Annual Events in Richmond, BC
Chinese New Year | January or February
Richmond pulls out all the stops to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, one of the most important annual events for the city's large Asian community. It’s a time when lions and dragons twist and dance to drums, cymbals and cheering crowds; restaurants introduce special menus for the holiday (and quickly fill their reservation books for extravagant New Year's feasts); and Richmond's Asian malls and plazas fill with flowers and fruits, cultural performances, family activities, gift fairs and more.
In 2018, Richmond celebrates the start of the Year of the Dog. Chinese New Year is ushered in on February 16, with festivities starting a few weeks prior.
Whale Watching Season | April to October
Set sail from Steveston starting in the spring to see some of the local wildlife. Richmond's whale watching tours allow visitors the chance to see resident orcas (killer whales) among the San Juan Islands as well as humpback whales, grey whales, sea lions, seals, bald eagles and their marine life.
Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market | May through September
Richmond's historic Steveston village hosts this seasonal market every other Sunday, featuring fresh produce, handmade jewelry, arts, crafts and live entertainment. The Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market is open-air and runs May through September, in the parking lot at the Steveston Community Centre.
Asian Summer Night Markets | May through September/October
Richmond is home to not one, but two world-renowned Asian night markets that run on weekends throughout the summer months. The Illumination Summer Night Market and the Richmond Night Market play host to vendors offering clothes, gadgets, and other merchandise alongside booths serving sweet and savory street foods and exotic drinks. Live music, cultural performances, and carnival games make Richmond's night market experience one you don't want to miss!
richmondnightmarket.com | summernightmarket.com
Ships to Shore | May
History, adventure and fun sail into Richmond each year! This year's Ships to Shore festival takes place from May 5 - 7, 2017, and the celebration will be extra special in honour of Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation. Be sure to check out the Kaiwo Maru ("King of the Sea"), one of the world's largest tall ships, and relive the days when Richmond's Steveston Village was a major port for fleets of sailing ships from around the world. Explore some of today's modern working vessels with free public boarding and viewing. Other festival highlights include live entertainment, vendors, and food carts.
Doors Open | Various locations | June
Doors Open is Richmond's annual arts, culture and heritage festival. Free activities and experiences are offered to visitors of all ages at up to fifty partner sites, including National Historic Sites, museums, places of worship, art studios, city facilities and specialty businesses. It takes place on June 3 & 4, 2017.
Steveston Salmon Festival | July 1 - Canada Day
Celebrate the country's 150th anniversary of Confederation at Canada's "biggest little birthday party,” which draws more than 70,000 people to the festivities each year! The Steveston Salmon Festival kicks off with a pancake breakfast and a parade through the streets of historic Steveston Village, and includes a variety of exhibits, demonstrations, and live music and performances on the main stage and the children’s festival stage. And of course, there’s the famous salmon barbecue where more than 1,200 pounds of fresh salmon is grilled over open fire pits!
stevestonsalmonfest.ca | richmondcanadaday.com
Music at Steveston's Heritage Sites | July
Summers in Richmond are beautiful, and there's no better way to enjoy the summer nights than with an annual concert series in Steveston. Music at the Cannery brings a variety of live performances to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site.
Richmond Maritime Festival | August
This free family festival is for seafarers and landlubbers alike! Explore the city's maritime heritage at the annual Richmond Maritime Festival, a two-day celebration taking place at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site on August 12 & 13, 2017.
Expect exciting all-ages entertainment throughout the site, interactive displays, and a lively atmosphere sure to create a unique and memorable experience for each visitor. The event includes dockside boarding of a selection of beautiful and historic wooden boats; live music, artisans, storytelling, dancers and a host of colourful maritime characters wandering the grounds, interacting with crowds and giving spontaneous performances; hands on arts and crafts activities; and interactive demos and displays.
Family Farm Fair Day at London Heritage Farm | August
Family Farm Day is held on a Sunday in August every year! This annual celebration features a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, live entertainment, a bake sale, a craft fair and live entertainment. 2017 details to be announced.
Richmond World Festival | September
The Richmond World Festival is a free, two-day event happening on September 1 & 2, 2017, that celebrates Richmond’s cultural diversity through music, food, culture and sport at Minoru Park. Festival goers can eat their way through Metro Vancouver’s tastiest food trucks, watch top chefs cook on the culinary stage, shop the artisan market, and watch live musical and cultural performances at this award-winning festival.
Culture Days | September/October
Culture Days is a Canada-wide annual celebration of arts and culture. This year it will take place in Richmond from September 29 to October 1, 2017. Enjoy three days of free, hands-on, interactive activities that provide a glimpse into the world of local artists, curators, writers and other creative producers. Past years have featured more than 90 free activities happening all over Richmond during this family-friendly event!
Halloween Celebrations | October
Every year, Steveston shopkeepers put their creativity on display with the annual Scarecrow Crawl, featuring scary, funny and whimsical figures lurking outside of many storefronts and restaurants throughout the month. Be sure to bring your camera along as you explore the village and check out the scarecrows!
Another popular Halloween activity is the “haunted” tours of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. They are only offered on a limited number of days, so plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss out.
Cannery Farmers' Market | November through April
The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site in Steveston hosts this market every other Sunday from November to April. It features fresh produce, baked goods, handmade jewelry, and arts and crafts. The Cannery Farmers' Market adheres to the ‘make it, bake it, grow it, catch it' philosophy, only offering approved products that are made, baked, grown, raised, caught or harvested by an approved vendor in BC.
Christmas in Steveston | December
Christmas is a wonderful time of year in Steveston. Check out the Festival of Trees at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site; greet Santa as he arrives by boat at Fisherman’s Wharf during the ‘Christmas in Steveston’ event; and be sure to check out the annual Santa Claus Parade on December 24.