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Local girl a top finisher in Young Citizens program

SALMON RIVER – Maple syrup is fuelling a trip to Ottawa for a local girl.

Emma Cook holds her cat Dandelion while talking about her upcoming trip to Ottawa as part of the Young Citizens program.

Emma Cook has been named one of Nova Scotia’s two honourees in the national Young Citizens program for her heritage fair project, “Maple Madness: A History of Maple Syrup Production in Canada.”

At age 11, Emma is one of the youngest students chosen to take part in the Ottawa forum, taking place Nov. 26-29.

“I’m definitely excited,” she said. “When my mom told me I screamed and started dancing around the house. Then we got ice cream.”

She chose maple syrup as her subject because her great-grandfather owned a maple syrup farm in New Annan and because it’s nutritious and tasty. For the video part of her project she visited the New Annan property and Sugar Moon Farm, in Earltown.

While in Ottawa she will share a hotel room with a girl from Ontario called Bethany, whose project is called ‘The Canadian Women of Women's College Hospital.”

“I’m excited about meeting her because I watched her video and voted for her,” said Emma. “She put that she wants to be a doctor in her information and I want to be a doctor, too.”

The young people will also get to visit museums, Rideau Hall, Parliament Buildings, Byward Market, a health centre and the National War Memorial, as well as attend an awards ceremony.

“I’m looking forward to meeting people from all across the country. It’s going to be cool to meet people from Quebec and speak French to them, and I get to go without my parents,” she said. “I’m not nervous, just really excited.”

Two young people were chosen from each province, with half of their score based on online votes and half on judging. Emma will be travelling to Ottawa with a chaperone and the other Nova Scotia representative, 15-year-old Curtis Raymond, of Mahone Bay, who researched war and blacksmithing and created a forged poppy for an international cenotaph in Belgium.

Emma’s video about maple syrup can be seen at




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