HUMBOLDT — Humboldt is offering a fun way to learn about Canadian heritage as it hosts the Regional Heritage Fair on May 13 to 15,  at the Uniplex.
Students and the public can visit the fair and view 65 student projects related to Canadian history and culture.
There will also be displays from area businesses and organizations related to heritage. The fair is a project of Heritage Canada, which is sponsoring four regional fairs in Saskatchewan: Humboldt, Regina, Saskatoon and Gravelbourg.
Seven regional schools – from Humboldt, Colonsay, Pelly, Annaheim, Wakaw, Star City and Tisdale – are sending their best student projects to Humboldt for the competition. Students from Grades 4 to 9 can participate.
In Humboldt, Grade 9 students at the high school participated by holding an in-school fair on March 19 to choose the nine projects that will take part in the regional fair.
HCI students who had qualifying projects are Ashley Brady, Richard Winters, Pam Sterner, Tara Watts, Kendra Heselwood, Daniel Jungwirth, Vanessa Boyden, Brandi Ewen, Jenn Leonew, Courtney Saliken and Blair Thiemann. Students who qualified but can't attend the fair are Karen Zubot, Beth Jenkins, Tracey Dressler, Lisa Cadrain and Bailey Doepker.
Anna-Marie Mackenzie, who is on the organizing committee, said the Humboldt student projects cover a variety of heritage themes, including hockey, native culture, Louis Riel, fashion and Anne of Green Gables.
Projects from visiting students cover a wide range from the history of money to Canadian artists, to the RCMP. She said the public can wander through the fair on Friday or Saturday and ask the students questions about their projects.
"I know the students have put a lot of work into them. They're showing a lot of respect for the heritage of our country, and if they're excited about it I think we should be excited as well," said Mackenzie, who is a teacher at HCI.
Food booths will be set up so people can buy lunch or snacks as they visit the fair. Students from area schools who didn't participate by working on projects can still enjoy the opportunity to visit the Uniplex. Mackenzie said there will be plenty of students from the region coming to Humboldt on Friday to see the displays.
Some students have participated in other ways too. A student heritage essay contest was held locally with winners Chris Nienaber, Kyle Niekamp and Jacky Bernauer placing first, second and third respectively.
And students entered designs for a heritage button contest, with St. Dominic School student Kelly Bauer, Grade 3, winning that competition.
On Friday, the organizers have planned free historical tours of sites in and around Humboldt. Volunteer guides will take people around the old water tower, Vintage Club, Humboldt and District Museum and Gallery, Willkommen Centre and St. Peter's Cathedral at Muenster.
Tours are offered during the afternoon.
Organizing committee chair Danny Yuen said he's glad the community is hosting the Heritage Fair as a three-day event and inviting the public.
"Heritage is so important that not only do the children need to value the importance of heritage, I believe everyone, the public, needs to understand the importance of heritage," Yuen said. "Humboldt is very rich in heritage. I think we're very fortunate and sometimes people don't realize what we have."
The fair kicks off on Thursday evening with a wine and cheese and silent art auction at the Bella Vista Inn. The organizers tried to line up well-known journalist Patrick Watson as the guest speaker, but it hasn't been confirmed who the speaker will be.
Everything winds down on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., when awards will be presented to the regional fair winners. A total of 15 projects from Saskatchewan will be entered in the national Heritage Fair to be held in Edmonton.
“Heritage... helps us to understand the ways of the past and learn from their mistakes.”
—Chris Nienaber, Grade 9, HCI
“Learning about the past... helps people make decisions that will affect their future.”
—Kyle Niekamp, Grade 9, HCI
“It’s important to learn about heritage… to prevent bad things from happening again.”
—Jacky Bernauer, Grade 9, HCI