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Nova Scotia students share heritage at Saint Mary’s University

by ahnationtalk on June 3, 2016472 Views

June 2, 2016

Students in grades 4-9 from across the province will gather at Saint Mary’s University on June 2-3 for the annual Nova Scotia Provincial Heritage Fair.

The Heritage Fair is a showcase where students present their research on the cultural heritage of an event, person, place or object of their choosing. The topics can include family history, community history, cultural traditions, people and events that have helped shape Nova Scotia and Canada. Students are able to present in English, French, Gaelic and Mi’kmaq.

“Saint Mary’s is delighted to be hosting the Heritage Fair once again this year,” said Dr. Margaret MacDonald, Dean of the Faculty of Arts. “It is wonderful to see these talented young people already engaged in academic learning about history, heritage, and culture, which are so central to the life of the University and help us understand our community.”

The annual event is a collaboration between Saint Mary’s and the provincial departments of Education and Early Childhood Development and Communities, Culture and Heritage. “Youth who are engaged in Nova Scotia’s diverse heritage and culture are vital to the well-being and future of our communities,” said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Tony Ince.

Dr. Kirrily Freeman, Chair of the Saint Mary’s University Department of History is one of the organizers of the Heritage Fair.

“Saint Mary’s is very proud to host the Provincial Heritage Fair. The kids take away a great deal from this experience,” she said. “They get recognition and encouragement for their academic work and they get to share their enthusiasm and interest in the past with people who are experts  — historians, archivists, museum curators and interpreters, and researchers.”

Dr. Freeman says the Heritage Fair really encourages students who have a passion for learning and are curious about the past

“Heritage is the story of who we are,” she says. “Learning about the cultures, events, traditions, people and places of the past teaches us where we came from, and shows us the forces that have shaped our communities.”

The Heritage Fair is broken up over two days. On the first day students set up their projects at Saint Mary’s in the morning before visiting Province House in the afternoon for specialized workshops which include a focus on Joseph Howe, the 2016 provincial Heritage Day nominee. The first day concludes with a banquet for the students and their guest, and includes participation in cultural activities.

On the second day the students will again participate in workshops and present their projects to the public and to judges. This gives students an opportunity to share what they have learned and also receive feedback on their work. The public are invited to the view the projects between 1:00pm and 2:30pm at the O’Donnell-Hennessey Student Centre. Following the public viewing, recognition awards will be presented. Attending the awards ceremony will be Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray President of Saint Mary’s University.


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