Special Parkwood Announcement: Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Special Guest helps Launch Special Program

Parkwood was pleased to welcome Dame Fiona Woolf DBE Aug 4, 2015, to take part in the launch of a special project of Parkwood, entitled Margaret’s Message.   The project is a two-year textiles conservation program that will culminate in 2017 – Parkwood’s 100th anniversary year and Canada’s 150th.  The project will engage students of Sir Sanford Fleming College, in an extended learning and lab experience in conservation.
London, England resident Dame Fiona served as the Lord Mayor of London in 2013/2014, as the 686th Lord Mayor and only the second woman to hold the role since 1189.  Last month she was named a Dame Commander of the British Empire by HRH Queen Elizabeth II.  Her visit to Oshawa provided the perfect time to announce Parkwood’s special project which is named for her mother, the late Margaret Swain.
Joining in the announcement were Dame Fiona’s brother Dr. Richard Swain and wife Sharon Swain (a Past President and Honorary Director of The Parkwood Foundation), Parkwood President Nancy Shaw,  and representing Sir Sandford Fleming College:  Gayle McIntyre

About Margaret’s Message

Margaret Swain was a renowned Edinburgh-based textiles expert, and one of the earliest champions for preserving Parkwood as a museum and historic site.   As we look towards Parkwood’s 100th anniversary in 2017 (and Canada’s 150th), we salute those like Margaret who urged its protection.  In visits to Parkwood over many years, and drawing on her experience with international museums and collections, she impressed upon us that the completeness of the estate and the wealth of original furnishings, art and archives were rare and precious things in Canada.  She helped us to see their opportunities for study, how they could be continually mined for educational and artistic value.  Margaret also championed the intrinsic value of each, whether modest or magnificent, their collective impact, and the imperative of their preservation.

Margaret’s Message is our inspirational title therefore for this project, particularly fitting as it engages post-secondary conservation/museums studies students in meaningful learning experiences toward successful career paths and the next generation of heritage stewards.


About Textiles Conservation & Parkwood
Historic textiles are resources most vulnerable to the effects of time and exposure to visible and ultraviolet light rays, dust and even human contact.  The master bedroom suite at Parkwood presents a varied catalogue of textiles – silk draperies & valances, silk upholsteries, lace coverlets and bed coverings, lampshades, and carpets.   It is also a fantastic learning opportunity about textiles conservation and the materials and techniques needed for cleaning, stabilization, repair and/or restoration.   This room will provide a learning lab over the next two years.
Visitors to Parkwood will have an opportunity to witness the project in progress on guided mansion tours and through periodic presentations, workshops and other programs.

About Sir Sandford Fleming

The Museum Management and Curatorship Program is an intensive, fast-paced, immersion experience that provides applied training for careers in the museum, gallery or heritage sectors.

Visit http://flemingcollege.ca/programs/museum-management-and-curatorship for more information about the program.