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Technology, War and Humanity — April 24, 2017

Technology, War and Humanity

One may wonder at what points do these three things, technology, war and humanity, coincide as one.  My path to this discovery is as follows.

Across Canada, April 9th marked the 100th anniversary of an identifying moment in Canadian history, the Battle of Vimy Ridge.  Since learning about this historical event, it has been my favourite moment along Canada’s journey to reach the present day, as it was one of the greatest battles led by Canada during World War I.  Beginning on April 19, 1997, the Battle of Vimy Ridge lasted three days of heavy combat before the Canadian troops were the only ones to emerge victorious.  Though many people had been lost over the course of the previous three days, this battle left such a great impact on the Canada as a whole.  In the end, while Canadians from across the country together delivered an unprecedented victory, they also proved to themselves and everyone else that they were their own united people, spreading feelings of nationalism across the country.  Today, the Vimy Memorial, located at the sight of the battle, stands to honour all Canadians who served in the Great War of 1914 – 1918.

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While I spent much of April 9th reflecting on all things Vimy Ridge, it also happened to get me thinking about greater aspects of war and tactics.  Thus I came up with my first topic of research:

“How did the nature of warfare and technology contribute to World War I?”

The Great War commenced on the 28th day of July 1914, and though many believed that the fighting would cease by Christmas of that year, the war continued to be a reality for people across the globe well into 1918.  The types of warfare used in World War I can often be identified by the military strategies that developed around the technological advances of that time.

For the first three years of the World War I, the military generals involved their troops in a war of attrition; a military strategy based on exhausting the enemy’s manpower and resources before their own were depleted.  This strategy proved to result in heavy casualties on both sides as a result of the new war technologies that were being developed.  These advancements in war technologies could be found on land, in the air and at sea.

Technology such as machine guns, artillery, war tanks and poisonous gases was developed for use on land.  Rifles that required soldiers to manually insert gunpowder were replaced by machine guns and artillery that were crafted to fire 400 to 500 rounds per minute, or send explosive shells 130 kilometres away.  This resulted in casualties followed by a stalemate that fostered the war of attrition as men were ordered “over the top,” only to be immediately mowed down by snipers or blown up by shells.  War tanks were finally able to withstand the force of machine guns, artillery and barbed wire, which allowed soldiers to advance in no man’s land and declare the trench warfare system obsolete.  On the battlefield, the Germans were the first to use chlorine gas, originally outlawed by international agreement, to suffocate soldiers to death.

In the air, technology such as dirigibles and biplanes were essentials of warfare.  Though they were not invented during the course of the war, they were originally used in reconnaissance missions (i.e., to scout the position of enemy troops).  Later on, they were enhanced to be equipped with top-mounted guns and grenades, which lead to aerial dogfights.  During World War I, life as a pilot was treacherous; thousands were killed in training and the length of the average career of a pilot could be measured in weeks.  Thus, where a pilot could prove he had shot down five enemy aircraft, he was named an air ace.

At sea, technology such as heavily armoured battleships and U-boats (i.e., submarines) were employed, distinctive of the British and Germans.  While the British HMS Dreadnought was respected as one of the largest and fastest battleships in the world, German U-boats could travel underwater without detection, carrying torpedoes that were used to attack merchant marine ships and freighters.  These merchant marine ships were transporting civilians, food, weapons and munitions, and were attacked by the Germans as an attempt to starve the British into submission.  In fact, in 1917, Germany announced that its U-boats would sink any ship within the British war zone, such as the Lusitania that was sunk along with 1200 Americans and Canadians on board, hoping to put pressure on Britain and help end the war.  However, the only thing that came of this threat was the entry of the United States into the war in 1917 on the side of the Allies, after American ships had become targets of the Germans.  Further, to combat the deadly repercussions of the German U-boats, eventually the convoy system was developed to provide merchant marine ships with armed destroyers as defense, and with underwater listening devices to locate German U-boats early.

Overall, the new types of warfare that had developed as a result of the advancements in war technologies could not prevent stubborn military generals from engaging in a war of attrition, and thus only served to contribute to the millions of deaths in the Great War.

Now, after having done research on the technology of World War I, I became curious about technology’s influence on humanity in drastic ways.  Thus I came up with my second topic of research:

“What is a significant technological development that has changed humanity?”

The first time I learned of the devastation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, on August 6th and 9th, 1945, I was led to firmly believe that no method of destruction could be more morally wrong than the technological development of the nuclear weapon that had been derived in Japan.  However, I can now fathom that humanity would be left in a far worse scenario, had nuclear weapons never been developed in the first place.  While this may seem contradictory, I believe that the technological development of nuclear weaponry has changed humanity for the better because the world today may coincidentally be a much more violent place had nuclear arsenal never existed.  Firstly, it was nuclear weaponry that brought an end to the Second World War, forcing Japan to surrender to the Allies.  Had the atomic bombs not been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the World War would have only continued to play out, costing many more lives in the detrimental process.  Secondly, despite nuclear arsenals being tools of mass destruction, they have also purposefully served as peacekeepers on various occasions since the Second World War.  Thus, nuclear deterrents can be attributed as a reason that we do not currently find ourselves in the midst of Word War Three.  Finally, nuclear weapons served to prevent the proliferation of other chemically and biologically hazardous materials that today are restricted by stronger regulations for their safety perils.  At the same time, the technological development of nuclear arsenal has allowed for a greater understanding of the atom itself and nuclear pulse propulsion, which in turn has allowed for further technological developments of spacecraft and space travel.  To these extents, though nuclear weapons have inflicted their fair share of damage on our world, I resolutely believe that the technological development of nuclear weaponry has, and continues to, change the course of humanity in our favour by providing civilization with a safer place to exist.

