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Local artist AMRIT BAINS wants you to rock with him at the Surrey Arts Centre on August 12!

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“I don’t think anybody should be discouraged. I think people who sing at a party or in the shower should feel free to do so. We should recognize that music is a language that everybody can speak.”

Amrit Bains is a local singer-songwriter who is building a strong reputation in Surrey for his fun-loving attitude, high energy performances as well as lyrical messages of love, freedom and enjoying life. His self-produced music videos, which can be found on YouTube, each contain their own stories that range from wild partying to soulful ballads and have garnered him hundreds of thousands of views online. Full of his unique and charismatic charm, there is no doubt that an Amrit Bains music video will put a smile on your face.

MUSIC VIDEO: “Free Like A Junglee”

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Bains mixes elements of pop, rock, electronic-dance, and even hints of Bollywood into his music, receiving well produced musical beats from various collaborators. Vocals are recorded with audio engineer Len Osanic at Fiasco Bros Recording Studios in New Westminster.

Aside from recording and guitar-work, Osanic also collaborates with Bains on his music videos, much of which is shot in front of a blue-screen that is also available at the studio.

“My nature is to say something in the music. I want to have meaning, that’s why it’s very important for me to try and get people to understand my message,” Bains states. The inspiration for his songs range from anything like thoughts about society to his own personal life.

“My messages are different every time. They’re not trying to change people’s lives, it’s just that I have something to say. The themes and ideas naturally come to me,” Bains explains. “I remember I was driving the 99 B-Line to UBC and enjoyed it so much.

It was a very beautiful route, lots of nature. It inspired my song called ‘Dream Transit Operator’ where I wasn’t driving on the road at all. I was driving on mars, the moon, everywhere.”

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MUSIC VIDEO: “Dream Transit Operator”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0uLsfLAO2I

Born in India, Bains moved to Canada in 1980 and married his wife Sharanjit in 1985. “I originally didn’t wanna move to Surrey because people were saying not very good things. I didn’t wanna make my wife unhappy so we moved to Surrey because of her. Now I’m thanking her because actually, she was right. This is a good place with good people.”

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While living in India, Bains released three full-length albums in Punjabi before switching over to writing and singing in English. “I have a lot of friends who are not able to understand Punjabi, because this is Canada, this is where all types of people live.” Bains continues: “Ever since I became an independent artist in Canada, that’s when I started to receive love, affection and recognition. I’m very very thankful that my original ideas and songs have gotten a hold of people.”

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Bains’ music has even caught the attention of major television networks. His song “Love is a Medicine” made an appearance on Comedy Central’s late night program @midnight with Chris Hardwick. Featured in a segment where the point was to poke fun at amateur YouTube music videos, Bains was not negatively affected by the light-hearted jokes. In fact, Bains made a positive response video in which he tells Chris Hardwick the side effect when taking the medicine of love. That side effect? Inability to hate.

“That is a comedy program, they’re supposed to be funny. They’re supposed to be laughing and making people laugh. So when they made fun of my song I said: ‘Look. There are many songs out there. This is a big program on a huge cable company. If they notice my song I must be doing something right.’”

MUSIC VIDEO: “Love is a Medicine”

When it comes to following his path as an independent artist, Bains prolifically states: “I’ve decided it’s not best in modern time for an artist to run around after the record companies. If artist runs after the company, artist will waste his time, his energy and also waste his emotions. I think all those things he should put into his art. His art is his power. I think artists should carry on walking on their own road, going further, further, further and further.” Bains self-released his new album Everybody Rocks earlier this year. Aside from the songs already mentioned in the article, the record features many of Amrit’s other popular tracks including: “Everybody Rocks,” “In the Flames of Love,” “Absolute Unbreakable,” and my personal favourite: “Fooled by the Looks.” “‘Everybody Rocks’ says songs are not only for famous people who are on the TV or the radio. Every single person can sing, there is music in everybody.”

SPOTIFY ALBUM: “Everybody Rocks”
https://open.spotify.com/album/3vDgyH1mWJi2j4BurbFW0J

Bains will be performing all his hits at the Surrey Arts Centre on August 12. He promises a great night full of laughs, prizes, costumes and even breakdancers. “People should expect a lot of fun. Lots of real enjoyment of the music and lot of fun things. I’m gonna tell you nice little jokes which have meanings you will relate to. Real life stories and real life connections. With me is a real entertaining young man named Paul Anthony from the TV show Talent Time. He’s a real expert of humour and is going to be my MC. The show will be like a real party.”

