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Richmond Days of Summer; 12 Things To Do

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With 30 per cent more sunny days than most Metro Vancouver cities, Richmond brings all the hot events for your summer fun. Richmond Days of Summer continues a series of sun-splashed, family-oriented festivals, arts, sports and heritage events until August –and most of them are free.

Check out art-meets-shopping: A lasagna wig or blackberry shoe, anyone? You’ll never look at retail window displays the same way again after seeing StoreFront: objects of desire at Lansdowne Centre. Artist-in-residence Nicole Dextras pushes the boundaries and makes us re-think shopping — and desire. Ends July 31.

Land on Landed: International migration; the task of fitting in. World-renowned Turkish artist, Esra Ersen, examines these issues through her sensitive videos and installations. At Richmond Art Gallery through to August 18.

Hook a seat at Salmon Row: Smell and hear the mighty Fraser itself as this theatre under the stars unfolds on the riverbank, sketching the human history of Richmond’s salmon industry. An original production by legendary performance society, Mortal Coil, Salmon Row sold out its inaugural run in 2011, and is now in its second run so make sure to catch this popular production. August 15 through September 1.

Get caught up in public art: Richmond has one of the biggest per capita public art collections in North America. Go to the City of Richmond’s website to download excellent little 10-minute art walking tours in neighbourhoods around the city.

Get cultured at the Cultural Centre: Home to the civic museum, library, artists’ studios (watch the weavers!) and — star of the show — Richmond Art Gallery, the Richmond Cultural Centre in Minoru Park is a gem. Grab an espresso and slice of cheesecake in the lobby and check out the ever-changing exhibition upstairs. After, relax in the beautiful rooftop garden, open weekdays, noon to 4 p.m.

Row, row, row your boat: Celebrate Steveston’s waterfront heritage at the 10th Annual Richmond Maritime Festival August 9–11. It’s all about you, tall ships and creative hands-on entertainment. Sign up to break the world record for relay singing (Guinness will be watching!) and make one-of-a-kind sock puppets — with up-cycled local socks.

Hang out in a sculptural scene: The Richmond Olympic Oval is so beautiful it’s like a sculpture you can walk inside of. Equally beautiful public artworks are located inside the super-structure and nearby. Be prepared to gasp when you see internationally acclaimed Water Sky Garden by Janet Echelman.

Enjoy tasty music, un-canned: There’s nothing like live music in a poetic summer setting, and the Music at the Cannery series at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Historic Site in Steveston is a winner. From one of Canada’s hottest indie bands, The Jessica Stuart Few, to swing, ’60s and blues. Every Friday evening, ’til the end of August, 6:30–9:00 p.m.

Be a live performance artist: While they aren’t officially theatre scenes, per se, Richmond’s summer night markets are definitely a cultural phenomenon where you’re part of the act. Lights, colour, action, lots of good food — and, yes, there are stages with genuine live performances. Check out the International Summer Night Market –one of the top night markets in the world, says BBC — or the Richmond Summer Night Market, which both run into early fall.

Witness dragons race each other: Watch extreme competition or you can get in the race yourself, as the Steveston Dragon Boat Festival returns to the Britannia Heritage Shipyard on August 24.

Ward off vampires: Tease your nose and your taste buds at the smelly, but tasty Richmond Garlic Festival returning to Terra Nova Rural Park. Sample organically grown artisan garlic and garlic goods and enjoy family-friendly activities including live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, exhibitors and everyone’s favourite: garlic ice cream. Event is on August 25.

Horse around: Mount up for the RCMP Musical Ride, as the Mounties’ iconic drill team of 32 horse and riders demonstrates their cavalry skills choreographed to music at Richmond’s Twin Oaks Equestrian Park on the evening of August 28.

For more information and for a full listing of the above fun family events and more happening all summer long in Richmond, visit www.richmonddaysofsummer.ca. Richmond Days of Summer is presented by the City of Richmond and its community partners.

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