 

 

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One may wonder at what points do these three things, technology, war and humanity, coincide as one.  In my research, I came to discover that one, simply put, cannot exist without the other.

SOURCES:

  1. http://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/history/after-the-war/remembrance/vimy-memorial/
  2. http://www.atomicheritage.org/history/attack-pearl-harbor-1941

-Gita

Glenn Gould: The Story of a Canadian Genius — April 16, 2017

Glenn Gould: The Story of a Canadian Genius

“Occasionally irritated, often enthralled, usually impressed, and constantly fascinated.” -Critic

Born in 1932 and dead 50 years later, the Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould is the most enthralling and enigmatic character classical music has ever seen.

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Gould was born in Toronto on September 25, 1932 to Florence and Bert Gould. Ever since he was born, he displayed a natural aptitude for piano, and started playing at just three years old. He demonstrated perfect pitch, as well as an uncanny ability to memorize music quickly. Despite clear gifts and skills, Gould never did well in school, and never earned his high-school diploma. He studied with the Chilean pianist Alberto Guerrero, and became a world-renowned pianist at just 21 with his recording of The Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Gould started to tour around North America, and in May 1957, embarked on his biggest journey yet: a month-long series of concerts in Russia. Almost no Westerners had performed in the Soviet Union since the end of World War II, and Gould performed to sold-out crowds in Moscow and Leningrad. His influence to the musical students who were at his concerts still remain to this day. The tour could be considered to be the high point of Gould’s performing career. He contracted several illnesses in a subsequent tour around Europe the next year, and one particular incident greatly damaged his image of concerts. During a collaboration with the American conductor Leonard Bernstein for a concert in New York, they found themselves having different interpretations of the work they were to perform. The composition was ultimately played Gould’s way, but Bernstein gave an impromptu speech before the concert declaring that he did not agree with the interpretation. Gould loved the speech, but was consequently destroyed in newspaper reviews. In 1964, due to the New York performance, and a multitude of other reasons (he once said of concerts: “I think they’re a force of evil”), Gould decided to quit giving concerts in 1964 and focused on exclusively recording music.

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Gould with Bernstein.

Switching to recording was the most controversial decision he ever made, as no classical musician had ever done so before (and no one has since either). Gould hated the multitude of variables that came with performing: different pianos, temperature of the halls and audience distractions. The recording studio offered him a shelter, where only a handful of people were in attendance at once and he could edit the works to perfection. He thrived out of the public eye, and kept a steady pace of recordings through the 1960’s and 70’s. In 1982, Gould died of a stroke in Toronto General Hospital. He had celebrated his 50th birthday just a week before, and had already planned to move to conducting and composing in his later years.

This decision wasn’t the only part of Gould’s personality that set him apart from others. The way he played his pieces – often completely disobeying the tempo and dynamic markings written out by the composer – infuriated critics and contemporaries. But his playing style was fresh and new, and that meant that there would always be people who loved the music and people who hated his playing.

 

 

 

But, as with most geniuses, Gould had his eccentricities as well. He was a creature of habit, wearing a scarf, hat and mittens in all temperatures, playing on the same chair for 30 years, and only eating one meal a day (it was always the same order at the same restaurant at the same time – scrambled eggs at a 24-hour diner around 4 A.M). Gould was also an extreme hypochondriac, once eating 2,000 pills in nine months, and recording his blood pressure every 30 minutes near the end of his life. These quirks naturally decreased his social life – Gould was never married. Gould was said to have been a lonely person, although those who were close to him remembered him as a warm, kind, and funny man. He loved nature, and often retreated by himself to Northern Ontario.

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Gould wearing his infamous cap, gloves, and coat.

Glenn Gould: reluctant performer, recording aficionado, television and radio extraordinaire, reclusive eccentric, autistic savant, and a man that left a long-lasting legacy. He was different than any musician who had come before or after him in every single respect. But it’s also important to remember that he was the modern Renaissance-man – he also composed, made radio and television documentaries, and wrote about music. And even though he died nearly 35 years ago, thanks to dozens of books, documentaries and commemorations, we will never forget the 50 years when Glenn Gould captivated the musical world.

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Gould, with the author.

