Notice of Meeting

Date: Thursday, November 16, 2017

Time: 7:30 pm

Place: Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC Campus, 515 West Hastings Street (between Seymour and Richards Streets) in the Diamond Lounge

Speaker: Janet Morley

Topic: Vancouver Heritage Fairs – History Projects in Vancouver Elementary Schools


I have been coordinating heritage fairs in Vancouver elementary schools since 2007. I assist teachers in helping students to research Canadian historical subjects and prepare displays, which they set up in their schools to present to family and other classes, and for interview by an outside team of adjudicators. The emphasis is on a critical-thinking approach to the topic rather than a straightforward research project. Project-based learning is an ideal tool here, because it enables students to dig deeply into an aspect of Canada’s past and address the question of how things got to be the way they are today.

The program typically involves up to 1500 students from 50 classes in 16 schools. I begin working with teachers in the fall term, and continue right up until the fairs in April and May. I recruit about 45 adjudicators who listen to the students’ presentations, provide feedback and encouragement, and assess their work on forms that are used by teachers and myself to select students to participate in the city-wide regional fair, which I also organize.

Students who were involved in the program have continued to volunteer, as part of the alumni team and as adjudicators, during their secondary school and university years. A couple of them have agreed to attend this event to offer reflections on their heritage fair experience.

Brief Biography:

When I immigrated from England in early 1975 with two young children, I was immediately impressed by the public schools in Vancouver and have volunteered in them in various capacities for many decades. As my children and grandchildren have progressed through the grades, I’ve always been struck by how very fortunate we are to have such a dedicated team of inspiring teachers. I regret that I didn’t follow the path to become a teacher myself.

Having arrived in Canada with no educational credentials, not even high-school completion, I studied at Langara College and then UBC, earning a first-class honours degree in English and a Governor General’s Silver Medal for academic excellence. Later I pursued my skills as an educator by learning how to lead all the school programs at the Museum of Vancouver, and completing the docent training course at the Vancouver Art Gallery. I still love working at these two wonderful institutions, with their stimulating exhibitions and enriching environments. Our city thrives on culture and we need more of it!

Last Meeting:

James Felton gave a thorough and informative presentation on his authorized bibliography of Susan Musgrave. He described his love of poetry which impelled him to embark upon this project. He described various existing methodologies for compiling bibliographies and why he chose the methodology that he is using. He brought signed first editions and articles and other reference materials to explain why his bibliography will look the way it will. He described Susan Musgrave’s life and the contents of his research. It was an informative, interesting and rewarding presentation for all who were lucky enough to attend.


Our annual XMAS Event is on December 7th!

If you have any questions, please contact Mark Dwor…604-662-3908…

Categories: Lecture