The 2015-2016 Alumni Council just had their last official conference call. Over the past year, the thirteen of us worked together to achieve the goals we had set. Our theme was polishing the current social media accounts, and building upon, and improving the online presence of the BCHFS.
Each month, we attended conference calls where we discussed reflected upon the successes, and disappointments from previous initiatives. The Alumni created, and implemented new strategies, which were founded with the lessons learned from past experiences. Sometimes, we would complete assignments, such as blog entries, or social media posts, individually. Other times, we’d work on creating accessible resources for students, parents, and teachers in groups of two to three people.In my group of three Alumni, we have made a program for Regional Heritage Fair graduates, and it will be inaugurated next Heritage Fair season. I won’t give away too many details, but stay tuned into our blog to find out about it- announcements are soon to follow!
At the BC Provincial Heritage Fair, the highlight event of the year, the Alumni representatives documented each day’s events with blog posts, social media updates, and media such as photographs and videos. (Story time!) I remember this one time at the fair when a student came up to me to tell me that she had found my video on Interview Tips really helpful. It was great to know that the resources the Alumni had created were helping people! It feels really good when you see your hard work pay off- I can guarantee that all the Alumni feel this way after the successes of the past year.
Special announcement: If you are a student who has been to a BC Provincial Heritage Fair, and would like to take on a leadership role in the society, applications for the 2016-2017 Alumni Council come out soon! Make sure you stay connected with us via social media, so that you can be the first to know about such opportunities.
BCHFS is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Make sure you subscribe to our blog– we post weekly entries by the Alumni, and there are tools, and resources for everyone!
This July, Vancouver hosted its 38th Pride Parade, an annual event where a number of diverse communities come together to celebrate the years of hardship and turmoil endured by our LGBTQ2+ ancestors. While the fight for equal rights is by no means over, there have been many events throughout Canada’s history that have helped make great progress towards the success of this movement. Although these events might only seem significant to a certain demographic, the results truly affected all Canadians, regardless of sexuality or beliefs, and I think it’s important for adults and children alike to understand Canada’s queer history. While the education system puts much emphasis on learning about Canada’s diverse culture and the many people who faced adversity while building our country, next to nothing is taught regarding our rich LGBTQ2+ history. I believe that in order to keep from falling back into old ways, it is imperative that we all, whether queer or straight, have an understanding and appreciation for the struggles faced by our ancestors.
In the 19th century, Canadian law stated that “”Every person guilty of the abominable crime of Buggery, committed either with mankind or with any animal, shall suffer death as a felon.” This continued until 1892, when the death penalty was removed and a new, broader law was created that condemned all homosexual activity. By the mid-1900s, this law had again been reformed to label gay males as sex offenders, or even worse, “criminal sexual psychopaths”, and called for a lifetime prison sentence.
In the 1950s, the infamous “fruit machine” was used to purge hundreds of alleged gay men from their jobs. The machine’s intent was to identify homosexuals by subjecting viewers to male and female pornographic images then measuring pupil dilation, which was believed to be a measure of “erotic response”. Unsurprisingly, this method was questionable and clearly flawed in many ways, and fell out of favour after a decade. Allegations made towards Northwest Territories resident Everett George Klippert also arose to the public’s eye during this time. Klippert was questioned under accusations of committing arson, but after rigorous questioning he was instead arrested for another reason: admitting to intercourse with a number of men, and a refusal to change ways. Klippert was charged with four counts of “gross indecency”, labeled a ‘dangerous sex offender’, sentenced to a life in prison, and became the last Canadian to be incarcerated for homosexual activity.
In 1969, the omnibus bill, C-150, was passed, and homosexual activity was decriminalized. Said Pierre Trudeau (who would soon become Prime Minister), “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” Not long after, Klippert was released from custody. The 1970s saw the emergence of the gay liberation movement, in which communities across the globe began to stand up for gay rights through the organization of rallies, protests, and pride events. Canada’s first programming and media oriented towards the gay community appeared, Quebec became the first jurisdiction in the entire world to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, and Canada’s laws were amended to permit homosexual immigrant men into the country.
