Archive for April, 2017

Doors Open Richmond 2017

Saturday, 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

Saturday, 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

Saturday, 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

Saturday, 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