If you have been watching CTV over the past week or so, you may have seen an ad talking about Richmond Revealed and it having something to do with introducing the City of Richmond to the world. Living in Richmond, and not hearing of this before, I did a little digging over at the City of Richmond website:
Richmond Revealed will offer an unparalleled series of visual spectacles to introduce Richmond, BC, Canada to the world during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Richmond Revealed will offer an unparalleled series of visual spectacles to introduce Richmond, BC, Canada to the world during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
From what I can determine, the spectacles and events will range from agriculture, technology, transportation, the arts and sustainability – stretching from a giant display of cranberries on the Fraser River outside of the Richmond Olympic Oval to a Dragon Dance at the Richmond O Zone. Each aspect will reinforce who the particular genre helped shape the City of Richmond and how it continues to shape it today.
100 Years of Powered Flight – Aviation Spectacle
Little do people know, but the first powered aircraft flight in Western Canada took place in Richmond at the what was then the Minoru Racetrack (now Minoru Oval – home of the O Zone). And today, flight still has a strong presence in the city with the location of the Vancouver International Aiport and the BCIT Aerospace Technology campus on Sea Island, so it’s ideal that such a spectacle be included.
Although different events will be held throughout the city, the largest (and I mean largest) component has to be the arrival of a Martin Mars Water Bomber. The Martin Mars (of which only two remain in use – both based out of Sproat Lake outside Port Alberni, BC) has a wingspan of over 200 feet and was originally designed to act as a flying boat and bomber during the Second World War. Having been converted to fight fires, the Martin Mars can carry over 27000L of water. It will be based off of Garry Point Park in Steveston on February 23 & 24 for those that wish to check it out.
Celebrating life in Steveston Village
In what started as a small fishing village, Steveston is now a vibrant community onto itself yet still maintains the largest commercial fishing fleet in Canada. It boasts fantastic restaurants, galleries, and services while maintaining it’s connection to the water. If seafood is your thing, you can either go to a restaurant to eat or pick something up at the pier to cook at home (unfortunately, seafood is not MY thing). Or if you would rather watch life in the water, there are both whale and eco-tours run on a regular basis from the village as well. Steveston also boats two different National Historic sites in the Gulf of Georgia Cannery and Britannia Heritage Shipyard for those that want to learn about it’s past. With strong ties to the Japanese community, Steveston has “adopted” the Japanese Speed Skating Team.
Asia’s legendary supernatural creature visits Richmond for Chinese New Year: The long and short of it
If you have been to Richmond, you understand the strong connection the city has to Asian cultures. Whether you have shopped at one of it’s many Asian malls, eaten any number of restaurants, or visited the Asian temples located on Steveston Highway or No. 5 Rd (which happens to be locally called the “highway to heaven”), you appreciate this understanding even more.
Over 40% of the population in Richmond is of Chinese descent, which happens to be the largest proportion of all Canadian cities. It is this diverse cultural base which contributes towards Richmond’s status as a cosmopolitan city. Furthermore, there is a legend that the City of Richmond is considered to be a pearl at the mouth of the Fraser River that attracts the dragon, which in turn brings luck to those who live here.
So it’s of no surprise that on February 14, to introduce the Chinese New Year, a spectacular double dragon dance accompanied by a large tai-chi performance will take place. The dragon will be one of the largest and longest to be seen in North America, something which should bring luck to all those that see it.
Located on the corner of Alderbridge Way & Gilbert Road is a giant Inukshuk built from various shipping containers. Standing at nearly 6 stories high, the arms of the giant Inukshuk point towards both the Richmond Olympic Oval and Richmond City Centre. Celebrating both the Olympics and the importance of one aspect of the transportation industry to Richmond, it stands as a welcome figure to one of the many doors to the city.
Whether it is Vancouver International Airport, the Port of Vancouver’s multi-modal shipping facility, or the fact that the city is only a short distance to the US border, transportation has always been a large part Richmond’s history. Beyond this, many different companies and organizations related to transportation such as UPS, BC Ferries Maintenance, Fraser Wharves, and several aeronautical firms call Richmond home. Another highlight is a room-sized model of the Canadarm which will be available to be seen at the Richmond O Zone.
How many cranberries does it take to create a massive floating tribute to the Canada Olympic Logo? Give or take 13 million.
If you didn’t already know, Richmond happens to be the largest producer of cranberries in Canada, so it’s fitting that this spectacle represent how agriculture shaped and continues to shape Richmond as a community. Beyond this tribute, which will be floating in front of the Richmond Olympic Oval, the water fixtures at Richmond City Hall will also contain cranberries – fitting considering their colour!
So I urge you all to swing by my neck of the woods and check out Richmond Revealed. If you think you need a hint as to where to start first, drop me a line. Richmond has so much to offer and I hope you come out to learn more about this great community that I love living in.