Buy Tickets: http://www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation/20141.aspx
Follow Amrit Bains on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheStormyStormy1

Official Website: www.amritbains.com
Fiasco Bros Recording Studio: http://www.fiascobros.com/

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Jonathan Nicholas “Johnny” Papan is a Canadian writer, filmmaker, and musician born in Surrey, British Columbia to a Guyanese mother and half-Hungarian, half-Trinidadian father. Aside from film and music, Johnny also enjoys performing standup comedy. His interest in journalism surfaced after watching documentaries on influential writers Nora Ephron and Hunter S. Thompson. - www.johnnypapan.tk

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Arts and Entertainment

Celebrate Virtually with the Fort Langley Jazz and Art Festival

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 Interactive online fest “brings home the joy of jazz”  September 4 – 5

Necessity is the mother of invention, and so the annual Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival has found a fun, safe way to return for Summer 2020 – and, in the process, reach more people than ever before! This year’s festival will look very different than in previous years.

Restrictions on public gatherings have led to the creation of a virtual festival with two nights and one day of virtual programming from Friday, September 4 to Saturday, September 5, bringing artists together with audiences from across Western Canada.

Streaming on the festival’s Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and website, the festival will feature more than a dozen live-streamed and pre-recorded concert performances of exclusive world-class jazz, blues, gospel, and soul acts – all of them free to view.

This year’s festival includes a strolling Mardi Gras-style parade, a virtual art walk, salsa dance lessons, virtual dance parties, live interactive hosting, conversations with artists, community profiles, and more.

 ALL-STAR BLUES SHOW

Host Jim Byrnes welcomes blues-rocker Taylor James, the queen of blues, Dalannah Gail Bowen, and Tom Lavalin & The Legendary Powder Blues, who will be performing a live-streamed ticketed concert on Friday, September 4 at 7:00 pm. Tickets for the live-streamed performance are $19.50, with a very limited number of in-person concert tickets also available for purchase here.

MIMOSA QUINTET, LAILA BIALI TRIO & SIOBHAN WALSH: TRIBUTE TO ARETHA FRANKLIN

Vancouver quintet Mimosa – widely renowned for their stunning blend of jazz, Brazilian samba, cabaret, and French ’60s pop will open the show, followed by Juno award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter and jazz pianist, Laila Biala. The final act will be powerhouse R&B vocalist Siobhan Walsh, who will perform A Tribute to the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin. This concert live-streams Saturday, September 5 at 7:00 pm. Tickets for the live-streamed performance are $19.50, with a very limited number of in-person concert tickets available for purchase here.

INTERACTIVE SALSA DANCE PARTY

Visit any of the festival’s social channels to view a free salsa dance lesson led by Roger Chen of Vancouver’s Salsastudio. Then, on Saturday, Sept. 5, during a performance by acclaimed world/Latin band Mazacote, everyone will be invited to turn on their phone, join in with the salsa dancing, and share in a “moment of joy” to be heard and seen across the community.

**CONTEST** HOST YOUR OWN BACKYARD FESTIVAL

This year’s virtual festival is the next best thing to “being there.” But why not make it even better by inviting friends over and having a small festival gathering at home? To make the most of the virtual celebrations, the festival has put together these helpful tips for at-home hosting for the ultimate backyard jazz festival so you and your friends can celebrate safely. Host a small, intimate party for your closest friends and family while staying safe, having fun, and enjoying the music!

Better still, nominate yourself on the festival’s social channels for your chance to win a Backyard Festival prize pack. This festival prize pack includes everything you need to host an intimate backyard celebration watch party for your closest friends and family. Win a night to remember by filling out the contest entry form here. Prize details can be found on the linked page!

Contest Requirements

Fill out the contest entry form here

  • Must be 19+ to enter
  • Must be able to pick-up the prize from the Fort Langley Area
  • Winner must be able to host the backyard festival on either September 4th or 5th.

