Historic Sites Association


Exploring Canadian history through Heritage Fairs

The Historic Sites Association, in partnership with other organizations and the Department of Education, is proud to manage and promote the Heritage Fairs across Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Heritage Fair Program encourages students to explore Canadian heritage in a dynamic, hands-on manner. Students use the medium of their choice to tell stories about their heroes, legends, milestones, and achievements – and present the results of their research in projects at a public exhibition held in their school. Selected students and their projects advance to one of the seven regional fairs in different parts of their province.

Various activities are developed nationally to recognize outstanding projects from each province. National initiatives are supported by Canada’s National History Society and can be seen online at www.heritagefairs.ca.

In 1993 the Bronfman Foundation launched a Heritage Fair Program to enhance appreciation for history. In 1999 the program moved to the Historica Foundation. Historica’s mandate was to provide new tools, resources and perspectives to help teachers in their mission to bring history to life. Expert historians, education specialists, business people and students formed the National Council.  In 2009 Canada’s History took the lead role in the Heritage Fairs nationally.

In Newfoundland and Labrador many schools hold fairs and select representatives to participate in 1 of 7 Regional Fairs across the province. In 2011 eight thousand students participated in the program. Their projects, which range from personal family histories to major Newfoundland and Labrador and Canadian history events, reach over 40,000 people each year.


Brief history of Heritage Fairs: 

  • Young people, schools, community organizations and businesses join together in telling stories and sharing information about Canadian history and heroes.
  • Presentations by students from Grades 4 to 9 are registered for adjudication and put on display for the public.
  • Local Heritage groups also present workshops, storytelling and demonstrations for the participants and for the general public.
  • Since 1997, all 10 provinces and territories have participated in the Heritage Fairs Program.
  • In 1997, Newfoundland held its first Heritage Fair on the Avalon Peninsula.
  • In 1998, there were 7 Regional Heritage Fairs in Newfoundland and Labrador. They were located in St. John’s, Clarenville, Marystown, Grand Falls, Corner Brook, Labrador City and Goose Bay.
  • In 1999, all 10 provinces and 3 territories participated in the Heritage Fairs.
  • In 2001, the Northern Peninsula/ Labrador South area joined the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Fairs Program.
  • In July 2002, Newfoundland and Labrador hosted a week long National Heritage Camp in St. John’s.
  • In 2007, Newfoundland and Labrador celebrated its 10th year in the Heritage Fairs Program.