October 2016

October 2016 Update

With Halloween around the corner, fall is indeed upon us and an update is overdue. So here it is - some of the tricks and treats we have been enjoying in recent weeks.

First of all, a big thank you to everyone who took time to contribute to and comment on our Year One Overview, shared in August. Our community outreach continues and all of the feedback and ideas are helping to shape our direction as we work through this planning stage.

We have continued to refine and formalize our Founding Principles, which will help guide us through the complex decisions in the coming year.

Those of you who joined our community meeting with Franklin Vagnone in which we presented the Overview will be pleased to know that we have continued our discussions with Franklin and look forward to receiving his final report with his reflections and recommendations in the near future.

Community Discussion, August 2016
Read Our Year One Overview

Heritage Resonates


Lessons from the 2016 National Trust of Canada Conference.

This month, we had the opportunity to attend Heritage Rising, this year's National Trust of Canada Conference in Hamilton. It amounted to four very full days of networking, seminars and discussions about the state and future of heritage in Canada.

There was far more to see and do than we could possibly take in and it will take some time to fully process all of the information we gathered. However, we wanted to share the experience and have prepared a series of reflections on the Conference and on what we experienced and learned there.
Read Our Report on the Heritage Rising Conference
Heritage Mason Dave Mowbray

2016 Masonry Work


Since purchasing the John Brown House in 2015, one of the areas most in need of protection and intervention has been the masonry.

Our work in that area has continued this fall. Following the replacement of the failing gutters and downspouts, heritage mason Dave Mowbray provided some much needed repointing and repair work on the water-damaged south-east corner of the house.
Eric and Felicity Brown


Another Homecoming


Last week, we had the pleasure of visiting with Eric Brown and his wife Felicity from Ottawa. Eric is the 3rd great grandson of John and Magdalena Brown via their youngest child, Abraham Brown.

As the keeper of the records for his branch of the Brown family, Eric brought with him an incredible collection of family photos and research. We are honoured that Eric has opted to entrust the care of these treasures to our archive to further our collective research into the Brown family history.
Brown Family Bible
The spectacular family bible that belonged to Eric's grandfather
Edgar Gould Brown (1860-1941)

A New Face


In recent weeks, we have had the pleasure of welcoming a new member to our team. Theresa Felicetti, a graduate of the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, joined us in September in an internship position.

Her hard work, insight and innovative ideas have already made her an important part of the team and we hope this position is just the beginning of a long involvement with JBHF.

Window Restoration


One of our most significant restoration undertakings thus far - the restoration of all of the windows in the John Brown House - was originally planned for the fall of 2016, but has been rescheduled for the spring of 2017.

It is a substantial undertaking. In addition to the actual restoration work, we are committed to our educational mandate and are enlisting a group of volunteer trainees in the hands on work. Additionally, we are planning a series of teaching and information seminars during the course of the work to highlight a number of elements of the work being undertaken.
Window Restoration Project
If that weren't enough, the project will also serve as an opportunity to greatly expand our video programming. We will not just be using video to document the work and seminars, but will also be producing a series of educational videos on the work involved in the project.

Collectively, it is a substantial and ambitious undertaking. In order to make sure that we achieve each of our goals to a high standard, it is critical to have ample time for planning and organization.

Nevertheless, some work has begun. Together with assistant Katie Hollinshead, Project Manager Sherri Koabel has undertaken the second phase of the project: identifying the most distressed areas, winterizing and protecting the existing windows, and planning for the third and largest phase of the project in the spring.
More on this and other volunteering opportunities below.
Sherri Koabel and Katie Hollinshead reglazing a window, October 2016

Volunteering


We thank everyone who has expressed an interest in volunteering and participating in building an innovative and vibrant heritage organization. If you have not yet heard back from us, rest assured that you are in our thoughts and plans and you will be hearing from us soon as our plans begin to come together!

Many volunteering opportunities remain for those of you who are interested, but have not yet let us know. There are still a few spaces left for the exciting window restoration project outlined above, but there really is something for everyone. Which one is right for you? Let's talk about it!
See Our Volunteer Opportunities
"... each place on earth is shaped and refined by those who experience it"
- Bob Lehman
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