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Heroes of Our History



This weekend at the Surrey Archives and Museum in Cloverdale, well-known heritage consultant, advocate and author, Donald Luxton gave a talk on the process of preserving heritage sites in the face of the continued growth and development in Surrey.

Luxton is basically Metro Vancouver’s local history and heritage rock star.

Donald Luxton

His firm, Donald Luxton & Associates is THE go-to cultural and heritage resource management firm in Western Canada.

If you love local history you should check out some of the richly illustrated books he’s published such as Building the West, Lion’s Gate and Vancouver General Hospital 100 Years of Care and Service.

Donald Luxton Books - Building the West, Lion's Gate and Vancouver General Hospital 100 Years of Care and Service

I am fascinated by local history (a total history nerd, so expect more posts on the subject). My dad was a history prof, I guess it’s in my blood.

Anyway… Luxton met with the Surrey Historical society and discussed some of the problems, successes and rewards of preservation and the Heritage Foundation.

We met with some of the members of the society after the talk and made some new friends. Many of them are retired folks who have witnessed the growth of Surrey from a backwoods farm land with a one-room school, to the second largest city in BC. Imagine!

I spoke with the Surrey Historical Society about two books on local history published by their members. Here’s the videos:

Kennedy’s Trail: Past to Present by John MacDonald

Kennedy's Trail: Past to Present By John MacdonaldThis is the story of how in 1861 James Kennedy made the first settler-built trail in BC’s Lower Mainland, how its route almost became lost to local history, and how the author found remnants of the 150 year old trail in North Delta and Surrey.

John MacDonald has received Friend of Heritage awards from both Delta and Surrey, and is a member of the Surrey Historical Society. He has combined information from historical maps, survey plans, modern maps, satellite images, and photographs to clearly illustrate the route of Kennedy’s trail in relation to other early trails and roads.

The Semiahmoo Trail: Myths, Makers, Memories by Ron Dowle

The Semiahmoo Trail: Myths, Makers, Memories by Ron DowleThe Semiahmoo Trail: Myths, Makers, Memories, pulls back the curtain on a little-known piece of Surrey history. The Semiahmoo Trail was built 1873-74 and crossed Surrey from the Fraser River to the Canada-U.S. border.

Author Ron Dowle has written a highly readable first-ever history of the Trail. The 68-page book includes previously-unpublished material from pioneer writings, surveyor field books and historical plans and maps held in archival collections in British Columbia and Whatcom County in Washington State.

These books are available through the BC Historical Society book sales on-line. They can also be ordered from the Society at (778) 294-1515 or contact

Pioneer Profiles

Richard Clement MoodyRichard Clement Moody was the commander of the British Army’s Royal Engineers Columbia Detachment at New Westminster, and BC’s Commissioner of Lands and Works.
James DouglasJames Douglas resided in Victoria. He was Governor of the separate British colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia.

Upcoming Events:

Surrey Archives Series

Surrey’s Pioneer Profiles
with Ryan Gallagher

Saturday April 14th, 11 am to 12 noon.
The location to be announced.

The Surrey Historical Society

The Surrey Historical Society was incorporated in 1969 to promote interest in the heritage of the city of Surrey; to identify and support the preservaton of historical materials, site and structures pertaining to the people of Surrey, especially those of early settlers; to support research and documentation of Surrey history; and to publish materials on Surrey’s history.

First Land Owners in Surrey

Old maps

James and Caroline KennedyJames Kennedy was an architect, builder, and an entrepreneur. After some initial difficulty he found work constructing roads and buildings in New Westminster.

In 1860 he became the first person to pre–empt un–surveyed land on the south side of the Fraser River in what is now the Annieville area of North Delta, near the boundary with Surrey.

