Steveston’s History Comes to Life

June 18th, 2017

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Animated Walking Tours.

Travel back in time to the year 1917 to witness Richmond’s early days. The 60-minute Steveston Walking Tour Vignettes guide you through one kilometre of village history, where you will discover the pleasures and perils of living and working in historic Steveston as talented Hugh McRoberts Secondary School drama students perform five original plays, written by local playwright Andrew Wade.

McRoberts high school student actors take on a variety of roles that showcase Steveston’s diverse cultural heritage making these walking tours a truly memorable experience.

Tour participants are led by a guide on a one hundred year journey in time, drawing back the curtain on Steveston’s gentrified present to a grittier past.

In the modern streets of Steveston, the guide brings participants unexpectedly to “pop-up theatre” short plays inspired by historic events.

Jamie copyLife in Steveston one hundred years ago held a lot of drama. In 1917, local fishermen wondered if salmon would return after the 1914 Hell’s Gate landslide destroyed access to the salmon spawning beds of the Fraser River. Floods, fires and other disasters also weighed heavily on people’s minds. In Steveston’s canneries, racial divisions sometimes resulted in fierce confrontations. Meanwhile, as British Columbia embraced the prohibition of alcohol, some saw a big business opportunity.

The young actors vividly bring to life characters encountering these events while also evoking universal human themes of romance, determination, and resilience.

Sarah Glen, Executive Director of the Steveston Historical Society, is excited to see the tours take shape. She says, “There are so many stories to tell from Steveston’s history; the village is built on the contributions of so many. The purpose of the tours is to give the viewers a short ‘impression’ of what life was like in this time period. Our performers do a wonderful job at bringing these stories to life.”

Frank copyThe plays give talented students from Hugh McRoberts Secondary School the opportunity to recreate characters from the past. Drama teacher Judyann McCarthy is delighted with the opportunity they provide for her students.

“I have enjoyed working with this dedicated group of student actors on a project that takes us out of the classroom and watching them apply their skills and abilities in a whole new world, old Steveston. It has been a lot of fun explaining words like ‘skedaddle’, and that people used to eat wild greens, and that our little city has always had rich cultural diversity.”

Her students agree with Judyann, expressing excitement at bringing to life the unique character and the incredible history of Steveston which they represent. The project has challenged the student actors, altering their perspective on the past and present.

These Steveston Walking Tour Vignettes are a great experience for the whole family, and a fun way to discover local history and culture.

female tour guide copyTours depart from the Steveston Museum (3811 Moncton Street) at 4:30 p.m. on Fridays and 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays in June and July. Tickets are $7.00 per person. Booking in advance is recommended as availability is limited. Children under 12 are free when accompanied by a paying adult (maximum two children per one adult). Book in person at the Tourism Richmond Visitor Centre at the Steveston Museum (3811 Moncton Street) or by calling the Visitor Centre at 604-271-8280.

More information on the tours can be found online at www.historicsteveston.ca.

This year’s Walking Tour Vignettes – Canada 150 Project is presented by the Steveston Historical Society and the City of Richmond through the Steveston Museum. This initiative is made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between Richmond Community Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast. Special thanks to the Steveston Historical Society, the City of Richmond and Hugh McRoberts Secondary School.

Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery

June 18th, 2017

Wongs Nursery flowering StevestonRooted in Richmond Since 1966.

I have always admired the gorgeous hanging baskets on the lampposts and seasonal flowers that beautify a number of major boulevards in Richmond’s city centre. Until recently I had no idea where these plants originated from, however I was enlightened when I met the grower, Paul Wong, who is the charming and affable owner of Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery.

Paul is the son of Yuen Wong, who founded Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery in 1966. Over the years Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery moved two times. The nursery was located on Cambie Road for 38 years. In 2008 it relocated to the impressive site on No. 2 Road. Sadly, Yuen passed away the same year. Paul is grateful his father had an opportunity to see the company in its magnificent new home. His vivacious mother Dorothy has retired but she loves to come assist during the busy spring months.

Wongs Nursery family StevestonPaul grew up in Richmond and graduated from Richmond High. He recalls assisting at the greenhouse after school before starting his homework. In the early 1990s his father approached him to join the company with the intention that Paul would eventually take over the family business. The father and son team worked together for many years – over time as retail and sale contracts grew they phased out wholesaling to stores such as Safeway, Sears and Woolco.

After an unseasonably cold and snowy winter followed by a rain-filled spring I suspect many gardeners are doing a jig as we welcome summer and have a taste of what the majority of Canadians experience each year. This will likely make us appreciate and maximize our time in our gardens more than ever. Paul says, “The nursery’s plants were almost two weeks behind this year.”

Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery sells Richmond’s largest selection of hanging baskets, geraniums, bedding and container plants.

The front retail space is just the tip of the iceberg, walk through and you will discover there are eight additional greenhouses totalling 25,000 square feet. This is where the plants are grown.

