Bon­av­ista girl cho­sen for Young Ci­ti­zens Fo­rum in 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 to 11) ex­panded their her­itage fair projects by cre­at­ing a video to help tell their sto­ries.

More than 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 co-or­di­nated 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 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 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 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 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.canadashis­­ti­zens/Pro­files/2017/KlaireH


Klaire Hay­ward with her Her­itage Fair project.

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