It’s time to unpack those almost forgotten shorts and T-shirts from last year and check out Richmond’s multitudinous summer activities. Sun-dappled parks and outdoor spaces beckon, but there’s also a full menu of special events to add to your social calendar this month, ranging from cool concerts to tasty beverage festivals. And if you have yet to plan your Canada Day activities, be sure to beeline to Steveston on July 1 for the best flag-waving celebrations in the region.
Concerts at the Cannery. | Photo: Gulf of Georgia Cannery
Daily until September 3
Fans of arguably the world’s favourite bear species will be pushing away the bamboo and galloping over to Aberdeen Centre this summer for the mall’s unique, family-friendly panda extravaganza. Centered on a diorama of nine large origami pandas—plus 500 of their smaller plush-toy friends—additional activities will include artist demonstrations and a fashion show. And if you spot the one and only red panda hiding in the display here, you might even win a prize.
Pandaland at Aberdeen Centre. | Photo: Joey Kwan/Aberdeen Centre
Richmond Pubs: FIFA World Cup TV screenings
Various days, until the July 15 final
With the World Cup rolling on in Russia, local fans of national soccer teams are flocking to Richmond pubs to catch the games alongside cheering, like-minded sports nuts. Whether you’re a Ronaldo-devotee, a fan of legendary Brazil or a passionate believer that England might just make it this time around (especially if you drink enough beer), join the emotional rollercoaster at city bars including Ceili’s, Legends and The Buck & Ear.
Every Wednesday from July 4 to August 29 (6:30pm - 8:00pm)
A delightful summer evening activity in the heart of Richmond, this weekly event is a family-friendly favourite among locals. Expect live music as well as arts and crafts and face-painting stands. In addition, consider dropping by the park on July 28 for a community fair starting at 6:00pm and a free outdoor movie screening of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (at around 8:30pm).
Every Wednesday from July 4 to August 29 (screenings start at sundown)
The exterior of Lansdowne Centre mall is the perfect venue for this drive-in movie series, starting with The Greatest Showman on July 4. Arrive early to snag a great spot for you and your vehicle or take the Canada Line to Lansdowne Station and walk a couple of minutes to the screening venue—pedestrians are given front-row seating (bring your own lawn chair and dress warmly). Peckish? Arrive early and have dinner at one of the mall’s restaurants, which include Earls, Toku Japanese Restaurant, and Tropika Malaysian & Thai Cuisine.
Every Friday from July 13 - August 31 (shows start at 6:30pm)
Summer concerts are back at Steveston’s Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, with ever-changing music themes every Friday night—from jazz to folk and from swing to blues. July 13th's opener features brilliant alt-country act Wayward Hearts, with maritime folk and 50s & 60s Brit rock rounding out the rest of the month. Shows are staged on the outdoor Tank Deck, with a spot reserved inside the cannery if happens to rain. Buy tickets at the door (arrive at 6:00pm for the best seats) and dress warmly for the cool Fraser River setting.
The Wayward Hearts are performing at Music at the Cannery this summer. | Photo: Philip Jarman
July 13 (7:00pm - 9:00pm)
From fiddle players to slam poets and from singer-songwriters to spoken word artists, this outdoor open mic evening in the heart of Steveston Village is the perfect way to discover just how many creative performers live in and around Richmond. And if you’re interested in performing, you can contact the organizers via their Facebook page to request a performance slot.
July 21 (2:30pm - 5:00pm)
Keen to expand your list of favourite libations? Book a ticket for Richmond’s first big-league celebration of craft ciders and sour-style beers. Inside the historic Britannia Shipyards’ Seine Net Loft, you'll find 35 booths to weave around and sample drinks at. Not sure if you like sours? Now’s your chance to find out. Small bites will also be available and part-proceeds from ticket sales will go to local charities. Book tickets here.
July 28 & 29 (10:00am - 6:00pm)
The perfect way to plunge into Richmond’s deep maritime heritage, this weekend-long, family-friendly event is full of fun activities—from storytelling to live music and from stilt-walkers to puppet shows. The stars, of course, will be the sparkling array of beautiful wooden boats to check out and even hop aboard—as well as the evocative backdrop and exhibits of Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site. Plan for a full day (or two), whether you’re a landlubber or a salty sea dog.
Jellyfish fun at the Richmond Maritime Festival. | Photo: Richmond Maritime Festival