Saturday MAY 05 | 9:30 am – 2:00 pm | Galt Museum & Archives

Lethbridge - Every spring from Barkerville, BC to Charlottetown, PEI more than 250,000 elementary and middle school students at over 1,500 schools participate in Canada’s Heritage Fairs program, showcasing the diverse tales of Canada’s past through their research and hands-on activities at 100 regional fairs. Four regional fairs are held in Alberta: Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Red Deer and Lethbridge.


The 17th Southern Alberta Regional Heritage Fair takes place Saturday, May 5 at the Galt Museum & Archives in Lethbridge. Ingenious Canadian history projects by Grade 4-9 students from across Southern Alberta have impressed judges for 16 years, and the same is expected at the 2012 event. Public viewing of the projects takes place from 9:30 am–2:00 pm.


“We invite everyone to come to the Galt on May 5th to see the incredible projects,” says Belinda Crowson, Southern Alberta Regional Heritage Fair Coordinator. “This year, the Regional Heritage Fair is involved in three new initiatives: Canada’s History Young Citizens, the Alberta Federation of Labour Centennial, and the 2012 Alberta Summer Games in Lethbridge.”


Canada’s History has launched Young Citizens, a bilingual initiative to identify youth leaders in each of the regions recognized for their exceptional creativity, knowledge, and passion for history, and their capacity to advocate for their local heritage community. The 200 individuals will each be given a digital video camera to record short documentaries or news pieces capturing the essence of their research project and how this connects them with their community and country. Young Citizens is a unique opportunity to raise awareness about unique stories in Canadian history.


“What it means for the Southern Alberta Regional Heritage Fair,” explains Crowson, “is that four local students, selected by the judges and the fair committee, will each be given a video camera to create a short 3-4 minute news piece or public service announcement about their Heritage Fair topic. These videos will be uploaded to the national site and people across Canada will be invited to vote for their favourite.” Additional details will be made available closer to the date of the Regional Fair.

 Provincially, the Alberta Provincial Heritage Fair Council has been working with the Alberta Labour History Institute [ALHI] in conjunction with its 2012 centennial project "100 years of work: Celebrating the people who built your community".

“The ALHI and Alberta Federation of Labour are planning to invite one student from each of the Alberta regional fairs to Edmonton to be part of the Celebration of Labour at Fort Edmonton Park on June 16,” says Crowson. “Both organizations would like to encourage students to work on projects related to labour. Students can find a list of labour-related ideas on the programs for schools section of our website.”

 And selected projects focusing on sports will be set up at venues around the city for the duration of the 2012 Alberta Summer Games in Lethbridge July as part of the Games’ cultural component. Parents, teachers or students who wish more information can contact Belinda Crowson at the Galt Museum & Archives at 403.320-4248 or by email at  Please also contact Belinda if you are interested in judging.

Canada's History, whose mission is to make the discovery of Canada’s past relevant, engaging, empowering and accessible to all Canadians, is one of two national charities devoted to the field of public history and the only one with a broad national membership base. It publishes Canada's History Magazine (formerly The Beaver) and Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids. Its national awards and recognition programs celebrate the exemplary efforts of others working to preserve, promote and popularize Canadian history.

 The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) is Alberta’s largest central labour body. It represents more than 140,000 workers from 27 different unions in Alberta,. The AFL’s has a three-part mandate. First it provides research, communication, organizing and education support for its affiliated members. Second, it acts as the voice for the labour movement in the province. Third, it speaks out on behalf of all working people in Alberta. The AFL was formed in 1912 when unionized miners and tradespeople in southern Alberta agreed to work together under the umbrella of a labour “central”. Today the AFL represents workers from every industry and occupation in Alberta.

 The Alberta Labour History Institute (ALHI) was founded in 1999 by a group of trade unionists, community activists, archivists, and historians who decided to take the first steps to collect, preserve, and publicize the stories of Alberta’s working people. Our aim is to educate Albertans and Canadians about an important part of their history that would otherwise not be readily available. ALHI has accomplished this by the creation of  resources such as a website, books, oral history interviews, educational DVD’s, photo archives, our through the collection and preservation of historic records.

 The Alberta Summer Games began in 1974 as a provincial initiative for amateur sport, providing an opportunity for all Albertans to participate. Lethbridge is the only city that has hosted all 4 of the Alberta Games programs since their inception. Lethbridge also hosted the 1975 Canada Winter Games. The Alberta Sport Council governed the Alberta Games until 1994 when it amalgamated with the Alberta Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation to form the new Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation which continues to govern the program today. The province is split into 8 zones to ensure participation for across the province.

Anine VonkemanComment