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Hockey player Ashley Shields, a Grade 7 student at ÉPESCS, did her Heritage Fair project on her hockey idol Natalie Spooner.

Hub Staff

Perspectives on Canadian history filled the gymnasium at École Port Elgin Saugeen Central School (ÉPESCS) as over 100 projects were on display, showcasing a variety of historic happenings and people, embedded into the tapestry of Canada, March 29.

In total there were 29 judges, coming from educational and historical backgrounds, who judged the 123 student-made projects and eventually narrowed it down to the top 31, then an eventual 16 were chosen to represent ÉPESCS at the County Heritage Fair taking place at Grey Roots Museum. Three students will eventually be chosen to represent the Bluewater District School Board at the Provincial Heritage Fair in June.

Grade 8 student Jaydn Chin spent over a week creating a model of the “RMS Empress of Ireland”, a ship created by the Canadian Pacific Steamship Company that sank in the Saint Lawrence River in 1914. Chin’s model consisted of foam board, rope, string and paper. Chin said that a few judges stopped by his project. “It’s very nerve racking especially when they ask you something that you somewhat don't know,” he joked, adding, “each time that you get interviewed you get better and better.”

Grade 7 student and Bantom Storm hockey player Ashley Shields chose her hockey hero Olympian Natalie Spooner as her Canadian Heritage project candidate. “I picked her because I met her when she came to Port Elgin in 2016. She’s a great Canadian because she's helped win medals for Canada and she's a good role model,” said Shields.

Teacher Nicole Hunter said that student have been working on their projects since late January, with teachers checking in along the way; from topic to research and outlines, a rough copy, and speech components.

Hunter said that in some cases judges felt the project quality exceeded expectations. “They were very impressed at the level of work that students at this age have been able put in. They're impressed with the different topics,” she said. “They're not just topics that you would automatically think of, they're different and there are a lot of personal connections,” she added.

The top 16 students chosen to complete at the Heritage Fair held at Grey Roots Museum are: Brennan Martin, Madeline Miranda, Kaleb Willson, Fox Turcotte, Aditya Pandya, Kaylie Walsh, Jack VanGeel, Lily VanGeel, Aurora Jacobi, Aidan Playfair, Natasha Frankum, Gabriel Bourassa, Jacob Thornley, Layla Cushnie, Chelby Morris, and Drew Nielson; with Billy Sinclair and Paige Harris chosen as alternates.


Kaleb Willson, a Grade 7 student at École Port Elgin Saugeen Central School (ÉPESCS) donned an outfit that would make Samuel de Champlain proud for his Heritage Project, “The Life of a Voyageur”, March 29 at the school’s Heritage Fair.


Grade 8 student Aurora Jacobi did her heritage project on the sport of lifesaving in Canada.


Grade 8 student Jaydn Chin and his expertly crafted steamer “The Empress of Ireland” for the ÉPESCS Heritage Fair.


Robert Munch was the focus of Drew Nielsen’s Heritage Fair Project.

Fort McMurray

One Heritage Fair project told the story of the Fort McMurray wildfires.

Japanese Canadian Internment

While another told the history of Japanese Canadian Internment in World War 2.


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