Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Steveston’s History Comes to Life

Sunday, 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.

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.

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

Wood Carving Show 2017

Sunday, 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

 

Richmond Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Richmond Hospital Aux Thrift Shop StevestonA Labour of Love.

Most Stevestonites are familiar with the stucco building on the corner of Chatham Street and Second Avenue with its red front and side doors. It was originally home to Steveston Methodist Church, which was constructed in 1894 with a subsequent addition to the back in 1925. In 1975 it relocated around the corner to Broadway Street and became Steveston United Church.

Over the years the structure served many purposes including retail space for a bicycle store. In 2007 the building became the Richmond Hospital Auxiliary (RHA) Thrift Shop’s new home when its former location on Moncton Street and First Avenue met the wrecking ball.

Richmond Hospital Aux Thrift Shop volunteers StevestonBehind the scenes, the RHA Thrift Shop is a beehive of activity. The “red coat ladies,” as they are fondly known (along with a handful of “red coat guys” who are highly valued for their muscle power), busily toil to get donations sorted, priced and out onto the floor. The turn over is huge; the busy cash desk commonly processes 500 transactions a day.

In total RHA Thrift Shop has a roster of approximately 100 volunteers. Every penny raised directly benefits Richmond Hospital to purchase much needed equipment.

Richmond Hospital presents the RHA Thrift Stores’ board of directors with a wish list to purchase major pieces of equipment for the Hospital and fund music and therapy programs at Minoru Residence and Lions Manor. Funds raised have also purchased and help maintain two small buses for each residence and support a mobile dental clinic for Minoru Residence.

Richmond Hospital Aux Thrift Shop volunteers red coats StevestonThe Richmond Hospital/Healthcare Auxiliary was established in 1961. In addition to the Steveston thrift shop volunteers, another 340 Auxiliary volunteers donate countless hours of their time to assist at the hospital’s gift shop, lottery booth, information desk, marketplace located in the hospital’s main entrance, act as hospital navigators and help at Minoru Residence and Lions Manor.

Since the Richmond Hospital/Healthcare Auxiliary’s inception in 1961 it has contributed eight million dollars to benefit the hospital. The thrift store is by far the most lucrative of the Auxiliary’s involvements. It goes without saying Richmond Hospital’s staff is deeply appreciative of the Auxiliary’s dedicated and warm-hearted volunteers.

RHA Thrift Shop coordinator Ursula van Duin and day supervisor Barbara Dirnfield both put in unpaid full time hours. If they don’t happen to know the answer to a question one of the other red coat volunteers is happy to fill in the blank. The day I visited it was a bit like working on a jigsaw puzzle as a cluster of women happily stopped their work for a moment to contribute their historical knowledge. A number of helpers have been with the RHA Thrift Shop for many years. Volunteers range in age from 16 to 90 years old and are predominantly women.

The social aspect is a very important reason why people choose to volunteer. A fringe benefit is forming lifelong friendships.

Ursula points out, “A certain type of person volunteers.” She could easily be speaking about herself. This dynamo has a long history of contributing her time. She lived in the small community of Elliot Lake in Northern Ontario until she moved to Steveston to be close to her Richmond based daughter. In Ontario she was actively involved with the local hospital auxiliary and knew she wanted to carry on with community work in Steveston. In five short years she has become the shop’s coordinator and vice president of the board.

Barbara is the youngest of a family of four siblings. She can proudly say three generations of her family have been involved with the Richmond Hospital Auxiliary. Her mother, Joan McInnes, was one of original Auxiliary volunteers. Barbara recalls in the 1960s Auxiliary volunteers frequently visited their family home. She has been assisting at the thrift shop for two years alongside her sisters Laurie and Cathie. In addition, Cathie’s daughter Megan and her grandson Ethan help out, making this a true family affair with four generations having contributed their time.

Barbara shares, “Being around this group of volunteers is an eye opener. They’ve been through so much.”

Maria De Olazaval has been donating her services as public relations and social media coordinator to raise the shop’s profile. An updated website is in the works and a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is raising awareness of what’s going on behind the red doors.

