Archive for the ‘Steveston Merchants Association’ Category

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

Steveston Village

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

The Place to be This Fall

Now that summer is a sun-filled memory it is time to turn our attention to one of the loveliest times of the year, autumn, and all of the fabulous fun-filled events Steveston Village offers.

The Steveston Merchants Association (SMA) is a key player in organizing many of the community’s eagerly anticipated celebrations. The SMA’s signature events (Steveston Scarecrow Crawl, Trick-or-Treat in Steveston Village, Girls’ Night Out and Christmas in Steveston Village) are designed to get local residents out strolling the streets and exploring local businesses.

blue canoe scarecrowSteveston Scarecrow Crawl

Now in its sixth year, the Steveston Scarecrow Crawl has become one of the community’s well-loved attractions. During the month of October cleverly themed scarecrows lurk in doorways and peek out of store windows. These delightful handcrafted guardians often reflect the personality of the shop to which they belong.

Many of them are not garden variety scarecrows – in fact, you never know quite what you will spot – whether it is a giant slug, a couture ‘crow, nautical or fairy tale characters (we are after all “Storybrooke”). Bring your camera, pose with your new friends, and step inside the businesses to visit the talented merchants responsible for creating these mascots.

Halloween Costume ContestSteveston Insider Costume Contest

Back by popular demand! Steveston Insider is excited to once again sponsor a Halloween Costume Contest. Photos will be taken by Sandra Steier at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery between 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 31. All photos will be posted on Steveston Insider’s website and the lucky winners will be notified. Get creative and good luck! At 3:00 p.m. head out to trick-or-treat at participating businesses.

Trick-or-Treat in Steveston VillageSteveston_Insider_Halloween
Trick-or-Treat in Steveston Village is always a seasonal highlight for little pirates, mermaids, princesses and dragons. It is a real “treat” to see imaginatively costumed children in the daylight hours receiving a Halloween goody from participating merchants. Taking place on Saturday, October 31 between 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., this is the perfect warm up act for the big night! Maps of participating businesses will be available and treats will be handed out while supplies last.

Halloween_Cannery_Steveston_Palla_MediaHalloween at the Cannery
Halloween is a busy time in Steveston Village. The Gulf of Georgia Cannery invites you to solve the Case of the Cannery Curse! Meet their ghostly victim, and other ghoulish characters, on a self-guided mystery tour of the historic cannery. Drop in on October 23, 24, 25 and 31 any time between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., for this family-fun event. Tickets are available at the door, or in advance. Contact the Cannery for tickets and further information (604-664-9009).

Cannery Farmers’ Market
Gulf of Georgia Cannery, Steveston BCBack for its second year, The Cannery Farmers’ Market 2015-16 season starts on Sunday, October 4. Stock up on local produce and crafts on the following Sundays: October 4 and 18, November 1, 15, 29, December 6 and 20, January 17 and 31, February 7 and 21, March 6 and 20, April 3 and 17. Steveston Insider is proud to play a role as a Cannery Farmers’ Market sponsor.

Steveston Girls Night OutGirls’ Night Out
Girls’ Night Out takes place on Thursday November 26. This SMA event has become legendary and “girls” come in droves to be part of this special night out on the town. Women of all ages take to the streets of Steveston to power shop at SMA businesses, which offer exciting specials and incentives. This is the perfect opportunity to do some Christmas shopping. SMA restaurants will be offering pre and post shopping drinks and dining.

Follow “Steveston Girls Night Out” Facebook page to ensure you are in the loop; learn when tickets go on sale for the after party – tickets sell out almost instantly!

Festival of Trees_Steveston_Palla_MediaFestival of Trees
During the month of December enjoy a walk through an indoor forest of decorated Christmas trees when the Steveston Merchants Association partners with the Gulf of Georgia Cannery for the Festival of Trees. Steveston businesses personalize their trees with festive flair.

Steveston Village Christmas Horse CarriageChristmas in Steveston Village
To cap off the year, Christmas in Steveston Village puts holiday shoppers in the Christmas spirit. New this year, this special event has been split over two days, Sunday November 29 and December 6.

Car_Cruise_Steveston_Palla_MediaOn November 29 enjoy the charm of riding aboard an old-fashioned horse drawn carriage with festive music playing as the majestic team of horses clip clop along and loop the village. Visit local shops and do some Christmas shopping – it’s never too early to start. You will find unique gifts and as an added fringe benefit, you will feel good about having shopped locally and directly supported the community.

The 2nd annual Christmas Classic Car Show will parade through the village on December 6 at 12:15 p.m. then be on display until 3:00 p.m.

