to step back in time as an Adult Apprentice.

Black Creek Pioneer Village
Black Creek Pioneer Village is Toronto's premier outdoor living history museum. Visitors can explore heritage homes and buildings restored to re-create an 1860s Ontario village. Historic interpreters in period dress demonstrate how villagers lived, worked and played. The Village hosts learning programs and special events that highlight local heritage and culture. The tranquil setting, rural landscapes, heritage gardens and period farm animal breeds make Black Creek Pioneer Village the perfect place to break out of the modern world and journey into the past. Located in north Toronto, Black Creek Pioneer Village is owned and operated by Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA). For more information please visit

Black Creek Pioneer Village acknowledges support from the City of Toronto, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture, The Conservation Foundation of Greater Toronto, and the public.

SOURCE: Black Creek Pioneer Village

For further information: Media Contact: Rowena Calpito, Black Creek Pioneer Village, 416.661.6600 ext 5632,

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