It's Dry Stone Festival Time!!
Join us for this weekend stone festival with international guests, Dry Stone Canada members, local supporters, and wallers of all ages! The festival is free to attend and general public is welcome!
Watch skilled wallers create a bayside seating area at The Lodge, talk to folks on site, and learn more about walling and dry stone craft. Register for a workshop! Stone carving under the pines. Curved wave walls. Stone wall restoration at Poplar Dell nearby. Visit our partner the Neilson Store Museum and Cultural Centre and check out the tall ship docked just across Stella Bay from The Lodge. We have FIVE builds (at least, it's hard to keep track) and TONNES of stone, food, drink, and space for great people who love to build and learn. Join us September 14-15!
Get all your information at the Welcome! Zone! Amherst Island food and craft vendors will be on hand, along with heritage and community booths, and a children's/youth waller area! Find some shade at our presentation tent and slideshows of Canadian and International projects. Visit our Dry Stone Interpretation and Learning Centre demonstration inside The Lodge for photos, posters, games, and information on dry stone craft and structures worldwide, and tour the walls of Amherst Island!
The Back Kitchen, festival partner and local volunteer-run restaurant on the Island, will be open! It's conveniently located close to the ferry dock, parking, and The Lodge. While you're here,check out the new wood-fired bread and bake oven workshop we'll build during the week leading up to the festival.
Weekend At A Glance
Saturday Sept 14:
8:30am – Land Acknowledgement & Opening Circle with Paul Carl at The Lodge
9am – Walling, Workshops, Children's Area/Youth Builder Initiative, Vendors & Booths, Dry Stone Interpretive Centre displays at The Lodge & Neilson Store Museum open!
Everything resumes 1pm-430pm
Sunday Sept 15:
9am – Walling begins!
3pm – Time Capsule at Bayside Seating Area at The Lodge
4pm – Closing Circle with Paul Carl at The Lodge
* lunch provided for wallers; public are invited to check our food vendors and The Back Kitchen (2 minute walk)
* waller schedule & evening events will be sent by email
REGISTER IN ADVANCE
through the workshop links below
Workshop fees: $250
Time both days: 09:00 to 16:00
Lunch, dinner, and snacks are included
You will be contacted by our Hospitality Coordinator to fill out a festival hospitality form once you register. Festival camping, local BnB, and billets available.
Workshop participants are part of the festival! Attend talks with international guests on Friday and Saturday nights, and meet wallers from across Canada and around the world.
Sept 14-15 Restoration Workshop at Poplar Dell - Introduction to Walling
(Click to Register)
This is an introductory workshop to walling. You will learn all the same basic principles of walling as you would on a new wall., along with some basic principles of wall restoration. We will add an introductory new wall workshop at The Lodge if there is interest. Contact us..
Join the team as we continue our third round of restoration work at Poplar Dell, one of the original Irish settler walls of Amherst Island.
Instruction is a mix of demonstration and explanation, and hands-on work with skilled wallers. Learn the basic principles and values of dry stone restoration on historic walls requiring repair. Great for beginning wallers and those new to dry stone construction.
Sept 14-15 Stone Carving Workshop
(Click to Register)
As part of the festival we’ll hold a beginner/intermediate carving workshop. The workshop will be led by Danny Barber (Smith & Barber). Danny is a well respected carver and is based in Ottawa.
Learn how to carve ornamental details in limestone using traditional hand tools and methods. Students work at their own pace on a project set out and lead by the instructor using templates and models. Tools and materials are provided. Banker tables will be outside under trees for shade, and will move to a large tent if the weather requires.
Sept 14-15 Curved Wall Workshop - Intermediate
(Click to Register)
Join the team as we extend an existing curved wall at The Lodge. Instruction is a mix of demonstration and explanation, and hands-on work with skilled wallers. Building a curved wall is a skill required for DSWA Level 3 certification. This workshop will show you some of the basics with some long (intro) curves.
Previous walling experience is recommended in order for you to have a positive experience on this project.
If you are interested in a Friday pre-workshop with our new skills team on Lines and Batter for Curved Walls, contact us..
CHILDREN’S AREA and
YOUNG WALLERS INITIATIVE
Young wallers need a place to discover their love of building with stone. Visit our Children's Area where kids under the supervision their parent or guardian can explore with our facilitators building with stone and other materials
We are aiming to build some timber frame benches this year for kids of different heights. Let us know if you are interested in helping out!
FESTIVAL FUN ZONES
(Walking access off MacDonald's Lane)
VOLUNTEER & VISITOR INFO
VENDORS & COMMUNITY BOOTHS
Get everything you need for a great festival at the Welcome! Zone. Info for wallers, guests, and the public. Pick up a Festival Guide. Visit: Local food, crafts, and artisan works. Heritage and environmental stewardship organizations. Amherst Island and region community booths.
Bayside Seating Area
(At the water's edge by Stella Bay)
MAIN FESTIVAL BUILD
During the festival we will be building a unique seating area at The Lodge using local stone, and stones from the former Amherst Island ferry dock. This feature build connects the festival with the legacy of the first ferry captain on The Amherst Islander, Eldon Willard, who then became the mentor for The Lodge's current owner. International "rock stars" will join for the design and build, and a time capsule will be placed behind a specially carved stone on Sunday afternoon. All are welcome to visit.
Presentation Tent & Curved Wall Workshop
(In the large field next to The Lodge)
SHADE, SLIDESHOWS, SEATING FOR MEALS
During the festival we will extend one of the existing stone walls at The Lodge into a series of curves. Workshop spots available (register in advance). Close by visit the Presentation Tent for International Speakers, Fast Talking Wallers (10 minutes / 20 images), and slide show of Canadian and International builds.
(Under the pine trees next to the Main Cottage at The Lodge)
LEARN TO CARVE, WATCH THE PROCESS
Just like last year at Topsy Farms, we will host the festival carving workshop in a beautiful site under pine trees, right next to the water. Danny Barber will guide new and experienced carvers through a project over two days. The public are invited to visit and see the process.
Children's Area & Youth Building
(Under the trees by The Lodge deck)
Family friendly activity to explore hands-on building together in a serious playful way. Youth waller benches at different heights for all ages. Join the fun!
Dry Stone Learning & Interpretation Centre (demo)
(In the Sunroom at The Lodge + Neilson Store Museum)
DISPLAYS, POSTERS, MAPS, GAMES
Photos, posters, games, and information on dry stone craft and structures worldwide, local geology, and tours of the Irish settler walls of Amherst Island.
Amherst Island Public School Sign Project
(At the Public School across from the 2015 festival site)
WORKSHOP & COMMUNITY BUILD
Spearheaded by the Amherst Island community, a dry stone base for a new sign for the local school will be built during the festival.
We love it here! You will too.
Ontario Heritage Trust article on Amherst Island’s dry stone walling legacy
Neilson Store Museum & Cultural Centre overview of 2015 Festival including Rick Mercer’s visit, and Andrea Cross and Dry Stone Canada’s Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Heritage Excellence in Conservation
Heritage Kingston video (12 mins) of our 2017 festival at St. Mark’s Anglican Church near Kingston, a heritage restoration project with the Village of Barriefield
Visit the Sand Beach Wetlands Conservation Area
Visit Owl Woods and other birdwatching spots (Kingston Field Naturalists rambles)
Dry Stone Canada 2018 newsletter