Bryon Roberts, Grade 5 Maquinna Elementary School Student, shows his presentation on Chief Maquinna and Nootka First Nations for the 2017 Alberni Valley Museum Heritage Fair. Echo Centre will be filled with projects again this Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5. KARLY BLATS PHOTO

History comes alive at Regional Heritage Fair in Port Alberni

Alberni Valley Museum hosts 16th annual fair at Echo Centre, May 4–5

Students from all over the North Island will bring life to historical events this Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5 at the Alberni Valley Museum Heritage Fair at Echo Centre.

Over the past 16 years that the Alberni Valley Museum has hosted the Vancouver Island North Regional Heritage Fair, more than 1,800 students from Port Alberni all the way to the North Island have taken part.

Students, from Grades 4 to 9, explore an aspect of Canadian history, heritage or culture and then present it in the format of their choice, museum education curator Shelley Harding explained.

”Their research can be presented as an essay, a song, a model, a display—wherever their imagination takes them. In the past we have seen a full size replica of herring rake built by a student studying native fishing practices; costumed portrayals of Roberta Bondar, Emily Murphy, Alexander Graham Bell and Mr. Dressup complete with Casey and Finnigan, a trivia game designed by a student following the trail of the explorer Simon Fraser, a model of Butchart Gardens with live plants and working waterfall and a Nuu-chah-nulth legend and dance.”

The fair promotes literacy as students read for information, write about what they have learned, listen to judges’ questions and speak about their projects, she said.

”The heritage fair encourages students to explore issues of personal relevance and take pride in their heritage.”

The regional fair takes place at the Alberni Valley Museum and Echo Centre. On Friday, May 4, students will present their projects to judges, take part in some heritage related workshops and activities and then have the special opportunity to tour the Martin Mars waterbombers base at Sproat Lake.

The Heritage Fair concludes on Saturday, May 5 with community displays and students presenting their projects to the public. This year visit with members of the Genealogy Club, Alberni District Historical Society, Society and the Industrial heritage Society. Come join us at Echo Centre from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members of the public can cast their vote for the people’s choice award and attend the student award presentation which begins at 1 p.m.

This program is designed to create and strengthen young people’s knowledge of the diversity and uniqueness of Canadian heritage. Providing young people with the opportunity to develop strong roots in their community and culture will give them the confidence to fully share as active citizens in the shaping of Canada’s future. Up to four students and one adult chaperone from our Regional Fair will be chosen to represent us at the Provincial Fair being held in Squamish this July. There, 100 students from across the province meet for a week packed full of activities that concludes with a showcase of the participant’s projects.

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