Richmond Maritime Festival starts Friday

Plenty of performers brought Britannia Shipyards to life at last year’s Richmond Maritime Festival. - Jen Strang / City of Richmond photo
Plenty of performers brought Britannia Shipyards to life at last year’s Richmond Maritime Festival.
— image credit: Jen Strang / City of Richmond photo

It looks like sunny skies are in the forecast for 11th annual Richmond Maritime Festival, a three-day celebration of Steveston’s maritime history from Aug. 8 to 10 at Britannia Shipyards.

The free, fun, family-friendly event has something to cater to all ages, set amidst a picturesque and lively backdrop along the Fraser River.

And this year’s event figures to be extra special, lit up with 125 candles. The Britannia Shipyards is celebrating its 125th anniversary as one of the most stunning and natural settings in Metro Vancouver.

Next weekend’s festival will feature live music, artisans, storytelling, dancers and numerous colourful roving characters—from enchanting mermaids to marauding pirates to a story-telling wharf rat—who spontaneously interact with the crowd and also perform during scheduled shows.

Always popular are the historic wooden boats, which will once again be open for the public to board from the dock.

All this, plus interactive activities, demonstrations and art displays, including origami and model boat making.

The festival site is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from Friday to Sunday, with opening night featuring an outdoor evening concert by The Swamp Dogs from 5 to 7 p.m.

The fun begins at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 8, in Zone 1 (at the western edge of the Britannia site) known as the Octopus Garden, with a performance by Lindy and the Crow’s Nest.

The YVR Community Stage, which sits at the heart of the site, will feature Sing a Shanty with Squidy from 11:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, followed by another performance from 12:30 p.m. to 1. Storytelling at Murukami House, at the centre of Britannia, runs for the first 15 minutes of every hour from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The 8.5-acre Britannia site is home to many historic buildings that date back to the 19th century.

For more information about the festival, including a schedule of events and a site map, visit

Britannia Shipyards is located at 5180 Westwater Dr., near the foot of Railway Avenue.

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