Farm to Table / Stone to Wall
Dry Stone Canada Festival 2018
Topsy Farms, Amherst Island, Ontario
Thanks for a great 2018 festival!
This is a copy of the 2018 festival page at the Dry Stone Canada website.
Media from the 2018 festival:
Global News with Frazer Snowden
September 28, 2018
Dry stone wall builders gather on Amherst Island for annual festival
Global News, The Morning Show on CKWS
September 19, 2018
A preview of the International Dry Stone Wall Festival: The Amherst Island event features world-renowned wallers from Ireland, Scotland, The US and Canada
Hope to see you in 2019 at The Lodge on Amherst Island!
Dry Stone Canada is pleased to announce that we are going back to Amherst Island for our 2018 festival. Our host is Topsy Farms, a long established sheep farm well known for their quality sheep, wool, and wool products. Using stone collected from the property, we will be building a 80-100 foot mixed granite/limestone wall near the barn, along the entrance to the farm. [NOTE: ahem, 120 feet. Boom.]
Farm to Table/Stone to Wall celebrates the roots of dry stone walling: building walls to support farming. Our 2018 theme highlights the interconnection between local food and farmers and dry stone walling craft and tradition.
As always, the festival is a mix of international guests, Dry Stone Canada members, local supporters, and our walling community.
The general public is welcome!
Saturday Sept 29:
8:30am – Land acknowledgement and blessing with Paul Carl
Walling until 12noon
Walling resumes 1pm-430pm
Sunday Sept 30:
9am – Walling begins!
2pm – Brief speeches and thank yous
4:30pm – Finish
*Wallers and Volunteers, you will receive an email on additional Friday and evening activities through our Hospitality Coordinator.
Visit the farm to watch the wall be built over the weekend, see the progress of our carving workshop, check out our on-site displays, family-friendly activities including a children’s building area, weaving demonstration, and craft vendors! Visit the lambs, The Wool Shed, the Three Sisters garden on the farm, and find out more about dry stone walling and stone craft. The Back Kitchen, a local volunteer-run restaurant on the Island close to the ferry dock, will be open.
We also offer two workshops as part of the festival (beginner/intermediate level; advance registration required).
Help build the festival wall with a mix of instruction and work with skilled wallers
Stone carving with Danny Barber of Smith & Barber – Sculpture Atelier Inc.
There’s a lot going on over the weekend! A program schedule and guide will be posted soon
Special Guests will include:
David F. Wilson, UK: Artist, designer, stone carver, waller, Churchill Fellow
- Sunny Weiler: waller, sculptor, and former President of the DSWAI
- Ken Curran: anthropologist/archaeologist, waller and stonemason, and Board of Directors, DSWAI
- Louise Price: waller, historic illustrator, Women4Walls organizer, and Curator, Tír Chonaill Stone Festival
Brendan Stewart, Ontario Landscape Architect (OALA), and professor at University of Guelph Department of Landscape Architecture
Nick Aitken, Master craftsman with Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain (DSWA/UK)
More about Amherst Island’s dry stone walls and the area!
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 (.pdf by Kingston Field Naturalists)
Dry Stone Canada newsletter on 2017 heritage builds & workshops
Ways to Contribute
Dry Stone Canada Walling Community (walling and non-walling volunteers)
For returning wallers, volunteers & invited guests contributing to the festival, true to Amherst Island hospitality, much of the community will be involved:
- Food (local produce) will be catered for wallers, guests & festival volunteers through the Island’s Back Kitchen
- MacKinnon Brothers Brewing will return as festival beer sponsor
- Presentations will be held at The Lodge (Dry Stone Canada’s unofficial home base)
- Camping space & accommodation will be generously provided by many of the island residents
This year we are asking folks working on the build & anyone contributing to the festival over the weekend to send us some information ahead of time through this form so we can get ready. If you haven’t received an email but would like to help out with the build, send an email to or contact us.
We’re also looking for volunteers as we have a larger community & learning program this year. If you are interested in helping out as a non-walling volunteer, please fill out the form. Hilary Martin will connect with you on opportunities.
We are still seeking sponsors for our local food program, Children’s Area program, International Guest travel, and general event sponsorship. Contact Hilary Martin through the website form if you are interested in sponsoring the event.
This event runs on volunteer work and the generosity of the community. Please donate!