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A New Era
Heritage at the 1993
Canadian National Exhibition

The term "Heritage" generally means "that which may be inherited". When we speak of our collective or national heritage, we refer to those things, tangible and intangible, that we have inherited. Our country -- and those who built it -- have left us a wealth of resources. We have inherited, not only the gold in the ground and the water in the lakes, but also the memories of the human struggles to secure, utilize and profit from the gold and water. These resources -- both natural and cultural -- are vital to our future well-being.

While the value of some of this heritage may be obvious (the gold and water), the value of the cultural resources is not -- at least, not immediately. A "Culture" is a particular array of intellectual human development. Our existence today (that is to say, our "Culture") is a composite of our past experiences, our ability to reason in the present and our vision for a secure future. In general, our past experiences are precisely those cultural heritage resources that we have inherited. Our cultural heritage resources manifest themselves in several forms -- our architecture, archaeological sites, artifacts, written records and oral records. Of course, these resources are our tools for studying the past and, hence, for shaping our future. Our cultural and natural heritage resources are bonafide "Learning Resources".

When the leaders of medieval society decided to enhance regional economic trade, fairs were formally instituted. When agriculture became more of a science and a business than a means of subsistence, fairs were used to advance the improvement process. Cattle and grain competitions thus became vital components of fairs. When society began to shift from agriculture toward consumerism and consumption, "a great variety of small articles more or less useful in their nature" gradually overtook the agricultural aspects of many fairs.

Time marches on and values continue to change. While the "green and information revolutions" are in the headlines daily, another crusade is quietly gathering followers. The Heritage movement -- a bonafide "information revolution" of another sort -- can and will provide very valuable data for Canadian social, economic, political and environmental planners. The guild craftsman, the farmer and the manufacturer have all had their "day at the fair" -- so too will the Heritage Worker. We predict a long association between the Heritage movement and Fairs.

At the 1993 CNE, the Heritage community of Metro has a glorious opportunity to demonstrate to multitudes the extreme value of our heritage learning resources, from architecture to archaeology...

From Fairs and Frolics: Scottish Communities at Work and Play

The Scarboro Heights Record V13 #9