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B.C. Heritage Fair to be held in Prince George this summer

Like a science fair but with a focus on history and heritage
A student gives a presentation during at a past B.C. Heritage Fair.

Dozens of the province's brightest young history buffs will converge on Prince George this summer when this year's edition of the B.C. Heritage Fair is held in the city.

It is set for July 2-6 and will bring in 50-60 elementary and secondary school students from across the province. The exact location in the city is still to be determined.

"We're still in the planning stages because it's still a few months away," BCHF coordinator Vedanshi Vala said, adding that field trips within the city will be among the activities.

What is a heritage fair? Think science fair but with a focus on history. 

Vala, who is a veteran of both formats, said entries cover a wide assortment of topics - from something as personal as a student's family history to something as grand as the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. 

"But I think a theme that ties them all together is some sort of relevance to Canadian heritage," Vala said.

Students start their projects at the class and school level, then graduate to regional fairs from where the provincial entrants are selected. The tri-fold poster board remains a mainstay, but entrants have been known to incorporate dioramas and the latest in audio and visual media.

"Generally speaking, we're looking for passion, for depth and detail of research, we're looking for excellent presentation skills and above all else, we're looking for meaningful understanding of how events in Canada's past continue to shape present-day society," Vala said.

Heritage fairs have been held in B.C. since the mid-1990s. It will be the first time in at least recent memory that the provincial heritage fair will be held in Prince George.

"We've gone to Kamloops, we've gone to Victoria and the UBC area," Vala said. "I just think the program needs fresh, new excitement and I think Prince George meets our program needs at this time."

In the lead up, BCHF is seeking donors and sponsors with the aim of raising $43,000. A donation of $560 sponsors a student and $2,240 sponsors an entire regional delegation.

For more information on the program and how to donate, go to