Steveston‘s heritage sites make for a fun and educational family staycation, with free admission and plenty to see and do in this historic village. Britannia Shipyards, London Heritage Farm and the Steveston Museum are open once again, offering visitors the chance to experience these heritage sites and their fascinating history complete with costumed guides, engaging exhibits, kid-friendly programs and an on-site food truck.
Family Fun at Steveston’s Heritage Sites
COVID-19 safety measures are in place at all sites and include mandatory masks, hand sanitizer stations and maximum capacity limits inside buildings. Visitors can drop-in during open hours for each site, with no pre-registration required.
It’s always exciting when you hear of a new creative arts space opening in the community, instead of closing which has unfortunately been the case recent years around Metro Vancouver. Eighth & Eight (a transitional name) is an exciting new performing arts and community program being imagined at 735 Eighth Avenue in New Westminster. This space will make a significant contribution with its impressive size of 35,000 square feet by providing a new home and infrastructure for performing artists and the community.
New West’s New Creative Art Space Eighth & Eight
With space for artists diminishing, this venue will fill a void desperately needed. The facility includes the 1,260 seat Massey Theatre, the Plaskett Gallery, a black box presentation space, a dance/music rehearsal hall, and much more.
With its history, accomplishments, and vision, the Massey Theatre Society (“MTS”) will take on management and create programming. “A new arts space for community members and artists to collaborate, create and imagine a better world together is an incredible opportunity for everyone,” says Jessica Schneider, Executive Director for MTS. For the past 15 years, Schneider has worked diligently, making the theatre a vibrant and thriving venue. She has also played a major role in being a forerunner in nurturing and promoting diverse voices working with IBPOQ communities providing a platform for a wide variety of organizations and productions.
Included in the leadership team is multimedia artist Ronnie Dean Harris, Indigenous Cultural Development Director, who guides the increasing opportunities for Indigenous culture and community activations, building on the histories and teachings of the land on which the facility is built.
Not only providing a place for the arts to flourish, the goal is to expand infrastructure and opportunity to diverse voices and communities as never before. The programming direction includes:
Digital Hub – providing infrastructure for performing artists to engage in the digital arts sector
Indigenous Cultural Development
We are Multitudes Program – for diverse African Heritages
Prismatica – for LGBTQ2iA+ spectrum
Self-Advocate Theatre projects – evolving theatre works
Senior & Youth Programs
Low Income Family Programs
Global Cultural Intersections
MTS is also currently undergoing the search for a Programming Director, to be announced soon, who will develop and implement the wide range of programs.
The complex will play a vital role in the cultural fabric and vibrancy of not only of New Westminster, but all of Metro Vancouver, British Columbia and beyond, offering services and opportunities for the arts and artists to grow and enrich all our lives and communities.
Engagement and opportunities for input and participation will be emerging in the fall in conjunction with the reopening of the Massey Theatre for large audiences. Follow Eighth & Eight on Facebook for updates.
The historic Massey Theatre, which opened in 1949 as British Columbia’s largest theatre, will continue to be at the heart of the facility. Over its 73-year history, the theatre has been an influential venue to a vast array of artists to local, provincial, and international performers.
British Columbia’s official BC Blueberry Day (July 15th) kicked off the #GoBlueBC campaign, a digital celebration running from July 15th – August 2nd on GoBlueBC.ca. This website is where you can find how-to videos, chef and grower interviews, recipes, family-friendly activities, and exciting contests with premier restaurant partners White Spot, Triple O’s, and BC Ferries.
Celebrate Fresh BC Blueberries with #GoBlueBC
The GoBlueBC.ca website also features links to local BC Blueberry producers, helping British Columbians find fresh berries in their area. The BC Blueberry Council invites British Columbians to join the annual excitement around the harvest of this locally grown superfood.
Try BC Blueberries at BC’s Restaurants
Restaurants are also going blue with BC Blueberries throughout the summer. Visit one of the following businesses to try a homemade BC Blueberry menu item, available while supplies last.
Drive out to Krause Berry Farms & Estate Winery in Langley to try their famous drive through Blueberry Waffles and pick some fresh BC Blueberries of your own.
Stop by Beaucoup Bakery in Vancouver to try the limited-time BC Blueberry Cassis Cheesecake Croissant.
Make a trip to Port Moody to try two BC Blueberry menu items at Gabi & Jules: BC Blueberry Scones and BC Blueberry Crostatas.
There are two contests on right now that you can enter, by August 2, 2021 via GoBlueBC.ca.
Sponsored by White Spot and Triple O’s, you can enter for a chance to win a total of $1,000 in gift cards! On August 3rd, one British Columbian will win this special prize to try out the seasonal BC Blueberry offerings at both restaurants.
BC Ferries is offering another prize: a chance to win one of five round-trip passes (one vehicle and driver plus three passengers, each valued up to $275.60) between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. While on board, contest winners can purchase the limited-time Fresh BC Blueberry Pie available at the Coastal Café on BC Ferries. Enter at GoBlueBC.ca by August 2, 2021 for a chance to win.
The Queer Arts Festival – Dispersed (“QAF”) is coming up July 24 to August 13, 2021, presenting an eco-apocalyptic exploration of queer experience and artistic expression in the face of an ongoing pandemic and marginalization. The QAF is a hybrid format this year, with both online and offline events and performances. I’m giving away a pair of tickets to one of their on-site events, Ceremony for Rebel Spirits.
Ceremony for Rebel Spirits: Onibana Taiko and Alvin Erasga Tolentino
When Japanese folk tradition meets punk! Audience members are invited to commune with the ancestors via Obon dance, song, sensu (fan) cheerleading, fue, shamisen and kick-ass taiko.
Onibana Taiko鬼束太鼓 are three Nikkei veterans of Vancouver’s taiko community, whose performances draw from Japanese traditional arts, festival drumming, and folk music and dance, all with a touch of feminist queer punk aesthetics. Onibana is a type of flower that grows in the grave sites of Japan. Through taiko, the group seeks to transform shadowy elements into beauty, bridging the divide so as to commune with our ancestors with song, dance, shamisen, flute, and kick-ass taiko.
Alvin Erasga Tolentino is a Filipino Canadian choreographer and dance artist, and the founding Artistic Director of Vancouver’s Co.ERASGA. His dance creations are driven from the need to intricately illustrate the human experience of light and dark and the infinitely complex relationship between nature and humanity. His choreography challenges the exploration of hybridity to reveal the private and public territory, identity, gender and the issues within the traditional and contemporary cross-cultural dialogue.
I have two tickets to give away to this performance, here’s how you can enter to win:
A Seat at the Table: Chinese Immigration and British Columbia is the inaugural exhibition of the Chinese Canadian Museum. Using food and restaurant culture as entry point, the project highlights stories that reveal the great diversity of immigrant experiences and of the communities immigrants develop. It also addresses themes of belonging, racism, agency, resilience and reparation as important facets of the complex picture of Chinese migrants and their descendants in the province.
A Seat at the Table: Chinese Immigration and British Columbia
When: Exhibition in Chinatown: Now until August 2022
Thurs-Sun 10:00am – 4:00pm (Guided Tours by appointment Sat/Sun 4:00pm)
Where: Chinese Canadian Museum Temporary Site (27 E Pender, Vancouver)
A companion exhibition is also on view at Museum of Vancouver.
A Seat at the Table: Chinese Immigration and British Columbia, co-produced by Museum of Vancouver and University of British Columbia in partnership with Chinese Canadian Museum of BC, also recently received the Public History Prize in the products and projects category from Canadian Historical Association.