Follow @FortLangleyJazzFest on Instagram and FortLangleyJazzandArtsFestival on Facebook to be the first to know about the festival.

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City of Surrey to host virtual Surrey Fusion Festival livestream and interactive cultural video series

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Surrey, B.C. | In participation with Culture Days, Surrey Fusion Festival will host a 90-minute livestream followed by a four-week interactive cultural video series on social media.

Presented by Coast Capital Savings, the livestream will take place on September 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. broadcasted on Facebook and YouTube Live. The interactive video series will be hosted on the City of Surrey’s event social media accounts from September 25 to October 25, 2020.

“While we all do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19, the City will be celebrating Surrey’s diversity with a one-of-a-kind virtual multicultural event,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “Surrey Fusion Fest will go virtual this year, so join us to discover traditional food, art and music from cultures across the globe from the comfort of your home.”

This year’s family-friendly livestream will feature a series of segments including cultural performances, musical entertainment, art lessons, Surrey history, Indigenous education, dance lessons, cooking segments and kids’ activities. The interactive video series will feature up to 30 educational videos including “how-to” cooking, dance, arts and crafts activities from participating cultural pavilions from previous years.

Additionally, the video series will see participation from the City of Surrey’s Museum, Heritage and Performing Arts Centres. “We are thrilled to welcome back Coast Capital Savings as the Presenting Sponsor of Surrey Fusion Festival’s virtual celebrations,” said Councillor Laurie Guerra, Chair of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Committee. “We are thankful for their continuous support over the years; without their contributions this event would not be possible.”

Culture Days is an annual Canadian national celebration of arts and culture. At the end of each September, millions of people attend thousands of participatory arts and culture events across the country. Culture Days programs invite the public to get hands-on and behind-the-scenes to highlight the importance of arts and culture in our communities. This year the celebrations run from September 25 to October 25, 2020.

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Arts and Entertainment

Feed Your Inner Artist with Surrey Art Gallery’s Art Takeout Courses!

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Surrey, BC – Explore your creativity this summer with Surrey Art Gallery’s new Art Takeout courses. These six-week hands-on, interactive programs are a fun way for all to try new mediums and artistic techniques at home. Participants pick up their course materials from Surrey Art Gallery, and each box includes art supplies, links to video lessons, and the opportunity to join in a live online session, to share artwork created.

There are two Art Takeout courses to choose from. Drawing in the Field focuses on learning and practicing drawing skills, including en plein air (in the open air drawing), art journaling, sketching, blind contour, multiple perspectives, and more! This six-week course, led by artist educator Alexandra Thomson, runs from July 20 to August 24, costs $15.

Hand Building with Clay! reimagines the sculptural possibilities of clay. Inspired by contemporary ceramic art, participants learn a variety of techniques including pinch, coil, and slab construction, as well as surface pattern techniques with artist educator Amelia Butcher. This six-week course runs from July 27 to August 31 and the $35 cost includes firing and glazing as well.

“For all ages and abilities, Surrey Art Gallery’s Art Takeout courses invite you to try new artmaking techniques while having fun with family and friends during the summer,” says Alanna Edwards, Surrey Art Gallery Engagement Facilitator. “It’s a way to still feel connected to each other and the artmaking community during this time.”

“I love the feeling of being outside, with the sky, the earth, and all the plants,” says Drawing in the Field artist educator Alexandra Thomson. “Drawing outside is an amazing feeling. I feel connected to the thing I’m drawing. It’s a really careful observation that has an almost meditative quality.”

Art Takeout boxes can be picked up from July 13 for Drawing in in the Field and July 20 for Hand Building with Clay at Surrey Art Gallery. To register for either program, phone the Call Centre at 604 501 5100, or sign up online at surrey.ca/artgallery.

About Surrey Art Gallery | Internationally recognized for its award-winning programs, Surrey Art Gallery, located at 13750 88 Avenue in Surrey, is the second largest public art museum in Metro Vancouver. Founded in 1975, the Gallery presents contemporary art by local, national, and international artists, including digital and audio art.

Its extensive public programs for children through to adults aim to engage the public in an ongoing conversation about issues and ideas that affect our communities and to provide opportunities to interact with artists and the artistic process. Admission is free. Surrey Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the City of Surrey, Province of BC through BC Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and the Surrey Art Gallery Association.

