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Friday, April 19, 2024
Willowbank unveils $200,000 bursary from Humeniuk Foundation
Andrew Humeniuk, left, and Willowbank president Dr. Faisal Arain signed a five-year agreement to provide a $200,000 bursary for up to four students to attend a European summer school annually. SUPPLIED

Niagara’s Humeniuk Foundation is donating $200,000 to Queenston’s Willowbank School of Restoration Arts as part of a five-year program to help students spend a summer at a top European heritage summer school.

The money, unveiled by Andrew Humeniuk, executive director of the Humeniuk Foundation and the Brown Homestead in St. Catharines, will provide financial support for up to four Willowbank students each summer over the next five years.

Students will be able to attend either Messors in Italy or the King’s Foundation Summer School, which takes place at Dumfries House in Scotland and in London.

Each student will receive a $10,000 bursary to cover tuition, travel and modest living costs.

The program is formally called the creation of the Humeniuk Scholarship at Willowbank: unleashing minds, transforming lives.  

“We have employed numerous Willowbank graduates at the Brown Homestead over several years and have found them to be the passionate young professionals that the heritage community desperately needs,” Humeniuk said in a statement. 

“In our experience, the summer schools allow them invaluable access to additional perspectives and knowledge that benefit them in their careers and are also shared with their peers, Willowbank and the heritage sector itself,” he said.

Willowbank president Dr. Faisal Arain applauded the scholarship as an indicator of the commitment of the Humeniuk Foundation and family to the value of Willowbank. 

“This level of support will enable Willowbank to broaden the depth of knowledge we are able to provide through our diploma program. It will add a very important global dimension to the Willowbank experience,” Arain said.

Humeniuk said Willowbank offers “a unique education that enables its graduates to make a community impact through their diverse work in the heritage sector.”

“The opportunity for Willowbank students to expand their learning by participation in two other world-class heritage training programs through the summer schools adds another layer to the Willowbank experience.”

He committed to a five-year bursary program to give Willowbank the security of knowing the program is funded and allowing the leadership team to apply their time and efforts to other core needs.

“We foresee our relationship with Willowbank continuing beyond 2028, whether through continuation of the Humeniuk Scholarship or, if an alternative and sustainable funding opportunity is put in place, another area where support,” he said.

In a news release, Willowbank said the Humeniuk Foundation’s “generous donation will empower aspiring heritage conservationists, fostering a new generation of leaders.”

Besides acting as executive director of the Brown Homestead, the oldest property in St. Catharines, Humeniuk heads his family’s 50-year-old foundation.

The organization helps fund “ambitious community building organizations” and its vision is “a world in which communities help people in need and individuals sustain their communities through philanthropic activity and volunteering.”

Humeniuk joined the Willowbank board last June and is vice-chair.

As an internationally acclaimed, not-for-profit, private career college specializing in heritage conservation, the school has been at the vanguard of heritage conservation and the adaptive reuse of existing buildings since 2006.

The patron of Willowbank is King Charles III.

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