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Steveston festival highlights long fishing, seafaring history

The annual Richmond Maritime Festival centres around Britannia Shipyards on Aug. 20 and 21.
Richmond Maritime Festival
The annual Maritime Festival will run on Aug. 20 and 21.

The City of Richmond will once again highlight its fishing and seafaring history at the 19th annual Maritime Festival in late August in the vicinity of the Britannia Shipyards.

New to the festival this year, which runs on Aug. 20 and 21, are a series of themed areas, where attendees can learn about different aspects of seafaring culture.

A community stage at the festival will have performances that highlight various groups who historically fished in Steveston, including an Indigenous group, Tsatsu Stalqayu (Coastal Wolf Pack), a Japanese group, Go Taiko, and the Irish Wakers.

There will also be pop-up musical and storytelling performances throughout the site by The Seabillys and the Cannery Mermaids.

Other activities include Rikki the Rat and his crew, hands-on workshops, heritage games and a family portrait sketch artist.

Down on the docks, visitors can see restored heritage vessels including the 1903 Providence sailing ship and 100-year-old SS Master tug boat.

The city is promising “surprises around every corner” including artisans and immersive art installations located throughout the shipyards.

Britannia Shipyards' many historic buildings will be open to public and will feature costumed interpreters and local vendors will be selling food.

The Richmond Maritime Festival is put on by the City of Richmond, the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site Society, Richmond Arts Coalition and Anigraph Productions with funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site is an authentic representation of a once-thriving community of canneries, boatyards and residences.

Many of the heritage buildings date back to the 1880s and tell the stories of a diverse community of workers through recreations of living and workspaces.

The site is located at 5180 Westwater Dr. and is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

For more information about the Richmond Maritime Festival, go to