Come Out and Play!
This past Saturday was the scene of a fun-filled day in the park at the official Grand Opening of Forsyth Park in the heart of Surrey.
Forsyth Park is the first of ten new parks that are planned for the City Centre area, it features a playground, two off-leash areas one for large dogs and one for small dogs, walkways, and picnic spaces.
The park also includes a Nature Play area that was funded by the TD Bank Group with a $500,000 gift to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday and is part of the TD Group’s “Common Ground Project”, one of 150 such projects across the country.
Around 11:00 am on October 28, families, kids, and neighbours began to arrive at the new park. They were greeted by various musical artists from singers with guitars to a wandering trio with clarinet, guitar and bass horn. The sun warmed the crowd as the joyous laughter of children rang through the park. A line-up was forming where Railway Catering was setting up the barbeque. It was worth the wait — the burgers were amazing!
Volunteers from Surrey Culture and Recreation were out in full force, manning booths and helping everyone have a great time. Surrey RCMP Diversity and Community Engagement division joined in the fun, bringing a community car and volunteers who handed out stickers and goodies to the kids. Sargent Stanford posed for photos, and chatted with park goers, big and small. His happy demeanor and friendly smile reinforced the community feeling that spread throughout the festivities.
The official ceremonies began shortly after 12:30 with the introduction of the Chief of the Kwantlen Nation — Marilyn Gabriel, her husband, Kevin Kelly and their son, Michael Kelly-Gabriel. The family took turns saying a few words and each spoke about the importance of green spaces such as the new Forsyth Park to all members of the community. They each emphasized the need for all of us to respect, honour and cherish the land. One of the highlights of the ceremony was their performance of “Moving Forward in a Good Way”, a song that Michael had written especially for the occasion.
Acting Mayor, Mike Starchuk welcomed all to the new park, acknowledged members of the Forsyth family in attendance, thanked everyone who had made the park a reality and introduced Mauro Manzi, Senior Vice President, TD Bank Group — Pacific Region. Mr. Manzi reaffirmed the group’s commitment to building healthy, liveable and enriching communities across Canada and pronounced Forsyth Park officially open. The ribbon was cut and we were favoured with another song from Chief Marilyn Gabriel and her family.
But that wasn’t the end of the fun! Cosmo the clown turned up and enthralled the young and young at heart with her quirky antics and juggling prowess. There was face painting and other activities for the kids. A majestic Golden Eagle and the King Koi strode effortlessly through the park, delighting everyone with their graceful presence.
The weather was spectacular, the food was delicious, the entertainment was delightful, and the speeches were short! In other words the event was a success! If you didn’t make it to the party you can still visit the park a lovely place to experience on your own, with your kiddos, or your friends. Oh, and your dog will love it, too!