New Mural Installed in Fisherman’s Park Steveston

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/

New Year’s Resolution

December 1st, 2015

by Russel Sean Fitness.

RSF calendarThe No. 1 Strategy to Help Keep Your New Year’s Resolution…

Don’t make one! What is so magical about January 1 that you must wait until this day to start your journey?

As humans, we make a lot of unwise and questionable choices when the holiday season comes around. We drink too much, eat too much, make a fool of ourselves at our office parties by dancing on table tops to the latest Justin Bieber song… But that is fine and justifiable, because you have made a New Year’s resolution. As the clock strikes midnight on December 31 (okay… let’s be honest… Maybe after nursing that hangover, let’s call it afternoon of Jan 1) you have made a resolution to get fit, drink less, eat better, and get more sleep. Sound familiar?

Let’s face it, we have all done it, and probably all forgot about them faster than we forgot who came second in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. In one study, 78% of people did not stick to their New Year’s resolutions and a staggering 25% of people actually fell off the wagon by the second week of January!

Here are some things you can try to increase your chances of achieving your goals:

  • Start now! The moment you decide that there needs to be a change in your life, make that change! Don’t wait until the magical day of January 1 to start.
  • Make measurable and achievable goals. Be sure that you can gauge when you are on the right track and when you may need to head in a different direction.
  • Plan for set-backs. Keep in mind that we all occasionally lapse in our resolutions. If we respond to these set-backs with negative emotions, we may be more inclined to give up.
  • Talk about it. Don’t keep your goals a secret. Tell your friends and family; people who will be there to support you. The best-case scenario is to find a pal who shares the same goals.
  • Sacrifice… But not too much. Keep in mind that while you have goals to smash, you also have a life to live. Build your goals accordingly so that you are still able to join your friends for poutine at Blue Canoe, or meet the boys for a pint at O’Hare’s, without feeling like your entire world has come to an end.

Happy Holidays ~ Russel Sean Fitness

The Cannery Store

November 25th, 2015

Cannery_Store_Steveston_Insider_5449aGulf of Georgia Cannery Store: ‘Tis the Season to Shop Locally

When you set off to shop locally this holiday season add the Gulf of Georgia (GOG) Cannery National Historic Site’s gift store to your must visit list.

Rob Hart, GOG Cannery Society Operations Manager is responsible for purchasing the products you will find in the shop. His goal? To find merchandise that enhances the museum visitor’s experience and appeals to local shoppers. As a result, you will find a very unique collection of gifts and souvenirs.

Established in 1986, the GOG Cannery Society is an independent non-profit society and registered charity responsible for the operation of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site of Canada on behalf of Parks Canada. The museum opened to the public in 1994.

Revenue generated through gift shop sales goes towards museum operations; therefore you can feel good knowing your purchase is making an impact.

Popular among tourists and locals alike is a wide selection of salmon products. The vacuum packed smoked salmon is one of the shop’s top sellers as it is so convenient for travel.

Cannery_Store_Steveston_Insider_5460Hart points out five species of gourmet-canned salmon (Chum, Coho, Pink, Sockeye and Spring) are available from supplier The Fishery Seafoods, based on Saltspring Island.

If you are looking to support a Steveston business try Soo Salmon Jerky made at nearby London Landing. In addition, a nice historical connection is the sale of Murchie’s 1894 Select Orange Pekoe Tea (the same year the Cannery began operating).

For the book lovers on your list, you will find a good selection of books addressing local history, fishing, boating, First Nations art and culture and environmental issues.

Fish and marine themed décor and related products are bountiful. Think glass candlesticks masquerading as fish, bottle openers, Rain Goose tea towels (designed in North Vancouver), Christmas ornaments, and even stuffed animals (yes, fish!) along with other West Coast toys you might not normally come across such as bears and walruses.

First Nations jewellery is well represented in the form of pendants, earrings, necklaces and rings. Fun for puddle jumping, Native Sole rain boots feature dynamic motifs. Prints, scarves, t-shirts, greeting cards, bowls and salad servers can all be found here.

The museum’s archive has a good collection of historical canning labels that have been printed onto mugs. Hart mentions that one of these coveted mugs was bought by an Australian couple and became a household favourite until it broke. Determined to put a smile back on their faces, Hart sent a replacement down under!

“There is something for every age range at the Cannery Store.” Rob Hart

Children love to explore shops and they will be happy to discover their own special section filled with toys, games, stuffed animals and what stands out in my memory as a highlight of school field trips, souvenirs priced to match a child’s budget.