All sorts of wonderful items can be found at RHA Thrift Shop. Children’s clothing is kept to a modest $1 per item. Here you will find gently used clothing (some designer labels) for women, men and children, shoes and household goods. You will also find beautiful used modern and antique furniture, lamps, home décor, jewellery, watches, books, toys, magazines, dishes, hardware, small electronics, sporting goods, craft supplies and many other treasures.

Every so often a surprise enters the mix. Ursula and Barbara recall a Rolex watch arriving amongst the donations. Sensing an error, they contacted a jeweller who discovered the watch had been stolen and reunited it with the owner.

Richmond Hospital Aux Thrift Shop Chatham StevestonThe dedicated Red Coat team always goes the extra mile. They take some of the designer clothing home to launder and they polish the finer jewellery donations that they know will sell for a fair price if properly showcased.

Curio sales take place every second month and attract many collectors. Mark your calendar and follow RHA Thrift Shop’s social media – the next sale takes place on Saturday February 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

If you are looking for a fulfilling opportunity to lend a hand and you look good in red (wink) the Richmond Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop is always looking for more volunteers. There is no greater reward than forming new friendships and knowing that your donation of time assists such a great cause. Thank you red coat ladies and gentlemen for the extraordinary service you offer to benefit our community.

Richmond Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop
3731 Chatham Street
Richmond BC V7E 2Z4
Telephone 604-271-1551
www.richmondhospitalhealthcareauxiliary.ca

Christmas Classic & Custom Car Cruise

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Steveston Christmas Car CruiseThe fourth annual cruise of classic and custom cars is presented by the Steveston Merchants Association in partnership with the Richmond Lions Club. The cruise will take place on Sunday December 4 for 15 minutes from 12:15 to 12:30pm. The cars will drive along every street in the village at least twice. The cars will park for a two hour display from 12:30 – 2:30pm at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery and the Steveston Hotel and Buck & Ear Pub parking lot.

The car owners will bring toys or cash to donate to the Richmond Christmas Fund.

The Richmond Lions Club will provide canopies to cover the tables of donations and to sell their annual Christmas cakes. They will lead off the parade of special interest cars as they tour the historic scenic village of Steveston, BC.

Steveston Christmas Car Cruise

The car cruise kicks off the Christmas season in Steveston along with Santa’s arrival by boat, old-fashioned horse carriage rides, the Festival of Trees display inside the Cannery and the bi-weekly Cannery Farmers’ Market.

Most of the special cars come from Richmond, while the rest will come from Surrey, Maple Ridge, Vancouver and Coquitlam. Half of the entries have entered a previous year, while the other half are here for the first time.

car_cruise_steveston_palla_mediaThe first entry that came in was from Jordan & Carol McRae. They have the Christmas Spirit and dress up as elves from the North Pole. Their 1953 Ford F-100 is decked out with lights and giant candy canes.

Two members of the Richmond Street Rodders Club will bring two cars each. Bill Blackall will bring a rare 1968 Mercury Cyclone, that was entered last year, and also his newly completed 1938 Chev hot rod pickup. Doug Fraser will bring a beautiful Chev Nova and a fresh 1950 Ford. The Nova is outstanding. It is purple in colour with vibrant flames and a large blower sticking out of the hood.

img_8366Three Corvettes are entered and several convertibles as well. An outstanding new entry will be Bill Miloglav’s 1955 Cadillac convertible. It is bright red in colour and has won numerous awards at various car shows during this past summer.

Car shows and car cruises are not as popular in the winter as they are in the summer. Classic car owners are making this date an exception because all the toys and donations are for children. All donations will go to the Richmond Christmas Fund, with staff on hand to receive them.

Due to the limited parking space available, the cruise and display area is limited to 75 vehicles. If you want to join in, please send an email to: christmascruise@sockeyerun.com

Steveston: Small Business Community Thinks Big

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

Steveston Village SceneYou may have heard people talking about the SMA and BIA, but what are they and what is the difference between them?

The Steveston Merchants Association (SMA) was formed in 2010 by a group of business owners whose goal was to promote local businesses and drive more customers to their services, shops and restaurants through seasonal events, small scale advertising, a website and social media. With an elective paid membership the SMA does not encompass the entire business district, resulting in a smaller funding pool although events and promotions benefit the entire village.

