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On NOVEMBER 23, 2018 over 500 youth and families participated in Drugs and Gangs forum in Surrey.



Gang activity, drugs, and violence continues to be of great concern to the residents of Surrey. With over 200 shootings in the last three years, the community has seen an exponential increase of the drugs and gang violence epidemic since 2015. Furthermore, amidst a fentanyl crisis attributing to overdose deaths, a B.C. Coroners Service report states that Surrey is one of the three townships experiencing the highest number of illicit drug overdoses in 2018. The need for prevention and intervention programs remains incredibly high.

In an effort to break the cycle, Kids Play Foundation and Wake up Surrey is hosted a Drugs and Gang Forum on Sunday, November 25th at The Royal King Palace and Convention Centre in Surrey.

“It is easy to get mixed up in the wrong crowd”, says Dhaliwal, a senior youth member of Kids Play. “Kids want to fit in and I am determined to give them a safe place to belong to at Kids Play Foundation with Kal Dosanjh and the rest of our team. We just want to them to come out and see for them selves on the 25th.”

Following the opening remarks by Kal Dosanjh – Founder and CEO of Kids Play Foundation and Gurpreet Sahota – member of Wake-up Surrey, four resilient speakers shared their own struggles and personal experiences as they battled drug and gang abuse. The speakers were: Rob – a recovering drug addict, an engineer by profession; Shenan – ex gangster and now life coach; Bilal – Muslim Association of BC; and, Gurkirat- a recovered drug addict who now runs a recovery centre.

Student participants of the Kids Play mentorship program at Green Timbers Elementary school also spoke about why drugs are a danger to them and their generation. The speakers formed a panel at the end of the forum. Attendees engaged with each other on a number of topics, including on how to create and take part in change, how to identify behaviours attributed to a dangerous lifestyle in youth, and how to curtail these types of behaviours in our community.

Videos: A Stray music video by Abbotsford hip hop artist, Amrit Saggu. A raw and powerful and melodic piece, A Stray follows a young man as he’s seduced into the gang life, only to watch it turn around on him – leaving his younger brother an innocent. A second film by Paul Dhillon, “Targets” on the ongoing violence.

Lastly, a presentation by Steve Purewal from Indus media Foundation addressing Courage with Character – Heroes of the past! What we can learn from Punjab’s WW1 Martial heritage. $1000 in scholarships was awarded to students present on that day. Kids Play Foundation is founded by Law Enforcement Officer Kal Dosanjh and 2012 Canadian Olympian, now UFC Fighter, Arjan Bhullar. Kids Play is a community organization that aims to keep B.C. kids away from the life of crime through its various sports programs. Kids Play believes in building a better future for our youth, one game at a time.

Wake up Surrey is a community driven organization that help a large rally few months back which was attended by thousands of Surrey residents at Surrey City Hall with the goals of creating awareness and a solution for the epidemic of drug abuse and gang violence.

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.


SFU’s next president eyes “new era of potential”



University appoints Joy Johnson as its 10th president and vice-chancellor

Simon Fraser University’s Board of Governors has appointed professor Joy Johnson as the university’s next president and vice-chancellor, following an extensive community consultation and international search process.

Johnson, SFU’s current vice-president research and international, will take office on Sept. 1 2020. She succeeds Andrew Petter, who completes his term on August 31 after a decade of distinguished service.

“Over the course of this competitive process, professor Johnson stood out from other candidates for her depth of academic and research experience, commitment to students and enthusiasm for the future of SFU,” says Fiona Robin, chair of SFU’s Board of Governors and chair of the presidential search committee. “We are thrilled to announce that professor Johnson is the successful candidate and look forward to welcoming her into this new role.”

A strong supporter of academic and research excellence, and a leader in nurturing and building community partnerships, Johnson is also committed to vibrant student learning experiences, equity, diversity and inclusion, and Aboriginal reconciliation.

“SFU is a remarkable institution at a remarkable time in its history,” says Johnson, who becomes the university’s second woman president. “We continue to attract world-class students, faculty, and staff, and we are stepping into a new era of potential.”