In the 1980s, New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Svend Robinson tried repeatedly to pass inclusivity bills that would for example, include “partner of the same sex” in the definition of “spouse”. He was defeated each time, but later became Canada’s first “out” Member of Parliament. What is dubbed “Canada’s version of Stonewall” took place in 1981, after over 300 men were arrested in an gay bathhouse. Thousands took to the streets to protest the arrests, and this spawned Toronto’s first Lesbian and Gay Pride Day. The ‘80s also brought the HIV/AIDS epidemic, in which hundreds of gay men fell ill due to an incurable sexually transmitted disease. This did nothing to help the public’s outlook on gay men, which was already heavily influenced by stigmas and stereotypes. Homosexual males were, and still are, prohibited from donating blood with the Red Cross.
The 1990s marked another great milestone for Canada’s queer community: Kim Campbell, then-Justice Minister, announced that homosexuals would be permitted to join the Canadian Armed Forces. In addition, same-sex adoption became legal in a number of provinces. 1996 saw the addition of “sexual orientation” to the Canadian Human Rights Act, a fight finally won after years of defeated bills.
In 2000, the definition of “common-law relationship” was extended to include same-sex couples, meaning that gay couples would receive the same tax, pension, and income benefits as opposite-sex couples. Ontario’s first same-sex couple was married in the Metropolitan Community Church, although the government refused to legally recognize the marriage. This soon changes in 2002, when Canada recognizes same-sex marriage and the Ontario Supreme Court declares the prohibition of same-sex marriage unconstitutional. However, this same year, Alberta passes a bill to ban same-sex marriage.
It was another three years before the right for same-sex couples to get married is officially recognized in Canada. On July 20th, 2005, Canada became the fourth country to do so. Since then, much has been done to continue reversing the stigmas and discrimination still aimed at the LGBTQ2+ community. Many people in the transgender community are still fighting for the right to legally identify as their true gender, and discrimination is by no means abolished in the workplace or in the everyday lives of queer people. As we move on, we must continue to remember why we are fighting for these rights, and we cannot forget the many who sacrificed their livelihoods to give us the privileges we have today.
History is everywhere. Behind every building, every mural, every memorial, there is a story.
The new game Pokemon Go can help to uncover and highlight some of Vancouver’s histories. While players walk through the city trying to catch pokemon, they gather pokeballs which can be collected from pokestops. Pokestops are usually placed on historical landmarks and ‘lures’ are placed on pokestops to attract pokemon. Players called ‘pokemon trainers’ have been rushing to pokestops all around Vancouver including great historical landmarks in the hopes to ‘catch them all!’
With the game’s increasing popularity, more people have been noticing these historical landmarks. Play the game and you can find some interesting stories everywhere in Vancouver. Here are some examples of historically significant pokestops.
The Joe Fortes memorial fountain overlooking English Bay (built in 1927 from funds raised mainly by children) commemorates Vancouver’s first official lifeguard. Joe Fortes spent all his free time protecting swimmers along English Bay and teaching children how to swim. He saved many people from drowning. An important Vancouverite, Joe Fortes made a positive impact on our city. In 1986 Joseph Seraphim Fortes was named Vancouver’s Citizen of the Century.
The Beatty Street mural (located on Beatty Street near historical Hogan’s Alley and across from the British Columbia Regiment Drill Hall) features local landmarks and prominent people of Vancouver, such as Joe Fortes, Jimi Hendrix, Rosemary Brown, Bill Reid, Joe Capilano, David Suzuki and many more.
Some other historical landmarks that are also pokestops: CPR Tunnel Plaque, Harry Jerome Statue, First City Hospital Heritage Plaque, the Great Vancouver Fire Plaque, and Woodwards building.