An elected volunteer board is responsible for organizing popular events such as Christmas in Steveston Village, Girls’ Night Out, the Scarecrow Crawl and Trick or Treat in Steveston Village and has been a voice for many important area concerns.

While the work the SMA accomplishes is outstanding, the merchants’ association model is antiquated.

BIA stands for Business Improvement Areas and what this model offers is far reaching for both merchants and the entire community. Examples of what can be achieved for Steveston include a year round focus for promotional programs and activities, collective advertising and special events designed to drive more visitors to the area. Issues such as pedestrian scale lighting and parking improvements are also a focus of many BIAs.

Steveston’s business community is losing ground as business districts in virtually every surrounding region of Metro Vancouver and throughout B.C. have embraced BIAs. In comparison, Steveston is at a disadvantage without a BIA.

Business districts can dream big with input from a full membership’s participation at the board and committee level.

A simple way to explain a BIA is to imagine a shopping mall management system. All malls have systems in place to drive customers to the mall to benefit business tenants. Steveston without a BIA is like an outdoor mall with no big picture promotional direction. It just isn’t competitive nor does it come close to realized improved potential.

BIAs are able to plan further into the future to successfully promote areas. A BIA is approved by a vote and all businesses within a BIA’s boundaries automatically become members, creating a larger collective voice working for the betterment of businesses and the community.

A BIA is uniquely created for an area, no two are identical, and therefore Steveston could capitalize on its distinct locale where farmland meets the ocean and a historic fishing village.

Jim_vandertas_BlueCanoe_Steveston Village Palla MediaJim van der Tas, owner of the Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant (and president of the SMA) believes the sky’s the limit. He envisions everything from an Oktoberfest celebration spread over a number of days to celebrating a new Steveston heritage festival and transforming the entire village into a Christmas wonderland for the month of December to draw people to town.

Getting a BIA off the ground takes a lot of work and commitment from volunteers who believe that focusing on a bigger picture can produce some very effective results.

A new committee called the Steveston Business Development Association (SBDA) has formed under the SMA’s umbrella to partner cooperatively with other local non-profits that see the value a BIA brings to an entire community.

A municipality can’t force a BIA into a business community and generally shouldn’t stop a BIA start up group from asking them to initiate the voting procedure if the group has done positive outreach. After well over a decade of discussion Steveston merchants, land owners and key stakeholders have not gone before City council to ask for the BIA voting procedure but expect to this calendar year.

Peter Tong Pharmasave Steveston Village Palla MediaPeter Tong, owner of Steveston Pharmasave, comments,“ I think a BIA is very important for Steveston.”

“Looking at this unique location and the sensitivity businesses have in trying to protect the history, integrity and feel of the community; there are a lot of political and business challenges that are hard for each business to face alone,” Tong says.

He adds, “Promoting the village, rather than one single business, attracts more people and creates an atmosphere within the village that can only benefit Steveston. I think there are certainly frustrations amongst some business owners who have seen what other BIAs have done and strongly believe one is needed to start promoting the village. The sooner we get this done the better.

Carol_LittleMexico_Steveston Village Palla MediaCarol Janeczko, owner of Little Mexico Cantina, believes, “The opportunity to revitalize Steveston through the formation of a BIA is an exciting prospect. Looking at other similar business districts such as Fort Langley and Cloverdale and seeing what they have accomplished for their communities through elaborate events, marketing and beautification projects is inspiring. It would be amazing to see Steveston advance to that level.”

Jens Hertha DOriginal_Sausage_Steveston Village Palla MediaJens Hertha, owner of D’Original Sausage Haus, agrees. “I am excited about the possibility of having a BIA in Steveston. It would make Steveston stronger. For a business like mine the cost would be less than $200 per year. I strongly believe that a BIA is an investment and everybody benefits from a strong, vibrant business district.”Hertha believes, “This BIA initiative is a significant opportunity and every business and commercial property should plan to learn about it firsthand. This is too important an opportunity to be making a decision about a BIA based on nonfactual information or hearsay from third parties. Make an appointment with the organizers to talk about it.”

