Nova Scotia Provincial Heritage Fair returns to SMU next week

NS Heritage Fair sign with SMU logo.jpg

Beloved folk artist Maud Lewis is the inspiration for this year’s Nova Scotia Provincial Heritage Fair, happening June 6 and 7 at Saint Mary’s.

A key community outreach event for the university, the annual two-day learning opportunity attracts eighty students and their history projects, selected at regional fairs across the province. The program is designed for students in grades 4 through 9, encouraging them to explore Canadian culture, history and heritage, while gaining research and public presentation skills.

“It’s an enriching experience for everyone,” says Dr. Kirrily Freeman of the Department of History, who coordinates the Provincial Fair each year.  “We get to help foster exceptional young students who are fascinated by history and culture, and show them all the cool things people can do with an Arts education. And the kids bring their energy, excitement and curiosity. It’s a fun and inspiring couple of days.”

The student projects will be open for public viewing on Friday, June 7 from 1:30 to 3:00 pm in the McNally Theatre Auditorium, followed by the awards ceremony from 3:00 to 4:00 pm. The expert judges are all professionals who are active in the fields of culture, history and heritage – professors from the Saint Mary’s Faculty of Arts, archivists, librarians, museum curators, museum interpreters and more.

A young participant at the 2018 Heritage Fair.

A young participant at the 2018 Heritage Fair.

“It’s a great opportunity to showcase talent: all the young talent we have in this province, and all the expertise of our Arts faculty and our heritage partners,” says Dr. Freeman.

While attending the Heritage Fair, students and their chaperones will enjoy a banquet and stay overnight in residence on campus. The student delegates also take part in a series of workshops related to the Heritage Fair theme, which is inspired by the yearly Nova Scotia Heritage Day honorees. A highlight this year will be tours and art-making activities at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, including a look at its Maud Lewis art collection and the tiny house she shared with husband Everett in Marshalltown, near Yarmouth. Lewis passed away in 1970 but her international reputation as an inspiring folk artist continues to grow.

Next year’s focus for both the Day and the Fair will be Africville, a former community on the shores of Bedford Basin and now a National Historic Site.

Find out more about the Nova Scotia Provincial Heritage Fair on its website, on Facebook at @novascotiaheritagefairs, and on Instagram at nsprovincialheritagefair.

 -  Submitted by Marla Cranston, Faculty of Arts