Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market: Helping to Build a Community

Salmonopolisused to be another name for the Steveston area because it was once home to the largest salmon cannery in North America. Today, the cannery is a historical site, no longer a thriving business, but local food production is still an important part of the Steveston community.

Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market is operated by the Richmond Agricultural & Industrial Society,” says Executive Director, Janice Froese. “The RAIS also puts on the Steveston Salmon Festival. Both events pay homage to our local heritage of living off the land instead of grocery stores.”

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The Salmon Festival and the Farmers & Artisans Market are both non-profit organizations, so any profit is donated back to the Steveston Community Society. The SCS, in partnership with The City of Richmond, uses those funds to create community initiatives like the Educational Garden and to build community projects like the water park.

Future projects include renovating the playground.

“Last year, I was watering the educational garden and I looked up to see a woman sitting on a bench in the middle of the garden, reading a book,” says Janice. “Then a family pulled into the parking lot, brought out a blanket and a pizza, and had a picnic on the lawn. That’s what initiatives like the garden are all about: community gathering places that bring us together.”

The Steveston Martial Arts Centre is a world-renowned Kendo dojo, located beside the outdoor pool. Classes are held both within the dojo and at the community centre. With the parking lot hosting the Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market two Sundays a month between May and October, the area is bustling.

“Healthy communities foster a healthier lifestyle,” says Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market Committee Chair, Johanna Stewart. “The new location of the market is perfect because both the vendors and the community centre, with the outdoor pool and the dojo, all promote healthy living. Of course, none of it would be possible without The City of Richmond and the RAIS.”

With produce, meats, cheeses, delicious baked goods, adult beverages, and a variety of household wares made by local farmers and craftsmen, the Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market brings Richmond and surrounding communities back to the simplicity of community togetherness. And that’s the best kind of local heritage there is.

The Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market is located in the parking lot of the Steveston Community Centre biweekly between the months of May and October, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can also connect with the market through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or Pinterest. Connect by email or phone at 604-729-7326. For more information about markets dates, volunteering, or vendor applications, visit www.sfam.ca

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