To learn more email:
weareopenforbusiness@gmail.com

Doors Open Richmond 2016

Friday, May 6th, 2016

The Best of Steveston’s Heritage, Art and Culture

By Charles Takaesu and Gabrielle Sharp

Steveston_Visitor_Ctr_Palla_MediaDiscover Steveston’s heritage, arts and culture during the free Doors Open Richmond 2016 city-wide event, on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5 between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Twelve Doors Open sites are based in Steveston and showcase the area’s past and present.

Steveston Village is a great starting point for your weekend activities, with many sites clustered within walking distance of local restaurants and shops. Experience delicious dining, unique shopping and fabulous culture all in a single weekend!

Steveston_Gulf_of_Georgia_Cannery_Palla_MediaAt the west end of Steveston Village, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery (12138 Fourth Avenue) is offering “Under the Rafters” tours, a rare behind-the-scenes experience exploring areas of the cannery typically closed to the public. This tour is not wheelchair accessible. Please pre-register by calling 604-664-9009, as space is limited. There are two tours each day, at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Although the “Under the Rafters” tour is free, normal admission rates apply for guests who wish to visit the regular exhibits.

Watch a silversmithing class in action at Juvelisto Design and School of Metal Arts (120-3500 Moncton Street) and chat with owner Sasha Shkolnik. Juvelisto Design specializes in beautiful one-of-a-kind jewellery made by Sasha and other gifted artists.

Tour the Steveston Museum and Visitor Centre (3811 Moncton Street) in the heart of Steveston Village. Experience the diversity of Steveston’s history through the newly landscaped, Japanese-inspired Town Square Park and the Japanese Fishermen’s Benevolent Society Building that was opened a year ago. The first 200 people on each day will receive a mini-plant pot and children can enjoy trying the Japanese art of origami.

Steveston_Tram_Palla_MediaAlthough access to the tramcar may be limited due to restoration, stop by the Steveston Interurban Tram Building (4011 Moncton Street) for an Open House including children’s crafts.

Painter and teacher Adrienne Moore is opening her Home Studio (3171 Chatham Street) to the public during Doors Open. Adrienne employs a wide variety of styles and subjects, from local landscapes to mixed media and abstract expressionism. Visit Adrienne’s studio, filled to the brim with her vibrant work, and meet the artist to learn about her painting techniques.

Steveston_JapaneseBldg_Palla_MediaThe Steveston Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (4255 Moncton Street) is bustling with activity during the event weekend. Visitors can choose from displays, demonstrations, presentations and interactive activities on the culture, history and traditions of Steveston’s Japanese Canadian community.

A short walk northeast of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, the Steveston Buddhist Temple (4360 Garry Street) is the oldest standing Buddhist Temple in the lower mainland. Tours are available throughout Doors Open, and Introduction to Buddhism sessions are offered each day at 1:00 pm. On Saturday, enjoy a Japanese cooking demonstration and Seiza Meditation. Sunday features the morning service (opened to the public) and a cultural presentation in the late afternoon.

Steveston_Fire_Station_Palla_MediaAt the “gateway to Steveston”, visit the Steveston Fire Station (11011 No.2 Road) to meet fire fighters and Blaze the Dalmatian mascot. Tour the state-of-the-art fire hall and learn how to keep your family safe from house fires in the educational fire trailer.

Steveston_Branscombe_House_Palla_MediaRhonda Weppler, inaugural Artist-in-Residence at Branscombe House (4900 Steveston Highway) invites visitors of all ages to participate in the International Picnic Project, a still-life mural featuring Richmond’s international foods. Guests can contribute a drawing, painting, or collage of their favourite (locally available) international food in exchange for a candy gift inspired by Rhonda’s favourite ethnic food. Rhonda is also exhibiting a series of tiny marzipan food sculptures, created by local art students, representing Richmond’s culinary diversity.

