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SAGA Artist Talk: Sheryl Salloum on Mildred Valley Thornton



SAGA Thursday Artist Talk : Sheryl Salloum on Mildred Valley Thornton
April 12 @730pm
Admission: Free

Learn about BC female artist,  Mildred Valley Thornton (1890-1967) via writer Sheryl Salloum as she explores Thornton’s  life and art.  Along with the story of this adventurous artist, Salloum will document the reasons why Thornton has been overlooked since her death. The talk will include images of Thornton’s remarkable work.

Born in Ontario, Mildred Valley Thornton later moved to Regina, and then to Vancouver during the Depression. A fun-loving, driven, and outgoing individual, Thornton was also a journalist, a Vancouver Sun art critic (1944-1959), an award winning-author, an advocate for the rights and equality of women and Canada’s indigenous people, and a community supporter and innovator.

(Photo: Vancouver Historical Society)

Vancouver-based writer, Sheryl Salloum has been a freelance writer for over twenty years. She has published articles in numerous Canadian magazines and newspapers. Her areas of interest include Canadian art, culture and history, and children’s issues.

Salloum’s biography The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thornton (#4 in the Unheralded Artists of BC series) is nominated for this year’s Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize, which recognizes the book that contributes most to the enjoyment and understanding of BC. Copies of Salloum’s book will be available for purchase and signing,


This event is presented by the Surrey Art Gallery Association in partnership with the Surrey Art Gallery, and with support from the Arts Council of Surrey. Surrey Art Gallery Association (SAGA) is a non-profit society that offers its members the opportunity to participate in and respond to contemporary art, and be part of a community that actively supports the Surrey Art Gallery. Surrey Art Gallery is located at 13750-88 Avenue, 1 block east of King George Boulevard, in Bear Creek Park.

This article was submitted by a reader from the Surrey Community. You can submit your own community story, press release, event or public notice directly to our Community Board today! We also have advertising and promotional options for businesses.

Community Board

Community Kitchen program helps newcomers bond over food



DIVERSEcity’s Community Kitchen coordinator Leo Ramirez shares how the program helps newcomers and low-income residents overcome food insecurity and connect to their community

Sony and his mother, Shahnaj, who arrived in Surrey only two months ago from Bangladesh, have consistently attended DIVERSEcity’s Community Kitchen on a weekly basis. “I bring my mother here because it is a great place for her to learn healthy Canadian cooking, good for her English and meet lots of different people here,” says Sony.

DIVERSEcity’s Community Kitchens, held at different locations around Surrey including DIVERSEcity Community Campus in Surrey, BC, are part of the non-profit organization’s food security program.

Fiona Stevenson, manager, Volunteer & Community Programs, at DIVERSEcity, oversees the program that includes the community kitchens and community gardens for new immigrants and refugees and low-income Surrey residents. “The cultural, linguistic, systemic, income and resource-related barriers that new immigrant and refugees are confronted with when immigrating to Canada can make them especially vulnerable to food insecurity,” says Fiona.

Sony adds that finding ingredients from their homeland can be expensive. “The Community Kitchen helps us find healthy, cheaper food and teaches us how to cook them.”

Food security concerns in BC

However, it is not just newcomers who are likely affected by food insecurity. A co-produced report by researchers from the University of Toronto and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) found that one out of every 10 households (11.8 per cent), about half a million people, in British Columbia could be considered food insecure.

The BCCDC report, which defines food insecurity as the lack of the financial means to buy healthy, safe, personally acceptable food, also highlights that households with children have higher rates of food insecurity compared to those without. It found that one in six (15.6 per cent) BC children under the age of 18 lived in households experiencing some level of food insecurity.

“When it comes to food insecurity, income is the biggest systemic barrier,” explains Fiona.

Leo Ramirez, DIVERSEcity’s Community Kitchen coordinator, echoes this statement. “The main issue with people becoming food insecure is income. If you are a family with limited income it is really important to find ways to save money,” says Leo.

New country, new food

Leo, who himself immigrated to Canada from El-Salvador, knows well the financial and settlement challenges of adapting to a new country, culture, language and way of living.

“I really enjoy working and helping newcomers and people of all backgrounds. It reminds me of myself when I came to Canada 30 years ago and had to learn to adapt to a new country,” says Leo.

“Probably the countries where they came from have different food items than what we have here,” he adds. “We teach them the Canadian food guidelines. Also, how to read product labels, some tips for when they go to the supermarket, how to follow recipes and how to measure ingredients.”

