BC Heritage Fairs Alumni

The Official Heritage Fairs Student Site

How to Push Through Procrastination — March 7, 2017

How to Push Through Procrastination

Before you roll your eyes at this title and go back to creating a to-do list of all things that you hope to accomplish in the next fifty years, take a moment to read through this article. Then… maybe roll your eyes.

It is that time of year again, when students are stuck between the hype of the beginning of the first semester of school, and the promise of another great summer break. Students lack the motivation they did at the beginning of the year to complete school assignments on time, and to the best of their abilities. School takes the backseat, as social life, and activities that are enjoyed partaking in seem much more relevant. (Where am I going to need quadratics in real life anyways? You only live once, so why waste time doing something so irrelevant like homework?) At this time, you are one of three people: the procrastinator, the non-procrastinator, or the undecided. If you fall into any of the first two categories, you have come to the right place. If you are in the third category, choose one of the first two. In this article, I will educate you on the issue of procrastination, how this habit impacts our lives, as well as measures you can take to becoming as close to a master non-procrastinator as possible.

What is procrastination? Procrastination is the action of putting off tasks, or delaying accomplishing them. For now, you may be able to get away with this “due tomorrow, do tomorrow” mentality, and if so, congratulations. As a master procrastinator, you are like approximately 26% of the population. In fact, according to studies, nearly 95% of college students attest to being procrastinators. One day, the clock’s going to run out of time, and if you’ve been the dedicated Netflix-lete that you know you have, then your assignment just won’t make the hand-in bin on time. If this habit escalates, the next thing you know, you’ve put off writing college admissions, or paying taxes, or rent. Hey, but don’t worry. An estimated 40% of the population have experienced financial loss due to procrastination. Doesn’t that make you feel special?

P brain

We’ve established that procrastination is an international issue that is only going to keep escalating as the years go on, and it becomes increasingly easier for people to disconnect, and not have to take responsibility for their actions.

What if we didn’t have the ability, or rather, the legroom to procrastinate? Would we be able to complete tasks punctually? Would our minds be physically capable of such a transition? Probably not. If not, then what will we do the day we must not procrastinate? What about the day that someone’s life depends on us?

Just like the overuse of smartphones mummifies our brains in alive corpses, and just like constantly validating yourself through social media creates low self-esteem and social interaction issues, procrastination gradually turns into a destructive habit that is hard to recover from.

Procrastination is a current, first-world issue.

While this all sounds very drastic, and dramatic, it doesn’t have to sentence human existence into this set-in-stone definition. There are fortunately ways to overcome procrastination, so that this rising issue can be curbed before it engulfs our race. From my research, I have narrowed many solutions into three key points:

  1. Create detailed, and specific task lists instead of general to-do lists. Prioritize the tasks based on factors such as time constraints, difficulty level, and importance to you.
  2. Each time you think you shouldn’t do a task based on the available time, remember this: 2 minutes wasted each day amounts to an hour wasted each month, and half a day wasted in an entire year. Do it now, it’s ok if you can’t finish it. After all, igniting the fire is the hardest part.
  3. Don’t forget to celebrate! Treat yourself on a job well done, but don’t overdo it. (Who am I kidding, there’s no such thing as too much chocolate ;p)

In conclusion, procrastination is a rapidly escalating issue that must be immediately addressed, and let the change begin with you by, well, getting started! (No. Don’t say “I’ll do it later” because you know you won’t.)

As much as I hope I have inspired you to become an Olympic-level anti-procrastinator, there are many more qualified experts who have put their efforts into creating amazing resources, and great content. Be sure to check out the following links:

TED Talk by Tim Urban: https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_urban_inside_the_mind_of_a_master_procrastinator
How to Stop Procrastinating by watchwellcast: https://youtu.be/Qvcx7Y4caQE


Cadets — February 26, 2017


Chances are, you probably know someone who is in the Cadet program, whether Air, Army, or Navy. Ask them and they’ll probably love or hate the program. Most can agree Cadets comes with opportunities galore, and those able to adjust to the system also benefit from it. This program is rewarding, especially for the top senior Cadets who are selected to participate in summer camps and represent not only their home squadron, but their region on a national, or even global scale. However, for some, Cadets is tiring, with strict rules of discipline and huge amounts of pressure.