Steveston_London_Heritage_Farm_Palla_MediaA must-visit for afternoon tea lovers, London Heritage Farm (6511 Dyke Road) features period themed rooms in a restored farmhouse, herb and perennial gardens and a Hand Tool Museum. Stop in for London Lady Tea and tasty treats in the Tea Room between 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

Steveston_Britannia_Shipyard_Palla_MediaBritannia Shipyards (5180 Westwater Drive) is hosting a veritable bounty of activities during Doors Open. The Dragon Zone Paddling Club offers a unique opportunity to get out on the water and try the exciting sport of dragon boating. There are four 30 minute sessions each day, at 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:00 pm, with a limit of one session per person. Pre-register by calling 604-718-8050 to reserve your spot. Visit a series of new exhibits at the Seine Net Loft and learn Morse code with radio historian Tom Brent at the Murakami Boatworks. Saturday activities at the Richmond Boat Builders include a Shipwright talk and Drop-In Boat Building, while Sunday offers Children’s Boat Building and Decorative Knot Tying.

Steveston_Steves_Farmhouse_Palla_MediaRevisit Steveston’s roots with a trip to the Steves Family Farmhouse (2871 Steveston Highway). Steveston is named after Martha and Manoah Steves, whose family founded the farm in 1877. The farm is still active today under the direction of their great grandson, Councillor Harold Steves. Tour parts of the farmhouse and peruse a large collection of artwork and historical objects. Heirloom seed gardens and antique farm equipment are also on display throughout Doors Open weekend.

Steveston_River_Queen_Boat_Palla_MediaFinally, hop aboard the River Queen Water Shuttle for a fully narrated nature and history tour of Steveston’s waterfront. This year, the River Queen will travel between Fisherman’s Wharf on the 2nd Avenue float, and the Britannia Shipyards dock. One way tickets between destinations are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, $4 for children aged 4 to 12, while children under 4 ride free.

Join us for our Doors Open Richmond 2016 Opening Kickoff at Minoru Chapel and Pierrefonds Gardens (6540 Gilbert Road) on Friday June 3rd, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This year’s kickoff event features free live music, crafts, light refreshments and vibrant displays.

Remember, these are only 12 of the 42 sites offered throughout Richmond on June 4 and 5. To find out more about Doors Open Richmond 2016, pick up a map brochure now available at City of Richmond facilities or visit www.richmond.ca/doorsopen.

Jacqui Turner

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

Leaving Her Mark on Our Community

Jacqui Turner Steveston Insider bikeJacqui Turner is not one to sit back and wait for something to happen; when she sees something that needs tending to she dives right in. In fact, this vivacious Stevestonite has spent her entire life volunteering and has left some impressive legacies along the way.

Turner was born in the town of Sale, south of Manchester, England, during the Second World War. Following the war, at age 10, she became an active volunteer when she realized some women in her community were too nervous to leave their homes and required assistance with their shopping. As a teenager her volunteer work escalated when she and a friend founded a soccer team called the Lincoln Lads to help keep local boys out of trouble. With a smile she mentions the team still exists today.

Turner says, “I’ve always been a volunteer.”

While her full name is Jacqueline, she has gone by Jacqui since she was 13 years old when she decided she wanted to be different. Turner calls herself a bit of a trendsetter. Her past careers include working as an interior decorator and as a fashion buyer. Both of these jobs required her to be an imaginative forward thinker. These skills transferred nicely to her volunteer work, which has often involved startup projects requiring a visionary leader to get them off the ground.

When Turner, her husband Tony and their two young children arrived in Richmond in 1978 she saw a need for lunch hour parent supervisors at her children’s elementary school. She organized a group of mothers to volunteer and fill this void, which was the a new concept in Richmond. She reports several years later people were hired to fill this role.

Moving on to other projects, she supported the movement for Richmond to have its own theatre facility, and joined the fundraising committee to build Gateway Theatre. She was proud to see the dream realized when the curtain raised in 1984.

The saying goes if you want something done, ask a busy person. Turner always rises to the challenge.

The Turners have operated their home-based businesses (A. Turner Sales and A. J. S. Turner Property Inc.) for many years. In the 1990s they were aware numerous Steveston village businesses and some homes were being broken into.

