Open the doors to Steveston’s heritage and culture on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2, 2019 with the 12th annual Doors Open Richmond.
During the city-wide event, explore the walkable hub of fascinating sites clustered around Steveston’s beautiful waterfront village. Making its debut over the Doors Open weekend is a brand new way to experience Steveston’s historical sites. The Living History program invites visitors to step into the past with historical demonstrations led by heritage interpreters dressed in period costume at London Heritage Farm, Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, Steveston Interurban Tram and Steveston Museum. Sure to be a highlight of this year’s event, this program joins new and returning favourites to provide a sampling of some of the sites that make Steveston special.
Starting at the west end of the village is the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site (12138 Fourth Avenue). Built in 1894, this was once the largest cannery in the area. This year the Cannery is offering free 60-minute tours of their new exhibit, “The Cannery Cat.” This unique guided tour will trace the Cannery Cat’s footsteps behind the scenes of this historic salmon cannery. Pre-registration is required by calling 604-664-9009 after May 1. Four tours will be offered over the weekend: Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm. Outside of these tours, normal admission prices apply to visit the Cannery building.
Continue down Moncton Street to the Steveston Museum and Visitor Centre (3811 Moncton Street) Enjoy live music and join local artists as they create and display paintings, drawings and photography in the museum’s Town Square Park with Steveston’s Lighthouse Collective. Inside the museum, sit in the bank manager’s office and try your hand at writing out a bank deposit slip, then hear the stories about the Japanese hospital and school while exploring the exhibits. These activities take place throughout the weekend from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Head a block east to the red and black building housing the Steveston Interurban Tram (4011 Moncton Street). Hop aboard the newly restored Tram Car 1220 and take a step back in time as costumed interpreters bring the Steveston Tram’s history to life. Hear stories of the daily passengers and discover where they were going and what personal items they may have carried with them on their trip.
Tucked behind the Steveston Community Centre is the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (4255 Moncton Street). For over 25 years, the centre has been dedicated to the Japanese Canadian community who endured injustice during and after World War Two. Throughout the weekend from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, enjoy displays, demonstrations, presentations and hands-on activities about the history, culture and traditions of Steveston’s Japanese Canadian community.
Jump in your car or on a bicycle and get creative while touring Branscombe House (4900 Steveston Highway) and discover what this year’s artist in residence, Paige Gratland, has been creating with the community.
History meets the waterfront at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site. Experience history come alive and discover a wealth of activities that help tell the story of the people who lived and worked there. Learn about woodworking and sewing, play a game of majong or run down the boardwalk with a hoop and stick like children did 100 years ago.
A 5-minute car ride away is London Heritage Farm (6511 Dyke Road). Tour the exquisitely furnished rooms of the London Family’s 1890s farmhouse and stroll through the park to enjoy the heritage herb and perennial gardens.
Try your hand at washing clothes with a wringer and scrub board or sort seeds as Mr. London would have done when planning what fruit trees and vegetables to plant. Don’t forget to reserve your place for tea in the Victorian-style Tea Room for delicious scones, cookies and the locally famous London Lady Tea by calling 604-271-5220. The Tea Room is open noon to 5 p.m.
Whether you are rediscovering a beloved Steveston site or finding a new favourite, Doors Open Richmond 2019 provides the chance for visitors and Richmond residents alike to participate in unique behind-the-scenes opportunities and to discover hidden gems in the community. Put aside a few hours on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2 to sightsee around our fabulous village.
For more information, pick up a Doors Open Richmond 2019 map brochure from City facilities starting early May or visit the website at www.richmondmuseum.ca/events/doors-open-richmond.