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Salmon Festival spawns more than memories

Lorraine Graves   Jul-13-2017

The Valenzuela family was among the revellers.

Photo by Chung Chow


The Steveston Salmon Festival offers something more concrete than a day of fun and great memories; the 2017 festival’s legacy will be a revamped, accessible playground for the children of Richmond and their families.

Janice Froese, festival chair explains, “It’s been more than 10 years since there’s been any significant work done to the playground.”

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In addition to the new bits and the changes, Froese reassures that the popular parts, such as the wooden boat-like structure, will be maintained.

“We plan on refurbishing the parts we’re keeping,” she says.

As a result of consultations with the Rick Hansen Foundation, Froese says plans are afoot to have all the pea gravel taken out of the playground so that it is fully accessible and “anything on wheels can go anywhere in the playground.”

Money for a Steveston playground was at the heart of the first festival, says Froese. “It all started July 1,1945. A group of families had a Dominion Day sports picnic and raised $3,000. That was a lot of money in those days. Here we are full circle. We are raising money 72 years later for a playground,” she says.

As Froese says, the idea of the Steveston Salmon Festival has always been two-pronged; one, the fun, “Come and celebrate Canada Day with 80,000 of your closest friends and neighbours. I think we achieved that again.”

As far as the other, fundraising goal is concerned, they are still tallying but today’s organizers, just like the ones 1945, know the money raised, for the children’s playground will leave a concrete legacy from Canada Day 2017 for many years to come.


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