Eight seasonal staff are brought in at the beginning of March; the greenhouses are a beehive of activity where staff can be seen plant hanging baskets for clients including the City of Richmond, which has been purchasing from Wong’s for over 20 years.

Ninety per cent of Wong’s plants are grown on site from pre-started seedlings or rooted cuttings.

Paul says, “Hanging baskets are our forte. Customers return because of the quality. We grow the best products and our prices are very good. Customers will also be able to find two or more identical basket here.”

Wongs Nursery No. 2 Rd StevestonWong’s Greenhouse & Nursery is open from the beginning of April through mid-July for the spring and summer season. It reopens in late September through early November and at this time you will find fall and winter plants in addition to spring bulbs such as daffodils and tulips.

Although the garden centre is seasonal, Paul is kept busy year round. He points out, “All year there is something growing here so I am always checking in and overseeing the business.” During the spring and summer he goes into overdrive working every day for three months. He manages the staff and attentively assists customers.

The weather dictates sales and sunny days are always the busiest. Paul has seen a surge in customers from local condo owners looking for patio plants for planters and he is pleased to report Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery offers a very good selection.

Paul shares a helpful gardening tip to file away for next season: “It is safe to plant annual plants outdoors when the evening temperature has consistently reached double digits.”

As a long term Richmond resident Paul is extremely appreciative of this community. Although the city has experienced many physical changes he feels the community spirit is as strong as the Richmond he remembers growing up.

What does Paul find most rewarding about running his own business? He says, “I enjoy being able to grow a great product for our customers and have them return year after year. I am also grateful to the community for supporting local merchants.”

Indeed, the beautiful, quality plants Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery sells certainly keep customers returning, but it is also the home-grown personal, friendly and knowledgeable service that makes this family business such a success.

Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery
11140 No 2 Road
Richmond, BC V7E 2E7
Telephone 604-278-1028

Sweet Paws Dog Grooming Services

June 17th, 2017

Sweet Paws Dog Grooming Noriko Ikuta StevestonHelping Dogs Look Their Best.

Furry clients out for a walk like to stop in and say hello to their human friends at Sweet Paws Dog Grooming Services. Sweet Paws owner Noriko Ikuta says with a smile, “I know the dogs by name.”

Noriko and her husband, Reverend Grant Ikuta (Steveston Buddhist Temple), moved to Toronto from their native Japan in 1992. During their 16 years in eastern Canada they had four children. They also had a golden retriever named Rusty who Noriko learned to groom. Realizing she had a hidden talent, she was inspired to attend Toronto’s Pet Grooming Studio Academy where she turned her hobby into a career. After graduating she was hired by the Academy. It was a natural fit; Noriko has always loved animals and as a child dreamed of becoming a veterinarian.

The Ikuta family moved to Steveston in 2008. Reverend Ikuta has relatives here and the couple were excited to find a strong Japanese community. Noriko says it is lovely to hear Japanese being spoken on the street which was not prevalent in Toronto. “I quickly discovered Steveston is a special close-knit community where people support each other,” she says.

Sweet Paws Dog Grooming Ola StevestonIn June 2015 Noriko decided it was time to open her own business. She chose to locate Sweet Paws close to home. She appreciates the beautiful location, the village’s history and as a dog owner (the family now has a Coton de Tulear named Lucky who occasionally pops in to visit Noriko at work), she was aware a grooming service was needed.

Her clean and neat as a pin grooming studio is located on Third Avenue, across the street from the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. Noriko mentions that some customers take advantage of two free hours to go to their own spa appointment or shop or dine in the village. Her client base is growing steadily in dog friendly Steveston village where it is a common sight to see dog owners stopping to chat.

Much like a human spa, Sweet Paws strives to offer a soothing atmosphere where dogs are pampered.

Owners can be nervous when they say goodbye to their pets. Noriko mentions if an owner is not calm their dog will pick up that energy; she says it is helpful to exercise the pet before it comes in to relax and tire it out. Some dogs react better than others to the idea of being groomed. Being parted from their owner is the most difficult part and barking nervously is common.

All sizes and breeds pass through the door, from pint size Yorkies to large Labradoodles.

Sweet Paws Dog Grooming Bayview Third StevestonLong-haired dogs and those with busy, active lifestyles will need to be groomed more frequently than shorter-haired dogs or those with inactive lifestyles. Waiting too long between grooming appointments can cause matting, which may result in a shorter cut. Tip: Brush and comb your dog at home between grooming sessions.

Summer and Christmas are the busiest times of the year and Noriko advises booking two weeks in advance. How often your dog needs grooming depends on how quickly her/his fur grows, however, Noriko mentions six to seven weeks is standard. Gentle organic shampoos are used. Noriko can easily assess skin types and for canines with extremely sensitive skin she uses hypoallergenic products.

When asked what she finds most rewarding about operating her business Noriko replies, “I feel very calm working around dogs all day. It is very healing.”

