BC Heritage Fairs Alumni

The Official Heritage Fairs Student Site

#MuseumWeek — March 25, 2016


Are you ready world?! #MuseuemWeek is coming to your newsfeed in a BIG way! #BringOnTheCulture

#MuseumWeek is a worldwide cultural awareness event for the 21st century. Art, culture, and history are celebrated across the globe in the form of an intense week-long tweeting marathon. This phenomenon started in France in 2014 and absolutely exploded. Now, just two short years later, #MuseumWeek is active in nations on every inhabited continent and runs in 16 different languages. From March 28th to April 3rd, institutions around the world will be tweeting up a storm, and bringing you closer to their people, their history, their futures, and their secrets!


How does it work?

Each day of the week has a different theme, and an associated hashtag. Museums and other cultural organizations (like art galleries, libraries, and archives) are invited to tweet as much as they can on that topic. Then staff, volunteers, visitors, and other institutions can engage with their post by replying or retweeting. Apparently, there have been some pretty intense rivalries! A french researcher, Antoine Courtin, claimed that there were 83 different battles last year, some even creating their own unofficial hashtags, which were followed by enthusiasts world-wide. This year’s program is listed below, you can learn more on their website (museumweek2016.org).

Monday is dedicated to discovering your most well-kept secrets! Show a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your museum! #secretsMW

Tuesday is dedicated to honor the people-well known or anonymous-who have helped make your museum. Feature your founders, other icons, and current staff members and talk about their expertise! #peopleMW

Wednesday is about telling the story of your building(s), your garden(s), your neighborhood or other key locations for your institution. Introduce your museum from a different point of view! #architectureMW

On Thursday, focus on your tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Help your audience discover the variety of content your institution has on view, in storage or online! #heritageMW

 On Friday, share your most innovative projects, your barriers to innovation, your research or your institutional goals, all of which can lead to a greater understanding of your future initiatives and developments! #futureMW

 Saturday zoom in on your content by sharing details and anecdotes that provide an interesting insight into your collection (e.g, images of hands or frames, anecdotes about the origins of a book etc…).#zoomMW

 Sunday, time to share what you love about your place! Take advantage of this opportunity to promote your museum’s greatest attractions (artworks, displays, rooms …) and use Twitter as a helping tool for the visit.#loveMW


Check out #MuseumWeek on Twitter and don’t forget, while you are there, you can follow the BCHFS on Twitter @bcheritagefairs!


Canada/America Politics Compared — March 14, 2016

Canada/America Politics Compared

Two neighboring countries, bound closely by land, trade, and an infinite amount of border crossings. And yet, how we hate to be called America’s shirt, or they to be called Canada’s pants (for entirely different reasons). We often support each other on foreign policy, trade deals and celebrities, but hockey is certain for a friendly chat between two different North Americans (sorry Central America) to turn into a bloodbath, and it’s been proven that Americans know basically zero about Canada. Thanks, Rick Mercer!

Lucas photo1
Image source: Water Governance Blog, 2011.

First, we must look at some basic political differences between the two nations. The head of state in Canada is the Queen, although she plays very little into political decisions and is represented by the Governor General. The Prime Minister is often known as the leader of the country. The President is America’s head of state, as well as head of government. He cannot serve in the House of Representatives or the Senate, and can only be president for a maximum of two terms (or eight years). The parliamentary system is made up of two houses in both countries. However, the Senate has an election every six years, while Senators in Canada are appointed. Also, in America, the House of Representatives changes every two years. With so many separate elections, currently there is Republican House of Representatives and Republican Senate, but a Democrat President. This can lead to huge frustrations, where all three parts of the legislative branch need to be in agreeance to get anything done. A President has veto power over any bill passed. In the USA, each house can introduce a bill, add or take out information or stop them. Canada’s primary house is the House of Commons.

