About the topics
Does the project have to be about family history, or about Saskatchewan? No, it can be any topic about or relating to Canadian heritage. Students are encouraged to choose a topic that they enjoy and want to learn more about.
Can the teacher assign specific topics? Absolutely, if the teacher is using Heritage Fairs for a class project to fulfil curriculum requirements. However, teachers are encouraged to let students select their own topics.
How long ago did something have to happen, or how old does something have to be, before it is considered ‘heritage’? Living Heritage is about the past, present, and future. It does not matter how old something is for it to be considered heritage.
Are science topics acceptable? Absolutely. Science is part of our heritage.
What about sports? Artists? Movies? Does it matter how famous someone is? All are acceptable topics, as long as they relate to Canada.
I really want to study something that did not happen in Canada – can I still create a Heritage Fairs project? Discuss this with your teacher. Lots of events that happened in other countries have a Canadian connection. A good example would be wars that Canada has participated in. Also, some people move away from Canada for their careers, such as actors, but they still have a connection to Canada.
My family is not from Canada. Can I talk about my family’s heritage in another country? You yourself – and your family – are a connection to Canada! However, it is best to discuss your topic with your teacher. Your teacher can suggest ways to approach the topic to make sure that it will fall into the Heritage Fairs guidelines.
What language can I use for my project? Currently, English, French, or a combination of English and French. This is due to judges needing to be fluent in a language in order to judge a project. However, with enough notice, judges can be found to judge projects in other languages. Discuss with your teacher if you want to use another language. Language preferences cannot be changed past the registration deadline for the Regional Fairs. Including words from another language in your project is acceptable as long as you explain their meaning.
About the Heritage Fairs program
Can students work in partners or groups? Partners are fine. Groups of three or more are discouraged. If a student is in grades three or nine and partnered with a student in grades four or eight, that student is eligible to participate.
Can students in grades three or nine participate? If they are partnered with a student in an eligible grade, they can participate as though they were in grade four or eight. Otherwise, they may present at their local or school fair only. (Students of any grade can prepare a project and present it at their school fair at the discretion of their teachers.) The program used to include grade nine, but since grade nine is considered high school in Saskatchewan, we have eliminated that grade at the competition level.
Are essays required? Yes and no. Whether or not essays are required is up to the discretion of the teacher. The essay is an important tool for the students to present their research and is excellent for the classroom. However, at the Provincial level, the essay is not required. (At the regional level, check with your Regional Heritage Fair Committee.) As long as students present their projects and document their sources, they should not need to provide an essay.
Can a student participate independently? Absolutely. An independent student and their teacher/parent must make arrangements with their Regional Committee and their project must be judged, preferably at another school’s fair, in order to meet entry requirements to a Regional Fair. Contact Heritage Saskatchewan or check out our website for further details on independent students.
Does the whole class have to participate? This is up to individual teachers. Heritage Fairs is a great opportunity for students who may want to explore a topic more in depth than is being covered in the class.
What does the teacher have to do? As much as they want! All that is necessary is that they provide support for their students and register them online. Teachers can also use this program as part of their classroom lessons.
Is there a National Heritage Fair? Unfortunately, there is no longer a National Heritage Fair. Various provincial and national organizations are looking at alternatives. The Young Citizens program is one such initiative. Also see Canada's History Society's website for further information.