The Richmond Children’s Arts Festival takes place at the Richmond Cultural Centre every year on Family Day which in 2021 is on Monday, February 15th.
This past year, because of COVID-19, the festival happened as a virtual event. It still took place on the Holiday Monday, just not as a live event that you could attend in person.
To learn about what you could do at the virtual event, which was free in 2021, see the Arts Festival‘s official website. To learn about what happens in a typical year, continue reading.
Family Day Arts Festival in Richmond
Held annually at the Richmond Cultural Centre at 7700 Minoru Gate, the Richmond Children’s Arts Festival usually runs from 10 am until 4 pm on the Monday of the BC Family Day Long Weekend. As well as art classes, there are performers, book readings and entertaining clowns at the event.
The festival is a popular event and suitable for children up to around 12 years of age. Most kids though are younger.
In 2021, because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the festival took place as a virtual event with activities available for children online.
To get into the festival, general admission is usually $5 (but free in 2021). However, most years at least, if you have a receipt from a store at Lansdowne Centre, you get in for free. You also get to skip the line and go to the Lansdowne Centre Express Lane for entry. Kids under the age of 3 are also free (even without a mall store receipt).
Note: The event is usually cash only. Credit cards and debit cards cannot be used to pay for admission at the festival.
Creativity Classes are extra. See below for details.
Children’s Festival Classes
Creativity classes were offered for $15 each last year and pre-registration was required. Below are a few of the classes that were available during the festival in 2020.
- Animation with Ali Lupu
- Broadway Bound: Musical Theatre with Christine Lindo
- Clay Creations with Emily Sheppard
- Introduction to Song-Writing with Megan Phillips
There are other options to choose from that are suitable for a variety of ages. To see the entire list click Creativity Classes.
Performances and Presentations
At the 2020 Richmond Children’s Arts Festival there were three stages that performances took place on. A variety of performers put on shows throughout the day. See below for the full schedule of events. (Note: Performers and times are subject to change.)
Once Upon A Time Stage
On the Once Upon A Time Stage various children’s authors either read from their books or do a presentation. At 3 o’clock last year there was also a performance by the family-friendly entertainer Rockin’ Robin. Participating authors and scheduled times in 2020 were the following:
- 10:30 am – Lisa Lewis
- 11:30 am – Dawn Lo
- 1:00 pm – Jeff Chiba Stearns
- 2:15 pm – Kidspower
- 3:00 pm – Rockin’ Robin
Sonic Garden Stage
Live entertainment took place on the Sonic Garden Stage with the following groups on February 17th in 2020:
- 10:00 am – Chinese Lion Dancers
- 10:30 am – Uzume Japanese Taiko Drumming
- 11:15 am – The Wild Moccasins Dancers
- 11:45 am – Chinese Lion Dancers
- 12:00 pm – Welcome Ceremony
- 12:45 pm – Hunter J and The Jets
- 1:00 pm – Muevete
- 3:00 pm – Langley Ukulele Ensemble
Live entertainment also took place in the Kid’s Place area at the following times in 2020:
- 10:45 am – Cosmo Circus
- 11:45 am – Lisa Lewis hosts a writing workshop
- 12:45 pm – Penny Pom Pom
- 1:15 pm – Cosmo Circus
- 2:00 pm – Penny Pom Pom
- 3:00 pm – Peter GG
Sustainability and the Environment
The Richmond Children’s Festival is doing a fair bit to promote sustainability at their event. Here are some of the ways you can help the next time it happens as a live, in-person event:
- Bring your own reusable water bottle and fill it at the free water stations.
- Make sure you put your waste in the proper bins so it’s recycled properly. Don’t worry, there will be a Green Team on site so if you’re unsure of where an item goes, ask one of the volunteers to help you.
- Take public transportation to the event if you can. The SkyTrain station is close by. There are also public bike racks available at the Aquatics Centre and the Minoru track.
- Keep in mind that the cutlery and dishes used by food vendors is compostable so make sure your utensils goes in the compost bins when you’re done eating.
Check out the Richmond Children’s Arts Festival website for more details and information.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- The City of Richmond
- Vancouver on the Family Day Weekend
- Vancouver’s February Calendar
- Free Events in Vancouver in February
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Vancouver Events for Children