Differences and similarities on policy are where the two countries seem so far apart, but still so much the same: they both favour capitalistic trade symbols, such as stock markets, have a pretty bleak outlook towards Europe (although Canada’s role in negotiations with the continent are much more diminished than the US) and are for military intervention against ISIS, the jihadist terrorist group. On the other hand, the 2015 78-day election in Canada is the longest one in 150 years, while the current American race is nearly six times that, at 454 days. There have been a total of five leader debates in Canada. In the US, there will be at least a few dozen in total before the next election. Gay marriage was approved oodles of time ago in Canada, but is still under fire in the United States. Guns are outlawed in Canada, but not in the United States, where mass shootings take place almost every day. And finally, no one in Canada can rival the outrageousness and flair that Donald Trump has. But that’s a good thing, with Trump’s racist and derogatory comments dividing America. The closest character we have to him is Rob Ford, and everyone knows how that story turned out for the former mayor of Toronto.

Image source: Pete Souza, 2009.

As for the leaders of the country, (former) Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama have some pretty chilly relations with each other. Ever since Obama stepped into office, they haven’t agreed on much, Harper putting full backing behind the Keystone XL Pipeline, saying he “won’t take no for an answer”, while Obama has refused to support the pipeline. From the Syrian government using chemical weapons, the hot topic of Israel, or creating trade deals, Obama sometimes has come off as non-committal to international issues, and according to those close to Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister has definitely been annoyed by that. Keystone has been the main reason of anger from Harper towards Obama, but not only that. During preliminary stages of Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, Canada had huge conditions imposed on them by America when they asked to join. Harper has furious, and stated that “Friends don’t do to friends what the Americans did to Canada on the TPP.” All this animosity between the two countries could be chalked up to the fact that Harper’s and Obama’s political ideologies simply do not align, whereas the well-known relationship of left-wingers Jean Chretien and Bill Clinton was famously warm. As Obama will step out of office next year, and Justin Trudeau is now the new PM, hopefully the two leaders can press the reset button and begin to thaw the ice that has been building on either side of the 49th parallel.

lucas photo3
Image source: Rick Mercer, 2015.

Back to the Rick Mercer blurb. Canadians have been portrayed by Americans as Mounties who ride on the backs of polar bears, sleep in igloos and only eat maple syrup and bacon. And oh, did I mention the profuse amount of saying “sorry”, “eh” and “aboot” by Canadian characters on American television? And in That 70s Show, characters have even said “Oh honey, Canadians don’t matter”. On the other side, Canadians portray Americans as over-nationalistic goons that don’t know anything other than their country (which, as a non-partisan journalist, I will not agree nor disagree with). This is showcased in Rick Mercer’s Talking to Americans, where Americans are proved to agree with anything that is said about Canadians. President Bush mistakenly agreeing with Mercer calling Prime Minister Jean Chretien “Jean Poutine”.

Overall, Canadians and Americans do differ on quite a lot of things, from hockey to who appoints members to the Senate. However, there’s not too much different in land, economy and culture between us. After all, we are two neighbors separated by nothing but a line!


Author: Lucas

How to Find the Perfect Topic — March 4, 2016

How to Find the Perfect Topic

Picking your Heritage Fair topic is different for everyone, for some students their Heritage Fair topic comes to them naturally, for some it takes some research, and some end up having a deep conversation with their grandpa, like me. What ever your story might be it inspired you. I know it can be hard for some students to get their project title because you want to bring something new to the table. The key is to find something you are passionate about and are interested in, here is how to do just that.

Start by thinking about something you are interested in, sports, science, art, different cultures, anything. For example, I am interested in different cultures; since Canada is such a diverse nation, I would pick an immigration story that intrigues me. Remember, if something that you are passionate about is not something a lot of people know about go on with it, because it gives you a change to educate others about it and get people talking about it.

Also, try looking into your family history, this is a great place to look because you never know what you are going to find until you look. Start by asking family members, grandparents are a great resource. Or you could even do some research online, family history websites can also be a great resource. Try going deep in your families’ history and use different resources.

What ever your story might be make sure your topic is something you are passionate about, what to learn more about, and educate other students on. You will never know what you want to do your project on until you research about it.


Author: Anisha