By Lucas

 

British Columbia’s National Parks — April 5, 2017

British Columbia’s National Parks

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From the stunning west coast of the Pacific Rim National Park, to the vast rocky backdrop of Glacier National Park, British Columbia has some of the oldest and well known parks in Canada. Since the creation of Canada’s first national park in 1885 at Banff, national parks have come to be defined as areas that are set aside as a public heritage or trust to preserve outstanding examples of scenery, wilderness, geology, natural phenomena or native flora and fauna. The parks are dedicated to public use and enjoyment by all citizens. Trekking, beachcombing, kayaking/canoeing, surfing and camping are just some of the activities available when one visits these parks. In addition to outdoor activities, the parks preserve the natural history and cultural heritage of Canada.

Before venturing to some of British Columbia’s most popular national parks, let’s look back at how the first national park came to be. In 1885, the Canadian Pacific Railway fulfilled its goal of linking eastern Canada with the west coast by a transcontinental railway. During the exploration and building of the railway over the Rocky Mountains, the discovery of several mineral hot springs in Banff, prompted applications for private ownership of the springs. The federal government rejected the application and instead created a reserve around the hot springs. In November 1885 the first national park, the Banff National Park was created. Throughout its history, national parks were not always protected, logging, mining and development were still allowed. Between 1960-1985 saw policies for preservation and protection of national parks. In 2001, the Canada National Parks Act passed requiring a cap on commercial development in parks and required the legal designation of wilderness areas in national parks. In 2002, Parliament passed the Canada National Marine Conservation areas Act that further provided protections to marine areas.

Today, there are more than 40 national parks and national park reserves in Canada.

Yoho National Park and The Burgess Shale

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Yoho National Park is the second oldest National Park in Canada. It was declared as a National Park in 1886 after a visit by Prime Minister John A. Macdonald who arrived on the Transcontinental Railway. The Group of Seven founder, Lawren Harris’ painting, “Mountain Forms” inspired by the spiralling mountain backdrop of Yoho National Park recently sold for a record $11.21M at auction. Within the park, the Burgess Shale was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. The Burgess Shale is one of the world’s most significant fossil sites preserving soft bodied animals from over half a billion years ago.

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To learn more about Yoho National Park:

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/yoho/visit.aspx

http://www.field.ca/yohonationalpark/

To explore the history and science of the Burgess Shale go to:

https://www.burgess-shale.bc.ca

 

Glacier National Park

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Glacier National Park lies within the Columbia Mountains between Golden and Revelstoke. It was established in 1886 and drew visitors to take the railroad to view the scenery of steep mountainous terrain, valleys, glaciers and waterfalls. Glacier National Parks has one of Canada’s most extensive cave systems, the Nakimu Caves. This park is closely tied to two historical Canadian transportation routes, the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Trans – Canada Railway. The famous Roger’s Pass, located in the heart of the park, was used as a shortcut for both the Trans – Canada and Canadian Pacific Railways, and is also considered a National Historic Site of Canada.

 

To learn more about Glacier National Park go to:

http://www.canadianrockies.net/glacier-national-park/

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/glacier/visit.aspx

 

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

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Canada’s oldest national park reserve, the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, is located on the South west coast of Vancouver Island. It includes Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands and the West Coast Trail. The park was established in 1970 as the first national park reserve. The Pacific Rim National Park has a rich history of First Nations peoples settlement from thousands of years ago. The northern area of Long Beach is the most popular. It is easily accessible by road. Long Beach has 11 kilometres of beach providing an opportunity to explore the different areas of the marine park including the ocean, intertidal, beach and forest. The Broken Group Islands consists of more than 100 islands. This part of the coastline is known as Graveyard of the Pacific because storms, fog and strong currents have sunk many ships. The West Coast Trail is a world-class 75-kilometre hiking trail, which traverses through some of the most pristine west coast old growth forests to the rugged waves of the open Pacific. Access to the trail is through reservation.

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If you would like to learn more about this challenging hike go to:

http://www.westcoasttrailbc.com/trail_guidebook_map.htm

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/pacificrim/activ/activ6a/v.aspx

National parks not only preserve natural history but cultural history. The parks such as Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage site also give us a glimpse into the environment and homes of First Nations peoples, their culture and their art. Our nation’s spectacular national parks inspire our young and old to preserve and protect our natural wilderness. It reminds us of the importance of co-existence with our natural environment. Let’s ensure future generations enjoy and protect our nation’s natural heritage.

National parks are such a great place to explore and learn. Now more than ever, you should visit BC’s national parks because through Canada 150, you can get a free pass to visit our National Parks, Historical Sites and Marine Conservation areas all year! So go out and learn about Canada’s natural history!

Get your free pass:

http://www.commandesparcs-parksorders.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/parksb2c

-Abrielle

References

Kraus, J.A. and McNamee, Kevin. The National Parks of Canada. Key Porter Books Limited, 2004.

Lothian, W.F. A Brief History of Canada’s National Parks. Minister of the Environment, 1987.

Maybank, Blake and Mertz, Peter. The National Parks and Other Wild Places of Canada. Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 2001.

Photo Credits

Passenger Train – Yoho National Park Archives.

http://burgess-shale.rom.on.ca/en/parks-canada/learn/

Burgess Shale – Niddrie, John, Parks Canada.

http://burgess-shale.rom.on.ca/en/parks-canada/learn/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

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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

-Vedanshi

Cadets — February 26, 2017

Cadets

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!)

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

 

-Anisha

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).