“The kitchen is a very welcoming place,” says Peter, a senior from the Chinese community, who has been a participant of DIVERSEcity’s Community Kitchen programs for more than four years.  He says he started coming to the kitchen to meet new people and cook different kinds of food.

DIVERSEcity’s Community Kitchen program provides a place for refugees, immigrants, seniors, parents of young children and low-income Surrey residents to not only connect to the community, but also to get acquainted with healthy Canadian food and ways of cooking.

This winter, two six-session sets of community kitchens are running on Monday afternoons starting February 10 at Newton Seniors Centre , and on Tuesday afternoons starting February 11 at the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre in Surrey, BC.  Learn more at

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Community Board

7 Tips for Getting Sleep with Back Pain



If you have lower back pain, getting a good night’s sleep can be a challenge. Falling asleep and staying asleep is not so simple when your lower back is aching, throbbing, or tingling. While there’s no single cause of back pain, there are ways you can help yourself get better sleep despite it.


  1. First, talk to your doctor

The reasons for lower back pain are many, and the treatment for the source of your pain may be different than the next, so a conversation with a doctor you trust is the best place to start. They can help you identify the source of your back pain and treat the cause rather than just the symptoms.


  1. Take a look at your sleeping surface

Ask yourself: Are you going to bed with back pain that make it difficult for you to sleep or is your lack of sleep making you wake up with back pain?Is the pain acute (a new pain that isn’t there all the time) or chronic (long-term, ongoing)?

What you’re sleeping on may have a lot to do with the cause of your lower back pain. You might have a mattress that does not keep your spine in alignment, which, for many, is a source of lower back pain. A medium-firm mattress (rather than one that is very soft or very firm) can help keep your spine aligned during the night and may help alleviate back pain.

You can check out some of the reviews on Mattress-Guides to find a mattress suited to your own circumstances


  1. Consider your sleeping position

There’s no “right” sleeping position, and it’s difficult to change your natural sleep position, but if you’re sleeping on your back or your stomach, this may mean that your spine stays curved all night and is not aligned. For some, this can be the source of back pain. Try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees, which may help you stay on your side longer.


  1. Check for sleep disturbances

As if back pain doesn’t make it hard enough to sleep, you want to consider anything else that may be disturbing getting a good night’s rest. For example, if you have a noisy fan or loud HVAC system, consider calling a repairman to make some changes.  


  1. Limit your time in bed to 8 hours

Staying in bed too long can actually make your pain worse. If you are one to lay in bed for a few hours after waking up, try to change up your routine by getting up and stretching. This daily habit can help with your pain and hopefully encourage a new, healthy habit into your day.


  1. Meditate before sleeping

If you’re in pain while sleeping, you’ll want to do everything you can to help you get to sleep. Simply downloading a meditation app on your phone and listening to a guided meditation for good sleep may get your mind off of the back pain and help you get to sleep faster.

  1. Avoid electronics before sleeping

A simple trick to try getting to sleep faster is to avoid using electronics for an hour before you go to sleep. Simple plug your phone in on the other side of the room. If you have trouble sleeping, pick up a book and read until your eyes start to shut.

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Community Board

Local Non Profit ‘Music Lottery’ Takes Big Step Towards Lifting Up Music Venues and Musicians



Music Lottery, a bi-weekly raffle program for music fans in British Columbia, has launched their redesigned website with a subscription offer to make ticket ordering easy for customers –


The new website expands on the Music Lottery program, a bi-weekly Province wide 50/50 raffle, where a single winner takes half of the jackpot and the rest of the proceeds supports live music programming in underserved communities.   Previously sold through a handful of performance venues, raffle tickets are now also available for order through

Features of the new site, which is fully responsive and optimised to be mobile-friendly, include a “50/50 Club” subscription offer for easy participation in every draw, multiple modes of participation for venue operators, promoters, festival organizers and other groups that use music as a way to engage community in a meaningful way, and news about upcoming events supported by Music Lottery.


The new Music Lottery site offers up a novel, yet evolutionary program that will assist in the future of music funding across the province.  With jackpots upwards of $2,000 every two weeks and growing, this expansion gives music fans across BC the chance to win and presents a new way to defend and invigorate the music scene in our province, and their local communities.    


