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Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Arts: Insurance firm donates $30,000 in bursaries to Willowbank students
Willowbank board member Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone, Ecclesiastical Canada president David Huebel, Willowbank past-chair Patrick Little, Ecclesiastical executive Mark Hews, school director Caitlin Wooll and Ecclesiastical executive Jacinta Whyte. Supplied

Some students at the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts will soon be eligible for an $10,000 annual bursary to help pay for their studies.

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office PLC announced a new partnership with the Queenston-based institution, Canada’s premier heritage conservation school.

Ecclesiastical is donating $30,000 for second-year student bursaries over three years, from 2023 through 2025.

“As a specialist insurer, we provide tailored insurance solutions to many sectors, including the arts, culture and heritage community,” said company president David Huebel said in unveiling the donation.

“We know the importance of heritage conservation and sustainability, and Willowbank teaches its students how to do this important conservation work.”

To kick off its partnership, members of the Ecclesiastical team visited Willowbank for a tour of the facility, meeting some students and making a cheque presentation.

Willowbank offers a unique three-year diploma program, pioneering an innovative approach to learning about heritage conservation.

Combining hands-on and theory courses, Willowbank is training the heritage professionals of the future.

“This generous donation is an investment in our program and our students,” said Caitlin Wooll, director of Willowbank.

“The bursaries will afford students who may otherwise have struggled with second-year tuition the peace of mind to focus entirely on their education, rather than how to make ends meet.”

Ecclesiastical was founded in the United Kingdom in 1887 with the goal of protecting churches from the consequences of fire.

The company is part of the Benefact Group and its Canadian headquarters is in Toronto.

Ecclesiastical was named one of Canada’s Top Employers for young people in 2022 for the 10th consecutive year.

Willowbank graduates have an employment rate of 95 per cent. The school’s patron is King Charles III. Learn more, visit willowbank.ca.

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