Culture Days, a popular Canada-wide initiative, returns on September 24, 2021 for an entire month! Join in on the celebration of culture and arts featuring Richmond-based artists, groups, and organizations. We’ve rounded up the details on some of Richmond’s can’t-miss Culture Days events—read on for details.

A group of three diverse people with headphones and recording equipment, each person is wearing a t-shirt that reads "Culture Days"
Culture Days will run for a month-long format for 2021. | Photo: ​City of Richmond

When Is It?

This year, Culture Days runs from Friday, September 24 to Sunday, October 24, and activities are happening indoors, outdoors, and online. Many of the events are free, or “pay what you may” to help support the artists and groups participating in Culture Days. All the activities, locations, and scheduled times for Richmond-specific events are listed here, or you can visit culturedays.ca for a full list of the events happening across Canada.

What are some of the highlights of this year’s culture days?

It totally depends on what you’re interested in! Since some of the events take place online this year, and the event is taking place over the course of a month, you can take part in something new every day. There are artist demonstrations, live and pre-recorded workshops, self-guided art tours, panel discussions, live-streamed musical performances, and more to participate in.

I’m a history buff: What should I check out?

There’s a mix of in-person and digital events at Richmond’s historic sites. The Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society has partnered with local fisherman and fisher poet Wilfred Wilson to present the annual River's End Fisher Poets event on October 2nd. This event will celebrate and share the stories of the West Coast fishing industry through poetry, prose, and song.

You can also check out the Heritage Highlights Tour at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, this 30-minute outdoor tour will give you an overview of the main buildings that make up Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site. Discover the individuals and cultural groups who once lived and worked at Britannia Shipyards.

Looking for something self-guided? Check out The Richmond Museum's self guided historic tours, which will take you back in time to meet early farmers and artists, feel the pulse of roaring crowds at the horse racetrack and much more.

A family of four looks at a sign outside the Britannia Shipyards in Richmond, British Columbia
Don't miss the Heritage Highlights Tour. | Photo: ​Gulf of Georgia Cannery

What about live music? Will there be any performances?

There are several performances scheduled throughout the month, with some artists offering pre-recorded sessions so you can even catch a repeat performance, if you’d like! The Isolation Sessions is an ongoing music project spearheaded by local artist Jill Raymond to bring together musicians digitally to perform. The project was started in 2020 as a way to create music and art together during quarantine and is ongoing.

And be sure to check out in-person musical acts such as The Richmond Youth Honour Choir on September 26, and the livestreamed Cultural Stories and Songs, presented by the Richmond Arts Coalition on September 25.

Are there any interactive activities?

There are a few interactive sessions and activities you can take part in. Check out the Uzume Taiko Interactive Virtual Taiko Drum Workshop, where participants can participate in a live Zoom Taiko basic drills drum lesson using a DIY drum and drumsticks. Or, you can take the kids to Richmond Library and Cultural Centre where they can take part in an interactive display of stop-motion filmmaking for Community Building Stop-Motion Fun.

What about ART?

We’re glad you asked! You have the chance to come draw or paint in a free self-directed session with a live costumed model in the Plaza of the Richmond Cultural Centre. Bring the drawing or painting materials of your choice and set up where you like, respecting the comfort of other participants.

You can also check out the Richmond Potters' Club as they 'Share Their Love of Clay' Watch demonstrations on the potters' wheel. See the process of hand building and view some of their favourite finished pottery creations. And on September 25, October 2 & 9, graphic novel author Laura Rivera will do live demonstrations online about the process of Creating Comic Books.

This is also an opportune time to check out the latest exhibition, "A Practice in Gestures" at the Richmond Art Gallery (note that you must pre-book your visit). Ordinary gestures underpin and give shape to the rituals that rise from the embroidery, beading, ceramic and video works comprising A Practice in Gestures. While such activities such as stitching, washing, and serving are rooted in seemingly benign domestic familiarity, they foreground colonial and patriarchal narratives as well as critical environmental imperatives.

A woman smiles as she paints a picture of a pink flower at an art studio in Richmond, British Columbia
​Art is showcased in a variety of ways throughout Culture Days. | Photo: ​City of Richmond

If You Go:

Culture Days is a Canada-wide event that takes place from September 24 to October 24, 2021. Details on Richmond activities can be found here. Most events are free or have a “pay what you can” model. With the wide array of events and activities available, there’s something for people of all ages.

Organizers are observing all COVID-19 guidelines and procedures, to ensure all participants and audience members are kept safe. When it comes to in-person events, be sure to register in advance to reserve a spot.

Enjoy your Culture Days adventures and be sure to share your experiences on Instagram with the hashtags #RichmondMoments, #RichmondCultureDays and #BCCultureDays!

Richmond Culture Day