How would you feel about finding some Salmon Slobber in your Christmas stocking? Made in Alberta by Goat Mountain Soap Company, this and other equally humorous wilderness themed soaps are bound to produce a few laughs. The label promises there really is nothing fishy about this cleansing product (coconut oil and goat’s milk top the list of ingredients).

There is plenty going on inside the historic site during the festive season. Steveston merchants and community groups will show off their tree decorating talents at the Cannery’s Festival of Trees (on display November 29 to December 31). Visitors can vote by donation to benefit the Richmond Food Bank in this friendly competition!

Santa Cannery Steveston InsiderWhat would Christmas in Steveston Village be without a visit from Santa? After Santa arrives at Fisherman’s Wharf (Sunday December 6) he will make his way over to the Cannery’s theatre for photographs. Bring your own camera, the jolly old elf will pose and listen to your Christmas wishes between 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

For further shopping needs, are you aware the Gulf of Georgia Cannery hosts an indoor winter market? Now in its second year, the Cannery Farmers’ Market provides an opportunity for local food producers and artisans to showcase their products. The market is held every second Sunday (consult the GOG website for the schedule).

Make a trip to the Cannery Store this holiday season. During the month of December customers who spend $25 or more will receive a can of Gold Seal salmon while supplies last. You are welcome to shop during regular hours of operation (daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and no admission is required to step inside the store.

Gulf of Georgia Cannery, Steveston BCThe Cannery Store
Gulf of Georgia Cannery
12138 Fourth Avenue
Richmond, BC V7E 3J1
Telephone 604-664-9009
www.gulfofgeorgiacannery.org

Outpost Mini Donut Company

November 25th, 2015

Outpost_Mini_Donut_Steveston_Insider_5430Bet You Can’t Have Just One!

Walking through the door of Outpost Mini Donut Company feels like stumbling upon a cozy cabin in the woods offering up warmth in the form of freshly made mini donuts. The aroma of these little morsels is the businesses’ secret weapon; it is very hard to resist their siren-like lure to taste each and every one of them.

Outpost is a joint venture between Christian Desierto, his wife Margie and her parents, Sam and Christine Sidsworth, with Christian Desierto as the managing partner.

Like many Steveston merchants, the Desiertos became smitten with the area when Sam and Christine Sidsworth retired to the waterfront village. Following the birth of their first child the Desiertos moved from Vancouver to Steveston.

They had been regular Outpost customers and seized the opportunity to purchase the business after seeing a for sale sign in the window. They were charmed by Outpost’s ambience with its fireplace and comfy living room seating area staged with ice skates, snowshoes, books, antlers and other rustic props. More importantly, they were firm believers in the product.

Outpost_Mini_Donut_Steveston_Insider_5434Christian Desierto holds a full time job as a commercial property manager with flexible hours, which allows him to be actively involved in managing the shop’s operations. Sam Sidsworth oversees the maintenance of the equipment to ensure the production line runs smoothly, Christine Sidsworth assists the staff whenever they need a hand and Margie Desierto makes all of the marshmallows that are sold in the store and popped into cups of hot chocolate.

Outpost is the only brick and mortar gourmet mini donut shop that Christian Desierto is aware of in the Lower Mainland.

Many people associate these bite size treats with the PNE and some food trucks are also selling them. But if you need a year round fix Outpost is the place to go.

On any given day you will find 10 varieties of donuts. Five classics stay on the menu year round (cinnamon sugar, chocolate, maple, powdered sugar and vanilla) while five seasonal donuts also join in on rotation. In the summer fruits such as blueberry and lemon appear. This fall apple caramel was introduced and was a huge hit. The winter sees festive flavours such as maple bacon (with bacon bits from Steveston’s Heringers Meats) and gingerbread.

Outpost_Mini_Donut_Steveston_Insider_5437What sets these donuts apart from their competitors? Outpost’s creations are concocted from a cake-based mix rather than yeast. This makes them fluffy, soft and moist with a crisp exterior and yields an excellent shelf life if you have enough will power to take them home. Donuts are replenished daily at the little shop. On busy days the fryer produces as many as 1,200 donuts. The largest order to date was 170 dozen for a corporate event.

Desierto laughs when he recalls pausing to calculate 170 dozen would be an order of 2,040 donuts. The fryer worked double time that day; it took six hours to make them.

