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.
Life 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.”
The 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.
Tours 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.