How could Richmond residents feel more engaged and included in community life?

about 5 years ago
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There is a perception that some Richmond residents have no interest in what happens in their community.  How can we all create a strong and inclusive sense of community in Richmond?  Does it all start with knowing your neighbour?

  • Grasshopper almost 9 years ago
    I think for citizens to feel included, there needs to be a common factor that would encourage participation and building of sense of belonging. Personally I always like to join community events that are about "Food". I attended the Nibble Event at Thompson Community Centre and thoroughly enjoyed it, unfortunately it got more costly every year and finally out of the picture. I hope to see more multicultural events with food as a main theme to attract public participation, such as International Food Fair, with sponsors and City support to make it affordable for everyone.
  • dewhalen almost 9 years ago
    I believe people want to feel included but there are many hindrances. We have a large and diverse immigrant population. Many came to Canada thinking their credentials would be accepted and they could make a better life for their families. Lots of these folks end up working low wage service jobs and both parents have to work more than one job to survive with the high cost of living in Richmond. Rents are much too high for the average wage earner so we need affordable housing (where 30% of salary goes to housing, no more). Food is often imported and very expensive-we need to promote more local food growing and eating. When the cost of living is more affordable, people don't have to work as hard and can take time to be with their families, volunteer in the community, get to know their neighbours, and participate in local activities.
  • Funfunyay almost 9 years ago
    I think at the centre is a lack of common identity. Richmond has become 'sub-vancouver', that conglomeration of houses and businesses that is near Vancouver. If we want people to be involved with Richmond, there has to be a sense of what Richmond is and could be, something for people to be invested in. Now what could this identity be? Well, I don't know. This isn't something we can just pop out of a hat. Look at how long it took Canada as a whole to have a sense of common identity, and even now our search hardly seems conclusive.But I think the Canada comparison is apt. And if so, we should look and see what gives Canada as a whole an identity - and one of the key components is culture. What Richmond needs is a Group of Seven, or Confederation Poets, or any mythbuilding. This may seem beside the point, and yet, how can we be what we can't even imagine? How can we do what we can't imagine? The only answer to those questions is, not on purpose. In order to take Richmond into our own hands we need to recognize the Imaginative arts and the role they play.What I envision is an annual award to the artist who best describes Richmond. Just a simple thing, but it would bring attention to the arts and get people thinking about Richmond. It would give artists an incentive to focus on the here and now. We could be making and remaking Richmond through each moment of our lives.
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    • Marmaduke almost 9 years ago
      There are awards to local artists in categories such as volunteer, education etc- your moment in the spotlight at city hall, receiving of a framed award - and then things go on just the same. It doesn't make any real difference to what is happening- Marmaduke
  • Marmaduke almost 9 years ago
    There is nothing so far on this discussion about the role of the arts and artists in the community. If a person goes to the BC arts Councils website, one can find how very much the arts contribute to a vibrant community and how they actually add financially as well. Yet, in Richmond we have an Arts Centre that is raising its rents so that many of the groups will be priced out of this taxpayer-built facility. There is no real opportunity for local artists to display their works. Once upon a time, the Art Gallery held an annual show of work by local artists- this no longer happens. Formerly, the Art Gallery also held a fundraiser where members displayed paintings in a silent auction with 50% of the selling price going to the artist and 50% to the Art Gallery. This no longer happens. There is no longer any real reason to belong to the Art Gallery - anyone can go to openings and there are no special events like the fundraiser (which also had a nice closing party with prizes) just for members. There is no support for local artists- yet we have many who are exhibited elsewhere. There is no sense of community for the arts and things are getting worse. Artists are expected to support many events - and many do. Many also contribute to charities and make donations in other ways. When the Fraser River Arts Festival is held at London Farm, it costs each artist about $50 to participate- very often for no return at all. Where is support and a sense of community for visual artists?
  • Bernie almost 9 years ago
    I have to agree with funfunyay, that Richmond seems to be loosing its identity. The media now refers to it as Metro Vancouver, when publishing a news report about anything that has happened within the City. We have much too large a population base to be spoken of in that way, unless the powers that be are planning on an amalgamation. (which we are not being told about).We obviously need a stronger PR department in the City, as well as asking our City representatives who sit at the GVRD tables to ensure that they are seen as representing the CITY OF RICHMOND. That might help!
  • Benjamin Knight almost 9 years ago
    Create events in the neighbourhood centres like Fall Fairs or Snowmen Building contests which will allow people to make new friends and meet thy neighbourhood. Make new parks and cafes and community gardens to allow socializing places where you actually have to socialize. And like making the simpliest things like a strange public art piece as a conversation starter (ie. does it look like a pig to you? or what is it actually?)