Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Have you tried a museum?

One great place to start researching your project is at a museum. Museums have unique artifacts, papers and stories that you’ve likely never heard before.

Many museums are happy to have kids visit, and, time permitting, may be able to help them with their research. However, you really need to contact the museum first, and to help you out with that the Association of Manitoba Museums has put together a list of the Museums in Manitoba and how to get in touch with them.

Whether you go in as a class, or it’s just one student visiting, a museum is a great place to inspire love of our history and heritage.

A presentation!

Projects without backboards

A lot of projects come to the Red River Heritage Fair very artistically arranged on a backboard and set up very much like, well, a science fair display. Did you know you don’t have to set up your project that way?

  1. Audio projects. You can record your project and present it as an audio file. Maybe it’s Microphonean interview with a historical figure. Maybe it’s a bit of on the spot live recording courtesy of some time travel. Try a program like Audacity to record, and throw in some sound effects from Free Sound, and top it off with some royalty-free background music from Incompetech.
  2. Video projects. What could be more fun than creating a script about a historical event, dressing up in costume, collecting props and telling your story in a video? There’s plenty of great online video editing sites like WeVideo or you can use a free desktop program like Open Shot.
  3. Website. Build a website to present your story. The new Google Sites makes creating a pretty decent website pretty easy. Go to to get started, or if you’re a Google Apps school you’ll need to talk to your IT person to make sure Google Sites has been enabled.
  4. Choose your own adventure. This is a great type of story that kids like to read. Imagine creating one about a historical event and thinking through how it might have gone if different decisions had been made at certain point. If someone had chosen a different path, how would it have turned out? For that kind of counterfactual thinking, Twine is a great place to create your presentation. It’s gone an online version, and versions to run on either a Mac or PC. And even if you create it online, you can download your work and play it on your computer without wifi, just in case your Internet connection fails.

The Red River Heritage Fair is turning 15! Let’s do something different!

For the 25th Anniversary of Heritage Fairs in Canada and the 15th Anniversary of the Red River Heritage Fair we would like to challenge you to go back in time in Canadian History. 

Over the past few years there have been many anniversaries of historic events and a few are coming up in the near future;  War of 1812,   Selkirk Settlers Arrival  1814, Peguis Selkirk Treaty 1817,  Arrival of Provencher 1818,  the Underground Railroad 1860’s, 150th Anniversary of Manitoba becoming a province 1870 , the First World War, Vimy 1914 – 1918, Votes for Women 1916, the Winnipeg General Strike 1919 and many more.  These are a few suggested topics for the 2018 Red River Heritage Fair.

Unique Ways to present projects

Try something different to create a Heritage Fair project. It doesn’t have to be done on a backboard.

Swap Cards (Trading Cards)  Create a  series of trading cards similar to hockey cards. Include a picture of the person or event and detailed information about their significance related to the Canadian Historical event.  A minimum of 9 cards (up to 12+) to identify the Canadian historical person, event or place

Illustrated Story/Graphic Novel Create an Illustrated Story/Graphic Novel about a Canadian historical person/figure, event or place.  We suggest it should be at least 8 to 10 pages with a introduction, story line and conclusion.  Web Option:

Timeline Create an illustrated timeline of an Canadian historical person/figure, event or place. For each episode n time, be sure to include a title of the event, description, date and visual. Web Option:

Character Presentation Create an autobiographical presentation. Become the historical figure.  Be able to describe what the person did in Canadian history, dress and speak as you are the character

Website Create a web-based website for a Canadian historical person or event. We have wifi at the Duckworth Centre so you can shop off your site on a laptop. One possible website builder:

Physical Figure  Create an image of the person you are researching. Use your imagination to create a sensory figure. For each “sense” describe what the person would say, think, feel, hear, see, etc. Make sure the information is historically accurate.  Use previous events building up to the actual event, the current event and what transpired after the event.

Face Book Page Create a Face Book page for a Canadian historic figure using either paper or a web-based template. Check out

X-Ray Poster  Produce a large poster of a Canadian historical figure (the entire body) and add flaps for main body parts. Under each flap write historical evidence about the person. For example, under the head flap, write where the person was born and what the person is famous for. Under the foot flap, write about where the person has been, under the mouth flap write what the person has said. Be sure to include at least 8 flaps; Head, mouth, heart, chest, 2 hands, 2 legs.


Use this list or create something you might like to do or use your own inspired imagination to complete your presentation. Celebrate our 15th birthday by creating a wild, wacky, and unique project to be proud of.

Have fun with history!

We look forward to seeing your project…


maple leaf

I need a backboard, don’t I? Where do I find one?

No, you don’t need to have a backboard. There’s other ways to display a project. However, that’s a topic for a different post.

For today’s post, if you’re trying to put together Heritage Fair projects in your class and want backboards, but don’t have them, don’t despair. They’re easy to find and there’s different options whether a parent is buying for one child, or a teacher is buying for an entire class.

  1. Staples is the obvious choice. They have good, solid, full size presentation boards, but they’re not cheap.
  2. Walmart carries a variety of sizes of presentation boards at a slightly lower price point.
  3. Amazon has a few models of presentation boards that might be worth a look.
  4. In a somewhat smaller size, with a significantly lower price, Dollarama often has good, sturdy presentation boards. Sometimes they also have foam boards and cardboard stands to hold them.
  5. Probably the cheapest source of presentation boards is at Instabox Winnipeg at 236 Lowson Cres. They don’t always have boards in stock, so call in advance at 204-488-3064. As well, they handle quantity orders. You don’t buy just one or two boards here.

8 Heritage Fair ideas for ’18

If you’re searching for topics for the Heritage Fair in 2018, how about remembering a few of these anniversaries and how they’ve shaped us?

  1. 1608 – Quebec City is founded as one of the earliest and longest lasting European settlements in Canada. Would this lead to bigger and better things, or was the beginning of the end of the good life that was already in place for the people who already lived in the area?
  2. 1918 – The First World War comes to an end. The war brought Canada together in a new way, but also devastated many families. What did the war accomplish? Why did it fail to end all wars?
  3. 1918 – All women receive the federal vote in Canada. What prompted the government to give the vote? How has women’s expanded political role changed the nation?
  4. 1948- Louis St. Laurent is sworn in as prime minister, replacing the long serving William Lyon Mackenzie King. A lot happened under this prime minister including old age pensions, the first Canadian Governor General, the founding of NATO, making the Supreme Court truly supreme, and the admission of Newfoundland to the Dominion.
  5. 1958 – The Trans Canada Pipeline is competed, a feat we don’t seem to be able to accomplish today. How did it shape us, and why was it possible to do then what we can’t seem to do today?
  6. 1968 – The first Prime Minister Trudeau is sworn in and women go wild for this “sexy” man as Trudeaumania sweeps the nation. Did it change anything or was it just a passing fad?
  7. 1988 – Prime Minister Brian Mulroney apologizes for the internment of Japanese Canadians in the Second World War. This would be the first of many apologies that were to come from various prime ministers for different Canadian misdeeds. How do we deal with the past? Are we responsible for it even if we weren’t there?
  8. 1988 – Calgary grew up a little bit and joined the big time by hosting the Winter Olympics. It was a good time to be a Canadian. A lot of great memories came from those Olympics.
  9. 1988 – Canada’s Ben Johnson was, briefly, the fastest man on the planet as he won and then lost gold in a drug scandal at the summer Olympics. What was a scandal then has become near routine now. How has the culture of sports changed?

Okay, that was nine items. I can’t count. The point still is that there are great topics out there for your students’ projects and for the Heritage Fair. Try a few out and see how your students like them.

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