Pokestops also may help historical museums and small businesses. It has been reported that museums and other businesses put lures at their locations/pokestop to attract pokemon. After a few minutes, trainers would stream in to buy tickets and enter the museum, catching pokemon while learning about history. The Jimi Hendrix museum in Vancouver must have experienced similar increase in foot traffic because they were also a pokestop.
Not only can Pokemon Go help people discover histories in murals, museums and memorials, it can also highlight the more obscure local histories like the Gyrochute. If you want to learn more about the story behind the Gyrochute, you can visit this pokestop at Kitsilano Beach.
Pokestops are an opportunity to learn about Vancouver’s history. This is a great way to explore and learn about history because history is everywhere! So go out, catch some pokemon and learn about your city’s rich history.
Let’s take a trip back in time. And I mean way, way back. So far back that there remained no trace of human existence yet. Back to a time almost 250 million years ago, when giant reptiles ruled the Earth. Back to the age of the dinosaurs.
So, where would one go to uncover the dawn of the dinosaurs? I took a trip next-door to Alberta to explore the Dinosaur Capital of the World – Drumheller. Millions of years ago, the area we know of today as Drumheller was once a very tropical expanse, an ideal environment for the plant and dinosaur populations to expand.
The dinosaurs persisted to rule the Earth for another 135 million years, before entering extinction about 65 million years ago. While scientists today are still not entirely sure about what caused some of the largest land animals of all time to be wiped from the face of our Earth forever, they can agree that the mass extinction was most likely caused by a chain reaction of events such as asteroid impacts, volcano eruptions, the release of toxic chemicals and climate change, amongst several others.
The following ice age formed what became the Red Deer River Valley, left behind as the enormous glaciers slowly moved and melted. The landscape that has remained as a result is absolutely striking given the rocky layers and structures. Today, this area is referred to as the “badlands”. However, only 11 thousand years ago did new plants and animals being to once again emerge and flourish.
Now, fast-forward a number of years into the 1880’s, when a man known as Joseph Burr Tyrrell came to the Red Deer River Valley in search of coal. Little did he know of what he would find. Instead, J.B. Tyrrell’s search for coal in the Red Deer River Valley lead him to the discovery of a dinosaur skull, which subsequently arose the field of study we know today as Palaeontology. The dinosaur J.B. Tyrrell uncovered himself further came to be known as the Albertasaurus.
In 1910 Colonel Samuel Drumheller bought the land of the Red River Valley, and developed coal mining operations, a railway station, and founded a town in the area, renaming the area after himself as “Drumheller” which remains the name to this day. Further, in 1980 it was announced that Drumheller was to be the home of a new research facility regarding palaeontology. In 1985, named in honour of J.B. Tyrrell himself, the Royal Tyrell Museum was officially opened.
Today, Drumheller remains a popular tourist destination, as it remains to be Canada’s only museums exclusively dedicated to the science of palaeontology, and overall houses one of the world’s largest displays of dinosaurs. Today, their mandate is to be an internationally recognized public and scientific museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, presentation and interpretation of paleontological history, while providing special references to Alberta’s own rich fossil heritage.
Canadian pianist Glenn Gould was nervous on May 7, 1957 in the Bolshoi Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. He was just kicking off his tour of Russia, the first time he’d ever been overseas to perform. In the midst of the hottest period in the Cold War, Gould was the first ever pianist to perform in Russia since 1945. The sparse numbers of the crowd there weren’t sure what to expect, nor quite did he. None of them knew that in the course of the next two weeks, Gould would introduce the Moscow and Leningrad natives to an entirely new form of music. One that would challenge the long-standing Russian music tradition and show them the thriving cultural world outside of the socialist regime.
