Pictured Above: SheTalks Founders Natasha Raey and Barinder Rasode at SheTalks YVR 2017
When a woman can make choices in a safe environment, her power multiplies. As I enjoyed the SheTalks talks at Centre Stage at Surrey City Hall accompanied by two 19-year old young ladies, I knew that each woman’s story was empowering my teens in a unique way. They heard stories of getting past sexual abuse and partner abuse; of success in career against all odds, of fighting cancer or lupus doggedly; of living the life of a transsexual; of addictions in loved ones; and of making choices through strife. Vani Guglani and Sona Singh felt inspired to make their own life choices in the face of adversity, and so did I.
The SheTalks morning began with Mayor Linda Hepner’s address on Audiovisual, and then took off to each of the 16 stories of empowered women.
In one of the three food and drink breaks as I talked to one of the speakers, I realized – these ladies needed to be heard as much as we the audience of 200 women (and occasional men) needed to hear them. I couldn’t possibly fit all 16 stories here, so I chose to write two stories chosen by my teenage daughter here.
1. Jen MarchbankJen Marchbank, well-known feminist and Professor Gender Equality at SFU Surrey, was fostering for years when she decided to go against the proverbial tide and become a biological mother. “Consider my situation: I was 33, single, with endometriosis, and a lesbian. Not the usual set of ‘how to get pregnant’ factors,” she says.
Jen made us laugh as we followed her journey of grit and faith. She chose to go through artificial insemination for two years, chose to deny invasive tests (amniocentesis) during pregnancy, and brought her baby son into her feminist world by following through her choices. Women must make choices themselves to make sure an environment exists within which other women can make choices. “I got to choose because of my own set of knowledge but also because generations of women have worked to ensure that an environment exists within which other women can make choices.”
2. Ish Rasode13 year old Ish Rasode, cofounder Barinder Rasode’s daughter, concluded the day with her personal story of how she handled bullying. “The she talks committee comes to my house on Sunday mornings at around 9 or 10 and most often I come down with bed head and my pajamas on,” Ish laughs.
One Amazing Mom that Barinder is, she helped Ish survive the upshot of her mayoral campaign. Kids would call Ish ugly, annoying, a witch or a white wash (whatever that means). Ish made that username to her spam account – “Life of a white wash” or a white girl dipped in brown chocolate.
“I have never heard my mom say anything bad about anyone, She does not gossip and she always asks me to look at how the other person is feeling. Sometimes people take advantage but she says that is on them. At the same time she has taught me to be strong,” Ish says about her powerhouse mom.
“SheTalks has really changed me to see how many women feel and that no matter what no one is alone. There’s always someone,” says Ish. While I can’t write all 16 stories we heard on March 4, I can tell you that each of the 16 stories were superbly inspiring. My teen daughter and her friend came back inspired to live their choices and fight negativity with all we have in us. It was one amazing Sunday.
Surrey fruit trees neglected no more: Sources Food Hub offers free pruning workshop
To kick off the 2020 growing season, Sources Food Hub is offering a new and free resource. Fruit tree owners in Surrey are invited to attend a pruning workshop to learn how to take better care of their fruit-bearing trees while supporting our community at the same time.
This workshop, to be held on January 25 (1 to 3 p.m.) at the Historic Stewart Farm in South Surrey, is part of Sources Food Hub’s Community Harvest Program – a gleaning service to actively rescue food that might otherwise be wasted.
“During the growing season in Surrey and with the support of volunteers, we pick plums, apples and other fruit from the trees of residences and farms, who are unable or too busy to harvest it or simply happy to donate the fresh food,” said Denise Darrell, Executive Director of Community Services at SOURCES.
Tree owners can keep one-third of the harvest if they want, and the rest is distributed to local charities including Sources White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank, where fresh produce can be challenging to provide for the more than 600 people who use their services each week.
“The harvested produce that our Food Bank receives from the Food Hub is a blessing, as it allows us to offer healthy, fresh choices to the people who come to us for help. It’s a win-win – the tree owners also stand to gain from healthier trees, better fruit, and bigger yields,” Darrell said.
