A beloved Steveston holiday event, Songs in the Snow will return in a virtual format this year.
While an in-person event was considered by organizers, ultimately the uncertainty brought about by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic led to the event going online for a second consecutive year. It is run annually by the Steveston Historical Society.
“Last year it was successful beyond anything we could have anticipated,” says the society’s executive director Rachel Meloche.
Pre-pandemic, the free event took place at Town Square Park on Moncton Street. Meloche says numbers each night range from 300 to 500, depending on factors including weather.
Last year’s virtual attendance numbers were comparable to an in-person year, with about 600 craft kits made for participants to follow along with step-by-step crafts. While the virtual event isn’t quite the same as the traditional offering, Meloche says it allows some people to enjoy the show who might not otherwise be able to attend.
Thanks to donations, this year there will be 900 craft kits prepared—300 for each night of the event (Dec. 4, 11 and 18 from 4 to 6 p.m.). They can be picked up from the Steveston Museum or mailed within Canada for a flat rate. And there are add-ons of drink packets (hot chocolate, cider or tea) and cookies for those who are interested.
Some old favourites will return for this year’s event, including caricature artist Cartoon Katie. All artists will perform live.
For the Steveston Historical Society, it was important to continue to offer the event despite the continued change of format. And the fact that it remains free of charge is crucial with many people struggling financially during the pandemic or the holiday season.
“The event was always meant to bring people together and to offer something for free in what can be a very difficult time of year, a very expensive time of year for a lot of people,” says Meloche. “I hope people will join us again this year, I know it’s been a really hard couple of years and I hope that we can continue to bring a little bit of magic to the holiday season.”
The event is sponsored by G&F Financial Group, West Richmond Branch, with additional support from the province’s gaming grant fund, the BC Arts Council and the city. Those who are interested can also make a donation to support the historical society’s programming. For more information, click here.
Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel