Students Showcase the Past at Northwest Regional Heritage Fair in Prince Rupert

Students spent part of the weekend gathering for the Northwest Regional Heritage Fair in Prince Rupert.

The fair saw students from grades four to nine present a variety of historic events in Canadian history, with many showing off family or local connections.

Renée Charlton is a grade seven student at Prince Rupert Middle School and says it's been great to learn about connections herself and other classmates have to the projects.

"It's so much fun being around everyone and seeing connections to their projects. We get to learn about our heritage and see how we are connected. It makes us closer too."

She won an award for her project, "Queen of the North Atlantic: The Bluenose" and that gave her the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada Award, highlighting connections to Americans who remained true to Britain during the American Revolution in the 1800s.

Organizing Committee Member Michael Gurney says this kind of event is an important one to have.

"It allows us to experience what may be familiar stories, Captain Hook and Louis Riel, through a new generation's lenses. Whenever you see a new perspective, or have the benefit of it, you learn something more and you see more deeply. These students have become teachers."

Gurney has been taking part of the heritage fairs for nine years and says the quality of work really stands out.

"Some of the richest and deepest conversations I've ever witnessed as the results of the quality of work of these projects. I think the judges were just as impressed as I was."

Here's the full list of award winners:

McElhanney Engineering Prize
- Carter Slocombe ("Wings for Victory: RCAF Planes of World War II")

Canada's History Award
- Holly Lowe ("Scotland")

Heritage BC Historic Places Award
- Jasleen Powar ("Taj Mahal")

BC Hydro Power Pioneers Award
- Lauryn Leask ("Chief Legaic")

BC Heritage Branch Rich Culture / Other Voices Award
- Julia John Nixon ("Sri Lanka")

Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC Award
- Keithan Liang ("China")

United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada Award
- Renée Charlton ("Queen of the North Atlantic: The Bluenose")

Lieutenant Governor's Literary Award
- Lehi Teodoro Vera ("Get a Grip: My Family and Arm Wrestling")

Four students were also given the BC Heritage Fairs Stellar Achievement Award, which gave them an invite to the provincial fair coming up in July in Squamish.

- Sam Charlton ("The Snowbirds")
- Sydney Garabed ("Armenian Genocide")
- Carl Sampson ("Kwe Unglis Haida Dancers")
- Isabella Prevost ("Button Blankets")

The fair has taken place in Prince Rupert for four years and Gurney is hoping for many more.

"We look forward to a long history here in Prince Rupert."