Richmond’s Gulf of Georgia Cannery is a famous Vancouver attraction that hosts farmers markets, holiday activities, concerts and other special events.
The historic site is located at 12138 Fourth Avenue in Steveston Village.
Note: As of the spring of 2020 the Cannery is closed until further notice due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. As a result, no events will be happening until the venue reopens.
Cannery events featured in this article include the following:
Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn about all of the historic site’s main events.
Special Events at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery
Special events at the Cannery include a winter market, Spring Break activities, summer outdoor concerts, a “Haunted Sea” attraction at Halloween, the Festival of Trees in December and Christmas in Steveston Village, among others.
See below for details about each of these events, or check out the Cannery Event Calendar to see what’s coming up soon.
Cannery Winter Market
The Cannery Farmers Market is a bi-weekly winter market that takes place on Sundays at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site (NHS) between October and April each year.
In 2020 the market was scheduled to run in the spring from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm on March 8th, 22nd, and April 5th & 19th. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, no markets took place after mid-March.
The market usually takes a break after the spring and starts up again in late October. It then runs for another half dozen or so Sundays in the lead up to Christmas. Hopefully this will be possible in 2020, although details are to be confirmed.
As of mid-July, 2020, the Cannery has announced that the 2019/2020 season of the market will be the final season. This means that 2020 is the last year that the market will run at the historic site.
The Cannery Farmers Market usually consists of thirty or so artisan vendors selling everything from eggs to chocolate, handmade soaps and jewellery. A small number of vendors set up outside the historic site, but the majority are indoors.
Market days are exceptional times to visit the Gulf of Georgia Cannery NHS for a number of reasons. In addition to there being interesting things to see and buy, there is also live music to enjoy, plus admission to the historic site is free!
Spring Break at the Cannery
The Gulf of Georgia Cannery NHS offers special activities during the school Spring Break each year. 2020 was an exception, however, due to COVID-19.
From March 16th until March 29th, 2020, “Spring Break Mystery in the Museum” was scheduled to take place where children could explore the Cannery, look for clues and solve a mystery. The camps never too place, however, as the entire facility was closed down due to the coronavirus.
With the event in 2020, a girl by the name of Lulu Sweet was supposed to have gone missing after a theatre performance. The setting was to have been in 1860.
The mystery-solving activity in 2020 was designed for children ages 7 to 10, but both younger and older children could also participate. Advanced registration was not required and a complimentary detective kit was to be provided per paying adult or senior in the group. This activity was going to take place daily from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.
Regular admission rates to the historic site were going to apply during Spring Break in 2020, which meant $11.90 for adults, $10.20 for seniors and free for children (under 18 years of age) and members of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society.
2021 Spring Break Camp details will likely be similar to the above 2020 plans (assuming the world returns to normal with respect to viruses by that time).
See the Gulf of Georgia Cannery website for more information about the Spring Break activities.
Easter at the Cannery
The Cannery celebrates Easter with salmon-themed activities over the Easter Long Weekend, or at least it does in years without pandemics.
In 2020 Easter at the Cannery was going to take place on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of April 10th to 12th. The Cannery’s Easter event was going to feature a fish-themed scavenger hunt where children could earn a chocolate prize. The same as the case with the Spring Break activities the month before, the Easter event was cancelled due to COVID-19 in 2020.
In years when they do take place, Easter activities at the historic site are suitable for children between the ages of 2 and 12. The Easter Salmon “Egg” Hunts usually run every half hour, but times for 2021 are to be confirmed. Other activities typically include an “Upstream Obstacle Course” game, crafts, face painting and storytelling.
Click Easter at the Cannery for more details.
Pull of the Net: A Multicultural Celebration
Pull of the Net is a multicultural event that takes place in May. Until it got cancelled due to the coronavirus, the 2020 event was scheduled to happen on May 2nd.
In years when it does take place, the event features dance performances, live music and other activities on the first Saturday in May. The event includes both indoor and outdoor activities and admission is free.
Click Pull of the Net: A Multicultural Celebration for more details.
National Indigenous Peoples Day
National Indigenous Peoples Day is officially on June 21st each year. It’s a day to celebrate and honor the First Nations people of Canada, and their culture.
The day was celebrated in Richmond at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery from 12 to 4 pm on June 22nd in 2019. It did not happen in 2020 due to the coronavirus and 2021 details are to be confirmed.
In years when it doesn’t get cancelled, it’s a free family-friendly event that features dance performances, food, story-telling and various other activities.
Click National Indigenous Peoples Day in Richmond for more details.
Music at the Cannery
Music at the Cannery is series of concerts in the summer. On days with good weather the performances happen outdoors, and on days with rain in the forecast they are held inside.
Music at the Cannery usually takes places on Friday evenings from around mid-July until the end of August. On show nights tickets go on sale at 5:30 pm, doors opened at 6:00 and the bands start playing at around 6:30 pm. Admission to the concerts in recent years has been $7 for adults and $5 for children (ages 2 to 17).
It looks like this event will not be taking place in 2020. Hopefully it will happen again in 2021.
Music at the Cannery concerts are popular events and often sell out. The bands are great and include groups like the Beauty Shop Dolls, Irish Wakers, Halifax Wharf Rats, Rock Line, the Steve Kozak Band and Willy Blizzard.
For more information see the Gulf of Georgia Cannery website.
Halloween at the Cannery
The Gulf of Georgia Cannery NHS is one of many Lower Mainland attractions that offer Halloween-themed decorations and activities in October. The venue’s haunted attraction and spooky yet kid-friendly activities usually happen on the last Saturday and Sunday of October and have a “Haunted Sea” theme.
The Cannery’s Halloween event typically includes a haunted yet still child-friendly section of the facility decorated with cobwebs, underwater creatures and live actors. There are also a couple of games and craft activities in the main part of the museum.
The same as the year before, in 2019 “The Haunted Sea” took place on the last weekend of October between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm each day. Admission was $11.00 for adults and $7.00 for children between the ages of 6 and 17. 2020 details are to be confirmed.
Click Gulf Cannery at Halloween for more details.
Festival of Trees at the Cannery
The Gulf of Georgia Cannery celebrates the Christmas season with its annual Festival of Trees event in December. Between around December 1st and the 31st the historic site gets decorated by local businesses and community groups which each set up, sponsor and decorate a Christmas tree.
Regular admission rates apply during the Festival of Trees, except on specific Sundays when the Cannery Farmers Market takes place.
Christmas in Steveston Village
Christmas in Steveston Village usually takes place on the first Sunday in December. It’s a one-day community event that the Gulf of Georgia Cannery participates in.
At the Christmas in Steveston Village event Santa Claus arrives at the marina by boat before walking to the Cannery where he hangs out for a bit for photo opportunities and chats with children. Also at the event, outside and not too far away, dozens of classic cars are usually on display.
Click Christmas in Steveston Village for further details.
For a list of what’s coming up at the historic site see the Cannery’s Event Calendar.
For more information about the venue and surrounding area check out any of the following:
- Gulf of Georgia Cannery‘s official website
- Gulf of Georgia Cannery (Vancouver’s Best Places’ article about the venue)
- Cannery Farmers Market
- Festival of Trees
- Christmas in Steveston Village
- Steveston Village
- The City of Richmond
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s Festivals & Events Calendar
- Vancouver History & Culture
- Vancouver’s Top Two Dozen Attractions
- Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Vancouver for Children
- Vancouver Rainy Day Activities