Johnson, who has been in her current role at SFU since 2014, is widely respected in academic and research communities. Under her leadership, SFU’s research income has grown from $103 million in 2014 to $161 million today, making it the fastest growing research income of any university in Canada.

During her tenure, the university established its innovation strategy—SFU Innovates—launched its big data initiative, secured two Canada 150 chairs and became host to Canada’s most powerful academic supercomputer. The university also became a founding partner in the City of Surrey’s burgeoning Health and Technology District and established collaborative research partnerships around the world.

“I love being part of SFU—so much is possible here as we develop new learning opportunities, enhance student support and services, expand our facilities, strengthen our research infrastructure, and forge new partnerships,” says Johnson. “It’s my great privilege to have the opportunity to serve as President and Vice-Chancellor, and I look forward to getting started.”


Johnson completed her PhD in nursing at the University of Alberta, and is a former professor in the University of British Columbia’s School of Nursing.

Before joining SFU, Johnson had an impressive academic and research career in the health sciences. Her research focused on how environments and social dynamics influence health outcomes and opportunities, particularly among youth.

Her commitment to research led to her role as scientific director with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Gender and Health, setting the institute’s strategy and building opportunities for researchers.

Johnson is an elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2019).

She is the co-author of more than 180 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has led several initiatives that mobilized research insights to influence practice and policy.

Read more about Joy Johnson

About Simon Fraser University:

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 35,000 students. The university now boasts more than 160,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.

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Surrey Libraries Recommends Books to Read Before the New Decade Dawns



Fill your holiday season with literacy, light and joy!

Surrey, BC – Readers in Surrey like a good thriller as several mysteries and thrillers topped the list of adult fiction books that were the most borrowed from the library in 2019.

If you’re in the mood for a crime thriller, Surrey Libraries staff recommend David Baldacci’s Redemption or Long Road to Mercy. Surprisingly, older titles including George Orwell’s classic dystopia 1984, eerie parable Animal Farm, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and J.D. Salinger’s classic teen angst novel Catcher in the Rye also made the most borrowed list.

Here’s the top 20 adult fiction books borrowed from Surrey Libraries in 2019:

Rank Book Title Author
1 Where the Crawdads Sing Delia Owens
2 Past Tense Lee Child
3 Dark Sacred Night Michael Connelly
4 The Reckoning John Grisham
5 1984 George Orwell
6 Kingdom of the Blind Louise Penny
7 Long Road to Mercy David Baldacci
8 Tattooist of Auschwitz Heather Morris
9 Clockmakers Daughter Kate Morton
10 Nine Perfect Strangers Liane Moriarty
11 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
12 Crazy Rich Asians Kevin Kwan
13 Redemption David Baldacci
14 A Spark of Light Jodi Picoult
15 Washington Black Esi Edugyan
16 The Great Alone Kristin Hannah
17 Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
18 A Better Man Louise Penny
19 Animal Farm George Orwell
20 Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger

People interested in borrowing any of these titles can find the complete list and check for their availability online at

If there isn’t something on the list of the most borrowed books in 2019 that is of interest, Surrey Libraries staff have also put together their picks of the best titles from 2019 called Fireside Reads for Winter. The list and availability of titles can be found online at

Surrey Libraries also has eBooks and eAudiobooks available for patrons to download and read on their phones or tablets. Visit to find a title that interests you!