Turner says, “There was a ‘Fagin’ who was sending boys out to do break-ins.” People were complaining and Turner took action. She contacted a police constable and circulated a petition that she presented to city council. She wasn’t sure what the outcome would be but she knew she wanted a community police station opened, which would be the first of its kind in Richmond. Turner says, “I was doing it for the people.” Within a short time Steveston had its own community police station.

Jacqui Turner Steveston InsiderNot only is Turner a superstar volunteer, she has shared her time simultaneously with a number of Steveston’s not-for-profit groups over the years.

The Steveston Museum Society benefited from 20 years of her volunteer service. She also contributed 30 years of volunteer time to the Steveston Community Society and is most proud of the opening of the indoor tennis courts and the children’s water park.

Turner volunteered with Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society for 25 years and also was involved with the London Heritage Farm Society for five years as the chair and two additional years as the treasurer. She was exceptionally proud of the volunteers who worked in the tearoom and all of the people power that went into running the Christmas craft sale and the annual family farm day.

What is her most fulfilling volunteer accomplishment? Without hesitation Turner says it was the work she and a group of approximately 25 advisory members (who called themselves the Community Building Consensus) accomplished making the Bayview Street waterfront boardwalk become reality.

Prior to construction of the boardwalk she reports it was common to see rats, feral cats and seedy elements in the area. She mentions that the artifacts and design concept were in place prior to the Onni Group purchasing the site. She is proud of the boardwalk beautification thanks to the community’s efforts and is grateful Onni built it as directed.

Although it seems like there are not enough hours in the day for the sheer volume of volunteer work she has accomplished, Turner mentions she has always treated her volunteerism like a nine to five job. She had dinner on the table every night. She laughs when she admits if she was the chair of a board she made it work around her schedule. She was careful to not let her philanthropic work interrupt her business or home life.

In addition to giving back to Steveston, Turner supports a variety of charities including Vancouver’s Turning Point Recovery Society, Union Gospel Mission and Covenant House. She says, “The young are our future. I like to see people who have gone down come back up.”

When asked what she most loves about our community she mentions the scenic beauty, her favourite restaurant haunt (Blue Canoe) and walking down the street and running into people she knows.

If she could choose only one thing that defines what makes Steveston special the answer comes easily, “It’s the people that make Steveston.” Undoubtedly it’s special people like Turner who have contributed to the best of what Steveston has to offer.

New Mural Installed in Fisherman’s Park Steveston

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Steveston artOver the past year a group of non-profit organizations in Steveston have come together to produce a fishing mural on the building in Fisherman’s Park. The inspiration for the project came from the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society and the Steveston Historical Society as an effort to beautify the western end of Steveston and highlight the village’s fishing history.

Rebecca Clarke, Executive Director for the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society says, “We are excited to have a significant piece of public art installed at the west end of the village. With new commercial buildings at the corner of Bayview and 3rd Ave, I think we’ll see a significant increase in pedestrian traffic and it’s good to show we are more than an industrial area.”

Working with the Steveston Harbour Authority who owns the building and park, these two heritage groups formed a committee with representatives from each of the three non-profits as well as the Richmond Arts Coalition. The committee created a plan for depicting Steveston’s fishing past on three sides of the building.

With support from the City of Richmond, the Steveston Harbour Authority, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society and Benjamin Moore paints, the group hired experienced mural artist Victoria Oginski to begin the work for the south facing wall of the building. Basing her work on images from the Gulf of Georgia Cannery’s collection and photographer Joel Baziuk, Victoria has beautifully captured the essence of today’s fishing industry in Steveston.

According to Sarah Glen, Director on the Steveston Historical Society board, “The Historical Society is excited to share Steveston’s history with the public in a new way. We plan to include the mural in future walking tours of the village to help visitors understand the importance of fishing in our history.”

The group is currently seeking funding to add mural panels on the remaining two sides of the building. These panels will complete the history of fishing in Steveston, from First Nations village to thriving fishing harbour.

Public are invited to the official unveiling of the mural on Sunday, December 6 at noon in Fisherman’s Park at the west end of Moncton Street in Steveston.
For more information:

Rebecca Clarke, Executive Director Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society
12138 Fourth Ave
Richmond, BC V7E 3J1
t: 604.664.9192
http://gulfofgeorgiacannery.org/