It’s officially summer in Metro Vancouver, which means digging out your favourite shorts-and-T-shirt combo and exploring a huge array of local events and activities. From crowd-pleasing outdoor festivals to drive-in movie screenings—Richmond is full of inviting things to do. Read on for our top July suggestions—and don't forget to share your local summertime experiences on social media using our #RichmondMoments hashtag.

Steveston Salmon Festival

July 1 (6:30am - 10:30pm)

Wrap yourself in flags, apply some face tattoos, and make your way to the Steveston Salmon Festival for Metro Vancouver’s biggest Canada Day party. You’ll join thousands of smiling locals and visitors enjoying the street parade (watch for Sammy the Salmon), multiple live music stages, cool cultural demonstrations, and more. Hungry? Start the day at the Pancake Breakfast or save your appetite for the famous Salmon Barbecue. Iconic band 54-40 headline the music menu in the evening, and the day concludes with a grand fireworks display over the water. Learn more in our Canada Day Insider's Guide.

Steveston Salmon Festival
The parade is always a highlight of Canada Day celebrations. | Photo: Steveston Salmon Festival

River Queen Boat Tours

July 1 - August 31 (excluding Wednesdays)
Adults: $12, seniors & students: $10, children 12 and under: $8

A summertime tradition from local operator Vancouver Whale Watch, head to the bustling Fisherman’s Wharf and hop aboard their vintage River Queen vessel for a 45-minute cruise that illuminates the area’s history and richly diverse wildlife—look for eagles and seals en route. A charming, well-priced mini-excursion, be sure to call ahead for departure times.

Lansdowne Centre Drive-in Movie Series

July 3 - August 28 (Wednesdays only; from 6:00pm)

A section of the Lansdowne Centre parking lot will once again be transformed into a summertime drive-in movie theatre. Running every Wednesday until the end of August, the four-storey screen flickers to life on July 3 with Crazy Rich Asians, while upcoming highlights include Aquaman, Inception, and Detective Pikachu. Arrive early for a good vehicle spot or take the Canada Line to Lansdowne Station and walk a couple of minutes to the venue—pedestrians are given front-row seating (bring your own lawn chair and dress warmly). Hungry? The mall’s eateries will be serving tempting dinner specials on movie nights.

Steveston Alive! Walking Tour Vignettes

July 6 - August 31 (Saturdays only; 1:00pm & 3:00pm)
Tickets are $12, accompanied children 12 and under are free

Step back in time to the early years of the last century on this fascinating walking tour. You’ll meet a gaggle of local characters—brought to vibrant life by drama students from Hugh McRoberts Secondary School—who will regale you with tales of what life was really like here back in the day. Co-hosted by the Steveston Museum and Steveston Historical Society, the one-hour walks are like a wandering short play. Always popular, book ahead here.

Steveston Walking Tour Vignettes
Steveston Walking Tour Vignettes.

Wine & Yoga at Country Vines Winery

July 8 & 15 (6:00pm - 8:00pm)
Cost: $33

Love unwinding with yoga or wine? You can do both at this bucolic Richmond winery. Gather your yoga pals, pack your mat and water bottle, and head on over for a fun one-hour group yoga class where you can warm up your drinking muscles for a rewarding post-exercise glass of Country Vines wine plus some light snacks. Book ahead here.

Richmond Night Market

Weekends until October 14 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays)
Admission is $4.75, seniors & accompanied children aged 8 and under are free

Avoid breakfast and lunch and you’ll be ravenously ready for Richmond’s favourite summertime activity. A short walk from the Canada Line’s Bridgeport Station, start with the rows of steam-shrouded food stalls. From Vietnamese crepes and Brazilian comfort food to Korean chicken wings and rainbow-striped grilled cheese, the hardest part is choosing what to start with—click here for some of our 2019 Richmond Night Market favourites. Afterwards, check out the vendor stands for everything from anime figures to souvenir Canada T-shirts.

A Brazilian pastel pastry at WHATAFOOD.
Brazilian comfort food is on the menu at the Richmond Night Market. | Photo: ​John Lee

Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival

July 12, 13 & 14

Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Taiwan at this colourful, family-friendly celebration at the Richmond Oval’s Riverside Plaza. The admission-free event features a full menu of activities and performances, including opera, dance, and a popular high school marching band. But there are also performances from other cultural traditions, including a Brazilian dance troupe and a cool jazz ensemble. Don’t miss the Taiwanese craft demonstrations where you can learn all about origami, knot art, flower arrangements, and more.

Music at the Cannery

July 12 - August 30 (Fridays from 6:30pm)
Adults: $7, children/youth aged 2 - 17: $5

This wildly popular summer concert series returns to Steveston’s Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, with toe-tapping shows every Friday evening. July 12’s opener features Celtic-flavoured folksters The Irish Wakers, who are promising a brilliant evening of familiar favourites, new tunes and guest performers. The rest of the season sees everything from blues to indie to a retro vocal trio. Shows are staged on the outdoor Tank Deck, with a spot reserved inside in case of rain. Buy tickets for Music at the Cannery at the door (arrive at 6:00pm for the best seats) and dress warmly for the cool Fraser River setting.

Music at the Cannery - Photo: Gulf of Georgia Cannery
Music at the Cannery. | Photo: Gulf of Georgia Cannery

Rita McKeough: Dig as Deep as the Darkness at the Richmond Art Gallery

July 19 - September 15

Calgary-based installation and performance artist Rita McKeough brings a fascinating, richly immersive exhibition to the city’s public art gallery. Expect an intriguing, multisensory exhibit that deploys sound, video, and interactive objects to explore the idea of subterranean layers beneath an imagined city—and all the complex ideas that touches upon. Want to deepen your understanding of the show and the artist? Drop by for July 19’s free-entry Opening Reception (7:00pm - 9:00pm) and July 21’s hour-long artist talk with McKeough herself (from 2:00pm).

Richmond Maritime Festival

July 27 & 28 (11:00am - 6:00pm)

Set sail into Richmond’s salty seafaring heritage at this weekend-long, family-friendly festival. Full of fun activities, you’ll find everything from storytelling and live music to stilt-walkers and puppet shows at the Richmond Maritime Festival. The stars, of course, will be the sparkling array of beautiful wooden boats to check out—plus the evocative antique buildings of Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site. Plan for a full day (or two), whether you’re a landlubber or an old sea dog.

Richmond Maritime Festival
The Richmond Maritime Festival takes place at Britannia Shipyards. | Photo: Tourism Richmond