I have been in Air Cadets for three years, feeling both the pressures and joys of the program. I went to Vernon in the summer to participate in a three week Basic Drill and Ceremonial Course, met amazing people, but also had to forego almost half my summer. I also just came back from a field training exercise, or FTX, sleeping overnight in Chilliwack on snow that came halfway up to my knees and got sick. Fun.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I thought it would be interesting just to look at how the Canadian government wants to develop the next generation. In fact, it is one of the largest federally sponsored youth programs, with a $250 million dollar budget. As Cadets, we earn money to go to summer camps, though not a lot. During FTXs, the meals we eat, MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) are chock full of preservatives, rather gross, and cost more than normal food. Likewise, going gliding and fam flying as Air Cadets cost a significant amount of money.

The most interesting idea I found is that the government chose a military-based program to develop for youth. Canada is known for being a peace-loving country, and it is an image I’m sure the government will work to maintain. The relation between Cadets and the military is an interesting question brought up as the government sees the program as “an important investment in our youth today and a means of safeguarding our future tomorrow.”

The Cadets page on the Canadian government’s website states Cadets are not in the military, but the program is very similar to the military.  Like the military, Cadets address ranks, learn skills such as shooting a rifle, and participate in similar activities. Both the Cadet program and military value a highly-structured, well-organized system, with strict rules and regulations.

The program now focuses less on developing future soldiers and more on building strong citizens, stating that “while they are introduced to Sea, Army and/or Air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces and certain traditions, they are also introduced to many other respectable career choices that are available to them.” However, the program started out as way to develop soldiers, and the system clearly reflects military values like cooperation and discipline.

Veronica Xia

Flight Corporal

Tiger Flight

655 Richmond RCACS

(That’s how to close an email in Cadets!)


Accepting Diversity — February 18, 2017

Accepting Diversity

Given the events happening in the world at this time, it is the perfect opportunity to reflect upon the positive contributions we are making to the community.

In the last few months, Canadians have seen the desperation of people in the midst of war-torn countries, caught in the dishonesty of the government and most importantly, facing the deaths of loved ones. So during difficult times like these, when corruption runs deep and thousands of men, women and children are forced to leave their homes, it is important for citizens in Canada to put aside our judgments, as well as open our doors for those who need it.


Although it is hard to admit, every person in society has the tendency to push away others that are not of the same race, religion, upbringing and even wealth. However, let’s face it; we are all human and diversity plays a large role in our lives.

Having experienced these tragedies from a safe environment, it is up to us to adapt quickly to change. Trust me, it won’t come without sacrifice, but learning to accept these immigrants will allow Canada to gain respect for people living all over the world in conditions that are not ideal.

In addition to this, let me remind you of how at least twenty percent of Canadian citizens were immigrants at some time and had to endure the hardships and challenges that come along with adapting to the customs of a foreign country. Let me also remind you of how in the past, Canadian citizens pushed away Chinese, Asian and Indian immigrants at their most vulnerable stages, all of which became successful and allowed the economy to flourish (by increasing job opportunities).

You see, often times we are hesitant because we are scared or fear the uncertainty that change brings. Despite this fear we hold, change is what allows us to grow as individuals and progress as a society. So my challenge for you is to reach out to someone that you wouldn’t think to, whether it is in the classroom, at work or in your community. Give a compliment, lend a hand, or even make small talk with a stranger; it is often the small gestures we make that brighten up the atmosphere around us. Whether it is being counted for or not, never underestimate a moment of your kindness as it has the power to change lives in ways you may never know.

– Jaia


A Friendly Cultural Exchange — January 29, 2017

A Friendly Cultural Exchange


International friends are some of the best friends that you could ever make. Meeting new people from different countries is an amazing experience that will influence your life and your international friends’ lives forever and I can guarantee that it is one of the best things that will ever happen to you and your international friends. As part of the BCHFS Alumni we focus on culture and heritage. Meeting new people from other countries is a very fun way to learn about different cultures and their diverse history. By becoming friends with international students you can both learn so much and take part in a rich cultural exchange.


