I know that normally you hear from the alumni themselves in this space, but I wanted to take a minute to talk to you directly. Back in the fall the idea for this project was born, and then it was turned over to the students to run with. What you see in The Year of the Canniversary is the culmination of months of hard work on their part: time spent taking video, time in the archives, and time sourcing music and writing scripts.
As the Alumni Coordinator, I couldn’t be more proud of the work these students have done. I hope you’ll join me in congratulating our Alumni team on their video, as well as extending a hearty congratulations to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery on the occasion of their 125th Canniversary. Here’s to 125 more!
Hi everyone! I’m Lucas, a sixth-year member of the BCHFS alumni council. Last month, I was given the opportunity to represent BC Heritage Fairs as a student delegate at the annual Heritage BC Conference in Nanaimo, BC.
Being the first conference I had ever attended, I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. Would it be full of loquacious speakers and people in stuffy suits, or be more like an informal meeting with discussions like at school? In reality, it was somewhere in between, and I enjoyed myself immensely. One of my favourite presentations included a lecture about industrial heritage, followed by a trip to Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park, where the last remaining coal tipple in BC stands. Conservation work meant that there were massive shipping containers inserted into the structure to brace it, so it made for an interesting combination of past/present technology! Another talk I enjoyed was Mark Thompson Brandt’s presentation about natural and cultural conservation, and the important role heritage conservation plays in our fight against climate change. The more informal discussion on the final day about getting young people involved in heritage was memorable as well.
Throughout the conference, I constantly found myself jotting down notes on topics that I would have to explore and research later. I learned about professions in the heritage field that I didn’t even know existed until that moment, and I had never known that heritage planners and architectural consultants play a crucial role in the way our communities are shaped. However, I could also see that new opportunities are being created, too, like the work that the people at On This Spot is doing. The app they’ve developed lets visitors and locals alike to go on self-guided tours, and matches current-day pictures of buildings and landscapes with historical images.
Most importantly, I learned that the heritage industry is far from dead, as some people would like to believe. The issues that confront heritage professionals are ones that have huge implications on society as a whole – multiculturalism and identity, conservation and environmental protection, how much of the past to keep when moving forward, and how to provide a future so that all young people (like me!) live in a world that remains firmly rooted in our rich and culturally abundant past.
I’d like to say thank-you to the following people, whose generous sponsorships made it possible for me to attend the conference: Julie Schueck of Julie Schueck Consulting, Paul Gravett, Nathan MacDonald, and Laura Saretsky of Heritage BC, and Britney Quail from the City of New Westminster. Britney deserves an extra thank-you for chauffeuring me to and from Nanaimo, and being such a great travel buddy!
Many of our alumni participated not only in the Provincial fair, but also at their own local fairs. Today we have a recap of the Kamloops fair, brought to you by Julia.
Many of our regional Heritage Fairs took place earlier in the month, and we’d like to congratulate all the students that took part. Heritage Fair promotes hands-on education, and our hardworking participants got the amazing opportunity to explore some important history within their own cities. We are all incredibly impressed by the excellent projects, the extensive research, and each student’s enthusiasm.
Today Julia, our Kamloops-Thompson alumnus, will be highlighting some of the activities of the Kamloops Fair, which took place May 10.
Our day started with a lot of organization: there were T-Shirts to be handed out, sunscreen to be applied, and groups to be made. We immediately headed to Riverside Park in downtown Kamloops, where we met Lyle, a First Nations storyteller.
He told us some fascinating stories about how the beaver got its tail and the crow’s role in bringing us light. The kids were all incredibly interested in what he had to say, and we could not have asked for better weather or a better location!
After, we were all treated with bannock, and then the hard part of the day began. The Kamloops Committee organized a scavenger hunt all around downtown Kamloops with eleven different locations (and eleven different tasks).
Our first stop was the Old Courthouse, which now serves as an art gallery. We were able to go up into the old courtrooms. After jotting down some notes in their notebooks, the students even went on to do a mock trial.
We also headed down the stairs to where there was previously a dungeon. They had the warden’s office all set up like it would be. Many of the students had never seen the old Canadian flag, and were surprised to know something even existed before the maple leaf flag of today!
From there, we went to St. Andrew’s on the Square. It’s a church located in downtown Kamloops and happens to be the oldest public building still standing! We also went to the old bank, the special gardens in Riverside Park, and the flood markers.
At the Kamloops Museum, we had to build a puzzle to find the answer to our scavenger hunt question. From there, we went to the Kamloops Cenotaph, which was built to commemorate Kamloops men who participated in WWI. Since then, more names have been added for WWII, the Korean War, and the war in Afghanistan. The students received crayons to do rubbings of soldiers’ names.
Some of our other activities included a trip to City Hall, viewing a mural, and the old Kamloops Fire Hall. Needless to say, by the time we got back for lunch, we were extremely exhausted!
We were all very grateful to return to the air-conditioned building where all the projects were being held, and the students then got to participate in the second scavenger hunt of the day. These questions were based around all the projects in the room!
Participants also had the opportunity to show their projects to the public and some even got interviewed on TV.
We had Peter Milobar, an MLA, come speak to us, as well as one of the school trustees. To end the day, we handed out some prizes. That concluded Kamloops Heritage Fair 2019!
On behalf of the students, I would like to thank all teachers, committee members, and other volunteers who made Heritage Fair 2019 so successful. To those going to Provincials – congratulations! To the others – thank you so much for participating, and hope to see you next year!