Heritage Fairs & Young Citizens

Promoting Student Inquiry

Through the Heritage Fair program, students learn and share the stories that matter to them in an immersive, hands-on environment.

Heritage Fairs

The Heritage Fair program encourages students to explore Canada's heritage and history in a fun and engaging learning environment. Students select a topic, decide on a key inquiry question, complete research, and summarize their findings through a format of their choice. Students present their research findings to their classmates, families, and members of their community in a school- or community-based event. For many young students, the Heritage Fair program is their first introduction to history and an opportunity to investigate family or personal histories, drawing on the resources of their local community.

Since the first pilot Heritage Fair in 1993, more than 1 million students have participated in a school-based, regional or provincial heritage fair. Since 2010, Canada’s History has been the national charitable organization to support Heritage Fairs and the thousands of teachers, volunteers, and sponsors that come together annually to create a meaningful and transformational educational program for students throughout Canada.  

Heritage Fairs support inquiry and cross-curricular learning and can be adapted to meet the needs and interests of your students. Best of all, students get to share their learning with their peers, family, and community, resulting in a meaningful experience for all involved.

“From a broad curriculum perspective, the Fairs really bring out the core competencies with students: communication, thinking, and personal/social. Students really think about how their learning relates to their identity in the world.” – Heritage Fair teacher

Teacher Resources

Historical Inquiry

What’s the Story? With project examples from students from across Canada, this publication will guide students through the process of undertaking a historical inquiry project — from sparking curiosity, designing a good inquiry question, and deciding how, where, and why to share their story. We recommend having students use this magazine step-by-step as they work on their Heritage Fair projects.

Student Prompts – What’s the Story? includes several prompts (called Your Turn) that encourage students to put what they’ve learned into practice. Your students can even follow the links to share their responses online and see what answers other students from across Canada have come up with.

Educator's Guide – This educator’s guide provides teachers with suggested activities to accompany each prompt in What's the Story?, so you and your students can get the most out of this publication.

For Your Classroom Fair

Teacher’s Guide – An overview of Heritage Fairs designed for teachers that corresponds with the student planner. COMING SOON

Student Heritage Fair Planner – A printable planner that your students can fill out as they are working on their projects. Note: you may need to make additional copies of the research pages for your students.

Heritage Fair Poster – Get your students excited about Heritage Fairs — and thinking about what makes a good historical inquiry — with this poster.

Past issues of Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids Discover back issues of Kayak to help your students explore and select potential Heritage Fair topics.

Heritage Fair Countdown – Follow this checklist to keep you and your students on track.

Certificate of Participation — for students

Certificate of Recognition — for volunteers

Regional Heritage Fairs

List of Fairs — Find a regional, provincial or territorial fair in your community.

Young Citizens

Young Citizens is the national program for Heritage Fairs, where participants produce a short video on the topic they explored as part of their Heritage Fair project. The students’ videos are posted online at CanadasHistory.ca/YoungCitizens. A pan-Canadian popular vote and an evaluation by judges selects four winners.

Since the inception of the program in 2012, more than 1,100 videos have been uploaded. We invite you to meet our Young Citizens, watch their videos, and comment on their amazing work.

Young Citizens is administered by Canada’s National History Society, with the support of the Government of Canada, Bruce MacLellan & Karen Girling, and Canada Life.

Teacher and Coordinator Resources

Certificate of Selection as a Young Citizen

Young Citizens Flyer (bilingual) — Handout for students with an overview of Young Citizens, important links, and a checklist.

Questions? Comments?

Please contact:

Jean-Philippe Proulx
Education & Community Coordinator
Canada's History

The first step to becoming a Young Citizen


... is to participate in Heritage Fairs. Heritage Fairs is a bilingual educational initiative that encourages students to explore Canadian heritage in a dynamic, hands-on learning environment. Inspiring Canada’s best and brightest young people with their history and heritage has been the trademark of Heritage Fairs since they started in 1993.

Young Citizens logo
Young Citizens

The Young Citizens program focuses on citizenship and is a complementary component to Heritage Fairs, an annual event where students present the results of their research on Canadian heroes, legends and key events in Canadian history.

Young Citizens Resources for Students