Interested fruit tree owners are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-596-0973 to register for the workshop. Residents who are interested in becoming a volunteer or donating the fruit from their trees to the Sources Food Hub this summer are also encouraged to get in touch. Learn more about Sources Food Hub at www.sourcesfoodhub.ca
DID YOU KNOW?
In Canada, most recent estimates set the annual waste of edible food, across the farm to fork system, at about 11 million tons. Divide that number by Surrey’s population, and edible food waste in Surrey equals almost 170 million pounds each year. That’s enough to feed half of Surrey’s population for the next year!
DFSIN BC Excellence Awards A Fun Filled Event
B.C. philanthropist and businessman Perminder Chohan, Managing Director of the Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network (DFSIN) BC, organized the annual DFSIN BC Excellence Awards on January 4th, 2020 to recognize and celebrate the achievements of his advisors at Dhaliwal Banquet Hall in Surrey, BC. The gala took off with a VIP reception for the advisors and some respected members of the community.
The evening was filled with fun, great food as many advisors were recognized and awarded for their achievements and milestones in the network.
Chohan made a special announcement about presenting his son, Armaan Chohan with a new title of Vice President of Sales and Business Development of DFSIN BC.
There were many special dance performances to entertain the guests, followed by everyone enjoying some good times on the dance floor, moving to the tunes of some upbeat Bollywood and Punjabi music.
More about DFSIN BC: https://www.dfsin.ca/bc#main-content
2019 Christmas Shopping in Surrey
Fairy lights, Christmas carols all around, its the time for Christmas. And it feels magical. It gets better when Surrey fills with scores of events where you can delight your senses. So, if you are behind on Christmas shopping or cannot seem to find the perfect gift, you are in luck. You can get a ton of gifts and memories from these events. And while you are at it, you can borrow some ideas on decorating your home in readiness for Christmas. So whether you are looking for Christmas gifts for her, or hoping to bathe in Christmas anticipation, you are sorted for this holiday. Venues in and around Surrey will have events running one after the other, leading up to this joyous day. Here are some of the places you can visit in preparation for the holidays:
Glow: Indoor Christmas Festival
From 21st November, people living in Surrey and its environs have been able to take part in the largest indoor Christmas Festival. It takes place in Vancouver, and it will be in full gear up to 5th January 2020. That means you get enough time to glow and get Christmas presents for your loved ones.
This event will run for forty days, and it is all about having illuminated fun at the Harbor Convention Center. If you want a way to bond with your loved ones while seeking shelter from the cold, this is it. The arena spreads over a whopping 50,000 square feet, presenting an ideal environment for family and friends.
The theme for 2019 is Santa’s Lost Presents, and kids will have fun searching for clues in the trails. As they do this, adults can enjoy live music and drinks by the bars. At least one point five million guests will grace this event. What a delight!
Charity Gift Wrap Centre
From 7th December 2019 through to the 24th, you can have your gifts wrapped at the Charity Gift Wrap Center. It is part of a charity event, and all the proceeds from the sales will go to the Surrey Food Bank. Lions’ charities will also benefit from the same. Thus, you get to hit two birds with one stone. You give back and put a smile on your loved ones’ faces at the same time. Wrapping starts at two pounds, and you will find a wide selection of bag options.
Photos With Santa
This tradition never gets old, and you are probably reminiscing those days you sat on Santa’s lap. What was it you wanted back then? Did you get it? Well, Santa is around this year and has been as of 15th November. The fellow will be taking photos with the naughty and nice children till Christmas Eve at Central City Mall. You have ample time to come up with a wish list by then and present it to him. Have you been nice?
This year, Santa will be taking family photos, and you can book your place online. All you have to do is show up with your loved ones, not forgetting your pets. They, too, are family and should be part of the memories. Santa Land will be abuzz with activity at the mall center near Tim Hortons. Note, though, that he will operate during select hours. So you had best make it to the venue while he’s around. You can also book an evening photo session for your pets with the man in red. How cute is that!
There are many other events you can attend. Holiday shopping in Surrey has never been this easy and fun. Be sure to join in!