She says, “At our studio, we provide a calm atmosphere to lessen the stress felt by the dog. Our staff is trained to treat each dog with care, being mindful of the stress it may be feeling. To ensure the best treatment, we do not overbook our appointments. Every session is by reservation only and we contact the owners as soon as the appointment is finished so their pet does not have to wait for prolonged periods. Our reward is to see the happy faces of both the dogs and their owners when they come to pick up their loving pets.”

Canines were likely very grateful for their warm fur coats during the chilly winter we experienced, but now that summer’s here it’s time to book a grooming appointment. Check out Sweet Paws’ Facebook page for some adorable before and after shots to get an idea of how Noriko and her staff can make your dog look and feel his or her best.

Sweet Paws Dog Grooming Services
105-3531 Bayview Street
Richmond BC V7E 5W3
Telephone 604-285-7425
www.sweetpawsdog.ca

Catch Kitchen + Bar

June 17th, 2017

Catch Kitchen patio view StevestonLocally Inspired Dishes and a Magnificent View.

A magnificent setting is always a plus when dining out and Catch Kitchen + Bar delivers with its picturesque location on Fisherman’s Wharf. The restaurant offers a spectacular vista of Steveston harbour, the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island. Patio diners take in views of the Fraser River inlet and snow capped Mount Baker while bar patrons enjoy views of the gorgeous North Shore mountains.Catch Kitchen Jon Yacoub Steveston

Finding this prime spot (the former home of the Charthouse restaurant) was the opportunity of a lifetime for brothers Jon and Marc Yacoub and their cousin, chef Daniel Bachara. It was their dream to open a restaurant together and securing this spacious scenic gem was icing on the cake.

Jon, Marc and Daniel all come from restaurateur backgrounds; both of their families owned restaurants in England, which is where they were all born. The Yacoub family moved to Steveston when Jon and Marc were young. “My dad ran the Granville Island Hotel for many years until he bought his own restaurant,” Jon says. He and Marc attended Lord Byng Elementary and both graduated from Steveston High.

Daniel gained his culinary experience at his father’s restaurant in the U.K. and moved to Canada in his late teens. Jon has devoted his entire career to restaurant management.

He got his start bussing tables at The Manor restaurant in Tsawwassen. He also worked as a server at the Charthouse in his early 20s and went on to manage The Boathouse in White Rock and Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant.

“We wanted to let the view in.” Jon Yacoub

Catch Kitchen + Bar opened in March 2016 after extensive renovations. Marc is a contractor and brought his team on board to modernize the space. It took four and a half months to create the desired effect, with the three partners lending a hand. Jon mentions they are thankful for their friends who pitched in to help.

Wood, metal and cement are used to bring the outdoors inside. The result is aesthetically pleasing, creating a modern and industrial seaside atmosphere. Large black and white nautical photographs adorn the wood panelled walls, corrugated metal is used to create pony walls and industrial pendant lights set the mood. Other decorative touches include propellers mounted to the entry wall alongside an illuminated metal sign that spells out the word Catch. Large banks of windows let in an abundance of light and of course look out to the million-dollar view.

“Our concept was to create a Coal Harbour or Granville Island experience in Steveston.” Jon Yacoub

Jon explains, “We are extremely proud of our Steveston roots. We felt this is what the community needed, to be able to enjoy an upscale casual dining experience without having to leave the neighbourhood.”

There is something on the menu for everyone’s taste including local seafood favourites alongside Mediterranean and bistro-style dishes. Menu changes take place seasonally to highlight ingredients from as many local suppliers as possible.

Catch Kitchen craft beer StevestonJon mentions that some of the popular dishes include the warm seafood salad, lemon caper halibut, roast beef dip and grilled chicken burger. The in-house prepared crab cakes and peppercorn New York steak are also crowd pleasers. Gluten-free diners can order with ease from a separate and extensive menu. Following your meal, succumb to temptation and order dessert made from scratch by Catch’s pastry chef.

Catch’s bar features seven flat-screen televisions, making this the perfect spot to watch sporting events including hockey, soccer and football. Many local craft beers are on tap to quench your thirst as you cheer for your favourite team. Both the restaurant and bar offer happy hours and children are welcome in both sections.

A nostalgic nod to former Steveston High (which was demolished two years ago) is a wall for alumni to sign and include their year of graduation.

Catch Kitchen 3866 Bayview StevestonThere is no shortage of seating in this establishment that accommodates up to 155 people in the restaurant (inside and on the patio) with another 65 seats in the bar. Catch Kitchen + Bar is a perfect spot year round to host a large gathering or a company dinner or an intimate dinner for two. Jon mentions they are excited to be hosting their first wedding reception.

This summer head to the patio or pull up a chair indoors to escape the heat and ‘catch’ a beautiful sunset – all the while knowing that if you are a local you won’t have to deal with a long drive home, and if you happen to be an out of towner, you will experience what Stevestonites get to enjoy in our own backyard – lucky us!

