York hosts young historians for Ontario Provincial Heritage Fair

Professor Marcel Martel, History Department with Sarah Mai, Ottawa Regional Fair participant
Professor Marcel Martel, History Department, with Sarah Mai, Ottawa Regional Fair participant

Dozens of students from Grades 4 to 11 gathered recently at York University’s Founders College to showcase their award-winning posters on Canadian history. The event was hosted by the Department of History in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS), in collaboration with the Archives of Ontario.

This year, the fair featured the work of 90 young people from across the province and was organized with the assistance of York University history Professor Marcel Martel. This is the second year York has hosted the Ontario Provincial Heritage Fair. Martel admits to being a big fan of the event.

“You have young people who are enthusiastic about what they have done and want to share that passion,” said Martel.

One of the projects of the grade school students

The event was standing room only as the participants presented their posters on Canadian heroes, legends, milestones and achievements. In many cases, students revisited some of Canada’s darkest moments in history, such as the recently released report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the internment of Japanese citizens and the treatment of homosexuals in the public service and military.

“It is important to offer young students the opportunity to share with others their love for history,” said Martel. “I think it’s also an opportunity for them to discover that York is a welcoming place.”

The Heritage Fairs program has provided young students an opportunity to explore Canadian history for more than 25 years.