Society News

Fisherman’s Park Mural Completed

Artist Victoria Oginski discusses the Fisherman's Park Mural

A mural celebrating Steveston’s connection to the fishing industry was unveiled at the launch of provincial Heritage Week this Sunday. Twelve panels on the building in Fisherman’s Park speak to Steveston’s fishing present as well as its rich fishing past.

This year’s Heritage Week theme is ‘My Canada! My BC!’ an apt opportunity to highlight the uniqueness of the industry that has shaped Steveston.

Following their successful collaboration in 2015 to produce the panels representing modern day fishing on the south wall of the building, the Steveston Historical Society, Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society and the Steveston Harbour Authority have been working together to produce the remaining pieces. Their goal was to install a significant piece of public art that would not only beautify the west end of the village, but also inform passers-by.

Dave Semple, Chair of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society commented, “It has been great to work with other Steveston organizations to make possible a beautiful piece of art for the village. It is a bright reminder of our fishing history which will be enjoyed by many visitors and residents to Steveston in the coming years.”

The Richmond Arts Coalition contributed invaluable advice on installation methods and was instrumental in selecting our artist, Victoria Oginski.

Victoria was able to work and draw inspiration from historical photographs – beautifully capturing the essence of fish harvesting.

Linda Barnes, Chair of the Steveston Historical Society says, “The Society is proud to play its part in sharing Steveston’s rich heritage in such a visual way – Victoria Oginski’s creations celebrate the fishing industry and those who depend on it, not only in the past but for a strong vibrant future.”

Project Sponsors:

Richmond Community Foundation Endowment Fund & the Richmond Community Foundation Milan and Maureen Ilich Family Endowment Fund

Steveston Town Square Park Opens

City officials cut the origami ribbon

It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Steveston for the City of Richmond to open the Steveston Town Square Park.

We were honoured to have the Mayor and other delegates from sister city Wakayama, Japan attend the morning’s celebrations.

An origami ribbon was cut to commemorate the opening and a new cherry blossom tree (special to Wakayama) was planted and dedicated.

Everyone enjoyed a special cake by Steveston Bakery, created specially for the occasion.

Photo credit: Photography by Renee

40th Anniversary GALA NIGHT a night to remember!

Heritage Recognition Award Recipients

Thank you to all who joined the Steveston Historical Society as we celebrated our 40th Anniversary at our Fundraising Gala Night on 24 September, 2016. Over 160 friends and supporters came to hear our plans to preserve and promote the history of Steveston in 2017 and beyond.

A food social and ceremonial, guests enjoyed a 3-course Coast Salish feast featuring storytelling from Elder Henry Charles, a silent auction, and a cultural performance from Coastal Wolfpack at the Seine Net Loft, Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site.

The evening was also an opportunity for the Steveston Historical Society to acknowledge the contributions of many individuals, businesses and organizations that have contributed to preserving our historic village.

Heritage Recognition Award Recipients: Robbie Johnson, London Heritage Farm Society, Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society, Britannia Heritage Shipyards Society, Steveston Community Society, Richmond Museum Society, Steveston Harbour Authority, Tourism Richmond, Richmond Heritage Commission, Steveston 20/20 Group, G&F Financial Foundation, Richmond Community Foundation, Interface Architecture, ZGF Cotter Architecture, Steveston Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Advisory Committee, Nikkei Stories Project Team.

Thank you to our event sponsors:

Diamond: ONNI Group

Gold: Port of Vancouver, Asia Pacific Yacht Centre Corporation

Silver: Plat:form Properties, Tien Sher Homes

Media Sponsor: Richmond News
Centre Piece Sponsor: Dragon Boat BC

Steveston Town Square Park Re-Development

The re-development of the Steveston Town Square Park was initiated by the Steveston Historical Society and planned and funded by the City of Richmond. Construction began in mid-2015 and was completed in spring of 2016.

The finished concept respects both design and programming consultations held with the Steveston Historical Society Building Committee.

Guiding ideas for the Steveston Town Square Park:

  • Create a park area that is adaptable for a variety of year-round activities;
  • Create spaces that allow for accessible, casual public use as well as adapt to activities organized by the Steveston Historical Society and by staff at the Steveston Museum and Visitor Centre;
  • Accommodate sitting and display areas near Moncton Street for year-round use as well as during festivals;
  • With the relocated Japanese Fishermen’s Benevolent Society (JFBS) building present, honour the Japanese heritage of Steveston by adapting a Japanese garden approach to materials.

The Steveston Historical Society and the Steveston Museum and Visitor Centre look forward to sharing the Steveston Town Square Park with the Steveston community during our events.

Concerns about tree removal in the Steveston Town Square Park

In response to concerns expressed regarding the construction of the garden by the Steveston Museum and Visitor Centre, the Steveston Historical Society offers these comments.

  1. Six out of seven trees in the front, main park remain – the large one removed was due to its poor condition and proximity to the building. A pair of apple trees and a cherry tree by the back fence were deemed to be in poor condition due to suppressed growth, the cherry tree also had very thin canopy foliage and was susceptible to cherry bark tortrix beetle. One maple tree located in the northwest corner of the park was observed to be in fair condition, but would be affected by proposed grade changes.
  2. The rebuilding of the garden has been done in conjunction with the Steveston Historical Society Building Committee, City Staff and Japanese Master Gardeners. The Wakayama Kenjin Kai donated a spectacular black pine for the gardens.
  3. The English rose garden at the picket fence remains.
  4. The remaining garden contains a Suikinkutsu feature – one of only a few outside of Japan, with a stone brought directly from Wakayama (Richmond’s sister-city) sourced out by Councillor Bill McNulty when he was in Japan.
  5. As the park contains two historic buildings – one being the JFBS, which is significant to the Japanese community – it was considered appropriate to maintain the English rose garden and add in the Japanese influenced garden.

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