Richmond set to welcome back Tall Ships

RICHMOND, BC, May 13 /CNW/ - The City of Richmond, British Columbia has weighed anchor on plans to host a major international tall ships festival next year.

Richmond City Council has approved plans to bring an international fleet of tall ships back to Canada's west coast in the summer of 2011.

"The arrival of the world's great ships under sail is a breath-taking sight," says Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. "There's no better way to follow up on Richmond's phenomenal success in helping to host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and celebrate our community's maritime heritage, than by bringing back the timeless and majestic spectacle of the tall ships."

Richmond hosted a hugely popular tall ships festival in 2002 attended by more than 400,000 spectators. That event featured visits by more than two dozen notable sail and power vessels, including Japan's 100-metre long (330-feet) Nippon Maru. More than 100,000 spectators lined the banks of the Fraser River to watch the spectacular entry of the tall ships fleet.

Richmond's Steveston Village is the historic home to the commercial fishery on Canada's Pacific Coast. More than a dozen canneries were located in Steveston and fleets of tall ships visited from around the world to load cargoes of canned salmon and other West Coast products. Today, Steveston remains home to the largest commercial fishing fleet on Canada's West Coast and retains a strong maritime character. It is home to two national historic sites, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery and Britannia Heritage Shipyard, and other important maritime heritage sites.

In February, the Richmond Olympic Oval hosted the long track speed skating competition for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. More than 600,000 visitors took in the competition at the Oval or visited the Richmond O Zone, the City's official 2010 Games celebration site.

More details on Richmond Tall Ships 2011 will be announced later in the year.

SOURCE City of Richmond

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Ted Townsend, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Tel (604) 276-4399, Cell: (604) 516-9585, Email: ttownsend@richmond.ca

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