BC Heritage Fairs Alumni

The Official Heritage Fairs Student Site

Parliament Buildings Tour — July 15, 2019

Parliament Buildings Tour

Over the next little while we’ll be sharing memories from this year’s Provincial Fair participants both here and on our Facebook page. Today, we have a post from Anglin about the tour of the Parliament buildings.

When I was told that we were going to the Parliament buildings, I was beyond excited. I had never seen them outside of a photo before! So anyway, we were on the bus heading toward the parliament buildings, and that’s when I saw them (the buildings I mean). They were ginormous!

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Parliament Buildings in Victoria

I learned when we went inside that when we were standing on the rotunda that the dome was still around 25 meters above us! From the outside, the whole thing is around 34 meters tall.

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Dome in the Parliament Building

We walked through the special entrance, where no pictures were allowed, and got to see where the parliamentary procedures were broadcast. There was a button that, when pushed, showed what was being broadcast at that moment. After passing through the no pictures area, we went up onto the rotunda, after learning about the crest of B.C. The view there was astounding! We finally came to the place where the Golden Jubilee window was set. It was a beautiful representation of stained-glass art. All in all, I was really pleased when we went to the Parliament buildings, and I really think that it was an educational and wonderful tour.  

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Jubilee Window
Thank You — July 13, 2019

Thank You

by Rachel, Alumni Coordinator & BCHFS Director

It’s strange to think that a week ago today we were all bubbling with nervous anticipation of the upcoming showcase at the Royal BC Museum. Now, a week later, we’ve all had time to reflect on the Provincial Fair and one thing that will stick with me as the Alumni Coordinator is the gratitude I feel for everyone involved in making this experience happen for these very special young people.

Our first thanks have to go to the parents and teachers who are the first point of contact for students participating in Heritage Fair. Without dedicated teachers in all of our regions to give an enthusiastic “YES!” to a school Heritage Fair, we wouldn’t have school fairs. Without the parents who support their young scholars through the process, the students wouldn’t have the ability to question, learn, and create their projects.

Second, we have to thank our Regional Coordinators. These dedicated people are museum professionals, teachers, librarians, and many others who come together to assist the teachers in preparing the students for the fair. Then, they organize the regional fairs and ensure that everything runs smoothly.

At both of these levels, we have to thank our adjudicators. These folks take time out of their lives to interview students at the school fairs and regional fairs, and help decide who moves on to the next level and who gets other special awards.

We are grateful to our Board of Directors, who plan the fair, especially Evan Fryer, Judy Dunn, Cindy Rowell, Mary Campone, and Jennifer Iredale. These volunteers worked tirelessly to not only prepare for the fair, but to make sure that everything happened seamlessly: from preparations, to travel, to accommodations and food, to the marvelous field trips the students all enjoyed. In addition to these three, we have to thank our chaperones who ensured that the students made it from 11 different regions around the province to the fair, and gave up their time to supervise them throughout the week.

We would like to thank the dignitaries who attended our opening ceremonies, which we were graciously allowed to hold in the ceremonial Wawadit’la, Mungo Martin House: Mr. John Elliot (W̱SÁNEĆ Elder), MP Murray Rankin, Dr. Lorna Williams (Professor Emerita of Indigenous Education, UVic), Mr. Gord McDonald (President, Heritage BC), Mr. Jim Gemmill & Mr. Pat McGuire (BC Hydro Power Pioneers), Dr. Helen Davies (Parks Canada), Ms. Tania Muir (President, BC Museums Association), Ms Julie Shueck (Heritage Consultant and Sponsor), and Dr. Peter Cook (University of Victoria)

Last but certainly not least, we would like to thank our generous sponsors who make it possible for us to take a group of wonderful students from all over the province to one location for five days. We couldn’t fund this fair without their support.

This year’s sponsors included:

Government of British Columbia * Canada’s History * Heritage BC * Royal BC Museum

University of Victoria * The Robert Bateman Centre * BC Hydro Power Pioneers

Julie Schueck Consulting *Ance Building Services Co. Inc Heritage Consulting

Iredale Architecture * On This Spot * School District No. 35 (Langley)

School District No. 37 (Delta) * School District No. 60 (Fort St. John)

School District No. 70 (Port Alberni)  * School District No. 73 (Kamloops/Thompson)

Left: students wearing backpacks with the BC Power Pioneers Logo. Right: students wearing shirts with sponsor logos

 

As you can see it takes a lot of people to put together an event of this size, and we can’t do it without everyone’s help. I’d like to offer one last heartfelt thank you on behalf of the BC Heritage Fairs Society and all of the students who attended this year’s fair, to everyone who worked all year to make our Provincial Fair happen.

If you’d like to support us, please attend our fundraiser, A Night at the Museum With Heritage Fairs, or donate through our website. All of your donations go directly towards supporting our vision to help all young people to become curious about Canadian history and have a deep understanding of the present by engaging with and questioning the past.

The Banquet — July 11, 2019

The Banquet

Over the next little while we’ll be sharing memories from this year’s Provincial Fair participants both here and on our Facebook page. Today, we have a story from Mika about the banquet dinner on the last night of the fair, with photos by Rachel.

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Vice President Evan explaining the historic photos in the packages given to all students.