Catch Kitchen + Bar
200-3866 Bayview Street
Richmond, BC V7E 4R7
Telephone 604-284-1222
www.catchkitchen.com

Steveston’s New Grocery Store at The Roderick Revealed

May 25th, 2017

The Roderick Steveston logoStevestonites have been abuzz with speculation about which grocery store will be coming to the village since local company Plat:form Properties made the announcement that they had purchased the former Rod’s Lumber block and planned to develop it for combined commercial and residential use. The development has been named The Roderick in homage of Rod’s Lumber, which played an important role in Steveston for 60 years.

Kyle Shury, Principal of Plat:form Properties, is a proud long term Richmond resident and has lived here since he was a child. He and his family have called Steveston home since 2004 and he felt a vested interest in helping to shape the community that he loves so much. He is aware that the village’s grocery options are limited which means locals leave the community to shop.

A village scale Save-On-Foods will open in Steveston in 2019.

Save-on-foods-logo whiteWith a Save-On-Foods in Steveston, people will be able to combine errands and shop in the village at the same time, keeping more business local and helping to support our dedicated merchants. Kyle laughs when he reports that he can’t go anywhere without being asked the burning question so it is a relief to finally reveal the news.

Julie Dickson Olmstead, Save-On-Food’s Director of Public Affairs and Corporate Services mentions, “We are excited to be opening a store in Steveston. This will be a unique Save-On-Foods – there are few like it. Our goal, as with every new market we enter, is to become a truly integrated part of the community.”

Being a 100 per cent locally owned company distinguishes Save-On-Foods from other grocery stores. Since it’s early beginnings in New Westminster in 1915 the company has taken pride in partnering with local producers and suppliers. Julie mentions this store will be tailor-made for the village – in addition to a unique and industry-leading local product offering – each store’s décor reflects the community through the use of photography and imagery. In addition, giving back to communities is a large part of Save-On-Food’s mandate; the company was recently a generous sponsor of the Ships to Shore event.

Kyle describes the great effort that has gone into the thoughtful design and integration of The Roderick into the heart of the village.

The Roderick development rendering June2017 Steveston designstorIt is an elegant building which combines modern with historical tie ins, such as the single storey Moncton Street frontage. The building will rise to three storeys on Chatham Street. Three retail spaces will be for lease; a nice nod to historical Steveston is the corner unit on Third Avenue and Moncton Street featuring a chamfered corner entrance. Save-On-Foods will face Chatham Street and have convenient access to parking both from Third Avenue and the lane between Second and Third Avenue.

The Roderick offers a rare opportunity to purchase a home right in the village.

The 32 large homes will range in size from 1,300 to 2,600 square feet. Twenty-five of the homes will be single storey flats while seven will be two level town homes. Kyle reports, “The roof decks are a unique offering and the views will be outstanding.”

He imagines many of the purchasers will be Richmondites wishing to downsize. These spacious homes will be ideal for buyers looking to make the shift from a single family home, and best of all, continue living in the community. There will be outdoor living space and the homes will feature plenty of light from two directions. Ideally ground will be broken this summer, with construction beginning in the autumn. Interest has been strong and the sales centre will be opening in June.

Kyle concludes, “We are very excited to be developing The Roderick in the village.”

Indeed, now that the exciting news is out, the community is going to be over the moon!

Doors Open Richmond 2017

April 1st, 2017

Steveston_Gulf_of_Georgia_Cannery_Palla_MediaOn Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4 from 10:00am to 4:00pm, you will have an opportunity to explore over 30 heritage, arts and cultural sites across Richmond for free — and many of these are found in and around Steveston Village.

2017 is Canada’s 150th Anniversary and it also marks the 10th instalment of Doors Open Richmond. Why not use these anniversaries as an excuse to come and explore some of Canada’s most beautiful and diverse cultural and heritage sites right here in Steveston at the beginning of summer?

Steveston_Steves_Farmhouse_Palla_Media
At the west end of Steveston Village, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site (12138 Fourth Avenue) will be offering “Under the Rafters” tours, a rare behind-the-scenes experience exploring areas of the Cannery typically closed to the public. Built in 1894, the Cannery was the largest building of its kind and the leading producer of canned salmon in B.C. The tours will be offered twice a day at 10:00am and 2:00pm. Places are limited. Call 604-664-9009 from May 1 to reserve your spot. Also don’t forget, for all of 2017 there is free admission to the Cannery.

Here’s a fun fact: Steveston is named for the Steves family, who established a farm in 1877 and built the Steves Family Farmhouse (2871 Steveston Highway) in 1913. This farmhouse is an essential piece of Steveston’s history. It will be open for tours and to showcase the Steves’ collections of artwork and historical objects. New this year is the partial re-creation of a World War Two era canteen in the basement.