There are so many great reasons why you should befriend international students:

  • Having a Canadian friend is really nice for them. Imagine going to a completely new country where the language spoken isn’t your first language. You’re all alone and you’re staying with this new host family you’ve never met before. Then you attend a school very different from yours filled with teenagers who already have their own friends. I bet that you would feel nervous and shy, and that a friendly “hello” would be appreciated. It’s really nice to be friendly and inclusive to new people. It makes them feel welcome and happy. I know it would’ve made my day.
  • In other countries the culture and whole atmosphere is quite different from here. From being friends with people from Germany, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Colombia, Mexico, and Belgium I have learned so much about the world. I have learned about school, the landscape, activities, and lives in general. It’s so interesting to discover how different life is everywhere else and I really value this new information and these ideas. In turn, international students learn so much from you. I’ve noticed that most international students tend to hang out with other international students, particularly others from their own countries. When this happens they don’t get to experience real “Canadian youth culture” so I think they would appreciate it more when they get the “whole” fun experience.
  • The cultural exchange that occurs between an International-Canadian friendship is so valuable. I’ve experienced so many new things because of my international friends. I’ve learned a bit of German, Portuguese, Japanese, Czech, and Italian, and have improved my French. I’ve also tasted Brazilian food and German cookies. And I must say, Brazilian food is delicious and traditional German Christmas cookies are yummy!
  • If you do future traveling you may have a place to stay. I will guarantee you that you will want to visit your friends’ countries. I learned so much and heard lots about where my friends come from and I will definitely see those places and visit my friends!
  • You get to see your home in a whole new way, as they do. Since becoming friends with international students, I have rediscovered the beauty of Vancouver and learned so much more about my city. I’ve learned to appreciate the elegance and diversity of my city and realized how lucky I am to live here.

This exchange program is one of the best opportunities for both international and Canadian students to meet new people who will become friends for life. At my school, roughly 100 students arrive to learn English and to experience Canadian school and life throughout each school year. In just two years I’ve met so many people, and became close friends with eight of them.

Last year, in grade ten, I became best friends with three amazing people. I have wonderful memories of our times together that I will never forget.

This year, I met new people from the Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, and Belgium and became really close friends with lots of them. I go skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, rowing, and hiking with them, among various other activities. Over winter break I invited four of my new international friends over to my house one evening to watch a Christmas movie, visit, and play some games. It was amazing because in one room there were five countries: Germany, Brazil, Italy, Canada, and South Korea. We ate East Indian pakoras, Polish pierogies, Swiss chocolate fondue, and Scottish shortbread and Canadian chocolate chip cookies. It was a super fun, extremely multicultural evening.

The time that international students spend here in Canada is relatively short, but during that time you will experience invaluable moments and receive memories that you will cherish forever. On Monday I said goodbye to a friend from Brazil and in just a few days I will have to say goodbye to my German friend as well. It’s always sad when you have to say goodbye, but I believe that the farewell is only temporary because I know I will see my friends again.

Becoming friends with international students is one of the best things that you could ever do. It’s such an amazing experience that will enrich your life and your new friends’ lives and the bond that is created between you is very strong and the memories are unforgettable.

By Siobhan

New Year, New You? — January 22, 2017

New Year, New You?


As January is coming to a close the doors to 2017 are just opening. The New Year marks a time where people get to start fresh and set goals. On December 31st millions make a new year’s resolution, a promise that they are going to do something to better themselves.

I am not against making New Year’s resolutions, but I do think that if you have a goal you shouldn’t wait until the clock strikes twelve to become successful, you should start now. It’s different for certain people; the New Year might be an inspiration for some to achieve something. But many make resolutions, and then don’t end up keeping them. Studies have shown that only 5% of people tend to achieve their New Year goal.  When you don’t work towards your goal you’re telling yourself that it’s not a priority. Try changing the way you think. Instead of telling yourself you don’t have time, try saying, “it’s not a priority.” For example, if your goal is to become a healthier person try saying, “my healthy isn’t a priority so I am not going to work on it.” If saying this sits with you alright maybe try finding out what is a priority.

