What is Heritage Fairs?
Heritage Fairs is a bilingual educational initiative that encourages students to explore Canadian heritage in a dynamic, hands-on learning environment. Students use the medium of their choice to tell stories about Canadian heroes, legends, milestones, and achievements. They then present the findings of their research at public exhibitions across Canada.
In 2018, approximately 56,000 students between the ages of 10 and 16, in all provinces and territories, created a project for the heritage fair program. An additional 108,000 students participated in the program by visiting one of the 950 local fairs across Canada.
Who is behind Heritage Fairs?
Heritage Fairs began in 1993 piloted by the CRB Foundation. From 1998–2008, Historica supervised the program. In 2009, Canada’s History Society took over the reins and expanded the Fairs program by complementing it with the Young Citizens program. Over the past 25 years, millions of young Canadians have celebrated their history and heritage at the fairs.
What does a Heritage Fair look like?
Regional Heritage Fairs bring together the best projects from local schools to meet for a one or two day showcase event. Students arrive for a full day presenting their projects, responding to questions from judges, as well as interacting and sharing stories with other parents, students, and members of the public.
When do Heritage Fairs take place?
Regional Heritage Fairs generally take place across Canada from the middle of April running through to the middle of May. Some provincial and territorial fairs may be held in June.
Why should you host a Heritage Fair?
The Fairs program supports existing curricula in all provinces and territories, and encourages a cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning.
The Fairs give students the chance to share their own ideas and voices, thereby building student creativity and initiative. A wide variety of expressive styles are encouraged so that students can tell their own stories in their own ways.
Creating a Fair project will enhance literacy skills. The emphasis on communication skills such as researching, interviewing, writing, editing, and speaking will benefit all students.
The nature of the project topics explored by students often leads to valuable intergenerational dialogue. There are many opportunities for home / school / community interaction.
Participation in a Fair engages citizenship skills. As young people develop stronger roots in their communities, they will have the confidence to become active citizens who shape the future of our country.
From Fair to Young Citizen
Students who participate in Heritage Fairs also have the opportunity to represent their region in the Young Citizens program.