In addition to in-store sales, Outpost also provides catering. Weddings are always popular and donuts can be themed by colour. Outpost delivers the order and clients are responsible for their own displays. Companies also like to order boxed donuts as gifts.

The company’s short-term goal is to promote the product and increase their customer base within the Greater Vancouver Area and a long-term goal is add a portable fryer for mobile events.

Outpost_Mini_Donut_Steveston_Insider_5441Some people are still discovering the business, which is located along Second Avenue’s treat row (it is sandwiched between two ice cream shops). Tourists and locals like to pop by at all hours, including an after dinner crowd that crave a small treat to fuel them the rest of the way home. Outpost has received added exposure at events like O’Hare’s GastroPub’s Steveston Beer Fest and Wine Fest where they offer donut samples.

Sold by the half dozen or by the baker’s dozen (lucky thirteen, a bonus donut comes your way), you can take the little yummies away in a paper cone or in a box.

For Desierto the most rewarding part about owning Outpost Mini Donut Company is the direct involvement he and his family have within the community they have chosen to call home.

He concludes, “Adults can turn into kids when they see there is more than one flavour. This is always a happy place with donuts involved.”

Outpost_Mini_Donut_Steveston_Insider_5425Outpost Mini Donut Company
110-12240 Second Ave
Richmond BC V7E 3L8
Telephone: 604-448-0005
www.outpostminidonutco.com

Imagine A Marina

November 25th, 2015

Steveston_Insider_Imperial_Landing_WharfI’d like to discuss the opportunities a full service pleasure craft marina, located in front of Imperial Landing with both long and short term moorage capacity, will afford Steveston Village. I ask you to imagine this full service marina because the Onni development will require the City (again) to decide what to allow or what to do with their empty space in the months to come.

Imagine boaters taking advantage of the moorage. They will support the mixed maritime use shops located at the marina’s doorstep (uses such as marine hardware, electronics, sail and canvas repair, boat charter and rental offices, seafood market, sea cadets, yacht club, etc.) as well as local stores and restaurants as they seek maintenance, upgrades, provisions, and amusement.

Steveston_Insider_PaddleboardsVisualize marina space allowing for small power boat rentals, like those offered at Granville Island and Horseshoe Bay, tempting tourists and locals alike to venture out onto the water to fish, enjoy watersports, explore the river all the way up to Pitt Lake with opportunities to view sea lions, seals, eagles, heron, swans and other wildlife along the shore, journey to the Gulf Islands and so much more. In addition, power boat rentals, dinner cruises, expanded paddle and rowing activities can all be expected. Picture dragon boats, paddle boarders, kayakers, and canoers accessing rentals, lessons, and various clubs putting on competitions and festivals. These activities could be supported and encouraged by the City, Steveston Harbour Authority and the Steveston Merchants Association.

Envision water taxis offering unique sightseeing access, plying the waters and connecting Garry Point Park, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, Fisherman’s Wharf, Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, and even accessing London Landing and London Heritage Farm from the No. 2 Road Pier.

steveston_insider_boatsImagine viewing the work of local artisans and experiencing a Granville Island-style public market at the freshly rehabilitated Net Loft building built out on piles extending out on the waterfront at Britannia. Or exploring and discovering an expansive First Nations museum and a maritime museum located along the picturesque waterfront. These concepts are not a pipe dream; they are all viable ideas and are business opportunities currently being discussed.

The development of a marina will create additional demand for and make viable the maritime mixed-uses that are intended for Imperial Landing, while at the same time provide jobs and experiences currently not available in Steveston, and further enhance the experience for tourists and locals alike.

There is a 10 year wait list for a spot to moor in Steveston right now. The demand for moorage space is undeniable, and any space created would literally be filled overnight. Further, the Steveston Village shopping experience doesn’t need to grow to the east with 65,000 square feet of additional retail space. The traditional village core, including some of the exciting new developments planned in the core, will provide enough space for shopping, dining and business uses.

Steveston_Insider_Onni_RezoningSteveston is a community that cares, gets involved, volunteers, and has an opinion. It is understandably difficult to get a consensus on issues such as parking, building heights, allowable uses, Business Improvement Area formation, and community amenity locations. However, in a recent Steveston Merchants Association survey, 76% of members felt a marina would positively impact their businesses and 57% felt a rezoning of the MMU space at Imperial Landing to retail would negatively impact their businesses. These kinds of majority votes in Steveston are unprecedented. With this level of local passion, I’m confident the dream of a vibrant riverside community with an array of living, working, shopping, eating, and entertainment experiences will be achieved.

