Richmond cherishes the old, welcomes the new

City laying on special luncheon for long-time residents, while non-profit opens it arms with job fair for new immigrants

If you’ve been a Richmondite for at least 50 years, the City of Richmond has a very special invitation waiting just for you.

Long-time residents are being invited by the city to register for the “Pioneer Luncheon,” one of the signature events being held as part of Richmond’s Canada 150th birthday celebrations this year.

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The free luncheon will be held on Saturday, May 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the north plaza at Richmond City Hall and will include a catered lunch and live entertainment, featuring a combination of programmed stage performances, roving entertainment and interactive displays and activities.

“The Richmond Canada 150 program will leave lasting legacies that foster both national and civic pride about our past, present and future,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie.

“While we are home to some of the country’s newest citizens, our community also includes long-time pioneers, some of whom who trace their family roots in Richmond to the late 19th century.

There will be a maximum capacity for the event; therefore pre-registration is required. Individuals who have lived in Richmond for 50 years or more are asked to submit a registration application.

Register online at RichmondCanada150.com/communityevent/pioneer-luncheon. Or, complete a paper registration form, available at Richmond City Hall, Minoru Place Activity Centre, Richmond’s eight community centres and the Cultural Centre. The deadline to register is Friday, March 31. For more information call 604-204-8600.

Meanwhile, as the city prepares to celebrate its established residents, a “Newcomer Welcome Party” and associated job fair for new immigrants is ready to roll this Saturday, Feb. 25 at Lansdowne Centre from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thanks to the work of a small group of community members at the Richmond Multicultural Community Services (RMCS), the inaugural newcomer employment fair and welcome event will feature employers and member organizations from the Community Collaboration Table (CCT) ­— a nationwide labour market partnership initiative.

The fair will also showcase multicultural performances by members of the Richmond performance arts community.

In 2014, RMCS and the CCT developed a five-year “Richmond Immigrant Settlement Strategy” and implementation plan.

The strategy and implementation plan for 2016-2019 sets out a comprehensive framework in which diversity in Richmond is “not merely tolerated but unabashedly celebrated.”

CCT co-chair Corry Anderson-Fennell notes that Richmond has so much to offer.

“But we are not so naïve as to believe barriers to inclusion do not exist,” said Anderson-Fennell.

 “And this strategy, we believe, will protect and build upon the positive experience of living here,” she added.

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