About the BCHFS
The BC Heritage Fairs Society (BCHFS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the history education of Canada’s young people. Since 2003, the Society has successfully brought people and history together: each year some 4,000 students participate and 700 volunteers work with them, their teachers, and community museum staff in Heritage Fair Programs across the province of British Columbia.
Our Vision Statement
The BC Heritage Fairs Society wants all young people to become curious about Canadian history and have a deep understanding of the present by engaging with and questioning the past.
Our Core Values. We want to:
- Encourage young people to develop their own opinions and values based on a respect for evidence
- Provide opportunities for young people to see history around them
- Promote an appreciation of the diverse experiences of people in the past
- Connect local and family stories to the larger narratives of Canada’s history
- Develop approaches to teaching and learning that combine enjoyment and active engagement in historical thinking
- Forge connections between youth and the community
- Encourage student leadership
- Develop informed and involved citizens of tomorrow
- Promote an awareness and understanding of Canadian history and heritage among students and adults in the province of British Columbia
- Support, facilitate and implement a Heritage Fairs Program in British Columbia
- Work closely with other organizations and agencies in the province whose goals and activities complement and support the goals of the Society
- Undertake initiatives to raise funds and revenue in support of the Society’s programs.
- Disseminate information about the programs of the society
- President: Britney Quail
- Vice-President: Evan Fryer
- Treasurer: Judy Dunn
- Secretary: Lorenda Calvert
- Directors: Becky Burns, Karl deBruijin, Mary Campone, Michael Gurney, Jennifer Iredale, Cindy Rowell, Alexandra Weaver.
Contact the BC Heritage Fairs Provincial Coordinator, Kevin McKeown at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Heritage Fairs
Heritage Fairs is a nation-wide, bilingual educational initiative that encourages students to explore Canadian heritage in a dynamic, hands-on learning environment. From music to media, Canadian youth use the medium of their choice to tell stories about Canadian heroes, contributions, sacrifices and tragedies. The findings of their research are presented at public exhibitions in more than 80 communities across the country. Since 1993, millions of young Canadians have shared their history and heritage at the fairs.
BC Heritage Fairs is a province-wide program that encourages youth to see history around them. Heritage fairs have been held in our province for over 20 years, and today 14 communities proudly host 4,000 participating students and over 700 volunteers each spring. Some of those students are selected to attend the annual Provincial Heritage Fair, a five-day history camp hosted in different parts of the province in July each year.
History of the Heritage Fairs
The Charles R. Bronfman Foundation Heritage Project was started in 1993 to increase awareness of Canadian heritage and to create an exciting learning environment for students of history. This CRB Heritage Project began the Heritage Fairs Program nationwide by introducing a series of Fairs in every province and territory. Management of this initiative was then taken over by the Historica Foundation whereby the program grew substantially throughout Canada. The first-ever Regional Fair was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1993.
From that small beginning, the Fairs Program expanded to include school and regional fairs in every Canadian province and territory and annual national fairs from Victoria to St. John’s. In 2009, the Historica Foundation of Canada and The Dominion Institute merged to create the Historica-Dominion Institute. This marked the end of Historica involvement and the end of national fairs. Canada’s History stepped in to provide some national coordination and support for the Young Citizens program. However, a small group of dedicated volunteers vowed to continue the Fairs program on a provincial level in British Columbia and formed our society.
What has stayed the same for Heritage Fairs throughout these changes have been our goals. We want to:
- Create an environment where students are excited to learn and share
- Provide recognition for student achievement
- Celebrate cultural diversity and multiple perspectives
- Reveal connections between the past and present
- Inspire Canadians to learn and care about their country’s past
Partners & Affiliates
The Society is under the Distinguished Patronage of the Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. It is affiliated with Canada’s National History Society and Heritage BC.