It cannot be stressed enough that Steveston is at a crossroads. The retention of the waterfront for the types of uses discussed above is imperative as once lost it will never be regained. Our waterfront can be a vibrant, lively place with locals, tourists and boaters from all over coming to enjoy what we have to offer. We must act now to ensure this opportunity is not lost; make sure your opinion is heard.

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Sean_Lawson_RemaxSean Lawson, distinguished Realtor®, B.C.I.T. and U.B.C. trained, has been “Steveston’s Realtor®” since 1989. Raised and educated in Richmond and a resident of Steveston, this experienced builder and award winning Realtor® possesses the academic training, hands-on experience and local market knowledge necessary to satisfy your real estate requirements. Sean Lawson is a graduate of the B.C.I.T. Building Technologies Program and the U.B.C. Urban Land Economics Program, with over twenty years’ experience in real estate sales, re-zoning applications, land assembly and other development projects, making the StevestonRealEstate.com team “Your Complete Source” for Steveston and Richmond real estate. Sean is an active member of the Steveston Merchants Association, as well as a contributor to family-building initiatives such as school fundraisers, parks, and playgrounds throughout Steveston. As a lifetime Richmond resident, a husband, and father of two daughters Bella and Talia, his roots in the community run deep and increase his commitment to a better Steveston.

Steveston Village

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!

Ora Sushi Japanese Grill

October 2nd, 2015

Quality Sushi Made With Love

Ora_Sushi_June2_Steveston_Palla_MediaOra is the Korean word for “come again, or welcome” and it is the perfect name for this new Moncton Street restaurant. Ora Sushi owner June Shim personifies the business name with her welcoming and gracious manner.

After an extensive floor to ceiling renovation Ora Sushi opened in early August and the response has been tremendous.

Shim is no stranger to restaurant ownership. Customers who were familiar with her former business, Kimchi Nara Korean BBQ, are delighted to discover she has embarked on a new venture. She operated Kimchi Nara Korean BBQ in downtown Richmond for 10 years. Subsequently, she worked as a manager of a local sushi restaurant for three years and then decided it was time to return to her favourite place, the kitchen, and run her own business.

Past clients are delighted that she has opened a new restaurant. Ora Sushi has also established a new and enthusiastic clientele who are discovering why her cooking has earned such an excellent reputation.

Her passion for food and her culinary talent stems from having grown up in the food industry. She reveals her mother is also an amazing cook and her parents owned a restaurant in Korea. Shim loves to garden and grows many different kinds of Korean herbs and vegetables in her backyard.

She feels extremely happy when she cooks and derives joy from meeting customers. Regarding owning her business she says, “It is a much more satisfying personal stake.”

Locals and visitors alike are discovering Ora Sushi’s tasty and artfully presented dishes.

This new enterprise is a detour from her former Korean BBQ as sushi takes the spotlight on the menu. All of the sauces are made in house. Quality is of utmost importance to her. She insists on using only wild caught Pacific salmon and red tuna and she begins each day by visiting local vegetable markets to select produce.

Ora_Sushi_Roll1_Steveston_Palla_MediaThe Nori (seaweed) is premium quality without the use of coatings or artificial preservatives. Ora Sushi uses premium Japanese sushi rice, low sodium soya sauce, and natural ginger. Some gluten free dishes are offered. In addition to a focus on health conscious food, Ora Sushi strives to provide a friendly, welcoming, personal dining experience.

She says, “I am always thinking about cooking and the presentation of food.”

Presentation is most certainly a huge part of the Ora Sushi experience. All selections are artfully arranged on Villeroy and Boch German porcelain and on unique Japanese serving plates.

Ora_Sushi_Roll2_Steveston_Palla_MediaFun names for some of the signature special rolls include the Crazy Roll, Mr. Big Roll, Monster Bite and 911. Speaking of the Crazy Roll, it is crazy good. I have not been able to stop thinking about this delicious, crispy, warm signature California roll with its three sauces.

Another highly recommended specialty, the Golden Roll, is cooked in a cast iron pan and is comprised of avocado, cucumber, imitation crab, baked salmon and tobiko with cheese on top.