Traditional Russian music is very Romantic and emotional, and had been the main style for the last 100 years. Of course, the music produced by Russia was heavily controlled by the communist government, and defying orders lead to mysterious disappearances and meetings with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin himself. In 1948, a decree known as the Zhdanov Doctrine disgraced works from composers such as Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Anton Webern and Ernst Krenek and their camp (known as the Second Viennese School) which featured atonal music (music without a central key) as “formalist”. Their works were completely banned and never saw the light of day in Russia. Most musicians and almost the complete majority of the public, especially at the Moscow Conservatory, had not heard something as anti-Russian as the Second Viennese School.
Gould agreed to give a fourth concert on May 12th in the Maly Hall at the Moscow Conservatory. It was free to attend, and more of a lecture than a performance. But it was given on one condition by Gould: he could talk about anything he wanted to. The hall was jammed with students and professors to hear a lecture with the title of “Music in the West”. But as Gould explains, the truth was quite different from the title. “I dealt almost entirely with the [Second] Viennese School,” he remembered fondly, having loved the composers’ music from the school.
Several Soviet officials and young Communist Party informants also were at the lecture. When Gould announced that he would play music by the Second Viennese School, “There was a rather alarming and temporarily uncontrollable murmuring from the audience” as he recalled. Two older professors even led a demonstration against this music by immediately walking out of the hall. Students were undecided as whether to stay and support Western culture or leave and follow their teachers. Most of the hundreds who were there stayed and watched in awe as Gould played Berg’s Sonata, Webern’s Variations and two movements from Krenek’s Third Sonata. The feeling of the lecture, perhaps, can be explained best by Roman Vityuk, a theatre director:
“This place was full of people. Everyone here was expecting a miracle. I think this is how it looked. There was an impression [it was] in a concentration camp, the most terrible one. The most cruel. There was a little gathering place where they brought in the young prisoners. Generals, colonels, officers were watching from the front rows. There were prison guards, that’s for sure. These were the young Communist league informants, who were watching the behavior of others. The behavior of those who were welcoming this ‘first infiltrator’ from the bourgeois world with excitement. With open soul. Right away, this was a shock. Because you should not be surprised in a concentration camp. And when he started to announce, Schoenberg, Webern and Berg again, and when he got to Krenek, in the hall the young communists start to ask each other: ‘What did he say? What did he say?’ And in the audience the people started to say: ‘Krenek…Krenek…’ This was a new password for an entirely new comprehension of life.”
Afterwards, perhaps to comfort the slightly shocked and dazed Russian students, Gould played a delicious selection of pieces from The Art of Fugue and Goldberg Variations. Just like every stop on his tour, the applause was deafening, especially from the students. “This, I think, was the most exciting and the most memorable part of the Russian trip,” Gould later said.
The music that began to enter the hearts of the Russian listeners stayed with them even after Gould left the day after his Leningrad talk. He went against and told Russians to stop thinking about their dominant music culture, and instead look to more diverse music from various different cultures, and in the process discovering the Second Viennese School for Russia. Roman Vityuk says that “The Berlin Wall existed music, too, and perhaps Gould was one of those who were trying to break down the wall.” If Gould was indeed breaking down the wall, he was doing it with a very large hammer.
A crucial factor to value Gould’s importance and impact is how his image fares now in Russia. Back in Canada, a growing minority paints Gould as nothing more than an oddball who annoyingly played everything a different way. But pianists like Victor Ashkenazy still retain their huge admiration for Gould. “He’ll always be for me, certainly an idol. There’s no question about it. I think it’s wonderful that such an extraordinary man, extraordinary talent existed and he gave us a fascinating way of playing Bach, especially.” It is also definitely not the case at the Moscow Conservatory. Students there treat Gould celestially, one saying that Gould is “the great painter of sound and the poet of music…he’s Gould!”