We often put things off until tomorrow. We say this to simple things like doing the dishes or finishing our homework. If you have the time in the moment, you might as well get it done with, right? But getting little things done in our day and age can be a struggle to some because we can be too busy looking at our  screens. A lot of people think the youth is becoming addicted to technology, but the reality is technology is our future. With this said I encourage everyone to look away from their screens and to do something they have been saying they would do but “didn’t have time for.”

I encourage you to try new things, explore new places, and don’t wait for the New Year to change because one day there may not be not be a tomorrow.



Introducing the 2016/2017 Alumni Team — November 15, 2016

Introducing the 2016/2017 Alumni Team

Without further ado, I would like to announce the 2016/2017 Alumni Team!

  1. Julia  – Kamloops-Thompson Rivers
  2. Lucas  – Rivers to Sea
  3. Siobhan  (S2S) – Sea to Sky
  4. Anisha  – Delta-Surrey
  5. Sage  – North Island
  6. Heather  – North Island
  7. Matthew  – Vancouver
  8. Abrielle – Vancouver
  9. Benjamin  – South Island
  10. Jaia  – Richmond
  11. Gita  – Richmond
  12. Vedanshi  – Richmond
  13. Veronica  – Richmond

Last year, the alumni tackled the theme of the “Internet”. They investigated questions related to how the society could grow their online presence. As a result, the BC Heritage Fair Society saw an increased number of blogs and video posts created by the Alumni team. Also, thanks to suggestions from the Alumni Team, The Society  has their very own Instagram account. We’re on Youtube, too! (Check it out : https://www.youtube.com/user/BCHeritageFairs )

In the coming year, there are no plans to stop these exciting initiatives!  The Alumni will continue to work on maintaining a strong online presence. They will update this site with monthly blog posts, and they will also help create content for our Facebook Page. Participation in these online communities will be instrumental in helping the society reach new audiences.

Speaking of communities… This is precisely the focus of this year’s theme.  This year, the Alumni Council will explore the  relationship between history  and community. For example, we will discuss questions such as: Why is it important for communities (local, provincial, or national) to pay tribute to important historical events, people, and places? How do communities benefit from celebrating the past? Moreover, how can organizations such as BCHFS and the Alumni Team help communities connect to their past?

It is sure to be a very exciting year. Stay tuned for Alumni bios!




Apply to be on the 2016-2017 Alumni Council! — September 6, 2016

Apply to be on the 2016-2017 Alumni Council!

Hello all you Heritage-Fair enthusiasts out there! It’s that time of year again: applications for our 2016-2017 Alumni Council are out.

Want to grow your leadership skills, meet like-minded students from across the Province, and earn volunteer service hours at the same time?!If you’ve participated in a Heritage Fair in BC and are under the age of 18, you are eligible to participate in the Alumni Program!

Council will run from November through to August– the meetings are held once a month, totaling 10 meetings. Every month’s meeting will be accompanied by a one hour assignment, as well as required blog and social media posts. Participation in the Alumni Program allows students the opportunity to remain active in the Heritage Fair community, beyond participating in the regional or provincial fairs. As such, an Alumni can be anyone who presented at a Regional or Provincial Fair, who has a passion for learning, and is engaged by Canada’s history. Currently, there are 13 spaces in the program.

BCHFS Alumni Council Application 2016-2017

The deadline to submit your applications is Friday September 30th .

If you are interested in this exciting opportunity, get in touch with your Region’s Heritage Fair Coordinator! (A list of the Coordinators can be found under the “Contact Us” tab).

