QUEENSTON, ON, May 21, 2014 /CNW/ - The Willowbank School of Restoration
Arts is honoured to announce that His Royal Highness The Prince of
Wales has agreed to become its new Royal Patron. The announcement was
made on the occasion of The Prince's 17th visit to Canada. Willowbank, situated on the U.S.-Canada border near
Buffalo, NY, delivers post-secondary education in the crafting of new
futures for old places.
The Prince will meet today with Julian Smith, Executive Director, and
Lisa Prosper, Director of its Centre for Cultural Landscape, at a
meeting of urban designers, planners, developers and civic leaders
convened by The Prince in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Royal patronages reflect areas of personal interest to The Prince, and
for Willowbank it means linking with his established initiatives,
including The Prince's Foundation for Building Community and The
Prince's School of Traditional Arts.
"This is a unique opportunity for Willowbank to align our activities in
cultural heritage with the pioneering work and global leadership of The
Prince" said Smith, who heads the independent, non-profit institution
where students come from Canada, the U.S., and abroad to enrol in its
three-year diploma program.
"The Prince's patronage is a welcome endorsement of our approach to
integrating historic preservation, traditional craftsmanship, and
environmental awareness" said Buffalo architect Clinton Brown, FAIA,
Vice-President of the Willowbank Board of Directors, a distinguished
group of U.S. and Canadian leaders.
The School, which counts Canadians and Americans alike among its
students, faculty and major donors, is unique in North America for
combining academic and apprenticeship learning. Operating outside the
normal structures of universities and technical colleges, Willowbank is
positioned to break down barriers between designers and builders, and
between traditional knowledge and contemporary practice. Graduates are
finding immediate success across a range of careers, from skilled
trades to design firms to community development.
"My education at Willowbank gave me the ability to take my passion for
joinery and apply it on a more professional level," said Alex Pientka,
a 2010 graduate who owns a heritage woodworking company in
Philadelphia, PA. "The diploma program blends theory with practice, and
molds itself to each of our interests and skills."
In the words of a third-year student from New England, Angela Garvey,
"Many people ask if Willowbank is about the study of old buildings.
I've come to respond that we learn to appreciate buildings,
neighbourhoods and landscapes, all that holds them together - from
mortar to memory, and how time affects each."
Founded in 2006 out of the rescue of its historic 13-acre campus, the
School has grown rapidly to include over 40 students, with 50 faculty
associates who are leading practitioners in the field. The associated
Centre for Cultural Landscape provides a public forum for research,
workshops and conferences.
Photographs, video and Willowbank's annual report: www.willowbank.ca/media.
SOURCE: Willowbank School of Restoration Arts
For further information:
Students, faculty and board are available for interview.