Here’s the top 15 eBooks borrowed from Surrey Libraries in 2019:

Rank eBook Title Author
1 Little Fires Everywhere Celeste Ng
2 Past tense Lee Child
3 The Reckoning John Grisham
4 Nine Perfect Strangers Liane Moriarty
5 Long Road to Mercy David Baldacci
6 Dark Sacred Night Michael Connelly
7 Becoming Michelle Obama
8 Educated Tara Westover
9 The Wife between Us Greer Hendricks
10 Where the Crawdads Sing Delia Owens
11 Tattooist of Auschwitz Heather Morris
12 The Rooster Bar John Grisham
13 Kingdom of the Blind Louise Penny
14 The Great Alone Kristin Hannah
15 The Fallen David Baldacci

About Surrey Libraries

Surrey Libraries is a valued community institution and one of the most-used community services in Surrey. The Library welcomes around 2.7 million visits to its nine branches each year, and over two million visits to its online resources. Surrey Libraries runs hundreds of programs and services for children, youth, and adults to support their diverse learning needs. Serving the community since 1983, Surrey Libraries strives to be a leader in supporting creativity, connectivity, literacy, and lifelong learning. Find out more about Surrey Libraries and our diverse programming at

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Seven Hundred School Children Lead Park Beautification Event to Wrap-up Love Where you Live Campaign



Mayor Doug McCallum and Councillor Steven Pettigrew joined Cambridge Elementary
students, school staff and parents for a clean-up and tree planting event on Thursday, October 24.

Surrey, BC – Mayor Doug McCallum joined over 700 students, parents and teachers from Cambridge Elementary School for a clean-up event today, wrapping up Surrey’s city-wide Love Where You Live Campaign. The initiative, which began in April, called on residents, business owners, schools and community groups to step up and get involved in keeping Surrey clean and welcoming.

“The key to our success boils down to the tremendous support we have received from our community,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “Love Where You Live not only resonated with our residents, but it delivered solid results. 5,000 bags of litter have been removed from city streets and parks and more than 13,000 trees and bulbs have been planted. Without question, our collective efforts have had a huge impact and I thank everyone who participated across our community.”

In addition to the clean-up initiatives, the City focused on beautification projects to create more welcoming spaces. Across the City, 1,700 street banners were installed and over two thousand feet of decorative streetlights were added to Town Centres.

During the event, Mayor McCallum encouraged that the students and community continue to take pride in the city, making clean-up efforts part of their regular routine.

“I want to continue to challenge everyone to participate in keeping our neighborhoods cleaner, greener and healthier. Every piece of litter picked up, and every tree planted goes a long way in creating a welcoming environment for residents and visitors. Let’s keep up the good work!”

For more information about how you can participate in year-round clean-up initiatives, visit:

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Surrey Libraries Announces Winners of 2019 Young Adult Writing Contest



Surrey, BC — Surrey Libraries is pleased to announce and congratulate the winners of the 2019 Surrey Libraries’ Young Adult Writing Contest. The winners were acknowledged at an Awards Gala on Wednesday, October 16 at City Hall Council Chambers.

The Young Adult Writing Contest is an annual writing competition for youth aged 12-18. Since launching the contest in 1987, Surrey Libraries has received over 6,500 entries from aspiring young writers across Surrey. The contest is free to enter and young writers submit entries to one of the four contest categories: short stories, poems, comics, and a new random category for other types of writing such as essays and screenplays.

“With more than 300 entries this year, our judges were challenged to select the winning entries,” explains Kelly Lau, Youth Services Librarian and contest coordinator. “We were so impressed by the diversity, creativity and fearlessness demonstrated by all the young writers who submitted their works. The future of writing is in good hands.”

Alyana Amadeo who placed in both the junior short story and the junior poetry categories said, “I think the competition is cool. I think it can motivate young people to write and inspire people to start writing – especially the poetry and comics, even if you don’t like writing.”

This popular program is organized by the dynamic youth library staff at Surrey Libraries – City Center branch and is made possible through the generous support of the program’s champion sponsors: Khalsa Credit Union, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and The Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature.

First time entrant, Meshal Asghar, who received an honorable mention for her short story said, “The process was straight forward and easy. I really enjoyed it. I started getting into writing a lot more in my senior year of high school and writing a story for my provincial exam. Since I worked really hard on it for the provincial exam, I thought I would submit it for the competition. I wasn’t sure that I was going to get an award at all but it was really exciting and I’m really thankful.”

