“I still felt like it was a dream.”
Raymond Cheung was in a bit of happy daze Friday morning, following the B.C. government’s announcement on the grounds of Cheung’s Richmond Night Market that his business would be one of 83 sharing $36.5 million in pandemic grant aid.
Cheung said the night market is going to receive grants of up to a million dollars.
His market is one of many major “anchor” tourist attractions to receive the grant, which was first revealed in May.
One of North America’s largest outdoor markets, the event near the River Rock Casino was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.
But as B.C.’s Tourism Minister, Melanie Mark, spoke at the podium on the market grounds on Friday, dozens of vendors were preparing their stalls for the big re-opening later this evening.
Cheung told the Richmond News that he still couldn’t believe the whole thing could come together after seeing the land sitting empty for 17 months.
During that time, he regularly rode his bike from Richmond to North Vancouver and repeatedly told himself not to give up.
Two of Richmond’s MLAs, Aman Singh and Henry Yao, were also at the market Friday morning to lend their support.
Hong Kong-born Singh said visiting night markets in his native land used to be one of his family’s favourite activities and the Richmond version brings back all his childhood memories.
He said he plans to bring his family members, including his 20 month-old baby, to visit the market tomorrow.
And according to Yao, picking a favourite food from the night market is one of the hardest choices he will make this week.
“There is so much good yummy food here. I remembered one time I ran out of cash and had to leave,” said Yao.
Yao encourages Richmondites to come out to support local businesses while having fun.