Steveston_Visitor_Ctr_Palla_MediaThe Steveston Museum and Visitor Centre (3811 Moncton Street) was built in 1905 and was the area’s first bank. On Saturday, June 3 at 1:00pm, 12 lucky people will get to go on the very first Walking Tour Vignettes – Canada 150 Project. A narrator will lead participants around the Village to five locations where costumed interpreters will perform short plays. Spaces can be reserved from May 1 by calling the Tourism Richmond Visitor Centre on 604-271-8280. Don’t worry if you miss out, these tours will be offered on Fridays and Saturdays during June and July for a small fee. In the meantime, enjoy the Japanese-themed activities in the museum’s park throughout the weekend.

Just around the corner on 3171 Chatham Street, local artist Adrienne Moore will be showcasing her vibrant mixed media work. Explore her lovely home studio and talk with Adrienne about the inspiration behind her beautiful artwork. She will also be giving demonstrations.

Steveston_Tram_Palla_MediaVisitors to the Steveston Interurban Tram building (4011 Moncton Street) will be given a rare behind-the-scenes sneak peek as the 105-year-old Tram Car 1220 is being restored. Come take a look at the largest artifact in the City of Richmond’s museum collection, talk with volunteers assisting with restoration, and enjoy a variety of fun family activities.

Since 1992, the Steveston Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (4255 Moncton Street) has been dedicated to the local Japanese Canadian Community who endured injustices during and after World War Two. Explore aspects of the vibrant Japanese Canadian culture still thriving in Steveston today by joining in their interactive activities, demonstrations and presentations.

A lovely stroll northeast of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre will take you to the Steveston Buddhist Temple (4360 Garry Street). The temple itself was built in 1963, while the Buddhist community has been a part of Steveston’s history for over 80 years. The temple is offering a wide range of fascinating workshops and demonstrations.

Buddhist TempleOn Saturday, June 3, participate in:
10:00am-11:00am: Japanese Pastry Making demonstrations; 11:00am-11:30am: Introduction to Buddhism workshop; 11:30am-12:00pm: Buddhist Flower Arranging presentation; 1:00pm-1:30pm: Seiza Meditation workshop; 10:00am-4:00pm: Temple Tours.

On Sunday, June 4 enjoy:
10:30am: Morning Service open to the public; 1:00pm: Mindful Bead Making workshop; 1:00pm-1:30pm: Introduction to Buddhism; 2:00pm-4:00pm: Temple Tours

At Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site (5180 Westwater Drive), visitors will be able to learn about the once thriving community and cultural diversity of Richmond’s maritime past. There will be numerous engaging activities offered in the heritage buildings dotted about the large site.

Steveston_London_Heritage_Farm_Palla_MediaCalling all tea lovers! London Heritage Farm (6511 Dyke Road) is the place for you! The restored 1890s farmhouse built by the London Family will take you back to yesteryear with period themed rooms depicting pioneer life. Enjoy a stroll around the stunning grounds, including the herb and perennial gardens. Don’t forget to buy some London Lady Tea and enjoy sweet treats in the Tea Room between 12:00pm to 5:00pm.

Steveston_Branscombe_House_Palla_MediaLast but certainly not least, visit the historic Branscombe House (4900 Steveston Highway) where visitors of all ages can find out more about works created by the new Artist-in-Residence, Barbara Meneley. Barbara is known for her work with installation pieces, multimedia and performance art. Her pieces are collaborative works with the community and this is a fantastic opportunity to speak to the artist as well as to see her creative process. You may even get to contribute to her latest work!

Remember, this is only a small smattering of the variety of sites that will be participating across Richmond. For more information, pick up a Doors Open Richmond 2017 map brochure available from early May at City of Richmond facilities or visit the website:
www.richmond.ca/doorsopen.

Raintree Wellness Spa

April 1st, 2017

Raintree Wellness Spa reception Steveston Insider

Relax, Rejuvenate, Restore

Are you guilty of not setting aside time for yourself? So many of us lead crazy busy lives as we juggle work and families and don’t take time to slow down for a little self-care. A visit to the spa is an excellent way to recharge your batteries and leave with a spring in your step.

It has been a little over a year since Lisa McFadden became the new owner of Steveston’s well loved Raintree Wellness Spa. She had been looking for an opportunity to purchase a spa in Richmond and serendipitously, former Raintree owner Barbara Bell had been looking for the right fit to pass on the spa she opened in 2004. The women met and connected. Barbara worked with Lisa for a smooth transition and introduced her to the spa’s many loyal guests.

It is an honour for Lisa to carry on the tradition of meeting the high standards Raintree’s customers have come to expect, while building her own relationships with the staff and clients, and bringing some fresh ideas to the business.

Relaxation begins the moment you enter Raintree Wellness Spa where guests are offered a chocolate, served a cup of Raintree’s own tea and provided with a warm neck wrap.