A Year in Review — August 26, 2016

A Year in Review

The 2015-2016 Alumni Council just had their last official conference call. Over the past year, the thirteen of us worked together to achieve the goals we had set. Our theme was polishing the current social media accounts, and building upon, and improving the online presence of the BCHFS.
Each month, we attended conference calls where we discussed reflected upon the successes, and disappointments from previous initiatives. The Alumni created, and implemented new strategies, which were founded with the lessons learned from past experiences. Sometimes, we would complete assignments, such as blog entries, or social media posts, individually. Other times, we’d work on creating accessible resources for students, parents, and teachers in groups of two to three people.In my group of three Alumni, we have made a program for Regional Heritage Fair graduates, and it will be inaugurated next Heritage Fair season. I won’t give away too many details, but stay tuned into our blog to find out about it- announcements are soon to follow!
At the BC Provincial Heritage Fair, the highlight event of the year, the Alumni representatives documented each day’s events with blog posts, social media updates, and media such as photographs and videos. (Story time!) I remember this one time at the fair when a student came up to me to tell me that she had found my video on Interview Tips really helpful. It was great to know that the resources the Alumni had created were helping people! It feels really good when you see your hard work pay off- I can guarantee that all the Alumni feel this way after the successes of the past year.
Special announcement: If you are a student who has been to a BC Provincial Heritage Fair, and would like to take on a leadership role in the society, applications for the 2016-2017 Alumni Council come out soon! Make sure you stay connected with us via social media, so that you can be the first to know about such opportunities.
BCHFS is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Make sure you subscribe to our blog– we post weekly entries by the Alumni, and there are tools, and resources for everyone!

Author: Vedanshi

A Timeline of the Canadian Fight for Equal Rights — August 19, 2016

A Timeline of the Canadian Fight for Equal Rights

This July, Vancouver hosted its 38th Pride Parade, an annual event where a number of diverse communities come together to celebrate the years of hardship and turmoil endured by our LGBTQ2+ ancestors. While the fight for equal rights is by no means over, there have been many events throughout Canada’s history that have helped make great progress towards the success of this movement. Although these events might only seem significant to a certain demographic, the results truly affected all Canadians, regardless of sexuality or beliefs, and I think it’s important for adults and children alike to understand Canada’s queer history. While the education system puts much emphasis on learning about Canada’s diverse culture and the many people who faced adversity while building our country, next to nothing is taught regarding our rich LGBTQ2+ history. I believe that in order to keep from falling back into old ways, it is imperative that we all, whether queer or straight, have an understanding and appreciation for the struggles faced by our ancestors.

p.flag images

In the 19th century, Canadian law stated that “”Every person guilty of the abominable crime of Buggery, committed either with mankind or with any animal, shall suffer death as a felon.” This continued until 1892, when the death penalty was removed and a new, broader law was created that condemned all homosexual activity. By the mid-1900s, this law had again been reformed to label gay males as sex offenders, or even worse, “criminal sexual psychopaths”, and called for a lifetime prison sentence.

In the 1950s, the infamous “fruit machine” was used to purge hundreds of alleged gay men from their jobs. The machine’s intent was to identify homosexuals by subjecting viewers to male and female pornographic images then measuring pupil dilation, which was believed to be a measure of “erotic response”. Unsurprisingly, this method was questionable and clearly flawed in many ways, and fell out of favour after a decade. Allegations made towards Northwest Territories resident Everett George Klippert also arose to the public’s eye during this time. Klippert was questioned under accusations of committing arson, but after rigorous questioning he was instead arrested for another reason: admitting to intercourse with a number of men, and a refusal to change ways. Klippert was charged with four counts of “gross indecency”, labeled a ‘dangerous sex offender’, sentenced to a life in prison, and became the last Canadian to be incarcerated for homosexual activity.

In 1969, the omnibus bill, C-150, was passed, and homosexual activity was decriminalized. Said Pierre Trudeau (who would soon become Prime Minister), “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” Not long after, Klippert was released from custody. The 1970s saw the emergence of the gay liberation movement, in which communities across the globe began to stand up for gay rights through the organization of rallies, protests, and pride events. Canada’s first programming and media oriented towards the gay community appeared, Quebec became the first jurisdiction in the entire world to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, and Canada’s laws were amended to permit homosexual immigrant men into the country.

In the 1980s, New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Svend Robinson tried repeatedly to pass inclusivity bills that would for example, include “partner of the same sex” in the definition of “spouse”. He was defeated each time, but later became Canada’s first “out” Member of Parliament. What is dubbed “Canada’s version of Stonewall” took place in 1981, after over 300 men were arrested in an gay bathhouse. Thousands took to the streets to protest the arrests, and this spawned Toronto’s first Lesbian and Gay Pride Day. The ‘80s also brought the HIV/AIDS epidemic, in which hundreds of gay men fell ill due to an incurable sexually transmitted disease. This did nothing to help the public’s outlook on gay men, which was already heavily influenced by stigmas and stereotypes. Homosexual males were, and still are, prohibited from donating blood with the Red Cross.