If you are a sushi novice the Caterpillar Roll as a good place to begin. It contains asparagus, imitation crab, avocado, and cucumber with sliced avocado.
The extensive menu offers a large selection of appetizers such as Chicken Yakatori, Grilled Mussels, “Monkey Brain” (deep fried avocado with crab meat), Oyster Motoyaki (grilled oysters with veggies, mayo and cheese) and Ebi Gyoza.

Ora_Sushi_Roll3_Steveston_Palla_MediaThe menu features a few favourites from her past business such as Bibimbap, Kalbi BBQ beef and Udon. Maki sushi, sashimi, nigiri sushi and noodle dishes round out the extensive menu. Bento boxes and set lunches and dinners are also featured.

Shim and her husband, local RE/MAX realtor Kevin McDowell, met in Korea in 1992 and have lived in Richmond since 1997. They have two grown children, one is finishing high school, and the other is attending university. Both their son and daughter work at the business part-time.

Although fully immersed in her new business she still finds time to be actively involved with the two churches her family attends. The family belongs to the Korean Jireh Presbyterian Church in Vancouver and also Trinity Lutheran Church in Richmond. She regularly donates her time to the Korean fellowship committee that provides hot lunches on a weekly basis. She says, “Food is a part of my life and I like making people happy.”

The response from local merchants has been tremendous; neighbouring business owners regularly pop in to order lunch to go.

Ora_Sushi_street_sign_StevestonThe holiday season will soon be here. If you are entertaining at home consider impressing your guests with an Ora Sushi party tray. Open six days a week for lunch and dinner (consult the website for hours), this Steveston newcomer deserves a big welcome – and an even bigger thank you for choosing the village to set up shop!

Ora Sushi Japanese Grill
120-3651 Moncton St
Richmond BC V7E 3A5
Telephone: 604-284-3880
www.orasushi.com

Pending Redevelopment Proposals

September 20th, 2015

The Cat is out of the Bag!
Pending Redevelopment Proposals Will Reshape Steveston Village
Story by Sean Lawson. Photos by Sandra Steier.

Rods_Steveston_Insider_Palla_MediaIt’s now official: there is a pending redevelopment process underway for the Rod’s Building Supply site, located at the corner of Moncton Street and Third Avenue. The proposal envisions a mixed-use development with retail on the ground floor and residential above, consistent with the City’s Steveston Area Plan.

The retail includes plans for a “name brand” full service grocery store. The developer, Kyle Shury of Platform Properties, is a “born and raised Richmond lad” and a long-time Steveston resident. After working with Townline Homes for thirteen years, Shury ventured out on his own six years ago and Platform Properties now has projects scattered throughout the Lower Mainland and B.C.

Buck_Ear_Steveston_Insider_Palla_MediaPlatform Properties’ vision, along with the planned extensive renovation of the Steveston Hotel (now under new ownership and management) and the new construction on the old G&F Financial site, will kick start the revitalization of the northwest section of Steveston Village’s core.

Steveston_Hardware_Steveston_Insider_Palla_MediaOn the heels of these developments is the Steveston Marine & Hardware site on Moncton Street, which currently has a pending deal in play. These developments will help round out the shopping experience while keeping the Village core intact.

These big moves are not the only plans in the works for our Village; there are currently talks going on at City Hall, spearheaded by Councillor Harold Steves’ stated desire to expedite and make a reality of a much needed pleasure craft marina in Steveston Harbour. The current Mixed Maritime Use (MMU) zoning on Onni’s Bayview site directly in front of this marina will also be in demand when these marina plans are solidified. Steveston Marine & Hardware is already interested in leasing up to 6,000 square feet of the Bayview site, and other maritime related businesses are sure to follow. Yet for the past two years Onni has been embroiled in a proposed zoning change asking for 100 percent retail use for the site which would see these great opportunities dashed.

Onni_Steveston_Insider_Palla_MediaThe Steveston Merchants Association (SMA) had put forward a measured proposal that called for approximately one-third office space, one-third MMU and one-third retail use for the empty Bayview site.

As discussed in my last opinion piece for Steveston Insider, such a zoning mix would allow for the traditional shopping experience of Steveston Village to remain in place (without dragging retail uses eastward away from the Village core and into a residential area), as well as satisfy Onni’s desire to obtain a higher valued use for its land. Despite what I believe to have been both public and City support for the SMA proposal, Onni did not accept these ideas and again pushed forward for 100 percent retail use of the Bayview site.

