OTTAWA — Eleven-year-old Klaire Hayward of Bonavista is one of 26 students from across the country heading to Ottawa in October to participate in a Young Citizens Forum.
Young Citizens is a program run by Canada’s History Society. The program showcases the work of students from heritage fairs throughout the country. The students (in Grades 4 – 11) expanded their heritage fair projects by creating a video to help tell their stories.
Over 200 videos were posted online and people were encouraged to vote for their favourite project.
The 13 projects garnering the most votes made the final cut while judges voted for the remaining 13 projects.
Klaire promoted her video on Facebook. Local businesses also helped her get the word out about her project titled “Restoring Our Heritage, One Nail at a Time.”
Bonavista has over 1,000 heritage homes.
Klaire’s project is about maintaining the town’s heritage through restoration of older homes and buildings.
“Before a home is restored a detailed history is gathered and the property is restored to its original design as much as possible. Every house has its own story and now through restoration they have a chance to create new stories for generations to come,” Klaire noted in her project.
In addition to learning about historic homes and buildings, Klaire also enjoys playing hockey and figure skating.
She is heading into Grade 6 at Matthew Elementary in Bonavista.
Her mother Tracy Hayward said several people helped Klaire with her project.
Dion Waye, the carpenter/projects manager with Bonavista Creative Workshop and the town’s archivist Crystal Fudge were very helpful, Tracy said, as was the school’s teacher Patricia Hewitt who coordinated the heritage fair.
John Norman gave Klaire a lot of help as well, Tracy said.
Norman is chief operations officer and managing partner of Bonavista Living/Bonavista Creative/Bonavista Creative Workshop.
When contacted by phone about Klaire’s project, Norman said he’s pleased that Klaire has such an acute awareness, at such a young age, of what’s happening in Bonavista with the town’s built heritage preservation and utilization.
Klaire appreciates historic homes and other buildings and what they mean to the community, he said.
“I brought Klaire on a few site visits of some restoration projects I’d been working on. She pays attention to detail. She notices things that you wouldn’t expect an elementary school student to notice,” Norman said.
During a recent phone interview Klaire said she learned a lot while working on her project. She visited restored homes in her community and learned about the history of each home.
Klaire said it was great to see that most of the architecture such as the staircases, windows, trim, mouldings and doors in the older homes had been restored to their original design.
Klaire also visited the carpenter shop where new windows, doors are made for the homes.
In her project at her school heritage fair, Klaire displayed numerous artifacts that were found in the homes.
“They found old letters, glass bottles used for medicine and a set of shoe molds that were over 100 years old that were found in a shoemaker’s home,” she said.
In her video Klaire tells viewers that the reason ceilings were so low in older homes was because it was so costly to heat the home. Only wealthy families had homes with high ceilings, she said.
Klaire said she’d like to thank everyone who voted for her project.
“I’m excited to visit Ottawa and explore the capital of Canada. And I’m very excited to be meeting other students and making new friends,” she said.
Norman said the fact that Klaire has been invited to the youth forum in Ottawa speaks to the tremendous amount of work she put into her project.
“Newfoundlanders should be very proud (of Klaire,)” he said.
For more information on Klaire’s project and to view her video visit http://kids.canadashistory.ca/Kids/YoungCitizens/Profiles/2017/KlaireH