ABOUT THE JOB
As the ambassador for Richmond’s diverse culinary scene, Lindsay receives a one-year contract role with a salary of $50,000, living compensation and a daily stipend of $30 for all dining experiences. The job also includes a one-year membership to the Richmond Olympic Oval—home to a 23,000 square foot fitness centre—to assist in burning off all those daily dining experiences!
Having just recently moved to Vancouver for the first time in late 2011 (she was born in Prince George, BC) and after living in various cities around the world for the last 10 years, Lindsay has chosen to stay put in her new digs. Tourism Richmond is providing her with living compensation, transportation coverage to and from Richmond from Vancouver, and starting in July, regular “staycations” at our 27 hotels to ensure a truly authentic tourism experience.
In exchange, Lindsay will dine at 365 Richmond locations in 365 days, taking photos, shooting videos and blogging about the experience. Because some of the most memorable food experiences are often the simplest ones, we believe that not every meal needs to be a standard sit-down dinner or occur at a particular time of the day. Lindsay will also be actively engaging with the local community—both in person and online through social media—and meeting the people who live, work and play in Richmond.
Lindsay is approaching Richmond with fresh eyes as a tourist in our city. This blog is not meant to be a restaurant review, nor do we intend for Lindsay to be an expert in the foods of every culture. Rather, 365daysofdining.com is intended to tell Richmond’s story through food which includes posts about people, places, events and activities that make our city special.
The dynamic, multicultural city of Richmond boasts more than 800 restaurants (over 400 of which are Asian eateries) and—with a population that is 65 percent Asian and 45% of Chinese ancestry—is renowned for having some of the best Chinese cuisine in the world. Add to that all the fresh seafood offerings in the scenic fishing village of Steveston as well as fine-dining hotel restaurants, two authentic Asian night markets, funky diners and the homemade offerings at the Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market, there’s plenty of variety to keep Lindsay busy for a full year.
How the stipend works:
Lindsay is provided with what we [the Tourism Richmond Association] have deemed to be a fair stipend of $30 per day. Given that her dining experiences and the costs associated will vary daily, any remaining money will be carried over. This allows her to have dining experiences that are simpler easy meals as well as more extravagant ones, much like a visitor would. As for those who dine with her, they are welcome to share in her meal however any additional items outside of what Lindsay would be able to eat on her own or beyond the $30 must be covered by those guests. For meals such as dim sum, which are meant be shared family-style, they just wouldn’t work without the help of a few friends. On a monthly basis, Lindsay will also provide receipts and an expense report so that she and Tourism Richmond are being fiscally responsible.
RICHMOND FUN FACTS
- Our city, with a population of 200,00, has been awarded one of the most livable communities by The International Awards for Liveable Communities
- People in Richmond have a life expectancy of 83.4 years according to the World Health Organization’s ranking
- We are home to the award-wining Vancouver International Airport, offer 27 hotels and are neighbours to Vancouver
- Richmond was a Venue City for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the award-winning Richmond Olympic Oval (host to the long track speed skating events) is now a centre for health and wellness
- We have over 100 parks/green spaces and 80 kms of interconnecting dyke trails, cycling routes and walkways
- 38 percent of the city’s land is protected under the Agricultural Land Reserve; we have 250 farms and are Canada’s largest producer of cranberries
- Our population is 65 percent Asian (45 percent are of Chinese descent)
- We have 800 restaurants, 400 of which are Asian
- Our Chinese cuisine has been lauded by publications ranging from The New York Times to Conde Nast Traveler as the “best Chinese food outside China”
- We have a stretch of road known as “Food Street” featuring 200 of the city’s 400 Asian eateries within three blocks
- There are now two Asian Night Markets in Richmond and in 2011 the Summer Night Market was declared one of the top 5 night markets in the world by Travel + Leisure Magazine
- The historic fishing village of Steveston, in the South West corner of Richmond, is Canada’s largest commercial fishing hub
- Steveston is home to two National Historic Sites (the Gulf of Georgia Cannery and Britannia Heritage Shipyards) and is at the mouth of the Fraser River which is known as the world’s largest source of salmon
- While Steveston is a big seafood hot spot, there are loads of unique eateries for land lubbers such as organic cafes/coffee shops, BBQ joints, Italian eateries, bakeries, tea rooms, Greek restaurants and bars
- The Steveston Pizza Company is home to the now widely publicized, $450 lobster and caviar pizza!
- The fictional town of Storybrooke in the hit ABC TV drama, Once Upon a Time, is filmed in Steveston Village
- Richmond is not-so-curiously home therefore to a variety of either Asian or maritime-themed festivals and events
ABOUT THE SELECTION PROCESS
On March 1, Tourism Richmond launched the 365 Days of Dining campaign—its largest initiative since the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The one-year contract role was open to anyone around the world eligible to work in Canada for 12 months. The response was incredibly positive and enthusiastic, instantly garnering international attention for Richmond. In total 1,507 applications were received including entries from Australia, Finland, Malaysia, the UK, the US, the Czech Republic, Thailand, the Philippines, South Korea, Belgium, Indonesia and Japan. The majority of the applicants were from Canada with an overwhelming number from the local BC area.
Given the breadth of talented applicants, the hiring process took nine weeks and was a daunting task undertaken by a Tourism Richmond panel. Candidates were whittled down based upon how well they met the overall job description criteria—from quality of writing and photography to online community engagement and creativity, every aspect of the candidates’ blogs and their personalities were carefully considered. After painstakingly narrowing the field to 12 candidates, Tourism Richmond invited the online community to support their favourite blogger in a public vote. Lindsay Anderson received the most public votes and automatically earned a free pass into the top three. Tourism Richmond selected the other two finalists, Kelly Brisson of Ottawa, Ontario and Melanie Hillier of Toronto, Ontario. In the final round of the selection process, the top three candidates were brought to Richmond for a second interview and an opportunity to explore the city. Before the final announcement was made, candidate Kelly Brisson pulled herself out of the competition citing personal reasons.
Tourism Richmond extends sincere thanks to everyone who applied to be the Richmond Foodie Blogger. If your favourite blogger wasn’t selected, don’t despair—you just might see them again throughout the course of the 365 Days of Dining campaign. Stay tuned!