Well, that was quite an interesting six weeks! Sunny is very tired from all his exploring and learning new things…

The first Regional Heritage Fair took place April 19th in Moose Jaw and featured some mainstay schools and some that were participating for the first time or after a long hiatus. The quality of the projects was very high and there were many exciting stories to hear. It was great to be in such a supportive community! Sunny also got the chance to explore a model of a steamboat…

The Swift Current Regional Heritage Fair was a bit smaller than usual, but the students who were there were delightful and I learned more about not only Canadian heritage but also some of the personal stories from the students who had researched their family trees. Sunny also decided that he wanted to get selfies with all of the animals in the museum…

May got underway with the Regina Regional Heritage Fair on May 4th. There were so many wonderful projects! I got the chance to listen to some of the projects in great detail, although it did mean I had to rush past others. There were many projects with Saskatchewan connections that were especially interesting.

Sunny didn`t get to do much exploring, but he did find a cozy Rider helmet to hide in!

The next week finished off the Regional Fairs with both the Saskatoon Regional Heritage Fair and the Saskatoon Tribal Council Regional Heritage Fair taking place May 10-12. It was a whirlwind three days that featured a lot of projects of a diverse background.

In addition to well-informed and enthusiastic students, there were beautiful displays that were awe-inspiring – especially when a life-sized cut-out of Edouard Beaupre is standing near the door! (And yes, it fit within the width requirements…) Sunny found all of the candy and thus had to sleep for the rest of the weekend.

Meanwhile, I got the chance to hear more projects at the Saskatoon Tribal Council Regional Heritage Fair and learn much more about Saskatchewan`s (& Canada`s) indigenous heritage – although I got a bit sidetracked about the fate of a storybook rabbit! Note to students – if you`re going to read an excerpt of a book as part of your presentation, make sure to include the ending!

Which brings me to last week`s Provincial Heritage Fair, arguably my and Sunny`s big event of the year. For the first time, we overnighted at the Science Centre and Sunny was the most bright-eyed of everyone! It did make for a very long event but it was very enjoyable.

The students who advanced to the Provincial Heritage Fair were amazing to listen to and no matter how tired, forgetful, or shy they were, they knew their projects inside and out, and were eager to share what they had learned. The judges were thrilled and excited to be there as well! The two days passed quickly and soon the ballroom was cleared out again.

It would be clichéd to say that the future is in good hands, although I would like to think so. I also hope that more awareness of sensitive topics and past injustice – and the ability to discuss them – will continue to shape these students` lives. They also discover things to celebrate about Canada, its heritage, and their own heritage as Canadian citizens. In turn, the students share this with the judges, visitors, and organisers – reminding us of things long forgotten, informing us of the importance of what we might have dismissed, and teaching us things that we never learned.

Congratulations to our 59 Provincial finalists, especially our Award Winners and Top Ten! Congratulations also to the over 400 students who participated in our Regional Heritage Fairs and the over 4400 students who created projects in their schools! Thank you, teachers, parents, organisers, judges, workshop leaders, and volunteers, as well as all of the host venues!

The Regina Regional Heritage Fair for 2019 is already booked (which means I had better get going on booking the 2019 Provincial)…so on to planning for next year! We hope to see some students again and welcome more. Best wishes to those students moving into grade 9 or out of the participating Heritage Fair grades in their schools! Keep up the great work!