Two years have passed and the facts have changed; with the aforementioned significant redevelopment of the northwest Village (including a grocery anchor and more retail space underway), the possibility of a pleasure craft marina and the eventual need to relocate Steveston Marine & Hardware, the demand and appropriateness of the Maritime Mixed Use zoning on the Bayview site needs to be acknowledged. The marina and development sites discussed in this article will go through extensive planning and public process prior to any concrete being poured. All residents and business owners will have plenty of opportunity to have input and there will be well-advertised public information meetings coming soon.

I feel the recommendation from the SMA with respect to the amount of MMU space at the Bayview site needs to be revisited. There is now a strong case to be made for retaining even more MMU space than previously recommended.

It should be noted too that there are uses other than retail that should be considered for any change from MMU at the Bayview site. A public library, a cultural museum, a fitness facility (public or private), a senior’s centre or daycare are just a few that would be welcome additions to the community by residents and businesses alike. Further, any “voluntary contributions” or “cash payments” made by Onni to the City with respect to any rezoning of the Bayview site should be earmarked for use in Steveston only. These funds could be used to help provide additional parking, renovate or rebuild our community centre, help fund our fledgling Business Improvement Area association, etc.

It is Steveston residents and businesses that must live with the consequences of this late-in-the-game zoning change Onni is after. I believe it’s a slippery slope to let a developer build out their project, let it sit vacant while demanding the highest valued use, and then grant their wishes after such practices.

Once Upon A time Returns for its Fifth Season

September 20th, 2015

The Fairy Tale Continues

Story by Sarah Gordon. Photos by Clayton Perry

Once_Upon_A_Time_Steveston_Storybrooke 4It was 2011 when Emma Swan, sporting a red leather jacket, first rolled into Storybrooke in a yellow Volkswagen Beetle with a mysterious little boy named Henry. While Stevestonites are familiar with filming in the village, nobody could predict the magnitude Once Upon a Time would have on Steveston Village; it has been one of television’s highest rated shows for the last four years.

The fifth season has now begun and the show is increasing in popularity. This past summer large crowds of fans came out to watch filming take place, hopeful for a glimpse of their favourite actors.

Curious to hear how Once Upon a Time has impacted our community; I spoke to some Steveston merchants and Tourism Richmond for their impressions.

Kelly Krull is the manager of Splash Toy Shop and is a big fan of the show. Located in the heart of Storybrooke, Splash becomes Neighbor’s Five & Dime.

She says, “Once Upon a Time has brought magic to Steveston.” On a daily basis she sees out of town visitors who have discovered Steveston purely because of the program.

Once_Upon_A_Time_Steveston_Storybrooke 1“The energy fans bring makes the village shine,” she says. People of all ages make the trip here in hope of catching a filming day, and if not, they are excited to stop and pose for photos in front of the landmark Storybrooke buildings they know so well.

“Once Upon a Time has become a draw to Steveston, attracting visitors that we have never seen before. It’s like Jack and the Beanstalk, the bean has been planted.” Kelly Krull

The cast and crew are extremely supportive of local businesses and will come in to look around and shop on their breaks. She reports Splash recently had a visit en masse from Captain Hook, Prince Charming, Snow White and the Evil Queen. She says Henry is also a regular customer.

Once_Upon_A_Time_Steveston_Storybrooke 2David Gordon’s business Pieces transforms into Purbeck Shoes. He says, “The village is still very much Steveston.” Like other merchants, he makes a point of acting as an ambassador as he directs people to local sights, from Garry Point Park to the fishing docks, museums, and the array of local restaurants, shops and services.

He points out the show has brought a whole new group of tourists to the area. “There are countless stories of out of town visitors, particularly from the United States, who are coming to see where the show is filmed.”

“Fans have reported how enchanted they are with the village, and note that they would never have come here if it were not for the show. They often have an assortment of purchases from different shops in their hands, and inevitably ask where is a good place to have lunch or dinner. It is not unusual to see fans return two or three days in
a row. “ David Gordon

Once_Upon_A_Time_Steveston_Storybrooke 3Fans include Metro Vancouver residents who enjoy watching the show being filmed and then seeing it transform through the magic of Hollywood onto their television screen. Americans, in particular Seattle residents, and a fair number of international fans make the trip out to Steveston purely to experience the magic of walking the streets of Storybrooke.

Gordon says, “One couple from Israel arranged an eight hour layover through the Vancouver airport just so they could come and see Storybrooke.”

