Happy 20th Birthday Heritage Fairs: You only get better with age!

In 2013 we turned a new page in the history book, as Canada’s History celebrates the 20th birthday of the Heritage Fairs program! Since the program’s creation in 1993, more than one million students have participated in Heritage Fairs in communities all across Canada.

The story began when the CRB Foundation launched a pilot project in Winnipeg twenty years ago. At that time, science curriculum was extremely valued in schools and the CRB Foundation wanted to create a program to celebrate history and to foster a deeper understanding of our country’s past. The fairs were a huge success, not only with students, but also with teachers, families and the general public. Heritage Fairs took off and were quickly adopted in all of Canada’s provinces and territories.

The fairs appeal to all kinds of learners, as students are able to choose their topic and have control over their learning, conduct their own hands-on research, and present their findings in a creative and public format. Involvement from family members, local museums, and community organizations foster rich learning experiences and life-long memories for the participants.

Heritage Fairs found a national home with The Historica Foundation from 1998–2008, after which point Canada’s History took over the reins. Over the years, we’ve seen projects go from large cardboard backboards to incorporating dioramas, models, new technologies and multimedia components. With Young Citizens — a complimentary program created by Canada’s History in 2012 — two hundred students even turned their heritage fair projects into short films. Above all, the spirit of the fair remains a celebration of history, community, learning, and fun.

The success of the Heritage Fair program for all these years undoubtedly lies in the ongoing work and dedication of its organizers at all levels. Each year, over 10,000 history-enthusiasts working or volunteering in schools, museums, and heritage and educational organizations ensure that Heritage Fairs run smoothly in their community.

Canada’s History would like to recognize the work of those who give their time and energy year after year. A wall of honor has been specially created to celebrate the work of our long-standing volunteers.

Canada's History would also like to thank all of our partners, donors and sponsors over the years, especially our national sponsors, the Department of Canadian Heritage and Great-West Life. Your generous contributions have helped bring history to life in communities all across our country.

Finally, a huge thank you to the stars of these events – the students!

Long live Heritage Fairs!

Sponsors: Great West Life and Canadian Heritage
Project partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage.
  • Canadian Heritage / Patrimoine Canadien
  • Government of Canada
  • HBC: Hudson's Bay Company
  • ecentricarts inc.