Community support is needed to help local students make history.
Sponsors and volunteers are currently being sought for the fifth annual Vernon Heritage Fair, which encourages youth to research a historical or contemporary topic for exhibition April 13.
“The event is for students from Grades 4 to 10,” said Pat Simmons, with the Greater Vernon Museum, which organizes the fair.
“We have more than 180 students registered at this time.”
A critical part of the event are businesses, service clubs and individuals who make financial contributions to cover all of the costs ($4,700 last year).
“We have tremendous support from the community,” said Simmons, adding that a business is also being sought to host a silent auction fundraiser.
Volunteers are also needed to help with behind-the-scenes organizing as well as judging entries.
“We need them from all walks of life, whether it’s for two hours or 10 hours,” said Simmons.
Anyone interested in sponsorship or volunteering can contact Simmons at 250-542-3142 or at email@example.com.
The heritage fair was launched to encourage interest in Canadian heritage, and students are urged to explore a topic that has meaning to them.
“It can be their family or town, a place they have visited or a favourite sport,” said Simmons.
“They are learning a lot of skills like research and literacy.”
The participants also develop speaking skills as they are interviewed by judges.
Among those who have participated is Gavin Donald, a Grade 7 student at BX Elementary.
“He was a very shy student who didn’t have the confidence to talk to adults,” said mom Gabrielle Donald.
“He steadily gained confidence and composure as each heritage fair experience went by. Because of the successful feedback he got from the heritage fairs, Gavin was spurred on to petition to have Larry Kwong (the first Chinese-Canadian in the NHL) inducted into the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame.”
While this year’s heritage fair at the Priest Valley Gym is full, other local students can still participate and pursue a place at the regional competition.
“There is still an opportunity for teachers and students to be involved through school or class fairs,” said Simmons, adding that those groups can contact her at the museum.