“Now, 44 years later,” says Leonid Gakkel, “I absolutely earnestly believe that he was an alien. Glenn Gould was a visitor on this Earth. People cannot play the piano like that, I can assure you.” Was Gould the alien? Or, like he said, was going to Russia “like being the first musician to land on Mars or Venus”? But perhaps it does not matter which way it goes. Maybe the perfect combination of an eccentric revolutionary and a creativity-starved culture was necessary for the tour to be as successful as it was. Glenn Gould officially departed from Russia just over two weeks after he arrived. But in a way, he never really left.
Our youth often asks, why is learning history even necessary? Why does it matter what happened long ago? The answer is that history is inescapable. Without it, we wouldn’t know what our next step would be, because it connects things through time and encourages its students to take a long view of such connections.
Firstly, if we didn’t know the history of certain things we wouldn’t know how to evolve. Take for example the evolution of the wheel.
It started off to serve as a potter’s wheel, then later in 3500 B.C.; someone figured out how to use them for chariots. My point is that it started off as a rock with a hole in it, but it was so much more. This rock with a hole in it led us on a path to construct the, best, safest, lightest, and the fastest wheels we can. If someone today would make a wheel that was similar to the first one ever made we know that this wouldn’t work out well because it didn’t work out back in 3500 B.C. when the people of Mesopotamia first made it. If we don’t educate ourselves about history, we are bound to repeat it.
I think it is so crucial that we educate students on both the black marks in history, and the positive things that shape our future. We need to talk about people like Hitler and what he did, so our youth doesn’t think that what he did was right. The students that are in elementary school, high school, and university are our future leaders. Anyone of them could have the potential to be the next prime minister. Another thing that we need to educate our students about is what things worked out smoothly in history. Take for example of how we live in a democracy, others have tried to run a nation with a dictatorship and it usually it doesn’t work out. We live in a democracy because it is what works the best for everyone, and what has worked in the past. If we don’t tell the adverse effects of why a dictatorship is not fair, we might repeat history and turn into an uncivilized nation.
This all, in a nutshell, is why History matters. It is not just ‘useful’ history is essential. So what do you think? What is the use or relevance of studying history?
As you may have known, the Provincial Fair occurred just last week. The alumni students were responsible for creating an activity one night, and they decided on a murder mystery. For this, we researched an actual murder that took place in Canada. However, there was no known guilty party, so we had to alter the mystery to make a conclusion.
In this blog post, you will find out all the known information of this murder mystery.
Ada Redpath married John James Redpath in 1867, and the couple had five children; Amy, Peter, John Reginald, Harold, and Jocelyn Clifford. As she aged older, she became ill and depended a lot on Amy and Jocelyn Clifford – “Cliff”.
Cliff Redpath went into the Arts program at McGill University and then later entered the Law program. He was very close to his sister, Amy, and spent a great deal of time with her. Later in Ada’s life, Cliff was the only son that remained at home, so he was responsible for managing the family fortune. He helped his mother as much as possible and in any way he could.
The Redpath family was very wealthy; they owned a sugar refinery. On June 13, 1901 Cliff and Ada Redpath were found dead in Ada’s room.
Peter Redpath rushed to the room after he heard the gunshots, and found his mother and brother dead. The servants also rushed to help.
It was clear that the two had been shot. Ada Redpath died on the spot, but Cliff was apparently rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital. However, there are no records of him being admitted or treated on.
It was decided that Cliff had had an epileptic seizure and then killed his mother and himself. Now, with our current knowledge of epilepsy, we know that is impossible for Cliff to have shot anyone during a seizure.
Furthermore, the case was very quick. The police weren’t involved; it was only two days after the murder that the case was deemed closed and the Redpaths were buried. No one bothered to look for proof as to why the Redpaths really died.
The coroner’s report was made by one Dr Roddick; who was desperately in love with Amy Redpath. For being one of the best physicians in Canada, the coroner’s report was terrible. It made little sense and was but half a page, which makes some people wonder: was Dr Roddick covering for himself, or perhaps his beloved?