The Kollakis family, owners of the Steveston Cannery Cafe, report they have had people come into the restaurant expecting the interior to be identical to “Granny’s Diner” and they have to explain that filming takes place on a set in a studio.

Trevor Kollakis says, “Fans like to come in and have lunch, and say they have eaten at Granny’s. We have definitely seen an increase of customers. We have been surprised with how many people have been visiting from Mexico.”

Once_Upon_A_Time_Steveston_Storybrooke 7Nick Cohen, owner of Romania Country Bread says, “Everyone asks why I keep the sign “Storybrooke Country Bread” up all the time. It is very convenient that they have me representing a bakery in the show, and my business is a bakery. Also it brings good business to me.”

“The television show is an event that brings action to the village, when they are here filming and afterwards with the fans.”

Joe and Sara Cocker’s business, Nikaido, masquerades as Standard Clocks.

Joe Cocker chuckles when he reports, “We have a good laugh when people come into our shop wanting to buy the clocks in the window, or asking us to change their watch battery. We had one customer who was absolutely insistent we sell him a clock in the window, and could not understand why we would have items that were not for sale.”

They have seen a huge increase in customer traffic since the show began, with clients also making unusual requests for items seen in the show like chipped teacups.

Sara Cocker reveals, “Our favourite is when we have been travelling outside of Canada, and explaining to someone where we are from. There have been several occasions when we make the connection of Once Upon a Time being filmed in Steveston, and then great excitement ensues with many questions asked of us.”

Vince Morlet, owner of Tapenade Bistro and vice president of the Steveston Merchants Association says, “I have spoken to a number of cast members who are very complementary of Steveston, and remark on how welcoming the village has been to them.”

He recalls his favourite filming story from season four when a scene was filmed inside his restaurant. No alterations were made to Tapenade’s interior other than changing the tablecloths.

Once_Upon_A_Time_Steveston_Storybrooke 5“After the program aired, we had all kinds of buzz on social media, particularly from the United States. I had many telephone calls asking about us, and in turn many fans coming and dining, taking pictures showing that we were not a film set, but the actual restaurant they saw in the show … minus the name Tony’s Diner. It makes me laugh, some have asked if we would consider changing our name.”

Tourism Richmond has operated the Visitor Centre out of the Steveston Museum and post office building for the last three years. During filming it becomes the Storybrooke Post Office.

Visitor Services Manager Lori Gelz says, “In that time we have witnessed the tourism related to Once Upon a Time increase substantially from small groups in the first season to now hundreds of people who not only come for filming days but plan their entire vacation around visiting “Storybrooke” and Steveston.”

“Because they love the quaint charm of the village, the easy public transit and beautiful scenery, we are now seeing visitors returning for a second or third time in the hopes to see filming and spotting the actors.” Lori Gelz

Early in 2015 Once Upon a Time broadcast a special pre-show segment entitled “Secrets of Storybrooke.” Steveston was in the spotlight as the writers discussed why they chose this location for Storybrooke.

She says, “Within days of this airing, we had people showing up in Steveston who had driven from Oregon when they learned how close we were to them.”

In 2014 just over 20 percent of the groups that came into the Visitor Centre stated Once Upon a Time was the main reason for their visit to the village. In 2015, specifically this past summer, the percentage skyrocketed to just over 50 percent.

Visitors from Washington State and California make up a large portion of Steveston’s American visitors, however, there has been a big increase in people from all of the eastern and southern United States including Alabama, Arkansas, North and South Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Texas and Tennessee.

“Once Upon a Time is hugely popular in Australia, Brazil, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (to name a few) and is finding a new audience all the time as more people discover the show and start watching it on Netflix.” Lori Gelz

Like other neighbouring businesses, the Visitor Centre staff hears many good stories. A mother and daughter stayed at the Steveston Hotel for more than a week, tried different restaurants in the village each night, shopped in the stores, so much so the merchants got to know them by name. The mother even got a Once Upon a Time themed tattoo.

Gelz is optimistic that Once Upon a Time will leave a bright and long term legacy.

“I see large groups of fans meeting in Steveston, spending many days in the area, and spending their money throughout the village and also planning future trips. Who doesn’t want more customers and more business? This show and the long-term tourism will carry on long after the show ends. We still see fans who are huge movie and TV buffs who have gone to Hope to see where Rambo First Blood was filmed and that was 30 years ago!”