Raintree Wellness Spa Lisa McFadden Steveston InsiderLisa spent most of her career in corporate environments, including acting as manager of a multi-unit medical spa. She says, “It was during this time that I really hit my stride and confirmed what I had long suspected, that I really wanted to manage my own business.” Lisa’s parents were a source of inspiration; when she was young they owned and operated their own businesses, including a couple of delicatessens. She remembers spending a lot of time sitting on a stool in the kitchen watching them work.

Her management skills are a natural fit for her new business. Lisa mentions, “I love the planning, marketing and business functions of the business. I really enjoy meeting our guests and hearing how much they love coming to Raintree.”

“It is the team that makes Raintree special. They are the heart of the spa.” Lisa McFadden

Collectively the staff has decades of esthetics and bodywork experience. They regularly refresh their skills and knowledge through training opportunities. “I have been so impressed with the connection our team makes with each of our guests, and how rewarding that is for both the staff and guests,” Lisa says.

Lisa points out how fortunate she is to have the experienced leadership of Raintree’s esthetics manager, Laurie Watt. Laurie has been working at the spa for five years.

“We love making people feel good and seeing the transformation from when they walk in to when they leave.” Laurie Watt

Lisa’s husband Derek Sopha has his own full-time career in cosmetics manufacturing but he is always ready to lend his handyman skills to the spa. Lisa lovingly refers to Derek as Raintree’s “facilities engineer” as he is always there when she needs him.

Raintree Wellness Spa Vichy shower Steveston InsiderClients come from across the Lower Mainland to take advantage of Raintree’s top-notch treatments and attentive care. “The spa’s mission is to deliver an authentic, genuine connection to each guest with a commitment to the highest standards of excellence allowing guests to relax, rejuvenate and restore their mind, body and spirit,“ Lisa says.

One of the most popular services is the Vichy shower treatment, which is not offered at many spas. On its own or in conjunction with one of Raintree’s body treatments, hydrotherapy helps increase the blood circulation, hydrates the skin and delivers a soothing waterfall massage to relax the body and relieve tension.

Raintree Wellness Spa facial Steveston InsiderDuring a Vichy shower treatment, you lie on a padded table, with the shower jets above you. Always draped with towels for your comfort and modesty, the warm showerheads deliver a full body experience. Warm water cascades over the entire length of your body and falls onto the tiled floor where it drains away, leaving only relaxation and rejuvenation in its wake.

Raintree has its fair share of male clients. Lisa smiles when she mentions, “It’s not too girly here.” Services designed for gents include a pure performance facial, a back buff, men’s manicure, power pedicure, and the “manscaping” treatment to remove unwanted chest, back, shoulder or brow hair, in addition to the wide range of massage and body treatments that are available to all guests.

Raintree Wellness Spa pedicure Steveston InsiderSandal season is almost upon us and pedicures are another client favourite. Raintree can accommodate up to three clients at a time, which is a fun activity to share with friends. Mother’s Day is approaching and a gift certificate for a spa treatment is a perfect way to say thanks for all you do, mum.

Lisa moved to Richmond as a teenager and had always wanted to live in Steveston. Her dream came true in 2007 when she and Derek moved to Steveston village. They adore the relaxed small town charm. Lisa says, “I would rather shop locally than get in my car to drive elsewhere. I received a vintage bike for my birthday and I can’t wait to ride it around Steveston with a basket to hold my local shopping!”

Raintree Wellness Spa No 2 Rd Steveston InsiderThe satisfaction of operating her dream spa in her favourite community is exceptionally rewarding for this new business owner. Lisa concludes, “It feels like a home, not just a business. It is very empowering to work with a group of engaged, professional women and to offer our guests an opportunity to feel completely relaxed and restored.”

Raintree Wellness Spa
125-13020 No. 2 Road
Richmond BC V7E 6S3
Telephone 604-274-4426
www.raintreespa.com

Steveston Rotary Club

April 1st, 2017

Steveston-Rotary-Club by Steveston Insider

“Service Above Self” is Their Motto.

Every Tuesday morning at 7:00 for the last 16 years the Steveston Hotel has generously opened their doors as an informal meeting space for the Steveston Rotary Club. This is where approximately 30 dedicated volunteers gather to work together for the betterment of our community. Through a variety of fundraising initiatives, these Rotarians lend their support to make a positive difference around the world and in our own back yard.

Rotary clubs are comprised of local residents and business professionals who meet regularly, get to know each other and work hard to get things accomplished. Each club is unique, based on its membership and the community in which it is situated. Rotary International (out of Chicago) provides the governance framework that all clubs must follow.

This nonpartisan service organization is open to all people. There are 35,000 member clubs worldwide with 1.2 million members. Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self.”

Robert Madsen is one of Steveston Rotary Club’s founding charter members and has been involved since its inception in 2001. He serves as the club’s marketing chairperson and has held many other roles including president and secretary in his 16-year relationship with the club.

Steveston Rotary Duck RaceAlmost all of Steveston’s Rotary members live in the area and are community minded people. A lot is accomplished during the productive one-hour weekly meetings; members hear presentations from groups looking for financial assistance and they plan ongoing and upcoming projects.

