September 30, 2020 (Barkerville, BC) – Barkerville Historic Town & Park is pleased to announce the re-launch of a ground-breaking Virtual Field Trip program that will again provide classrooms from across the province a unique opportunity to connect with Barkerville’s award-winning educators and historical interpreters… live and in real-time.
For more than 60 years, the Cariboo-based National Historic Site and Provincial Heritage Property has welcomed in-person visits from hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world, but due to the onset of COVID-19 and the important health and safety guidelines that have come with it, Barkerville Historic Town & Park has had to adapt. Instead of visitors traveling to the goldfields, the goldfields will now travel to them through innovative online programming that provides students and teachers a chance to interact with historical characters, ask them questions, and be part of an immersive theatrical performance.
“We know how important it is to connect youth with their history in a meaningful way, and we don’t want to lose that connection because of COVID-19,” said Jillian Merrick, Barkerville’s Manager of Preservation and Presentation. “The feedback from our spring program was nothing short of amazing and has ignited a passion in us to reunite with classrooms again this fall.”
Barkerville’s Virtual Field Trip program was first launched in May of 2020 and ran until mid-June. The original four-week program was booked solid, delivering more than 200 private virtual classroom experiences to 4300 BC schoolchildren both in their homes and in classrooms. The program was met with enthusiasm from teachers, parents, and students alike, as evidenced by written testimonials provided by a number of participating teachers:
This was a fantastic opportunity for my students to learn more about the gold rush. We live on the coast and would never be able to experience this live at Barkerville. Some of my students actually said it was the best field trip ever!
Your virtual tour was as entertaining as being there live. I hope this treasure continues on generation after generation!
The virtual Barkerville historical experience was a high-quality, relevant event for my students. Learning about an authentic indigenous experience of the Gold Rush deepened connection and understanding for my students and me.
One of my students commented that their virtual field trip was the most fun they’ve had since COVID-19 began. The students have really enjoyed interacting with different characters. The field trips have been some of the few things that some students chose to participate in. I am very thankful for the high-quality experience you have offered.
Having the actors tell the stories made it much more engaging for the students. History can be very hard to make interesting to young people. Making it more like a story really hooked their interest!
The Fall 2020 re-launch of the Virtual Field Trip program will offer 550 new online classroom experiences from October 19 to December 4. These one-hour sessions will broadcast live from Barkerville Historic Town & Park to classrooms throughout the province and are designed to generate curiosity and passion for history in a grade school audience and reflect the diversity of the people and stories from the original Cariboo Gold Rush. Subjects include the science of gold, gold rush history from Chinese and Indigenous perspectives, historical trial re-enactments, blacksmith and printing press demonstrations, and more.
For more information about Barkerville’s Virtual Field Trip program, please visit www.barkerville.ca, or call 1-888-994-3332.
– 30 –
Photo Credit: An Original Peoples’ Perspective (Cheryl Chapman, Mike Retasket) photo by Jonny Bierman
James Douglas | Public Programming & Global Media Development
B A R K E R V I L L E H I S T O R I C T O W N & P A R K
Box 19 | 14301 Highway 26 East | Barkerville, BC | V0K 1B0
250-994-3332 ext. 41 | 888-994-3332 toll free | 250-255-7938 cell
barkerville.ca | social: @barkervillebc