An anthology of the winners’ work will be available online or to check out from any Surrey Libraries branch. Anthologies can also be purchased for $8.00 for a limited time at the City Centre branch.

Young Adult Writing Contest Winners 2019


First Prize: If You Think Your Dog’s A Handful by Sofia Lemay

Second Prize: The Girl in the Mirror by Alyana Amadeo

Third Prize: The Bird Missing Its Wings by Adella Teja

Honourable Mention: Submerged by Carmen Campbell


First Prize: Exposure by Linda Bian

Second Prize: How a First-Grader Became a Grim Reaper by Shirley Chen

Third Prize: An Old Friend by Alyra Ryan

Honourable Mention: Free by Meshal Asghar

JUNIOR POETRY (ages 12-14)

First Prize: The Calm Before the Storm by Tehya Benedict

Second Prize: Second Prize: Worldly Matters by R.K.

Third Prize: Third Prize: The Beyond by Ashley Wang

Honourable Mention: My Friend Strength by Alyana Amadeo<?p>

SENIOR POETRY (ages 15-18)

First Prize: Thuja Plicata by Shaheen Virk

Second Prize: Cricketsong of Youth by Rena Su

Third Prize: Bleach by Sally Jiao

Honourable Mention: D Cage by Nikita Sharma

Honourable Mention: Thrift Store Dresses by Kinga Plucinska


First Prize: Drawn Out by Jaden Lee

Second Prize: Of Elves and Men by Athena Little

Third Prize: Sisters by Cynthia Wang

Honourable Mention: Missing. In. Action. by Nazaha Muntafi


First Prize: My Last Year on Earth (Screenplay for short film) by Sophie Lang

Second Prize: An Open Letter to Open Letters (Creative non-fiction essay) by Rena Su

Third Prize: Gender Dysphoria (Essay) by Colin Dong

Honourable Mention: Bottled Water: The Impacts of Water Commodification (Research Essay) by Joshua Lee

About Surrey Libraries

Surrey Libraries is a valued community institution and one of the most-used community services in Surrey. The library welcomes around 2.5 million visits to our 9 branches each year, with an additional 2 million plus visits to our online resources. Surrey Libraries runs hundreds of programs and services for children, youth, and adults to support their diverse learning needs. Serving the community since 1983, Surrey Libraries strives to be a leader in supporting creativity, connectivity, literacy, and lifelong learning. Find out more about Surrey Libraries and our diverse programming at

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SFU receives $17 million for new Quantum Algorithms Institute




The BC government will invest $17 million over the next five years to create a Quantum Algorithms Institute at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus.

The institute, which is one of the first of its kind, will focus on building quantum computing software and algorithms. And it will help SFU collaborate with other research universities in the province to position BC as a world leader in the emerging field of quantum computing technology. In the process, the university will develop a new graduate degree program in quantum computing.

The funding announcement is part of the BC government’s commitment to promote the City of Surrey as a second Lower Mainland downtown. With plans to build an innovation corridor that will boost economic growth and increase employment in Surrey and the Fraser Valley. The innovation corridor will be developed in consultation with local government, businesses, First Nations and other partners.

BC Premier John Horgan delivered the announcement at SFU’s Surrey campus and said, “Creating an innovation corridor in Surrey and up the Fraser Valley will create good jobs, attract talent, reduce commute times and raise the standard of living. Working with our partners, we will create an innovation hub where companies and talent will cluster, supporting our goal of a strong, sustainable economy that benefits the entire province.”

Andrew Petter, SFU’s President and Vice-Chancellor, said “Simon Fraser University is pleased to be a partner in the new Quantum Algorithms Institute. Undergraduate students in science, tech, engineering and mathematics will have a unique opportunity to continue their education in graduate studies with a focus on quantum computing.”

The Minister of jobs, trade and technology, Bruce Ralston added,“Quantum computer solutions will help develop the innovations of tomorrow in sectors such as transportation and logistics, medical research, advanced design and materials testing.”

Last year, the province invested more than $700 million to support the BC’s innovation ecosystem.

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