You’re Invited To The Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy Wrap-Up Event
It’s no doubt that climate change is a hot topic (no pun intended) and it should be. The proof we have of the planet’s rising temperature and Nature’s response to it is undeniable. We are proud to be living in a city that not only accepts our dire situation but proactively works to alleviate further destruction. One of the ways the City of Surrey is by developing a Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy (CFAS) through a multi-phase community driven process. Over a busy and productive 3 years, the City has been helping residents, businesses and communities prepare for a changing climate in various capacities.
One of the initiatives of this program was to explore ways to increase the resilience of coastal communities, like Crescent Beach. We are happy to share that the CFAS is now complete.
Over 2000 people including residents, stakeholders, partners and international experts participated in CFAS. Join fellow Surrey residents and supporters on at the CFAS Wrap-Up Event Thursday November 28, 2019 from 5 pm to 7 pm at the South Surrey Rotary Fieldhouse at 2197 148 St. Learn more about the strategy and 13 capital projects that the city will be taking immediate action on to improve flood resilience within the coastal floodplain.
Surrey Wins Climate & Energy Action Award for CFAS
On September 25, 2019, the City of Surrey was awarded the Climate & Energy Action Award by the Community Energy Association for its leadership on climate resilience. Our city is the inaugural winner of the new Climate Adaptation award category for the Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy and we couldn’t be more proud.
We know our readers are concerned about the environment and curious about what we as individuals and communities can do to protect our homes and businesses from rising sea levels, as we work toward lessening the damage incurred to our planet. We encourage you to take part in these civic dialogues to better understand how our City’s planning and implementation fulfills these needs.
Learn more about the CFAS Wrap-Up Event and mark Thursday November 28 on your calendar!
Surrey Tree Lighting Festival is Bigger and Brighter than ever
Free family event offers new light displays and Youth Dance Showcase feature
Surrey, B.C. – Surrey Tree Lighting Festival, presented by Coast Capital Savings, announced today the new attractions guests can expect to see at this year’s free annual event. Additional attractions include a Light Tunnel, Enchanted Forest, Candy Cane Dance Tent, North Pole Stage, expanded Holiday Market and Village and a variety of new light installations. Surrey’s 60ft tall Christmas tree will light up at 6:30 p.m. live on CTV.
The entrance to the Holiday Fun Zone on University Drive will now include a Light Tunnel where guests can walk through and take photos. The area will also offer magical features and activities including an Enchanted Forest of illuminated trees and a Candy Cane Dance tent with an LED dance floor. Additionally, visitors can escape the cold and enjoy family-friendly and festive holiday activities in the Holiday Market and Village tent located on Civic Plaza. The tent will feature over 30 local vendors and crafters, activations, live performances and new interactive light features.
In partnership with Surrey Youth Dance Services, this year’s free event will feature pop up breakdance performances and dance showcases throughout the day. A 30-minute breakdance battle with a live DJ set will take place at 4pm at the Candy Cane Dance Tent where youth are encouraged to participate to win prizes. Located on University Drive, the North Pole Stage will showcase a blend of hip-hop and breakdancing acts alongside cultural dance performances including Indigenous youth group Kwel Eng Sen Dancers, the Mexican Dance Ensemble and female dance group Brazilian Swag.
“With the continuing growth of Surrey’s youth dance community, we are thrilled that we can offer a platform for youth to showcase their talent. We have some gifted youth in our community, and what better time to bring them together than the holidays,” says Mary Rukavina, Manager of Special Events and Film. “With the addition of the youth dance showcase, spectacular light displays and expanded features this year, Surrey’s Tree Lighting Festival will be one of the most memorable holiday traditions to attend.”
Additional highlights include a Ferris Wheel, live music, amusement rides, inflatables, family activities, road hockey, children’s crafts and cookie decorating at the Just Cakes Treat Zone located in the Holiday Market & Village Tent.
Surrey Tree Lighting takes place on Saturday November 23, 2019 at Surrey Civic Plaza. To allow for additional viewings of the light features, the festival will run an hour later from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information and performance schedules visit www.surrey.ca/treelighting.
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