Heritage Fair

What is a Heritage Fair?

Think Science Fair but for History!
The Heritage Fairs are showcases of history project displays created by local students about Canadian history.
Students choose a topic (often a family or local story), develop an inquiry question that stems from their curiosity about that topic, and present their findings to the public.
Projects can be poster boards, plays, videos, comics, and more.

Classroom/School Heritage Fair
Students work on their Heritage Fairs in their classes. It is highly recommended they first present their Heritage Fair projects to their peers and teachers in a class or school fair.

Regional Heritage Fair
Teachers select stand-out projects from their classes to continue to the Regional Fair level. At the East Kootenay Heritage Fair, students will participate in heritage programs and be interviewed by judges about their Heritage Fair project. Awards will be given to certain students for their projects based on their strengths. View the 2023 award recipients and their projects.

Provincial Heritage Fair
Judges will nominate three students from the Regional Heritage Fair to present their projects at the Provincial Heritage Fair. The annual fair typically takes place in person at a selected BC city. In 2023, the Fair took place in Prince George from July 2nd to 5th. The 2024 location is Victoria.

Every year over 6000 students take part in Heritage Fairs across BC, and thousands more across Canada.

East Kootenay Heritage Fair (EKHF)

Why Participate?

The Heritage Fair is an amazing opportunity for students to get curious, creative and confident with history.

For Teachers

  • Supports cross-curricular teaching goals in Social Studies, Art, English Language Arts, Math, and Languages
  • Supports Core Competencies in communicating, critical and reflective thinking, positive personal and cultural identity, and social awareness and responsibility
  • Comes with support and online resources, including workshops and lesson plans, from the Cranbrook History Centre and BC Heritage Fairs.

For Students

  • Student-led learning
  • Fosters inquiry-based critical and historical thinking skills
  • Produces engaged citizens
  • Builds confidence and pride in learning
  • Develops communication skills, from researching to presenting

How can my class participate?

Eligibility requirements

  • Grade 4 – 10
  • SD5 or local private schools
  • Teacher and student participation in all stages of the Heritage Fair is FREE!
  • Projects can be by individuals, partners or small groups. (Only one student can participate in the BC Provincial Fair and must be approved before the Regional Fair.)
  • Projects can be in English, French or Ktunaxa.
  • Read full guidelines here.

If a student is outside of Cranbrook, they can still participate in a virtual Independent Heritage Fair. Students from the Independent Regional Heritage Fair will be chosen to participate in the Provincial Fair. Contact IRHF coordinator Rachel at srfairs@bcheritagefairs.ca to register. (Please contact programs@cranbrookhistorycentre.com with all other inquiries.)

For Participating Teachers

Update: For the 2023-2024 school year, the Heritage Fair Committee members will not be acting as liaisons, but we are equally as committed to supporting teachers and students through the process. The Cranbrook History Centre will be handling registrations digitally and offering in-person support by request.

Additionally, the BC Heritage Fair Society will be hosting monthly online workshops. Visit the timeline for more information, to register, or email programs@cranbrookhistorycentre.com to request a prerecorded workshop.

For Participating Students

  • Find BCHF resources to plan a project here.
  • Get inspiration from last year’s award recipients here.
  • By participating in the Heritage Fair, students are also eligible to submit a video to Canada’s History Young Citizens program. Follow the links to view Young Citizens’ videos and register.

EKHF Volunteer Opportunities

  • Our HF Committee meets monthly to work on prizes, media, and event planning (September-May).
  • Judges assess the projects and conduct student interviews (May 9-10; training is provided).
  • The event assistants sign-in and direct students to their tables and hand out prize bags (May 10).
  • The activity assistants help with station coordination and supervision (May 10-11).
  • The photographer documents the Regional Heritage Fair and Award Ceremony (May 9-11)
  • A teacher chaperone attends the Provincial Heritage Fair with the selected students (3 days in July).

When and where is the East Kootenay Heritage Fair?

The Heritage Fair can begin in classrooms as early as September, but the Regional Heritage Fair schedule at the Cranbrook History Centre is as follows:

Thursday, May 9th, 2024: Drop off and set up projects (3:00-5:30pm)

Friday, May 10th, 2024: East Kootenay Heritage Fair Day (9:00-11:00am & 12:00-2:00pm)

Select students from participating schools present their projects to the judges and participate in Heritage programs throughout the day.

Saturday, May 11th, 2024: Open House (10:00am) & Awards Ceremony (11:00am)

Anyone and everyone is welcome to view the student projects during the open house and attend the award ceremony.

* Family members are welcome to help set up projects on the 9th and attend the Open House and Awards Ceremony on the 11th. We ask that only participating students and teachers attend the fair on the 10th to allow space for activities and judging to take place. Thanks in advance for your understanding!

Who is Participating in the East Kootenay Heritage Fair in 2024?

REGISTER HERE to add your class to the list:

Steeples Elementary, Chris Goodwin, Gr.6
Steeples Elementary, Steven Hammond, Gr.5
Highlands Elementary, Shanda Fulcher/Stephanie McDowell, Gr.4/5
Highlands Elementary, Stephanie McDowell/Kristan Thompson, Gr.6
Kootenay Orchards, Carol Potter, Gr.6
Kootenay Orchards, Stephanie Halldorson, Gr.5
Amy Woodland, Stephanie Roberts, Gr.5/6, Gr.6
Parkland Middle School, Taylor Whittall, Gr.7
Parkland Middle School, Aaron Hoffman, Gr.7
Gordon Terrace, Tera Merkel, Gr.4

Thank You

Thank you to our partners, BC Heritage Fairs and School District 5, for the ongoing support!

Also, congratulations to all our 2023 participants and award winners; we hope to see you again this year!


Katherine Warman, Programming Coordinator: programs@cranbrookhistorycentre.com

Gail Brown, Chair of Heritage Fair Committee: groo.brown@gmail.com