“Members love their involvement with Steveston Rotary. It is a very positive organization where we accomplish amazing things.” Robert Madsen

Steveston’s Rotary throws their support behind a variety of local projects. Robert mentions one of the earliest ventures was a fishing boat festival to give children the opportunity to board working vessels. As well, they cofounded the original Maritime Festival with Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site and ran it for five years until the City of Richmond took over the management of this extremely popular festival.

Some projects are “one offs” while others are annual events. Steveston Rotary takes pride in helping local people in need, like the time they assisted a Steveston resident struggling to make ends meet, so they purchased and repaired a used vehicle for her.

Steveston Rotary cheque fundraisingTheir biggest single fundraiser of all time was the Walk For Japan to assist in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Robert says, “That was the most successful single event where we raised $150,000.” Based on this success, they staged a second walk in 2012 to aid children of Onagawa who had been orphaned after the natural disaster.

Robert estimates the Steveston Rotary Club has raised well over a million dollars for various projects since 2001.

Currently the Steveston Rotary Club is involved in lending financial support to The Write to Read Project to increase literary in First Nations communities and The Dental Mission Project, a non-profit society that supports regions in desperate need of oral health care and education both at home and abroad.

Locally, the club is hard at work staging events like the Steveston Rotary Rubber Duck Race. This popular event is now in its fifth year. The duck race is timed during the Maritime Festival in August. The public purchase tickets and their assigned ducks bob along the Steveston Harbour course with a maximum of 4,000 opponents in a race to cross the finish line. The stakes are high to see who will win the grand prize one-week vacation to Maui amongst other prizes.

Steveston Rotary Grapes Hops Bites CannerySteveston Rotary is a dedicated supporter of Richmond Community Hospice Foundation. Their fundraising efforts helped to landscape the Salvation Army’s Rotary Hospice House’s garden. In addition, in 2015 Robert Madsen was invited to participate in Richmond Hospice Association’s fundraising event, Dancing With the Richmond Stars, and this year Steveston Rotary members Dr. Sean Graham and Pat Kasprow took to the ballroom floor.

Giving back to Steveston’s senior population is very important to Steveston Rotary. In the summer they hold a free barbecue at Steveston Community Centre with burgers and entertainment, and at Christmas they host a holiday luncheon with all the trimmings and round out the celebration with carols and a visit from Santa. Seniors embrace these opportunities; the turnout can be as high as 180 people.
Another successful event is the upcoming annual Grapes, Hops and Bites Festival on Friday, May 26. Now in its sixteenth year, this is a celebration of local wineries, breweries and food. Multi-regional tasting stations are set up to provide comparisons between a long list of amazing wines and beers.

The Grapes, Hops and Bites Festival is held at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. As you socialize amongst many familiar people from our community and enjoy your sips and bites, you will feel good knowing 100 per cent of the proceeds go directly back into the community and programs managed by Steveston Rotary Club. This ticketed event is open to the public and tickets are now on sale.

Robert concludes, “We want to break the stereotype that Rotary is for elitist old guys. Anyone can come to a meeting to see what it’s about.”

The selfless efforts of the many kind-hearted Rotarians who volunteer their time is reminder of our good fortune to live in a community where so many people are working tirelessly to make a difference. These dedicated Rotarians are to be applauded for their invaluable contributions to Steveston.

www.stevestonrotary.org

Pierside Deli

April 1st, 2017

Pierside Deli wharf Steveston InsiderAt Home on Steveston’s Pier

Pierside Deli is the epitome of a mom and pop business. This small, independent restaurant is owned and operated by Janice Sieg with the support of family members and even friends who pitch in to assist when she takes an occasional well earned vacation.Pierside Deli Janice Sieg Steveston InsiderThis long-time Stevestonite did not set out to be a restaurant owner, but circumstances and determination drove her to open Pierside Deli, which is now celebrating its tenth anniversary.Ten years ago Janice was having an ice cream cone on Steveston’s pier with her husband Rainer. The high school sweethearts are sentimentally attached to this spot where they went on their first ice cream date 25 years ago. On this particular day they were feeling troubled – Rainer had been forced to change careers while Janice was a stay at home mother caring for their three children. Janice recalls noticing a for lease sign in the window of what is now Pierside Deli, and she made a spontaneous decision to apply for a bank loan and open her own business. She was determined to be self-employed so they would be in control of their financial destiny.

Pierside Deli opened its door Easter weekend 2007. Janice is proud to report that other than Timothy’s Frozen Yogurt she is now the longest standing small business on the pier (excluding the larger restaurants). She intends to celebrate Pierside’s anniversary this Easter with a large cake to thank her customers.

Janice studied accounting in college, which has come in useful with the administrative end of her business. She admits that although she did not have professional culinary experience she likes to cook and found the idea of running a sandwich shop appealing.

The small restaurant has become a hub for fishermen, locals and tourists alike to enjoy breakfast, lunch and goodies.