Santa_Steveston_Palla_MediaEvery year crowds of adoring fans line Fisherman’s Wharf for a glimpse of Santa as he arrives on December 6 on board a Vancouver Whale Watch boat with his entourage of elves. Free Santa hats are handed out (courtesy of the Steveston Merchants Association) while supplies last. It is a sight to see the village filled with red hats!

Follow Santa to the Cannery and take a photo of your child sitting on Santa’s lap.Then admire the Festival of Trees and shop at The Cannery Farmers’ Market. There may even be a little extra Christmas magic – stay tuned for details!

Steveston Girls’ Night Out

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Ladies, grab your calendar, program your smart phone, whatever it may take to save this date because Thursday November 29th is the highly anticipated 2nd annual Girls’ Night Out in Steveston.  Sponsored by the proud members of the Steveston Merchants Association, this event is destined to be wildly popular again. Round up your pals, your mum, your sister and your office friends for an evening of cocktails, appetizers and power Christmas shopping – last year’s participants reminisced about this night for months afterwards and can’t wait for its return.

Merchants often overhear mothers say that they would like to return to a store without their child in tow, so that they can concentrate fully; while women of all ages feel limited to shopping on the weekends, and crave time to be out on the town past 6pm. Designed for girls who want to have fun, this is a evening where Steveston transforms into a vibrant night-time stomping ground! 

The Steveston Merchants Association hosts many fabulous community events including the Steveston Scarecrow Crawl, the Steveston Scarecrow Hayday, Trick-or-Treating in Steveston Village, Christmas in Steveston Village and the Easter Egg Hunt.  All of these events are extremely popular and well loved by families; however the SMA felt that an opportunity for women to celebrate within their community was missing. 

SMA board member Erinn Bryan (O’Hares GastroPub & Liquor Store) presented her concept of Girls’ Night Out which she thought would be a natural fit for the village, based on the fact that many women love shopping together and parties. The board concurred and created this festive pre-Christmas shopping and dining extravaganza as a win-win opportunity for Steveston women and for SMA member restaurants and businesses.

Women are invited to visit SMA member businesses to shop, dine, connect with friends, old and new, and celebrate the upcoming holiday season.  SMA member restaurants and stores will offer special incentives for Girls’ Night Out shoppers, with many shops offering a gift to accompany a minimum purchase. 

Now, what about your significant other?  He can either stay home with the kids, or book a babysitter and head over to the designated ‘Man Cave’ at O’Hare’s GastroPub.

More details will be revealed soon. Visit www.exploresteveston.com for a full list of participating SMA member businesses and stay tuned for Girls’ Night Out news flashes.

Contact your social network and spread the word, Girls’ Night Out in Steveston is back!

Steveston Waterfront Development

Friday, February 17th, 2012
Public open house on Thursday, February 23, 2012 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm.  Brief presentation starts at 6pm.  Also on Saturday, February 25, 2012 from 12:30pm – 2:30pm. Brief presentation starts at 1pm.  Location: Lord Byng Elementary School gym, 3711 Georgia Street, Richmond, BC.

Steveston waterfront development:  construction of the last development parcel at Imperial Landing is proceeding, which consists of six low-rise buildings with a mixture of residential and commercial uses.  The existing zoning restricts commercial uses to those that support the maritime economy, which include industrial and manufacturing uses.  Onni is contemplating submitting an application to add permitted uses to the existing zoning which allow for commerical/retail uses that will better serve the community’s needs.

Onni wants your feedback on what types of commercial/retail uses you feel are appropriate for the community.  Onni rep and a third party facilitator will be on-hand to answer any questions regarding the proposal and to gather community feedback.

Contact Brendan Yee with any questions or concerns regarding the open house
at byee@onni.com or 604-602-7711

Christmas in Steveston Village

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Join us on Saturday December 3, 2011 from 2:00 – 6:00 pm for Christmas in Steveston Village brought to you by the Steveston Merchants Association.  Steveston is preparing to welcome the holiday season with a community display of lights, music, horse-drawn carriage rides, carollers, and the arrival of Santa!

The afternoon begins with the arrival of Santa, Steveston-style, by boat at Fisherman’s Wharf with the Fraser River Fiddlers. Santa will walk over to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery where parents can take a photo of their child with the jolly old elf. Adding to the charm will be old-fashioned horse drawn carriage rides throughout the afternoon, and Musically Yours, a trio of carollers, will be roaming the streets and singing at the lighting of the tree. Merchants will participate by decorating their storefronts for the judging of the Best Decorated Business, as well as adding special incentives for customers and passers by. The finale of the afternoon, when the sun goes down, will be the lighting of the grand Sequoia tree in front of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery with a turn of the magic candy cane by Mayor Malcolm Brodie!

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Santa’s Arrival
TIME: 2 PM LOCATION: FISHERMAN’S WHARF
Santa will arrive by Vancouver Whale Watch boat at Fisherman’s Wharf to the delight of waiting families. Enjoy music by the Fraser River Fiddlers as Santa pulls in. Uniformed RCMP will escort Santa to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. Free Santa hats will be given out to the first 600 people.

Photo with Santa
TIME: 2:15 – 4 PM LOCATION: INSIDE THE GULF OF GEORGIA CANNERY
Bring your camera! Santa will be delighted to have children sit on his lap, tell him their Christmas wishes and have a photo taken. The Gift Shop inside the Cannery will be open for business.

Musically Yours
2 – 5 PM
A trio of carollers will entertain you with Christmas favourites at locations throughout the Village, including Fisherman’s Park where they will sing prior to the lighting of the tree.

Old Fashioned Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides
TIME: 2:00 – 6:00 PM LOCATION: BAYVIEW STREET (NEAR FIRST AVE)
Bring the family and transport them back in time with an old-fashioned horse & carriage ride operated by Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours through historic Steveston while listening to your favourite Christmas music! Rides are by donation (suggested $5 minimum) with all proceeds going to the Richmond Christmas Fund. Pick up and drop off is in on Bayview Street every 20 minutes. Each rider receives a chocolate treat.

Tree Lighting
TIME: 4:50 PM LOCATION: FISHERMAN’S PARK/GULF OF GEORGIA CANNERY
Gather around the grand Sequoia tree just prior to 4:50 pm as Mayor Malcolm Brodie officially lights the tree as the sun sets and the village lights up.

For further information please contact:
Carolynne Palla/Christmas in Steveston Village Committee Chair
e-mail: info@exploresteveston.com

Scarecrow Fever Returns to Steveston

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Scarecrows are a classic symbol associated with farmers’ fields. They range from being cute and comical to downright creepy. They can be very simplistic or extremely intricate. Scarecrows, the farmer’s stationary helper, date back 3,000 years. There are records that scarecrows were used in ancient Egypt, Greece and pre-feudal Japan. Last year the Steveston Merchants Association (SMA) introduced the first annual Steveston Scarecrow Crawl with the purpose of attracting people to the Village during autumn. The event was an astounding success, and the SMA board of directors quickly concluded that it would become an annual celebration.

When the Scarecrow Crawl was conceived, the SMA board of directors was uncertain how many businesses would participate in the event. We knew that SMA member businesses would show their community spirit and create scarecrows; however, over the course of the month over sixty scarecrows popped up! Fisherman Freddy at Pierside Deli, Lulu at Pieces, a Canucks green man at Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant, a charming waiter at Tapenade Bistro, a monkey scarecrow at A Monkey Tree, a sassy scarecrow at Bare Basics, nautical scarecrows, and many more creatively themed scarecrows greeted people at the entrances of many Steveston businesses.

People took the opportunity to stop and pose with scarecrows, and the streets buzzed with energy at this tribute to our riverside village with neighbouring farmland. One of the most exciting aspects of the Scarecrow Crawl is it is a work in progress. On any given day in October there are likely to be new scarecrows appearing as Scarecrow fever spreads!

The SMA is hoping to see even more scarecrows take over Steveston. We are also extending the invitation for the community to join in the fun, and are hoping to see scarecrows spread into Steveston neighbourhoods. On a recent walk through my neighbourhood, I saw a wonderfully inviting scarecrow and harvest display signaling a change in the season. A few years ago, I had a terrific time building a scarecrow with my children. We went to a local thrift store and bought overalls, a plaid shirt, a straw hat, gloves and boots. We assembled a very welcoming fellow who greets us every autumn at the front door, where he sits comfortably in an Adirondack chair. I enjoy seeing his button eyes, and hand stitched smile.

Build a scarecrow and place it at your doorstep. Scarecrows are whimsical and add character and personality to your home, just as festive Christmas lights and wreaths do in the winter. There are plenty of websites devoted to designing and building scarecrows, they do not have to be stuffed with straw. You can use crumpled newspaper or old rags. Exercise your creativity. Children love this activity; it is like a month long extension of Halloween!

For inspiration, visit the village and see what the merchants create. Grab a coffee or a hot chocolate and go a Scarecrow Crawl. Walk through the entire village, you will find them lurking everywhere. Do not forget to bring your camera. Oh, and we dare you not to smile!

by Sarah Gordon