He taught school at Derby near Fort Langley between 1867 and 1873. He and his sons James M. and Robert eventually pre–empted or purchased more than a thousand acres of land in Delta and Surrey, mostly along Scott Road. Several of his sons worked for The British Columbian newspaper in New Westminster and his sons George, Robert, and James become its owners in 1888. More on the society website…

(Pictured: James and Caroline Kennedy at the time of their marriage in Ontario in 1854)


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Surrey Eagles Soar & Take the Game



Last night it was the Surrey Eagles vs. the Cowichan Capitals at the South Surrey Arena. The Eagles led the whole game however, there was no shortage of tension and excitement in the air. The Surrey Eagles conquered, ending the game with a 4-1 win. They lead the series 2-0. Eagles, you did us proud tonight. Playoff tickets are on sale now.

Surrey604 wanted to pay homage to the team and last night’s game so watch the video above and enjoy. Let’s keep that feeling alive for the Surrey Eagles!

Surrey Eagles BCHL South Surrey Arena

Surrey Eagles Tickets BCHL South Surrey Arena

Surrey Eagles BCHL South Surrey Arena

Surrey Eagles BCHL South Surrey Arena

Surrey Eagles BCHL South Surrey Arena

Surrey EaglesBCHL








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Serial Images and Reading the City



A week ago I visited the Surrey Arts Centre for the Among the Plazas and the Courts: Writers Reading the City event. Presented in partnership with Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Creative Writing program.

With all the changes happening in Surrey, I thought it would be interesting to hear how the expression of ‘city life’ is changing in writing and art. After all, art imitates life, right?

Upon entering the Arts Centre, my first stop was the gallery to check out Beyond Vague Terrain: The City and the Serial Image. This exhibition showcases a combination of photography and serial images to represent ideas of the city.

Some of my favourites:  Sylvia Grace Borda’s . A very bold, yet somber collection of  backdrops and bus stops in Surrey. Did you know that there are 1100 bus stops in Surrey? Enjoyed the larger -than- life stops of the city.

Another winner is Vancouver Apartments by Chris Gergely,  a series of photographs of walk up apartment buildings in Vancouver. I spent a lot of time in front of these, examining the way these apartments invite us in through their glass doors. Retro in the urban. Some of the photographs made me feel like I was standing in front of an-old time stage. I’ll never see a walk up apartment in the same light again.

Millennium Line by Khan Lee is composed of a series of photos that continued the length of 3 walls, simulating a panoramic ride with the vantage point from the top of a moving Skytrain car. 300 000 stills were used in the piece. If you ride the train, you’ll appreciate this meaningful combination of stillness and movement through serial photography. The art exhibit runs to March 18th & I highly recommend that you check out all the fabulous displays. Grab a coffee at the gallery cafe, take in some art, and contemplate the city.

There were four writers on the panel of Reading the City that evening, locals Sadhu Binning, Jeff Derksen and Cecily Nicholson, and Portland-based writer, Matthew Stadler (who told me he ventured to Vancouver via rail. Must do that sometime). Each read selections and provided commentary on their own works and other authors, reflecting various aspects and ideas of the city.

I enjoyed all the writers, their perspectives and heart they brought to the readings and discussions. Sadhu Binning recited a colourful poem reminiscing about the people who  lived on his route when he worked as a postman in the 1970s. Cecily Nicholson gave an emotive and insightful  depiction of life in a Whalley neighbourhood written after coming home from her experience of the G20 in the summer of 2010. Jeff Derksen was clever, playful and thought- provoking with his style of writing. The questions he poses through his work made me more aware of Capitalism within the context of the urban environment. Matthew Stadler was quirky and highly intriguing. His mention of the ‘in- between city’  and how the city landscape is portrayed by people and literature. Very relevant in today’s world of constant change in our environments.  I was inspired by all these unique individuals.

I was very thankful that I spent some time at this event taking in these forms of expression. Remember, you don’t have to be a connoisseur of fine things to appreciate and enjoy art. Art is a tool for learning and discovery that is open for everyone to enjoy.  As I sat in the program room that had reached capacity, I realized that I was sitting amongst a diverse group of people from all generations and backgrounds living this experience together.  I spoke with some of the people who seemed like regulars and others who seemed to be visiting the art space for the first time. It truly was a feeling of community & we are fortunate to have these spaces and places to get together.  There’s art waiting for you in the city, so make a point to check out what’s going on at the Surrey Arts Centre.

