Refurbish the Conestoga Iconographic Studio

Symeon van Donkelaar received iconography in a Greek Orthodox monastery beginning in 1996, being consecrated an iconographer by the Metropolitan Bishop in 2002. He has continued to learn the ancient tradition, and to wrestle with expressing traditional iconography as a Canadian. He left secular employment, and has worked full time at this vocation since 2016, at the Conestoga Iconographic Studio.
51053502_1599568891194779_r.jpegThe studio exists in an old coach house on their property, which Symeon remodeled himself to serve this purpose. Here he works very long hours to produce icons within the bounds of tradition, using local materials, here and now. Find out more about the studio in this video.

2020 has been a hard year for everyone. For Symeon, it has meant that all of his iconography workshops--and the income from them--have had to be cancelled. The physical building of the studio needs to be restored to continue to serve. As Symeon worked at the studio's first icon of Noah, the roof leaked around him, threatening to flood the studio. Thanks to the incredible generosity of a single local donor, $3200 was raised to replace rotten roof boards, and re-shingle the entire roof. Symeon is incredibly grateful to be working in a dry building, no longer anxious that water would destroy his life's work, just as Noah's icon was shipped to the patron. The future of the building is now secured for many years.
However, as the building is not properly insulated, it is impossible to continue the work during the coldest two to three months of the year. Also, the century-old barnboard is in many places rotten, allowing the intrusion of rodents, which will in time lead to further damage.

I am starting this gofundme campaign, in hopes that the local community that is blessed by the presence of the studio and its work, as well as people around the world who believe in the mission of making Orthodoxy present and available in our culture, will offer support and keep the studio functioning throughout the year.

The goal is to raise $7500 to remove the old barnboard, add insulation, and install new barnboard. If we can raise the money to do this by November, the studio can continue functioning this winter (and every winter).

As a stretch goal, an additional $2000 would allow the attic to be repaired and insulated.

Finally, if the goal is not reached in time, a decision will be made whether to go ahead with the attic only, or continue the campaign for the following year.
51053502_1599582262802952_r.jpeg51053502_1599582277298723_r.jpegThank you for taking the time to read this.

Please note: the studio is NOT a registered charity with the CRA, and cannot offer donation receipts. Individuals are free to approach their own churches to ask if this is a cause that falls within the charitable activity of the church, which could allow a church to accept donations (giving receipts), and then contribute here.
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Jane Slote 
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 9 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $2,500 
    • 10 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $3,000 
    • 10 mos
See all


Jonathan Slote 
Waterloo, ON
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