“It was surprising and exciting to win the draw, and the fact that the proceeds support live music makes me feel really good about buying my tickets.” – Michael Lee, Winner of the August 30th, 2019 draw

As well as making the raffle winners very happy with cash prizes, Music Lottery has generated close to $17,000 in grants to benefit community venues and artists in BC this year. The goal is to significantly increase that number by using the new website to make participating in the raffle easy, reduce operational costs and put more money into the pockets of artists and support workers who help us all hear new music.  

For more information visit or call 604-817-1526

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Community Board

Surrey Tree Lighting Festival Celebrates the Holiday Season at 9th Annual Event



Surrey, B.C. – The City of Surrey hosted the ninth annual Surrey Tree Lighting Festival at Civic Plaza this past Saturday, attracting thousands of attendees to watch Mayor Doug McCallum, joined by Council, flip the switch to light the 60-foot Christmas Tree. The tree will illuminate Civic Plaza until Thursday, January 2, 2020.

“The Surrey Tree Lighting Festival has become an annual tradition that brings the community together to celebrate Christmas and the holiday season,” says Mayor Doug McCallum. “The City of Surrey is proud to have offered this free seasonal event so everyone can come and help kick off the festive time of year. I was so glad to see so many people out and so many smiling faces on Saturday evening. Thanks to your enthusiastic participation, our Christmas tree lighting ceremony was another memorable success.”

Presented by Coast Capital Savings, the annual event featured over 30 live performances, headlined by Award-winning Canadian pop singer, Begonia. New to the event were the interactive light features including a light tunnel walk, enchanted forest, North Pole Stage, and Candy Cane Dance Tent featuring pop up break dance performances from youth dancers. Additional highlights included amusement rides, an arcade party truck, road hockey, inflatables, cookie decorating, children’s crafts and a holiday market with over 25 local vendors.

For more information and visit

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Community Board

Crime Stoppers Looking for Local Volunteers in Surrey



Surrey, B.C. – Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers (MVCS) is looking to the public for additional volunteers to support its ongoing anonymous tips program and crime prevention activities in Surrey. Interested volunteers may contact Anissa Lau at

Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers is a non-profit society and registered charity that operates in partnership with communities across the Lower Mainland from Boston Bar to Powell River. For more than 35 years, Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers has offered rewards for anonymous information about criminal activity and provides it to investigators in communities in and around Metro Vancouver.

Crime Stoppers volunteers often assist in these main areas:

  • Community Outreach Ambassador – Informs the public about Crime Stoppers and acts as a liaison at community events.
  • School Presentation Ambassador – Speaks to high school students in group settings about Crime Stoppers’ “See Something, Say Something” campaign to encourage them to anonymously contact Crime Stoppers with any information they may have about a crime.
  • Elder Abuse Presentation Ambassador – Speaks to groups of seniors about how to anonymously report elder abuse. This is role that is often well-suited to retirees.
  • Writing – helps Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers enhance its outreach efforts by writing articles in different languages.

“Despite what some people think, we’re not the police. We’re actually an independent, non-profit charity that operates solely on funds raised, support from partners in the community and contributions from the region’s municipalities,” said Linda Annis, Executive Director for Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers. “Any information we receive anonymously on any kind of crime is immediately passed to the relevant authorities for investigation. Your name and contact information will not be taken, and you’ll never be questioned or required to testify in court.”

People can leave anonymous tips with Crime Stoppers in a variety of ways including Crime Stoppers’ downloadable “P3” crime reporting app for smartphones, by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, by going online at, or by following the link on the Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers Facebook page. Crime Stoppers accepts tips in 115 different languages. If the information provided results in a charge or an arrest, a cash reward may be offered. Tipsters stay anonymous by using code numbers to collect their rewards.

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Latest Events


30jan01febThe Pacific Agriculture Show9:00 am - (february 1) 4:30 pm Location: Tradex Exhibition Centre (1190 Cornell St, Abbotsford, BC V2T 6H5, Canada) Cost: $15 general admission, $10 seniors and 4H, FREE for kids under 14! Tickets are available at the door.

30jan(jan 30)8:00 pm26apr(apr 26)11:59 pmArtists involve Surrey community in interactive outdoor artwork8:00 pm - (april 26) 11:59 pm Surrey Art Gallary Cost: Free

31jan01febTo celebrate almost 10 years of local activewear designs, DAUB is hosting first-ever warehouse sale2:00 pm - (february 1) 6:00 pm Location: 2531 Ontario Street, Vancouver, BC


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