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Food & Drink

New Brew Wednesday at Central City



Central City BrewingThe Central City Brew Pub Liquor Store is five minutes away from my place in Whalley and man they have one hell of a selection of craft brews.

One thing I love about this store is that they’re always featuring new brews.

This week they have three new mouthwatering brews available.

Howe Sound Gathering Storm CDA – $9.29 – 1L – 6.8% ABV

Howe Sound Gathering Storm CDA

CDAs (Cascadian Dark Ales) are also known as black IPAs. This version adds deep roasted malts to alter the hue and slightly smooth the edges.(Rate Beer Review)

Elysian Rapture Heather Ale – $10.50 – 650ml – 7.65% ABV

Elysian Rapture Heather AleA beer of opulent proportions, Rapture gives the doomsayers a run for their money at 7.65% abv.

A pound per barrel of high country heather tips in both the mash and toward the end of the boil give Rapture floral and piney notes against a malt bill of pale, Munich and Patagonia Especial. Bittered with Magnum and finished with Northwest Glacier hops. (Beer Advocate Review)

Here’s a little story about their super cool label art.

Elysian Idiot Sauvin IPA – $7.50 – 650ml – 6.3% ABV

Elysian Idiot Sauvin IPA

The star of the show in this Tangletown-produced beer is the citrus and passion fruit aroma and flavor of New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops. (Beer Advocate Review)

The Central City Brew Pub Liquor Store
13450 102nd Avenue – Suite 190
Surrey, BC, V3T 5X3


Mon – Sun: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm
Holidays: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm
Closed Christmas Day

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Call for Student Contributors at Surrey604




Student Contributors for Surrey604

Do you have a talent with words & a passion for making connections through the blogosphere?

Showcase your style & engage the public with your blogging talent.

Surrey604 is a lifestyle blogazine that features the best of the city of Surrey. We are expanding & seeking volunteer student contributors to produce & write content for Surrey604.


Want to be a featured contributor for Surrey604?

videoYou must:

  • Currently be enrolled in Post Secondary education.
  • Either live, work, go to school, or have a connection to a community in Surrey.
  • Be comfortable writing about various topics of interest to Surrey604 followers.
  • Contribute one post a week for a minimum of 3 months.
  • Have experience with multi-media blogging using video and/or photography.
  • Be creative & produce stellar story ideas.

Ready to be published?

Send us:

  • Your resume.
  • A sample article or link to your blog/website.
  • A brief (150 words or less) article on why you are the blogger of choice for Surrey604.

Apply to Fatima Beatty: fatima(at)surrey604(dot)com

The team at Surrey604 thanks you in advance for your interest. Please note that we will only contact short-listed applicants.

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V.I.A. & Nicholson Road – Surrey Public Market Feature



Surrey Public Market

Robert W. White, a writer for one of my favourite local blogs, Vancouver is Awesome does a weekly feature on Nicholson Road, which is an ongoing photo project aimed at sharing and celebrating the different communities in Metro Vancouver.

This week he featured a little background on the Surrey Public Market, which has sat vacant since 1998, and is now set to be revitalized! Read the full story here…


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Latest Events


21sep12:00 pm1:00 pmPilates and Yoga for Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion: Free Webinar by Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Location: Free webinar by Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic, 13737 96 Ave Suite 204, Surrey, BC V3V 0C6 Cost: FREE

24sep7:00 pm11:00 pmVIFF.FASHION Live PPV7:00 pm - 11:00 pm Location: Online Cost: 10

25sep9:00 am25oct8:00 pmBC Culture Days: September 25-October 25, 20209:00 am - (october 25) 8:00 pm Location: Various locations and online Cost: Free

26sep6:00 pm9:00 pmIntro to Bartending Class6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Location: Fine Art Bartending School Cost: $99 per couple

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