Remembrance Day is commemorated on November 11th with parades and ceremonies at locations throughout Metro Vancouver including at Richmond’s City Hall.
For information about all Remembrance Day events across the Lower Mainland, click Remembrance Day Venues. For details about the annual event in Richmond, BC, see below.
Remembrance Day in Richmond
The Remembrance Day event in Richmond is one of the largest Remembrance Day ceremonies in Western Canada. It’s well worth attending. Thousands usually turn out for the ceremonies and the place is a sea of blue, green and red uniforms. There are sounds of bagpipes playing and other marching band music too. It’s a time for remembering past sacrifices, honouring those who have fought and died for their country, and reflection.
From the time the initial parade begins, until after the end of the official ceremonies, the entire event usually lasts between 60 and 75 minutes. There is also usually a reception afterwards at City Hall.
The Parade and Ceremonies
In 2023, the November 11th event in Richmond begins at 10:20 am with a parade along Granville Street. Hundreds of cadets, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and veterans take part, and thousands of spectators watch from along the route.
The parade finishes in front of the Cenotaph outside Richmond City Hall at 6911 Minoru Boulevard. There, starting at around 10:40 am, the ceremonies take place. This year, the ceremonies in Richmond are open to the public and also livestreamed online.
What to Expect
During the ceremonies there are usually a few short speeches, some form of multi-denominational or inclusive prayer and the singing of the Canadian national anthem, O Canada. There is also other music, the recitation of a poem, the laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph, two minutes of silence and the playing of a bugle. It’s a solemn and impressive event.
Granville Street in front of Richmond City Hall is typically full of cadets, soldiers, younger veterans and RCMP officers all in uniform and standing in rows at attention. There is seating for older veterans and dignitaries. Along the street and on the lawns out front, thousands of people stand, watch and remember.
At the end of the official Remembrance Day ceremonies the assembled cadets, military officers, police officers and veterans resume their parade formations and march again, this time along just a bit of Granville Street before turning up Minoru Boulevard most years.
After the ceremonies and the end of the final parade, a reception takes place at Richmond City Hall. Inside, there are refreshments including hot chocolate and other treats, plus a choir singing. The reception begins at 11:30 am in 2023. Everyone is welcome.
Tips & Advice
Below is a list of suggestions to help you make the most of your Remembrance Day experience at Richmond City Hall.
Things to Know Before You Go
TIP #1: Dress warmly, and take an umbrella or a good waterproof coat if it looks like rain. It can get cold in mid-November, and it rains a lot then too.
TIP #2: Take public transit if you can. The Richmond-Brighouse SkyTrain Station by the Richmond Centre shopping mall is less than a 10-minute walk away.
TIP #3: Arrive early to find parking in the area and a good place to watch from. The best views are arguably up close near the Cenotaph, for the ceremony, and along Granville Street for the parade. The entire area gets pretty crowded though, but there is lots of space.
Other Things to Consider
TIP #4: The Richmond Remembrance Day ceremonies are simulcast and shown on a large screen inside the City Hall Council Chambers. There is seating inside and it’s an especially popular and comfortable place to watch from when it’s raining. Space is limited, obviously, and priority is given to individuals with special needs and those unable to stand for the duration of the service outside.
TIP #5: Go to a Remembrance Day ceremony, either in Richmond or somewhere else. They aren’t victory celebrations. They are solemn events to honour people who have died and fought for their country, and to remember the horrors of war, … lest we forget. Of all the various Remembrance Day events in the Lower Mainland, the one in Richmond is among the largest and most impressive.
To learn more about the event in Richmond, see the City of Richmond‘s website.
For November 11th events in other parts of the Lower Mainland click Remembrance Day Events.