As of today, we know the four suspects; Amy, Rose Shallow; the head maid, Peter, and Dr Roddick.
Amy Redpath Roddick was the only daughter in the Redpath family, as well as the eldest child. She never seemed interested in getting married, but married Dr Thomas Roddick in 1906, at the age of 38. She kept a diary and seemed to be incredibly devoted to her mother and brothers. Because Ada was so ill, Amy became the head of the house; she paid the bills, hired staff, did the family shopping, and more. Amy loved languages, literature, and theatre, and even wrote plays of her own. She donated a lot of money to McGill University; the Roddick Gates in honour of her husband, as well as some to the Redpath Library in honour of Cliff and Peter. When she died, she gave more money to McGill University, and the rest was split up between her nieces and nephews, as she did not have children of her own. Though she did love her mother very much, Amy also wanted to travel; this being a possible reason for her to kill her mother and brother.
Mary Rose Shallow was a maid for Ada when the murder occurred. After Ada’s death, she went on to live with Amy. Amy had left a monthly sum of money for Rose in her will, but Amy ended up outliving Rose, who died in 1943. Ada Redpath left a monthly sum for Mary Rose in her will, and as she was poor, this could be a reason as to why the maid might have killed Mrs Redpath.
Peter Redpath was the eldest son, and at 15 years of age, he became the head of the house when his father passed away. He briefly studied Sciences at McGill, but was too ill to stay long. Though he was offered a job at the family’s sugar refinery, he declined it, choosing instead to travel to various places to be cured from diseases that he had. After the death of his mother and brother, Peter’s health declined, and Amy went with him to California. He died in 1902 from tuberculosis. Because he had no children, all of his money went to his surviving siblings. It was said that Cliff was the favourite child, and Peter wished to inherit more of the family business and fortune.
Not much information is given on Thomas Roddick. We know that he is the man that wrote the coroner’s report after Cliff and Ada’s death, and he later married Amy Redpath. He was the family physician, and supposedly examined the bodies, but it is said that he was not actually in Montreal at that time. Maybe he wished for Amy to be free so he could marry her?
It is still unknown who was really the murderer, so this story remains a mystery. Who do you think did the crime?
Today was the last day of Provincial Heritage Fair 2016. It brought many bittersweet feelings for all of us. Upon our arrival at the beginning of the week, I was thinking about how long the days would be. It seemed like it would be weeks before I would have to go home, but suddenly, it’s all over. I don’t know how the others feel, but I am extremely sad. Of course, I miss my family back home, but in a sense, I have found a new family here; one that I will also miss when it is time to leave.
After another great breakfast in the cafeteria this morning, we loaded the bus. I was thrilled for this activity! We drove to Granville Island (it seems as if every time we climb onto the bus, at least half of the group falls asleep. There must be something about buses that makes us tired). A couple tour guides gave us the full history of the Island, and then we were sent to do a scavenger hunt. Some of the clues were actually quite challenging, and I will admit that the alumni tried to provide answers that made sense, even if we hadn’t found the place yet… After a thorough search of the market, we returned to the rendez-vous spot, and the scavenger hunt was over. We were then free to explore! The students all split up into different groups depending on where they wanted to visit. There were many different shops to explore, and not nearly enough time to look through them all. However, I think just about all of us alumni came out with a couple cool things (chocolate definitely counts…). We also got to pick lunch from any place in the market, and I saw quite a variety of different meals, from fish and chips to bagels.
We all got back onto the bus, and after counting the students, we were all set to go. The bus conveniently took us all the way to the Chung Collection at the UBC Library, where we split into two groups. While the first group took a little tour, we stayed behind to do an art project. We each received a small canvas with a line through it. The topic was journeys, and we were to draw anything to represent that topic. I saw many, many varieties of journeys, including nature, injuries, and more. I, personally, drew parts that represented being a Heritage Fair participant compared to being a Heritage Fair alumni.
