Who supports Heritage Fairs?
The Honorary Patron of the BC Heritage Fairs Society is the Honourable Judith Guichon, the Lieutenant Governor. Each region has a coordinator from a museum, school district, or heritage society who oversees the planning, promotion, and running of the Regional Fair. The BC Heritage Fairs Society has a board of volunteer directors and a Provincial Coordinator.
The Heritage Fairs program begins with teachers who guide students to successfully complete their research projects. It depends upon the many volunteers, including student alumni, to do the many jobs big and small involved in running a Fair. Above all, the students who enthusiastically share their research into our history and spread the word about the program are supporters.
We are supported as well by our partners:
Canada’s History, The History Education Network, and the Critical Thinking Consortium.
We receive financial support from the Heritage Branch, Provincial Gaming Commission, and many individual donors.
How can I support the BC Heritage Fairs Society?
One-time or regular tax-deductible donations may be made to the BC Heritage Fairs Society.
FAQ for Students
Why should I participate in a Heritage Fair?
You are the only one that learns about this topic. You become the expert who gets to share what you know with your classmates. At the regional fair you get to share with family and visitors.
Along the way, you get to learn valuable research, communication, and presentation skills that you’ll use for life. The main purpose, however, is to have fun while you learn about history. And history is the best way we know to learn about the fourth dimension, time. Visit our inspiration channels to see what some past students have to say about their experiences:
Can I do a Heritage Fairs project with a partner?
Many students work with a partner to create a project. Remember, though, that only one student per project may attend the Provincial Fair in July.
Even if you are creating an individual project, it is always a good idea to share ideas and resources with others and to work together to edit your writing and to practice your presentations.
Where can I find some examples of good projects?
Visit the gallery to view a portfolio of past projects and find links to video projects.
Where can I find some good sources?
Visit Student Resources If you feel stuck, talk to your teacher, librarian, museum educator, and fellow students – they can all help.
Why do I have to do a project on Canadian history? Why can’t I do a project on the history of my home country?
If you and your family are new to Canada, then you are already part of an important Canadian story: immigration. Stories of people moving to Canada and the meeting of different cultures is as common today as it was in Canada’s past. If your family’s story can help others appreciate and understand the experiences of moving to a different place, adapting to new people, interacting in a unique culture, celebrating good times, and overcoming the bad times, chances are your that you are on the right path.
Visit Student Resources for excellent information on selecting your Fair Project topic, and great tips and links on sharing a story that interests you.
What is the alumni program? How can I join?
The Alumni Program is the youth component of the Heritage Fairs Society. Involvement in the Alumni team allows students the opportunity to remain active in the Heritage Fair community beyond participating in the regional or provincial fairs.
An Alumnus can be anyone who presented a project at a Regional or Provincial Fair who has a passion for learning and is engaged by Canada’s history. Currently, there are 20 spaces in the program. These 20 students—from across the province—meet once or twice a month via conference call to discuss Heritage Fair related topics and issues and to work on projects which connect them to their peers and the greater heritage community.
To learn more about the Alumni Program, please visit
Teachers and Parents
I don’t live in a region that has a Heritage Fair. What should I do?
If you want to have an individual student or a small number of students attend a Regional Fair, please contact the Regional Coordinator who is nearest to you and she or he may be able find a place. If you are a teacher who wants to have a your classroom, your school or several schools involved, contact the Provincial Coordinator, Becky Burns.
Do the Regional Fairs accept home-schooled students?
Home-schooled students are usually welcome to apply to any Regional Fair; however, because they will not be part of a school fair, the selection process will differ from Fair to Fair. Please contact your local Regional Fair Coordinator to find out about home-schooled students.
How do you assess a project? Are there rubrics?
Evaluation at the school level is the responsibility of the teacher. For those students who go on to a Regional Fair, it is the responsibility of the local coordinator. However, we suggest the use of:
How do Heritage Fairs fit in the social studies curriculum?
How long does it take to teach a Heritage Fairs unit?
The length of time generally depends on the age of students and their experience with research in social studies, as well as how much in-depth time the teacher wishes to dedicate to the unit. Because a Fair’s unit effectively covers multiple learning objectives and competencies in the new curriculum, teachers generally choose to make Fair projects the major social studies focus for a month and sometimes more.
How do the Fairs fit with historical thinking?
A Heritage Fair project is a historical inquiry which involves the key concepts of evidence such as interpreting sources, asking questions, and cross-checking several sources. The student’s topic should also be one of historical significance, which is another concept in historical thinking. Apart from this, the project’s connection to historical thinking will depend on the topic. It could involve cause and consequence or change and continuity. It could explore how people thought and felt in the past about life around them or it could try to answer an ethical question about how we should remember the past and obligations we might have to our ancestors or to other groups of people.
We suggest viewing past examples of projects that effectively reflect historical thinking at the:
Do students learn more by doing Heritage Fairs?
Yes. A well planned research project is an important tool for learning content knowledge and critical thinking concepts, skills and habits of mind. In addition:
- Students become the experts who present to an authentic audience which can increase their motivation to learn
- Students learn by doing history: they develop questions; find, sort and interpret sources; read widely and deeply to analyze, to think creatively, to write in many different formats, to problem-solve, and to communicate results
- The Fairs progam also develops “soft” skills, such as curiosity, perseverance, and dealing with failure and frustration
Learn more about the benefits of Heritage Fair participation, and gain access to great teacher resources: