2022 Richmond Heritage Award recipients announced

14 June 2022

Online and telephone history sessions designed particularly for seniors; recipes honouring the food ways of our Japanese immigrant community; new architecture resembling historic Steveston; a school program that raises awareness about diverse heritage of Richmond and Canada, and a community-based Chinese-Canadian story-telling project are the celebrated recipients of this year’s Richmond Heritage Awards, announced at the June 13 Council Meeting.

“The Richmond Heritage Awards allow us to pay tribute to those who contribute to promoting awareness of Richmond’s diverse heritage, as well as those conserving our historic places and culture. The awards also provide a platform for people to learn about the many interesting and important stories about our history,” says Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations and to the many people and organizations dedicated to Richmond’s heritage.”

The five 2022 award recipients are:

Ken Chow, Interface Architecture: For his work on the mixed use building at 3755 Chatham Street for the following reasons:

  • The façade highlights the traditional narrow lots typical of the Village;
  • The exterior draws inspiration from four of the local historic buildings to create four facades in a single building;
  • The project helps to clarify that the Steveston Village core extends to Chatham Street; and
  • The project will encourage further consideration of the existing heritage fabric of the Village.

Christine McGilvray, President, Friends of the Richmond Archives: For her contribution as a host of the “Journey Through Time” online and telephone history sessions designed particularly for seniors who are not able to leave their homes or take part in outdoor programming during the pandemic. There have been about 15 sessions, on a wide range of topics, with approximately 150 registrants since the first session in December 2020.

Tonari Gumi (Japanese Community Volunteers Association) & the Steveston Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre: From the Sea and Shore is the newest, highly anticipated release from Tonari Gumi. The book is a record for honouring the foodways of an immigrant community and the resilient people who sustained them. Collected from senior members of the Steveston Japanese Canadian community, the recipes reflect their frugality and ingenuity in preserving Japanese tastes and culture using ingredients local to the west coast.

Cornerstone Christian Academy: For over a decade, Cornerstone Christian Academy (CCA) has actively raised awareness about Richmond’s and Canada’s diverse heritage through their school Heritage Fair Program. The CCA teachers and their librarians spend countless hours training their students on how to use archival material and conduct on-site research, and CCA has developed a positive culture of learning which will hopefully lead to a lifelong interest and awareness of history and heritage.

The Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society & the Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies: For its Fish Tales project, a community based story-telling project. In 2021, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society partnered with the Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies at UBC. The Fish Tales project documents and shares personal Chinese-Canadian stories in an effort to create community ties and a sense of belonging, through the topic of “seafood”. Stories were initially collected from the students, friends and families and will be broadened to include society members, partners and visitors to future Cannery events and exhibits.

Richmond has a unique and significant heritage, which includes buildings, landscapes, artifacts, residents and their histories. An important way by which the City recognizes people and organizations for their heritage efforts is through the annual Richmond Heritage Awards, organized by the Richmond Heritage Commission.

The awards are based on public nominations of people and/or organizations for their dedication to the preservation, restoration, rehabilitation of a historic place and promotion of heritage. Some of the ways these efforts are recognized include promoting local heritage awareness through education, restoring a historic building or landscape, outreach or advocacy, and contributing to local heritage knowledge by interpreting places and events.

The nominations were reviewed by the Richmond Heritage Commission, and the recipients contacted and publicly announced at last night’s Council Meeting.

For more information on the 2022 and previous year recipients, the City’s commitment to Heritage and on the Richmond Heritage Commission, visit the Heritage section.