 

Banquet night. A night I will never forget. A night of fun, food, and thank- you’s. A night to appreciate all the hard work everyone behind the scenes did to make the fair possible. A night that gave me the opportunity to become better and closer friends with some amazing people. Banquet night was a night I am immensely grateful for, because it gave me a chance to connect with like-minded people that I didn’t talk to all that much before then.

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Cindy giving out prizes to all of the students.

Banquet night was such a fun way to celebrate all the hard work we did to be there, and all the hard work that the adults, chaperones, and alumni did to make it possible for us to be there. It gave me the chance to make friendships that will last for a very long time. It meant so much to me and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had.

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Alumni Leona and Kevin giving a speech.

Some of the amazing work the adults had to do included the fact that they had to feed us all three meals a day, each and every day, and keep us all safe and organized. They also had to organize all of our sightseeing trips and our presentation day at the Royal BC Museum. It was a huge job and everyone is super thankful for all their time and effort. Their hard work made it possible for everyone to have the time of their lives and see tourist spots that they might have never seen otherwise.

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Judy (left) receiving a prize from Cindy (right).

Banquet night was a night for us to celebrate everyone’s hard work and a night for us to enjoy ourselves with great food and a few special speeches. It felt all too short, and I didn’t want to leave.

Some things I learnt throughout the entire trip were that history is everywhere; throughout tours, in buildings, and on the street. Anywhere you look, there is history. It also showed me how much heritage there is in each and every person. All those different topics, coming together to teach people about their heritage and history. Banquet night was such a beautiful way end our last night in Victoria and to celebrate everyone’s hard work.

 

Heritage Fair: Day 4 — July 7, 2019

Heritage Fair: Day 4

Today was THE BIG DAY. After breakfast, we transported all the boards to the Royal BC Museum. Everyone did a wonderful job on their presentations! Many visitors were enlighten by the hardworking students at our Heritage Fair showcase. The showcase was open to the general public; many proud parents visited. All the projects managed to cover almost every aspect of Canadian history. These kids are the future leaders of the future generations, and we couldn’t be more proud.

After three hours of presenting, everyone separated to shop in view of the historic harbor. We separated into several groups and visited souvenir shops, candy and chocolate shops, bookstores, and much more. Finally, we had the wonderful banquet to commemorate all our handwork and accomplishments. There, all the heritage fair organizers gave kind speeches and gifts. Cindy had some really funny puns!

We especially acknowledged Cindy, Judy, Evan, Rachel, and all the adult chaperones for their incredible contribution to making this whole fair a success. All the students were given certificates and small treats. Afterwards, everyone went back to the residence to conduct some last-minute pin trading, write and sign in our journals, and exchange goodbyes. The kids here have created long life lasting relationships with one another, and the goodbyes were extremely difficult. But we look forward to seeing a lot of success from this intelligent group!

Heritage Fair: Day 3 — July 6, 2019

Heritage Fair: Day 3

Today we toured the legislative buildings.  We got to have a look at the legislative chamber, the ceremonial entrance, mural, several editions of the coat of arms, and listened to a comprehensive description of the various statues on the outsides of the building.

Afterwards, we explored the Royal BC Museum.  The Mayan feature exhibit was excellent! We learned about natural history, indigenous language, and colonial history galleries. After a quick lunch break we went to Beacon Hill Park, where we met some members from the Robert Bates Foundation who then led us on a walk across the park and taught us the basics of nature sketching. We acknowledged the importance of embracing nature and recording the way we feel through creative ideas such as sketches. We came across some herons, and several super old trees. These landmarks in Victoria remind us the importance of remembering the heritage of the community.

We then visited the Bateman Art Gallery, which held a collection of beautiful paintings of nature.  After a walking tour where our guide told us about Victoria’s early history and showing off its various historical buildings, we arrived at our destination: a Chinese restaurant in the heart of Victoria’s Chinatown.  After feasting on their wares, we bused back to UVIC to enjoy an hour at the pool. Now we’re off to bed!

Friendly reminder that we post actively on our Instagram, facebook and twitter accounts! So parents please check those.

Provincial Fair: Day 2 — July 5, 2019

Provincial Fair: Day 2

Yesterday the wifi wouldn’t allow us to get onto the blog unfortunately. Therefore we will be posting the blog for July 3rd as soon as we have the time to do so.

In the morning, we breakfasted at UVIC’s cafeteria.  After a short bus ride, we arrived at the Goldstream Provincial Park.  There we were led on an excellent tour showcasing the local wildlife, with a focus on salmon. A quick stop at the local gift shop and we were on our way to the 159-year-old lighthouse and the fort nearby, which were both parts of Fort Rodd National Historic Site and Fisgard Lighthouse. After eating lunch, our tour guides showed us around the fort, explaining the types of artillery as we went, the lighthouse, and the hugely diverse and rare ecosystem there (there are only 3 others of its kind in Canada). At the final stop of the day, we visited the Ross Bay Cemetery.  There we cleaned gravestones, recorded them to ensure that they would not be lost, and were told the stories of some of the more illustrious residents of the Cemetery. We held a barbeque dinner at a beach near the Cemetery with the support of our Vice President Evan Fryer and his family. After returning to the campus, we learned about the Young Citizens video project, the British Columbia Heritage Fair Alumni Council, and watched a video about the Gulf of Georgia Cannery made by the Alumni Council.

Please note: we will post here as our wifi connection allows, but if we are unable to post blogs we will still be posting to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter so follow all of our adventures there!