Embracing her heritage
Ashley Harper, who received the 2019 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement during a ceremony at Queen’s Park on Feb. 20, is shown with her certificate on Feb. 22 at the Chesterville Branch of the SDG County Library, where she gave a presentation on Chesterville’s history. Thompson Goddard photo

Ruth Gilroy, on the right, with Ashley Harper, following a local history event at the Chesterville Branch of the SDG County Library on Feb. 22. Thompson Goddard photo

CHESTERVILLE – Ashley Harper, a history student active in several historical associations, received the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement on Feb. 20 at Queen’s Park in Toronto. This award is presented to individuals 24 years and younger who have contributed to preserving Ontario’s heritage. The award is sponsored by Canada Life and partly by the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award program administered by the Ontario Heritage Trust.

The North Dundas resident, who has been active in several historical associations including the Chesterville & District Historical Society, said the award included a certificate and a $3500 bursary for post-secondary education. Harper is currently a third-year history student at Carleton University.

Harper explained that she received the award from the current Ontario Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell and felt “overwhelmed and really grateful for receiving such an honour.”

The St. Lawrence Branch of the United Empire Loyalists nominated Harper for the award. Stephen McDonald, interim vice-president of the branch, told The Chesterville Record Harper “has continually demonstrated a keen interest in the history of Eastern Ontario, and in particular that of Chesterville and area, as well as the history of the United Empire Loyalists.” He said she has “shown leadership in organizing events, giving speeches and administering online social media accounts for various historical groups.”

“This is a very well-deserved recognition of her work and accomplishments. In our view, Ashley is becoming a future leader in the field of Canadian historical studies,” he concluded.  

Harper is currently serving as past-president of the CDHS, director of the St. Lawrence Branch of the UELAC and webmaster for the Friends of the Crysler Battlefield. She has worked as an interpreter at the Carmen House in South Dundas and the Sir John Johnson Manor House in Williamstown.

After completing her degree in history, she would like to work with historical records and documents.