Surrounded by the North & South arms of the Fraser river, with the Salish Sea to the West, the city of Richmond is aptly named "Child of the Fraser" on it's municipal crest. The river is of crucial importance to the City, playing a significant role in its heritage and industries, as well as the fertile soil of its agricultural land reserves.
Built on this historical and geographic context, Richmond is well placed to celebrate its cultural vibrance and diversity, blooming into a mecca for contemporary arts. From their annual Doors Open Richmond festival to their broad participation in BC Culture Days, artistic celebrations are part of their social fabric. With events and sites open year round, there is always something wonderful to discover in Richmond.
The City of Richmond works with local community and cultural organizations, artists and local residents to help sustain and develop cultural heritage and individual expression as well as provide a wide range of cultural experiences and opportunities to residents and visitors.
Through a growing inventory of public art installations and roster of annual special cultural events, festivals and programs, the City strives to energize public spaces and encourages citizens and visitors alike to discover the arts.
Branscombe House is one of the earliest homes built in the area. Its enduring presence is significant for the City, given the home's historical association to Steveston. Branscombe House also reflects the pattern of commercial and related residential development from Steveston’s early history, with the Branscombe family also owning a general store in the village. Recently restored, the site is home to the annual Branscombe House Artist-in-Residence program, with an 11-month live-in residency to begin in January 2021 and run until mid-December 2021.
An authentic representation of a once thriving community of canneries, boat yards, residences, the site tells the stories of multi-ethnic residents and workers at the Britannia Cannery and Britannia Shipyards.
Dating back to 1885, the site was home to many Chinese, European, First Nations and Japanese families. This collection of buildings has national value and was designated a National Historic Site in 1992 by the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board.
Gateway Theatre serves as a dynamic hub for the performing arts in Richmond. Incorporated in 1982, the theatre provides live performances, high-quality performing arts classes accessible to youth ages 6-18 via the Gateway Academy, and venue space for professional and community producers. Gateway Theatre has been adopting a radical new vision in its programming and initiatives, challenging long-held assumptions about theatre and who it serves by cultivating a variety of free, community-driven initiatives in addition to its traditional performances.
Built in 1894 as a salmon cannery in the fishing village of Steveston, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery was once the largest of its kind, earning it the nickname “The Monster Cannery”. Today, interactive displays and exhibits present the history of Canada’s west coast fishing industry, where visitors of all ages will enjoy exploring a restored salmon canning line from the early to mid-1900’s, and a herring reduction plant which was in operation at the site from 1940 to 1979.
London Heritage Farm is a four acre heritage site that overlooks the south arm of the Fraser River. The site offers a fully restored 1880s farmhouse, heritage and herb gardens, the restored Spragg family barn, vintage farm equipment and extensive lawns.
One of the earliest farm sites in Richmond, the farm is home to numerous annual events and activities, including the community garden annual plant sale in the Spring. Currently, the farm house is closed. The gardens remain open-Monday to Sunday, dawn to dusk.
The Richmond Art Gallery plays a dynamic role in the growth of visual art in Richmond, and is a vital part of the contemporary art network in British Columbia and Canada. The gallery features exhibitions of regional, national and international contemporary works of art. By promoting dialogue around contemporary art, the Richmond Art Gallery offers visitors the opportunity to connect to art, their community and themselves by providing a place to look, think, create and communicate. Visits include artist talks, topic forums, films, workshops, hands-on art activities, artist video interviews, curator tours and more. Admission is free.
From First Nations baskets to bog horseshoes and Chinese opera costumes, the City of Richmond’s 20,000+ artefact collection tells the many stories of Richmond.
While the Museum is known for contemporary collecting, objects in the collection range from a First Nations cedar-bark shield to cranberry scoops, an interurban tram, horsehair couches, Hong Wo signs, suribachi grinding bowls, false teeth, typewriters and wedding dresses. Fuel your curiosity. The Museum's collectors and their cow have stories to tell.
Richmond holds a wide range of public art pieces across the City. There are a variety of ways to learn about and explore Richmond’s public art: discover them online on the City's Public Art Registry page, or take a look at their public art brochures.
The City of Richmond is proud to be home to a wealth of signature public artworks and is dedicated to creating a vibrant city in which to live and visit. You will discover public art integrated into parks, architectural facades, on the grounds of civic buildings and along the Canada Line skytrain stations.
Both the Steveston Museum and Steveston Interurban Tram site are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Extensive details about the interurban tram line and car restoration are available on the City of Richmond website.