Two Vancouver School Board students earned the opportunity to represent BC in Ottawa after creating video projects about Canadian heritage. Videos created by Angela Zhou, a grade 8 student at Magee Secondary and Esmé Gandham, a grade 6 student at Sexsmith Elementary, earned the two girls spots at Canada’s History Youth Forum in the nation’s capital. The south Vancouver students submitted their four minute clips as part of the Young Citizen’s program, an adjunct to Canada’s Heritage Fairs.
The Heritage Fair program encourages students to actively explore this country’s dynamic history in vibrant and interesting ways. Students use the medium of their choice to recount stories of individuals, events, and key moments from Canadian history and present their research in a public exposition at their school. Regional heritage fairs showcase the best area projects.
“Participants in the Young Citizens program make a short video about their heritage fair topic, much like an evening news report or short documentary,” explains BC Heritage Fairs representative Tom Morton. “The student videos are then posted online and a panel of judges chooses two dozen winners from across the country to come to Ottawa.”
Zhou did her project and video on Camp X, a World War II secret agent training facility in Ontario. “I felt ecstatic after receiving the award,” she says. “I worked hard on the video, staying up many nights, but I was humbled because many others definitely did the same.”
Gandham, whose project was on the Klondike gold rush, was equally excited. “I cried tears of happiness on the phone talking to Young Citizens,” she says. “It was an honour to be one of two recipients from BC.”
The Young Citizens’ Ottawa itinerary included a guided tour of the parliament buildings and peace tower; visits to the National War Memorial, the Bytown Museum, Rideau Hall, the Canadian War Museum and the Canadian Museum of History. The group was in the capital for Halloween so they went trick-or-treating too.
“It was such an amazing trip,” raves Gandham. “I enjoyed visiting the museums, however, my favourite part would be meeting people from different provinces. It was fun learning about their provinces and theirs lives. I feel like I made friends and we plan to stay in contact.”
Zhou was quick to name her favourite part of the trip. “If I had to choose, the Canadian War Museum would win by far,” she says. “I found the cold war section with the Gouzenko Affair and the Korean War to be most interesting.”
You can see Angela Zhou’s video online at http://kids.canadashistory.ca/Kids/YoungCitizens/Profiles/2017/AngelaZ and Esmé Gandham’s video at http://kids.canadashistory.ca/Kids/YoungCitizens/Profiles/2017/EsmeG.
The text above is featured in the Vancouver School Board website. The featured photo of students in their Hallowe’en costumes was taken in front of Rideau Hall, the Governor-General’s official residence.