In 1980, a small group of local photography enthusiasts decided to form a photo club in Richmond, and put out a call, through local newspapers, for interested individuals to join the organizers at their first meeting.  Around 40 people showed up to the inaugural event and the Club was firmly established, later developing its Constitution and even a Club logo. 



Regular meetings were held at the Kinsmen Pavilion, within the Richmond Nature Park, which became the established base of operations.



Being in the era before digital photography, activities at that time were focused on helping members to improve their skills in using film technology. At evening meetings, they were encouraged to bring prints and slides for evaluation at one of two levels (novice and advanced) according to their individual abilities. Encouragement and recognition came with ribbons and rosettes awarded to the top 3 images in each level.



 The Club also established an annual print display at the Lansdowne Mall with support of the Mall management. This public show was held in the Rotunda area by the Food Court, and continues today, providing us with an excellent opportunity to showcase members’ work and to attract photographers to join the Club. 


Information on Club activities was shared amongst members via a quarterly printed newsletter – “Exposure”, which remained in use until the Club set up its first website in 2012, and began keeping members informed by using e-mail.

To read past editions of the newsletter follow the menu to Resources > Documents & Files > Archive > Historical Newsletters 2006 to 2012.




Meetings continued at the Kinsmen Pavilion until 1993, when the Club moved its activities to the City’s newly constructed Cultural Centre at Minoru Gate in the centre of Richmond - a more convenient location for everyone.

The Centre also provided the Club with a “Dark Room” facility where members could undertake their own film processing and print making. New meeting spaces and the opportunity to interact on a regular basis with the other arts and cultural groups at the Centre were a real benefit, and today we are known collectively as the “Resident Art Groups”.


The new millennium ushered in the age of digital photography and members migrated from film-based equipment, replacing 35 mm slide projectors with digital display devices and a new generation of (film-less) cameras.  Left behind were film processing costs, replaced by the benefit of immediate image results. Home computers with digital-image processing software gave members the freedom to work with their images and the convenience of printing at home.

In 2008 the Club updated its logo to feature Richmond’s ubiquitous Great Blue Heron symbol, with the slogan “Focus On Creativity”, to reflect the Club’s emphasis on moving beyond “documentary” image making to a more artistic realm.

2010 saw the Club commemorate its 30th Anniversary with a celebratory banquet, and a hard-cover photo book featuring 100 images from 27 of its members.


Earlier in that year the Club was invited by the City’s Archives Department to document Richmond’s participation in 

the 2010 Vancouver/Whistler Winter Olympic Games.

The “Ozone”  event was held at the Minoru Sports and Cultural facilities.  

This special time was photographed by more than a dozen members who provided the City with over a thousand images captured during a very dynamic two-week event.


The Club’s 4th decade has been action-packed, with members documenting numerous cultural and community events, held either annually or as “one off” specials, all of them mixed in with the Club’s own on-going activities.  Among these was "Richmond Then & Now" a project documenting the changing face of the city.

The annual Lansdowne print display was supplemented with other exhibits - at City Hall, at the Thompson Community Centre and in the Rotunda of the Cultural Centre itself. Members have also enjoyed regular “field trips” to a variety of locations around the Lower Mainland, to help them develop their photographic skills and to interact socially with their colleagues.

The Club hosts two main social events annually – one just before Christmas and a second (its Year-End Celebration) towards the end of June, when awards are given to members who have excelled in image making during the year. In 2013 the Club took a big step to become formally registered with the Province of BC as a Society, giving the Club its formal title – Richmond Photo Club Society!


Entering our 5th decade, beginning in September 2020, the Club has many challenges and opportunities to consider. Not least will be managing membership retention and renewal, seeking out a new meeting space sufficient for the size of its membership and taking advantage of on-line meeting technology to supplement the in-person meetings that members enjoy. With a strong executive team providing great leadership and fresh ideas, members can look forward to many more years of excellent photographic opportunities to test their abilities and creativity.  It is time, once again, for the “Roaring Twenties”!

History Prepared by Brian G. Phillips – RPC Member since 1990


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