Steveston Winemakers

August 11th, 2015

web_Steveston_Winemakers_glass_Palla_Media_StevestonThere’s a Whole Lot of Winemaking Going On

Steveston Winemakers recently made a short move from Moncton Street to First Avenue. The new location opened in early June and owner Sandi Wosk couldn’t be happier.

She feels the First Avenue storefront is well suited to the neighbouring businesses and she is enthusiastic about a change for Steveston Winemakers after 15 years. Wosk says, “We have a very loyal clientele.” When she was faced with closing, moving out of Steveston or searching for a new space she discovered there really was no option. Her customers made it clear that Steveston Winemakers is an integral part of the community and they wanted to see the shop around for many more years.

“We are in love with the village and the people who make up this wonderful community,” she says. She takes pleasure in the relaxed atmosphere where people have the time to stop and chat.

web_Steveston_Winemakers_Sandi_Wosk_Palla_Media_StevestonShe indicates some Steveston Winemakers customers have been with them since the business opened in 2000. Customers are provided with the ingredients, equipment and advice they need to make their own wine on-site.

The prospect of making your own wine appeals to clients for a number of reasons. There is certainly a cost savings when a bottle of wine can be made for as little as $3.33 to $8.00. There is also the satisfaction of having crafted it yourself and raising a glass at the dinner table to toast your success.

web_Steveston_Winemakers_pour_Palla_Media_StevestonA batch consists of 30 bottles, which clients have a hand in starting and finishing. By law, customers must start fermentation by sprinkling the package of yeast into a large plastic bucket called the primary fermenter. From there the staff take over and do the processing.

Fermentation usually takes 11 to 12 days, and then the wine is racked. This is the stage when liquid is siphoned from the primary fermenter into clear glass containers called carboys. The client receives a call when it is time to come in and bottle, cork, shrink-wrap and label their batch. Then the bottles are ready to take home to be cellared in a cool, dark environment.

Pre-assembled winemaking kits from some of the world’s top commercial wine producers allow customers to create wines using varietal grapes from America, Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain.

web_Steveston_Winemakers_guys_Palla_Media_StevestonIf you are a novice, where do you begin? The Steveston Winemakers friendly team will help hone in on your preferences. The B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch does not permit U-Vins to offer samples other than a 3 millilitre taste when bottling; therefore the decision depends on a number of questions and advice from the staff who, over the years, have sampled many of the wines.

Wosk acknowledges with a laugh, “Research and development is part of the job.”

Questions may include, what kind of wine do you drink currently? Do you prefer red or white wine? Does your palate lean towards aromatic, dry or fruity flavours? When do you want to consume it (some reds for the holiday season are already on the shelf). Do you have a special family occasion coming up? The descriptive promotional brochures also help narrow down the choice, and get the taste buds dancing.

Through the magic of customizing wines Steveston Winemakers can help alter the batch to your taste. If your wine of choice is Shiraz web_Steveston_Winemakers_interior_Palla_Media_Stevestonbut you prefer it a little more peppery the staff can make adjustments during fermentation. If you are not a fan of oaked wine they can leave it out, or bump it up if you adore it. Some customers have even added jalapeno peppers to their batch of Gewurztraminer.

August is never too early to start thinking about the holiday season ahead. Wosk says, “There is still time to make wine, but at the same time not a whole lot of time to waste!”

As we head into the crisp autumn months Wosk suggests trying your hand at fermenting fortified wines. Sherry, port and dessert wines are all perfect for stocking the cellar, holiday entertaining and gift giving.

The thought of capping off a hearty autumn meal with a glass of orange chocolate or caramel specialty port in hand makes kissing summer goodbye sound downright tempting.

Throughout the year Steveston Winemakers offers new customer promotions and sales on certain products. From coasters to napkins, aerators, corkscrews and wineglasses, gifts for wine lovers can be found in the retail section of the store.

web_Steveston_Winemakers_exterior_Palla_Media_StevestonWosk assures those who have never ventured into the realm of winemaking that the quality of the grapes and vinting has come a long way since the day of granddad’s homemade wine. She points out, “We have access to the world of wine and quality” with some major wine producers, including Peller Estates and Constellation Brands, behind the kits. Comfortably at home in the new location, Wosk is honoured to be a part of Steveston’s business community.

She concludes, “Steveston merchants are truly a special group. We are all working together for the betterment of the village, and everyone delivers the best that they can. People are very proud of their businesses.”

Steveston Winemakers
12115 First Avenue
Richmond BC V7E
604-275-9463
www.stevestonwinemakers.com