The 1990s marked another great milestone for Canada’s queer community: Kim Campbell, then-Justice Minister, announced that homosexuals would be permitted to join the Canadian Armed Forces. In addition, same-sex adoption became legal in a number of provinces. 1996 saw the addition of “sexual orientation” to the Canadian Human Rights Act, a fight finally won after years of defeated bills.

In 2000, the definition of “common-law relationship” was extended to include same-sex couples, meaning that gay couples would receive the same tax, pension, and income benefits as opposite-sex couples. Ontario’s first same-sex couple was married in the Metropolitan Community Church, although the government refused to legally recognize the marriage. This soon changes in 2002, when Canada recognizes same-sex marriage and the Ontario Supreme Court declares the prohibition of same-sex marriage unconstitutional. However, this same year, Alberta passes a bill to ban same-sex marriage.

It was another three years before the right for same-sex couples to get married is officially recognized in Canada. On July 20th, 2005, Canada became the fourth country to do so. Since then, much has been done to continue reversing the stigmas and discrimination still aimed at the LGBTQ2+ community. Many people in the transgender community are still fighting for the right to legally identify as their true gender, and discrimination is by no means abolished in the workplace or in the everyday lives of queer people. As we move on, we must continue to remember why we are fighting for these rights, and we cannot forget the many who sacrificed their livelihoods to give us the privileges we have today.


Author: Emily

History on the GO — August 15, 2016

History on the GO

History is everywhere. Behind every building, every mural, every memorial, there is a story.

Abrielle - poke1
Old Electric Trolley, photo by author

The new game Pokemon Go can help to uncover and  highlight some of Vancouver’s histories. While players walk through the city trying to catch pokemon, they gather pokeballs which can be collected from pokestops. Pokestops are usually placed on historical landmarks and ‘lures’ are placed on pokestops to attract pokemon. Players called ‘pokemon trainers’ have been rushing to pokestops all around Vancouver including great historical landmarks in the hopes to ‘catch them all!’

With the game’s increasing popularity, more people have been noticing these historical landmarks. Play the game and you can find some interesting stories everywhere in Vancouver. Here are some examples of historically significant pokestops.

Abrielle - poke2
Joe Fortes Fountain, photo by author

The Joe Fortes memorial fountain overlooking English Bay (built in 1927 from funds raised mainly by children) commemorates Vancouver’s first official lifeguard. Joe Fortes spent all his free time protecting swimmers along English Bay and teaching children how to swim. He saved many people from drowning. An important Vancouverite, Joe Fortes made a positive impact on our city. In 1986 Joseph Seraphim Fortes was named Vancouver’s Citizen of the Century.

The Beatty Street mural (located on Beatty Street near historical Hogan’s Alley and across from the British Columbia Regiment Drill Hall) features local landmarks and prominent people of Vancouver, such as Joe Fortes, Jimi Hendrix, Rosemary Brown, Bill Reid, Joe Capilano, David Suzuki and many more.

abrielle - poke3
Beatty Street mural, photo by author

Some other historical landmarks that are also pokestops:  CPR Tunnel Plaque, Harry Jerome Statue, First City Hospital Heritage Plaque, the Great Vancouver Fire Plaque, and Woodwards building.

Abrielle - poke4
Jimi Hendrix museum, photo by author

Pokestops also may help historical museums and small businesses. It has been reported that museums and other businesses put lures at their locations/pokestop to attract pokemon. After a few minutes, trainers would stream in to buy tickets and enter the museum, catching pokemon while learning about history. The Jimi Hendrix museum in Vancouver must have experienced similar increase in foot traffic because they were also a pokestop.

Not only can Pokemon Go help people discover histories in murals, museums and memorials, it can also highlight the more obscure local histories like the Gyrochute. If you want to learn more about the story behind the Gyrochute, you can visit this pokestop at Kitsilano Beach.

Abrielle - poke5
Local History, photo by author

Pokestops are an opportunity to learn about Vancouver’s history. This is a great way to explore and learn about history because history is everywhere! So go out, catch some pokemon and learn about your city’s rich history.

Author: Abrielle