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River dredged for tall ships

As dredging of the south arm of the Fraser River continued this week City of Richmond staff presented their report to a parks and recreation committee meeting Tuesday for the proposed 2014 Ships to Shore Steveston and Richmond Maritime Festival event
dredging
Delta-Richmond East MP Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay and Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie were on hand Monday to witness the beginning of dredging operations in Cannery Channel. The side-channel dredging in Steveston and Ladner is the result of a $10-million partnership between the federal and provincial governments, Port Metro Vancouver, and the municipalities of Richmond and Delta.

As dredging of the south arm of the Fraser River continued this week City of Richmond staff presented their report to a parks and recreation committee meeting Tuesday for the proposed 2014 Ships to Shore Steveston and Richmond Maritime Festival events.

The 11th annual Maritime Festival at Britannia Heritage Shipyard is slated to be held Aug.8-10. The event will cost $345,000 and is subject to council approval in two weeks time. Close to one third of the revenues comes from sponsorship and the city is still trying to procure federal grant money to the tune of $90,000 from the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Last year over 40,000 people attended the festival that hosts art and cultural exhibits and seaside activities. A total of 188 volunteers made the event possible.

Meanwhile, this year will

be the fourth annual Ships to Shore and if staff recommendations are approved by city council the three day maritime affair will once again take place during the Canada Day long weekend (June 29 to July 1) to overlap with the Steveston Salmon Festival.

Last year 12 ships attended the event in Steveston Harbour at Imperial Landing, which was a success partly in thanks to over 100 volunteers.

Ships to Shore is expected to cost up to $180,000, according to staff. The city will seek sponsorship for the event and excess funds will go back into a slush fund for future events.

On Monday Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie reported that in cooperation with Delta, Port Metro Vancouver and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans a $10 million dredging project, which includes Steveston Harbour, had comenced.

"I'm happy to see this happen. It opens up the river to bigger boats like the tall

ships," said Brodie.

Over 1,200 vessels use the harbour annually, according to the city.

Ships to Shore and the Maritime Festival are said to accomplish city goals such as building the waterfront as a destination for events and increasing awareness and program opportunities at Britannia Heritage Shipyard.




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