In response to the temporary closure of our exhibition and artmaking spaces, Surrey Art Gallery presents Art Together, a series of online programs that explore art and artists in the community, spark the imagination, and celebrate the ways that art can impact our lives. Although the Surrey Arts Centre is temporarily closed, Surrey Art Gallery is open online. Visit us virtually, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Stewart Farm to Offer Guided Outdoor Tours

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A New Way to Experience the Heritage Site

Surrey, BC – Starting July 14, Historic Stewart Farm will offer guided outdoor tours of the popular heritage site. The new modified service follows new protocols to ensure community safety as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Visitors must pre-register, with groups limited to 10 people. Tours of the historic site will be available Tuesday to Friday afternoons from 1:00 to 3:30pm.

Registrations times will be available every thirty minutes with the final tour beginning at 3:00pm. Guests are required to pre-register online with their MySurrey account. Registration opens July 6.

“With people staying safe and closer to home this summer, I encourage Surrey residents to get out and explore all that Surrey has to offer,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. “Historic Stewart Farm’s heritage tours are a great option for families to discover our local history and enjoy some time outdoors.”

Highlights of the 30-minute outdoor tour include the 1894 Farmhouse, Pole Barn, heirloom gardens, root cellar, boat building and former threshing shed. Tours will lead visitors around the picturesque site, exploring the grounds and the history of the area, the Stewart Family, and the farm itself.

Exclusively outdoors, visitors are advised to dress for the weather to maximize their tour experience. A visit through the heritage Pole barn will be included, marked with a one-way route to ensure physical distancing. All other buildings will be closed. Historic Stewart Farm is a one-of-a-kind heritage venue located at 13723 Crescent Road within Elgin Heritage Park, along the Nicomekl River. Entrance is free.

For more information, call 604-591-4627. or visit www.surrey.ca/stewartfarm.
Follow the Farm on Facebook at @HeritageSurrey or on Instagram at @StewartFarmBC.

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Arts and Entertainment

Big Splash is Back for Another Hot Season – Social Distancing Style

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THE REOPENING IS JULY, 1st, 2020, AT 35% CAPACITY

TSAWWASSEN, BC – Metro Vancouver’s favourite water park is reopening for the season on Canada Day, July 1st, 2020! The 7-acre resort-inspired park features 13 body and tube waterslides for kids and adults of all ages. Due to COVID-19, the park will operate at 35% capacity with extra safety precautions to ensure everyone can enjoy their summer, safely, 7 days a week.

This year, Big Splash has made several important changes to ensure their staff and guests can feel safe while enjoying the sunshine and water slides. They will be conducting temperature checks and screenings on all employees and guests at entry. They have added hand sanitizing stations, outdoor showers, and created one-directional walkways and paths to waterslides.

There will be limits on how many people can be in a pool and hot tub at once. And this year, families will be allowed to bring in 1 cooler of food and drinks (no outside alcohol allowed). To ensure admission, guests are encouraged to book a cabana or table online for a specific date and admission tickets in the same transaction.

This is the perfect summer venue for birthday parties, family reunions, and corporate events. With a full-service cabana and tent rentals available, you can sit back and relax as you and your loved ones have fun. Big Splash offers a fully licenced bar and patio, with delicious summer-inspired cocktails and ice-cold beers on tap!

With two eateries available on site you can enjoy summer favourites made in-house with burgers, pizza, salads, poutines, fish & chips and more! “2020 has been a difficult year for many, and we hope that Big Splash can make a difference. With safety in mind, we plan to open our water park this year at 35% capacity to allow families to enjoy the sunshine and have a break while working together to flatten the curve.

We want to thank our first responders for the hard work they have been doing and want to assure our guests that we will do everything to keep our facility safe for everyone.”- Tamara Tam, Director of Operations. To learn more about the safety precautions, directions to the park, hours of operation, ticket information, ride information and more, please visit our website http://www.bigsplashwaterpark.ca/home/

About Big Splash Water Park | Owned and operated by Executive Hotels & Resorts since 2017, Big Splash Water Park is a Metro Vancouver favourite, located in sunny Tsawwassen. Offering endless fun and water activities for people of all ages, the 7-acre resort-style park has 13 water slides to choose from.

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