Step 1. Classroom & School Heritage Fairs
Each year, some 4,000 students participate in Fairs held in schools across the province of British Columbia. Participation varies from school to school. In some schools, only one student, or perhaps one classroom may participate (Classroom Fair), while in others several grades and classrooms may take part (School Fair). We encourage all teachers and students to get involved and learn more!
To participate, students first choose a topic in Canadian history to explore, often a family or local story. They develop a question that stems from their curiosity about that topic, and set about finding sources to answer it. Students create unique projects highlighting their chosen aspect of Canadian history or culture and present their project to their classmates, parents and community.
Where & When
School Fairs take place in approximately 80 communities across Canada. In BC, School Fairs generally take place between February and April.
Fairs are open to all grades and education options. However, to compete for a shot at the annual Provincial Fair, students must be registered in grades 4-10.
Find Out More
Teachers, please contact your Regional Coordinator to learn more about timelines, registrations and and to find out how you can get involved.
Regional Contact List
Step 2. Regional Heritage Fairs
After the school fairs, some students are invited to take part in one of the many Regional Fairs across British Columbia. Regional Heritage Fairs bring together the best projects from local schools at a one or two day showcase event. Approximately 1,200 students across the province present their projects to the public, respond to questions from judges, receive a wide variety of awards and share in the excitement of engaging heritage activities.
Step 3. Provincial Heritage Fair
Following the Regional Fairs, some students are chosen to showcase their projects in a key feature of our program, the Provincial Heritage Fair. This is an exciting, multi-day “history summer camp” for select students and alumni. Here, students have the opportunity to showcase their projects to the public, and participate in numerous heritage related activities and trips.
The showcase of projects is an excellent opportunity to forge links between youth and the community. Many of our student projects involve original research and many visitors discover stories from the past that are new to them. In addition, the activities and trips give an opportunity for the students to appreciate the history and culture of a different community and to make friends with students from across the province.
When & Where:
The Provincial Heritage Fair takes place for one week at the beginning of each July. Past venues include UBC in Vancouver, the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, and Barkerville.
Home and school students from grades 4 to 10 are eligible to participate in the BC Heritage Fair program. From the Regional Fairs, coordinators select students to attend the Provincial Fair in July. Students should be at least 10 years of age by the time of the Provincial Fair.
Step 4. Young Citizens
Students who participate in Heritage Fairs also have the opportunity to represent their region in the Young Citizens program. Participants in the Young Citizens program make a short video about their heritage fair topic, much like an evening news report or short documentary. The student videos are posted online and reviewed by a panel of judges for a chance to win a trip to Ottawa to attend the Canada’s History Youth Forum.