Celebrate Steveston’s waterfront heritage with great food, music, artists, storytellers, and meet all manner of unexpected characters. Don’t miss the 11th annual Richmond Maritime Festival, August 8 to 10, 2014, at the spectacular Britannia Shipyards, National Historic Site. But whatever you do, don’t forget to visit the bounty of beautiful boats and ships moored at the 190-metre (600-ft) dock. Free and fun for all ages …
On Friday, August 8, they are hosting an outdoor evening concert featuring the roots blues, zydeco, swamp pop and folk sounds of The Swamp Dogs performing from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTION
A bounty of beautiful boats! Walk the 190-metre (600-foot) dock and view and board historic boats and ships of all kinds. Please note that for safety reasons, wheelchairs, strollers, dogs and large backpacks are not permitted on the steep ramps or floating docks. Stroller parking area is provided near dock entrance.
HANDS-ON CREATIVE FUN
From puppets to jigsaw puzzles to knitting! Work directly with local artists and artisans and create a special memento of your Maritime Festival experience. ALL AGES WELCOME!
Sock Puppets Bring your sad and lonely ‘lost sock’ and transform it into a beautiful sock puppet. Then you and your new “friend” can visit the boats or play with other socks puppets around the site.
• Driftwood Mandala Participate in a community mandala made over the weekend. Watch the beautiful collective ephemeral artwork evolve and add your ‘water wishes’.
• Giant Jigsaw Puzzles Enjoy heritage labels from Steveston area canneries, reproduced as giant jigsaws.
• Stick Yer Head Throughs Photo ops for the whole family: become Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum one of the characters from the Owl and the Pussycat poem beautifully painted by a local artist.
• Mural Box Come and add your mark. All materials supplied.
• Recycled/Upcycled Art Join local artists in a 3-day interactive soundscape and high seas play area made of reclaimed materials … learn knots and shanties and create together.
• Knit–in Back by popular demand, come join and help knit an underwater scene with a local artist– beginners and pros all welcome!
• Carving Demonstration Enjoy displays and demonstrations of this traditional art form by local artists.
• Plein Air painting Spy local landscape painters throughout the site and watch them paint.
The entire Britannia Shipyards site is festooned with sails, flags, hand painted windsocks, giant fish, giant origami cranes, a red fish labyrinth and many more colourful handmade elements. Some of them are interactive; all of them are unforgettable and make great photo ops!
Don’t miss these permanent exhibits at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site:
The Chinese Bunkhouse depicts the incredible stories of Chinese cannery workers. Be inspired by their remarkable courage in the face of hardship and discrimination. Interactive displays, rare photographs and short films bring the exhibit to life and provide visitors with a new perspective on life in Steveston in the early 20th century.
How We Lived explores the stories of work and play at Britannia between 1910 and 1930, in five buildings situated over the Fraser River: the Murchisons’ Visitors Centre, the Manager’s House, the Men’s Bunkhouse, the Point House and the Chinese Bunkhouse. Situated in a unique waterfront setting, this exhibit reveals the captivating stories and cultural diversity of the Britannia Shipyard, National Historic Site. Explore society and community, ethnicity and cultural diversity, and the all-round bustling interconnectedness of the local cannery and boatbuilding industries.
Industry on the Waterfront examines the workings of the Britannia Heritage Shipyard and its role in British Columbia’s industrial heritage. The exhibit showcases the historical uses of the shipyard, carpentry shop, engine shop and machine shop that once served the fishing fleet of the Anglo British Columbia Packing Company. Each shop houses authentic machinery, tools, interpretive text and interactive demonstrations, which help recreate the different work areas and activities that took place. Stop to take a look at the partially restored M.V. Fleetwood, built in 1930, specifically as a “rum runner.” With an ability to reach speeds in excess of 40 nautical miles per hour, no one could catch her!
VOICES OF BRITANNIA: THE PEOPLE, THE STORIES AND THE FUTURE
You are invited to take part in an exciting community engagement project at the Britannia Shipyards! Stop by the newly restored Seine Net Loft building to experience a large interactive art installation, and for an opportunity to share your stories, thoughts and visions for Britannia’s future. Staff and volunteers will be collecting information and encouraging visitors to paint a community lifeboat cover with colourful images reflecting the Britannia Shipyards site.
Your stories and thoughts about Britannia’s future are important to us! The information gathered through this project will be used in future planning for programs and exhibits. Join us and share your voice!
The Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site is an authentic representation of a once thriving community of canneries, boat yards, residences and stores.
City of Richmond staff and dedicated volunteers work together to preserve and restore the shipyard and surrounding buildings as an active wooden boat centre and waterfront park. Tour the oldest shipyard buildings in British Columbia, and observe ongoing boat restoration projects as you experience a bygone time when fishing and boatbuilding were flourishing industries on the Fraser River.
Many of the buildings date back to 1885 and tell the stories of multi-ethnic residents and workers at the Britannia Cannery and Britannia Shipyards: Chinese, European, First Nations and Japanese. This collection of buildings has national value and was designated a National Historic Site in 1992 by the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board.
Self-guiding tours, brochures, interpretive signage and seasonal exhibits always available. The park is wheelchair accessible.
Normal Hours of Operation for Britannia Shipyards
• Summer (May 1 – Sept. 30): Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm (Monday closed)
• Winter (Oct.1 – April 30): Saturday 10am – 4pm, Sunday 12pm – 4pm
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