Wooden boats celebrated at Richmond Maritime Festival
02 August 2017
Wooden boat enthusiasts will get a special treat this month as the Richmond Maritime Festival celebrates everything that’s wood and designed for water.
The Richmond Maritime Festival, presented by the Port of Vancouver, is scheduled for Saturday, August 12 and Sunday, August 13 at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site and features free, fun activities for all ages. A festival within a festival, the celebration of wooden boats will include everything from wooden boat building demonstrations and displays to free public boarding of a number of historic vessels.
Among the ships lining Britannia’s 600-foot dock will be the steam-powered sister ships, the SS Master and Merrie Ellen, both built in 1922 in False Creek, with storied working lives along the Pacific Northwest Coast. The Ella McKenzie, a 38-foot wooden tug boat, built in 1951, will also be on display. Once a dredge tender and oil spill response vessel in Burrard Inlet, the Ella McKenzie was later used for hand logging in Haida Gwaii, before a 2007 restoration and conversion to a pleasure craft.
On land, Wooden Boat Lane will feature more than a dozen exhibitors and include display of various wooden boats, kayaks and canoes. Highlights include the Cowichan Wooden Boat Society and Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre booth, displaying a 10-foot wooden lapstrake dinghy that will be raffled off during the festival. As well, maritime woodworker Tony Grove will be working on a 12- foot wooden Davidson Canoe displaying his maritime artwork and providing information about his woodworking school on Vancouver Island. A 40-foot cedar strip traditional dugout canoe will also be under construction on site.
Elsewhere on site, the Britannia Heritage Shipyard Society will display a number of small wooden boats built on site, while the Richmond Boat Builders will showcase their boat restoration projects. The very popular Kids Cove area will also return with a number of hands-on activities for kids, including the opportunity to hammer together their own miniature wood boats.
For those who want to get on water, the River Queen will be offering 15-minute boat rides along the Steveston Channel both days of the festival.
In addition to the wooden boat activities, the Richmond Maritime Festival will again feature, roving characters, including pirates, mermaids, wharf rats and log rolling lumberjacks, visual artists, storytellers and continuous live entertainment. There will also be a number of food trucks on site to satisfy any appetite. The wide variety of music and dance performances will include an early Saturday evening performance by local favourite Good for Grapes on the Canadian Western Bank Main Stage.
The Richmond Maritime Festival will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, August 12 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 13. Admission is free. For more details visit www.richmondmaritimefestival.ca.
The festival is produced by the City of Richmond and presented by the Port of Vancouver. The festival is made possible thanks to the support of Canadian Heritage. The main stage of the event is sponsored by Canadian Western Bank. The community sponsors are Fraser Surrey Docks and the Fraser River Industrial Association. Event partners are the Richmond Arts Coalition and Britannia Heritage Shipyard Society. Media partners are CTV, 103.5 QM-FM, Richmond News, Georgia Straight, 102.7 The PEAK and Miss 604.
The festival is part of Richmond Canada 150, a year-long program of events and activities. For more information visit www.richmondcanada150.com.