Arts & Culture

Rich menu for Culture Days: Gulf of Georgia Cannery offers fisher poets

By Lorraine Graves

Published 12:58 PDT, Thu September 19, 2019

Last Updated: 12:27 PDT, Fri October 4, 2019

Culture Days, a national celebration, takes on a local flavour thanks to a variety of organizations and individuals. 

Each year, on the last weekend of September, millions of people across the country attend thousands of free participatory arts and cultural events in their communities.

Sept. 27 through 29, Culture Days in Richmond offers a vast menu with something for everyone of every age and interest.  

One local example is the Rivers’ End Fisher Poets at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site in Steveston. On Saturday, Sept. 28 members from the West Coast commercial fishing industry, past and present, will share poetry, prose and songs in the Cannery’s Boiler House Theatre from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

This is the fourth year the cannery museum has presented this popular group. It was inspired and organized by Wilfred Wilson, a local commercial fisher, who fished the rivers along B.C.’s rugged coast. His poetry shares the excitement of a great catch, the disappointment of an empty net, the allure of the sea, and the longing for home that he experienced during his fishing career. 

Poetry became a creative way for Wilson to record his thoughts and experiences while fishing. He will be joined by an ensemble of current and retired commercial fishermen for this afternoon of spoken word.

For the past 125 years, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery has been an important workplace and community anchor representing Canada’s West Coast fishing industry. The museum provides the ideal backdrop for the Fisher Poets Afternoon.

“Poetry can come from unexpected people and places which is what makes the Rivers End Fisher Poets Afternoon so special,” says Shannon King, manager of audience engagement. “Expect a bit of magic from the Fisher Poets because these seasoned commercial fishermen have hearts that overflow with the joy of poetry.” 

But, show up early. It fills up fast.

Here’s a listing of the 80 events linked to Culture Days in Richmond. While they are free of charge, some require advance registration. 

Friday, Sept. 27

Artist Talk with David Jacob Harder—Meet the artist behind the new large-scale sculpture located outside the Minoru Centre for Active Living from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Richmond Arts Coalition Sharing Stage—Experience an evening of performances by local musicians, dancers and creators in the Richmond Cultural Centre Performance Hall from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Art for Social Change: Play and Variety Show–The Richmond Advocacy and Support Committee will perform a play, along with a variety of skits, spoken word and poetry from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Richmond Cultural Centre Performance Hall.

Saturday, Sept. 28 

Richmond Cultural Centre Murals and Artist Tours—Join Mayor Malcolm Brodie for the official unveiling of two new murals. The event will also include a Brazilian dance performance at 10:45 a.m., followed by a formal unveiling and walking tour with the artists from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Resident Art Group Showcase—The Richmond Culture Centre and outdoor plaza will be brought to life by artists and artisans with big imaginations and deep roots in Richmond. Demos will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Richmond Arts Village Hub—Take the opportunity to meet the artists in the Richmond Arts Village, a new artist live/work community located in Capstan Village. Activities will take place at various times between 10:30 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Uzume Taiko Drum Workshop—This free hands-on workshop from noon to 1:30 p.m. will introduce participants to the exciting world of Taiko drumming.  

RYMP FM—Drop by Minoru Centre for Active Living from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a live radio show featuring interviews and music by Richmond Youth Media disc jockeys. 

Sunday, Sept. 29

Discover Dance Day for Kids–Bring your little one to Defy Gravity Dance Company for a workshop that will introduce them to different types of dance and movement from noon to 2 p.m.

Richmond Nikkei Stories Bus Tour–Enjoy an engaging bus tour at 10 a.m. (barcode 2749891) or 1 p.m. (barcode 2749890) and learn about Japanese Canadian stories, art and history. Pre-registration is required.

All weekend 

New Exhibitions at the Richmond Museum and Richmond Art Gallery–Culture Days marks the opening of two exciting exhibitions. Visit the Richmond Museum’s new City at Work exhibition and take part in interactive activities, tours and crafts for all ages on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet the artists behind the Richmond Art Gallery’s exhibition at an opening reception on Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. 

A Chinese Arts and Culture Celebration at Gateway–Experience a variety of Chinese art on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. featuring performances by Star Band, Vancouver Chinese Choir, Vancouver Cantonese Opera and Canadian YC Chinese Orchestra, in addition to calligraphy and ink painting activities. 

Minoru Manifesto Installation, Soundwalk, Performance and Picnic–Drop by the historic Minoru Chapel to experience Julie Hammond’s Minoru Manifesto project. The installation will be open all weekend and the Soundwalk will take place on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with a performance and picnic on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Culture Days at Steveston Heritage Sites–Discover Richmond’s storied past with free, hands-on activities happening all weekend long at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, London Heritage Farm, Steveston Tram, Steveston Museum and the Gulf of Georgia Cannery.

Download the Richmond Culture Days program guide at 

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