After we had finished drawing, we were sent around to find materials to improve our drawings. Once again, there were many different materials used. Dirt was a common one, as well as leaves. Some others found flowers, ferns, and even used the paint on the pencils. It was interesting to see how each colour symbolized something for the drawings.
Finally, our art projects were named and finished, and we headed downstairs for a tour of the Chung Collection (ooh!). The presentation began with an introduction about the type of material the archives carries, as well as what they do. Their oldest materials are Babylonian clay tablets, from about 200 BCE. A couple rare books were shown to us, and that was pretty cool. As a Harry Potter fan, I was extremely excited to see a signed copy.
We were then taken into the actual Chung Collection Gallery. Dr Chung enjoyed collecting many different things in relation to early exploration of Pacific Northwest, Immigration and settlement, and CPR. Apparently, he began to be interested in the CPR at a young age, and constantly kept posters and other pieces of history in a scrapbook. He later donated all of his collections to UBC, which consisted of many items, books, and also a model of a ship, which overall, it took him six years and over 4000 hours of working on the model for it to be completed.
When the tour was over, the students were given the option to go to the bookstore or to play basketball.I was surprised by the variety of things in the bookstore, from sweaters, mugs, and school supplies to colouring books, other books, and food. The students seemed to all be interested in at least something in the bookstore, as we were all occupied for quite a while. We hadn’t eaten since lunchtime, so I will admit that most of us succumbed to the power of dessert and bought chocolate (but we all deserved dessert. We worked very hard on…everything).
Upon our return, we had dinner at the cafeteria, then headed to the lounge for the closing ceremonies. Firstly, Jane did a little speech, then Michael told us a story. Britney then explained to the students about the blog. The blog is very useful for students, as weekly posts and the alumni application (as well as Britney’s email) are all featured there. The alumni went up to the front to do their own speeches. In all, we mentioned how much fun the Fair was and a thank you to Jane, Britney, all of the chaperones, and all of the other alumnis for helping to make the Fair possible. A lot of different people did a lot of work to make sure that the Fair was fun for all of the students.
After the alumni talked, gifts were given out to the chaperones, followed by another story from Michael, and then a great slideshow that consisted of all of the pictures that the alumni had taken. Delicious chocolate cake was handed out to all of the kids and after eating their cake, special papers were distributed. The alumni created a collage of photos, consisting of minimum one photo of each person. Each student received a copy of the collage and they got all of their newfound friends to sign the back. I was quite surprised by the amount of people that wanted the alumni to sign their papers! It was an honour and made me feel incredibly important. I like to think that they wanted us to sign their papers because they hoped to become alumnis themselves.
Once we had all exchanged emails and phone numbers and promised to talk, it was off to bed. As I sit here, I can recall all of the amazing memories I will now have to treasure forever. Though I will be extremely sad to leave my friends and UBC, I will always remember this Heritage Fair in a positive way, as I’m sure everyone else will. Besides, I’m sure that we will all be able to stay in touch!
After a good sleep and a great breakfast, the students packed all of their projects into the van and began the short walk to the showcase room. They had the honour of walking into the Opening Ceremonies behind the dignitaries into the room, where many parents, grandparents, and curious bystanders were waiting. After many speeches from a variety of different people, the students rushed to their projects, happy to present to the many dignitaries. It was wonderful to see how knowledgable they were about their subjects, and how excited they were to be there. We all learned many new things!
After a couple hours of presentation (and a delicious lunch, of course), the projects were packed back into the van, and we rushed off to the BC Sports Hall of Fame. The tour guide gave us all a quick presentation about the Olympics, certain Olympians, and more. She then separated the students into five different groups and they went into the stations. In Badminton, the team was split in two, and they tried not to drop the birdie. In Long Jump, the kids competed to see who could jump the furthest, and in the limbo, they tried to bend as far as possible. Most groups were quite competitive and wished to beat all of the groups before them. Some of the kids even created their own strategies in order to win, and they clearly worked, as two of the groups made it past the lowest bar (though I must say, being short is quite an advantage).They also participated in a Wheelchair Race and did a quiz. The overall scores were announced and all the students climbed onto the podium to take a great picture!
