Wellness, Culture and Sport

New labour history award to be presented, starting in 2010 (09/09/04)

NB 1276

Sept. 4, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - A new award highlighting labour history will be available beginning next year to students participating in New Brunswick's Regional Heritage Fairs Program.

Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hédard Albert announced the creation of the New Brunswick Labour History Award today in recognition of Labour Day, being observed this coming Monday this year.

"It is a pleasure to welcome the New Brunswick Labour History Project and the New Brunswick Federation of Labour (NBFL) to New Brunswick's Regional Heritage Fair Program," said Albert. "Ensuring that young New Brunswickers are familiar with our provincial heritage and how this connects with the contributions of workers throughout the province is key to understanding each individual's role in our goal of self-sufficiency.

"Heritage fairs help children to develop a passion for learning. Through partnerships such as this one, students have opportunities to explore innovative concepts at school by learning from our past."

Beginning in May 2010, the award will be presented annually at each district regional heritage fair. The award is sponsored by the New Brunswick Labour History Project.

"There is much to learn about how New Brunswick workers have contributed to provincial history," said David Frank, a history professor at the University of New Brunswick and director of the New Brunswick Labour History Project. "There are many people, organizations, occupations, places and events that are overlooked in thinking about our heritage. This is an exciting opportunity for students to explore provincial history in new ways."

The program is a national initiative established in 1993. In New Brunswick, the program is an initiative of the Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, and it is delivered in partnership with the Department of Education and the school districts.

"We are very pleased to welcome this initiative," said Michael Boudreau, NBFL president. "Our federation has played an important role in provincial history. It is very important for young people to learn about the history of workers in this province. This will help prepare them for the world of work in the future."

Heritage fairs are intended to inspire young people to explore personal and historical events using a medium of their choice. Through oral interviews, dioramas, costumes, models, music and design, participants discover the stories about people, places and events that make Canada unique.

"Our province has made significant progress in the advancement of the rights and well-being of our workers," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. "Recognizing students for their knowledge of labour history, not only encourages them to learn about their heritage, but also raises their awareness of the importance of having appropriate labour laws and regulations in New Brunswick."

Support for the program is also provided from Canada's Historic Places Initiative, the New Brunswick Museum, the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs, the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women, the Council of Archives New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame.

More information about heritage fairs in New Brunswick is available online. More information about the New Brunswick Labour History Project is available online.


MEDIA CONTACTS: Ryan Donaghy, communications, Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, 506-457-6445; Carol Ferguson, New Brunswick Labour History Project, 506-453-4599.