Janice says, “All of the food at Pierside Deli is homemade but simple. I don’t like doing crazy things because my customers don’t want that.” Instead she keeps her menu familiar and it is designed largely around customer requests.

If you are looking for all-day breakfast Pierside offers a number of choices to satisfy a hearty appetite including the Fisherman’s Breakfast (two eggs, two bacon strips, two sausages, two slices of toast and hash browns) the Pierside omelette, French toast, and a number of breakfast bagels. Several menu items are named after customers (Joe’s Breakfast, Spencer’s Breakfast Bagel and Jack’s Shrimp Panini Melt) because her regulars are the heartbeat of the business.

Paninis, sandwiches, wraps and baked goods satisfy the afternoon crowd. Diners can warm up during the winter months with comforting bowls of soup and chilli. Janice is proud to report that other than the Seafood Club which costs a modest $8.25, all of her sandwiches fall under $7.00. She has made a great effort to barely raise prices in ten years.

Pierside Deli propeller fries Steveston InsiderA top selling item is Pierside’s propeller fries, which can be spotted all over Steveston on busy summer days as people eat them off a skewer while browsing the village. Last year on Canada Day Janice smiles when she mentions they sold so many they could hardly keep up.

Over 13,000 propeller fries have been sold since Janice started making them.

Pierside Deli has an exclusive partnership to provide packed lunches for both of Steveston’s whale watching companies’ lunch charters (Vancouver Whale Watch and Steveston Seabreeze Adventures). Janice recalls the relationship began with Vancouver Whale Watch when her oldest son Alex was a boy (he is now a commercial fisherman). He would hang out at the dock and ended up volunteering with Vancouver Whale Watch.
Over time a lunch tie in was worked out which has been going strong for eight years. Owner Cedric Towers and his staff have been extremely supportive of Pierside Deli. Janice says, “It takes a village to raise a child – and a business!”

Rainer comes in most mornings to open the restaurant before he heads off to his job as a subcontracting painter with the City of Surrey. Janice says, “He makes coffee and hashes it out with the guys until I arrive.”

Everything at Pierside Deli has evolved naturally, from a shelf designated to hold regular patron’s coffee mugs (they bring them in for their own use, a trend that evolved when Rainer began bringing in his cup) to the “Captain’s Galley,” a wall of photos customers have shared — it’s very informal and down to earth, which is reflective of Janice. If you are a regular customer you likely won’t have to place your order as she has a keen memory and will create your favourite menu item.

“It’s like our home and when customers come to Pierside it’s their place too.” Janice Sieg

Pierside Deli photo wall Steveston InsiderShe says, “I love what I’m doing. I love people. Everyone knows everything about me.” Janice is a very forthright person and enjoys sharing stories. What goes around comes around and her customers care about her too; Janice was touched to receive get well soon cards when she was in the hospital.

Janice is extremely thankful for her family’s help. Her daughter Kaitlyn works with her throughout the summer and her niece and Alex’s girlfriend Jayden also work shifts. With gratitude she says, “I don’t want this to be a stressful place for them. I want it to be fun.”

What does she enjoy most about her business? Hands down it is the people, from the tourists who patronize her business (she has a fun time trying to guess their accents) to the fishermen and other locals who come in every day to dine, drink coffee and hang out.

Pierside Deli is open every day of the year including Christmas. She mentions that it has become a tradition for people to drop in for a Christmas bagel. On sunny warm evenings she will stay open later if people are milling about.

Janice appreciates Rainer’s advice to stick it out during the tough early days when she was getting established. Janice says it has paid off, and she is happy to be doing what she loves in such a beautiful location.

Pierside Deli
115-3800 Bayview Street
Richmond BC V7E 6K7
Telephone 604-448-0071

Wood Carving Show 2017

February 12th, 2017

May 27 and 28 from 10am – 4pm at Steveston Community Centre.

Steveston_Richmond_Woodcarving-ShowRichmond Carvers was founded in 1988. This year is the 28th Annual Wood Carving Show. The show attracts a high standard of carvers from as far as Saskatchewan, Vancouver Island and Washington State. There are typically several hundred carvings to be judged at the show.

This year the show is part of the Canada 150 celebrations with special categories including prize money of over $3,500. Admission is free.

This show is the largest one of the year, but watch for regular demonstrations at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, and at the Maritime Festival in August.

New members are always welcome, both young and old, who wish to embark on a most satisfying hobby. Club members are always ready to teach and encourage carvers of all skill levels.

The Richmond Carvers Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of wood carving as a hobby and an art form. Started in 1988 the Society has grown to over 74 members with skill levels ranging from beginner to internationally acclaimed expert. Members meet for carving sessions every Wednesday from mid-September to mid-June at Hugh McRoberts School, 8980 Williams Road, Richmond during school term from 6:30pm to 9:00pm. Please feel free to drop in at any time.

www.richmondcarvers.com