The kids were then free to explore the rest of the Hall of Fame. They had many videos of the Olympics playing, as well as a Terry Fox gallery, a Rick Hansen gallery, the Aboriginal Sports gallery, and the hands-on part. The hands-on room consisted of an air hockey table, a climbing wall, and many more fun activities! There was a long line-up for the climbing wall, where you had to climb up the wall and the machine would slowly go down, like a vertical treadmill. It seemed like quite a workout, but the students all seemed to love it! It sure looked fun!
We climbed back onto the bus and went off to the beach. Luckily for us, the weather was completely opposite from what we expected; the sun shone! We brought our snacks onto the beach and sat on the sand. Some of the other students had fun chasing seagulls and burying each other in the sand while the rest of us had fun taking pictures, eating food (and more food), and talking.
About an hour later, we returned to UBC. After getting changed, everyone headed downstairs for some pizza and even more food! You would expect that, after all the snacks they give us, we wouldn’t have room for dinner, but I assure you, that is not the case. Presenting projects is hard work! Mark Smith, a Process Officer for the Treaty Commission, came to tell us about treaties in British Columbia. It was an interesting presentation; he taught us all about the Indian Act as well as many other negotiations taking place/that had taken place recently and over the years. The students were very interested by what he had to say, and he received many, many questions at the end of his presentation.
By the time the presentation was over, it was time to head up for bed. After all, tomorrow is a very exciting day. It will be both very sad and very happy. The activities planned will be quite fun, but at the end of the day, we will have to say goodbye to Provincial Heritage Fair 2016. We have all had a wonderful time, learned a lot, and will have many new friends to contact! The Fair has been wonderful so far, and I know that the last day will not be any different.
The feature of the entire fair – and the reason why all students were at UBC – was the Provincial Showcase. It was at the Student’s Nest in the centre of campus, attracting both students passing through the building and interested strangers. After every project was distributed back to their eager owners, the set-up process began. Four rows of tables were covered by various poster boards and models including dioramas, newspapers, books, and interactive activities. However, before people could go and explore the projects, the opening ceremonies were held. A bagpiper led the procession into the hall, with several important dignitaries following. Britney Quail headed up the emcee duties (coincidentally, she is also our wonderful alumni coordinator!) and introduced Elder Larry Grant. He spoke about recognizing the unceeded territories that the entire campus resided on, and how we should all remember and recognize the various nations that inhabited the area before us. Afterwards, politicians Joyce Murray, David Ebey and Spencer Chandra Herbert spoke, thanking Elder Grant and reminding us to always be historically conscious and active. Members of different organizations also spoke, as well as faculty heads and the dean of the education faculty. President of the BC Heritage Fairs Society Michael Gurney finished off with a wonderful reminder that time capsules are not necessary in today’s world. He then declared the fair open.
The projects were of a huge spectrum, ranging from Gold Rushes to pianists to tanks. Students all seemed very interested in their work and were excited to speak to me about their research findings. Some presentations that particularly spoke to me were projects about Alexander Graham Bell, Canadian Tanks of World War II, the Numbered Treaties and the Indian Act, and the journey of a Jewish refugee to Canada from Nazi Germany. Each of the 30-something projects taught me something new, and also gave me a new and refreshing perspective about old and often-done topics. Students were relaxed yet well-versed in their areas of knowledge, and answered questions with ease and confidence. The creativity of the projects completely blew me away. The various models and maps were completed to the final detail and had their own touches to the dioramas.
I had high expectations for the projects, and I was completely blown away. I walked away from the building feeling enlightened about Canada’s history, the showcase, and the students that made the projects.