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.