Heritage Fair Project Guidelines and Requirements
We’ve put together a list of guidelines and requirements to help you create your heritage fair project. School, regional and community based fairs may have their own guidelines, so please check with the Regional Coordinator in your area. The guidelines and requirements given below are for display boards, the most common medium at a Fair.
All Heritage Fair projects must:
- Have a Canadian theme
- Include a title, credits, written summary and/or research journal and bibliography
- Ensure that photographs are properly credited
- Have the permission of any person or organization clearly identifiable in a presentation
- Be clearly labeled with student’s name, school and grade in the bottom right corner of the display
- Be free standing (no wall access), this includes all displays and backboards
- Not exceed 80cm deep, 150cm wide and 100cm high – a commercially produced display board is the correct size format. Students may add to their display by expanding upward and forward as long as it is free standing and does not exceed these dimensions
- Ensure that students formulate their own topics and research questions, and conduct some of their research independently. Teachers and parents are welcome to assist with student projects, but the emphasis must remain on student learning and understanding
- Include an oral explanation of the student’s topic
- Projects are welcome in both Canadian official languages. Where available, all efforts will be made to provide adjudicators that speak French
- Be presented by only one student at the Provincial Fair. Students may prepare projects as a group, but must select one individual to present in advance at the Provincial Fair. Check with your Regional Coordinator as to the expectations for your particular Regional Fair
- Not contain profanity, racial/sexist remarks or other potentially offensive matter
In addition to the required elements listed above, projects should include at least one creative component that is appropriate to the topic. Before you decide on a creative component for your project, think about all of the possibilities: models, maps, dioramas, creative writing, original art work, computer displays, videos, interviews, music, dance, drama and anything else that lets you best share your story about Canadian history. The most effective creative components are integrated with the content, for example, a video. Requirements and criteria will depend on your teacher.
Creative components may be, but are not limited to, the following:
- Archival photographs – permission and information obtained from museum or original owner
- Artistic Displays – original visual artwork of the presenter
- Audio Tapes – on standard audiocassette, including a title and credits
- Cartoons – black & white or colour
- Collections – historic or modern, with some historical relevance
- Computer Displays – designed and created by students with minimal technical support
- Drama and Skits – live or taped performance
- Maps – that illustrate an event or theme in Canadian history
- Models and Crafts – that demonstrate some aspect of family or Canadian heritage
- Music and Dance – live performance
- Oral Histories – interviewing and recording the stories of local pioneers in connection to your subject
- Photographs – original photographic work of the presenter
- Poetry – original written work of the presenter
- Short Stories and Fictional Diary Entries
- TV or Movie Scripts
- Videos – you can see examples here: Visit CanadasHistory.
Tips & Reminders
Have fun: If you are excited about your project, other people will be interested too. So pick a topic that truly interests you!Think outside the box: Unique projects are encouraged, and projects in a wide variety of formats are acceptable, so get those creative juices flowing.
Stay close to home: Local, provincial, regional, or international history or heritage can be researched, but projects based on family or local history are highly desirable.
Don’t break the bank: Basic supplies like poster boards, coloured paper and art/craft materials should be your only cost.
Use primary sources: There may be someone in your community who is an expert on your topic or has first hand information about it; local museums, local historical society, and heritage groups are great places to start. Visit Student Resources for more information.
Make it your own: It is fine to ask for help with your project, but be sure that you fully understand all of the information you’re given, and that the actual work you present is your own.
Speak up: Students must be able to share the stories you have learned with judges/adjudicators and the public at the Fair.
Q & A: Be prepared to answer questions: Not just about the facts, but also about why you chose the topic and the format that you used.
Be original: Show off what you learn by using original work rather than copies of what other people have done.
Credit where credit is due: When you do adapt the work of other people, give them credit by including a bibliography or works cited section in your project.
Early check up: Ask your teacher to check your project early to make sure that it meets all of the Heritage Fair requirements.
Stand out: Display your project on a sturdy, stand-alone backboard, or other type of tabletop exhibit with visuals and text that catch people’s attention. Watch “It is More than a Display Board” PowerPoint for more information.
Background info: If your project includes a performance, consider printing a program that tells the judges and the audience about your special presentation.
Get wired: If your project requires electricity or other special equipment, remember to include that information on your Project Registration form.
From A to B: Design your project so that you will be able to transport it to and from the Fair at your school: if you are chosen to attend the Regional Fair, you may need to pack your project for transportation a second time.
Accidents happen: Think twice about including valuable or irreplaceable items in your project. Instead, consider using photographs of expensive items and placing fragile objects under a glass or plastic cover for protection, or create a model of the item.
Say cheese: You’ve worked hard and should be proud of your work, so take a picture of yourself and your project for your scrapbook.