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New Storyboard Honours Victims of Komagata Maru

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Photo (left to right): Raj Singh Toor, Vice President of the Descendants of the Komagata Maru Society, Surrey Councillor Mandeep Nagra, and Mayor Doug McCallum honor victims of Komagata Maru with the new heritage storyboard.

Storyboard unveiled at R.A. Nicholson Park

Surrey, BC – Mayor and members of City Council unveiled a new heritage storyboard titled Remembering the Komagata Maru at a local Surrey park this week. Raj Singh Toor, representing the Descendants of the Komagata Maru Society, was also on hand for the unveiling.

“This storyboard is an important reflection on a significant moment in Canadian history,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “Surrey is a diverse City, and we embrace people from all over the world. This permanent storyboard reinforces that we will learn from, and not forget the injustices of the past. Racism has no place in our City.”

“We can’t undo the past, but we can move forward and leave a legacy for future generations by educating them about the past,” said Raj Singh Toor, Vice President of the Descendants of the Komagata Maru Society. “This new storyboard will help educate the community and remind us of Surrey’s diverse makeup. I hope that it will help in connecting British Columbians, Canadians and Surrey residents with their past, in order to build a more peaceful and tolerant tomorrow.”

In 2019, Council supported recommendations from the Surrey Heritage Advisory Commission to conduct research into the earliest South Asians in Surrey, deliver programming relevant to Surrey’s diverse communities, and to create a heritage storyboard reflecting on the Komagata Maru incident and systemic racism.

Each year, the Surrey Heritage Advisory Commission funds new heritage storyboards and other interpretive features throughout the City. This program ensures Surrey’s diverse history is accessible in locations city-wide. To date, over 50 heritage storyboards exist across the City.

The storyboard is located in R.A. Nicholson Park, 12140 75A Avenue, not far from the Komagata Maru mural and commemorative street signs on 75A Avenue. The storyboard is located on the pedestrian path just behind the Strawberry Hill Hall.

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.

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Will Surrey Get its Own Police Service in 2024? Here’s What We Know!

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Headlines earlier this year brought both excitement and disappointment to residents across the City, as chief Norm Lipinski said the Surrey Police Service could be operational by 2024.

“I am honoured to lead Surrey through this important transition towards a more modern, inclusive, accountable, and community-based policing model,” said Lipinski in a statement released by the Surrey Police Board.

“I look forward to working closely with Surrey’s diverse communities to learn more about their priorities and building a service to meet the needs of this rapidly growing and dynamic city.”

Lipinski was appointed as the Chief Constable of the Surrey Police Service on November 20, 2020 during step 12, of a 14 step timeline designed to phase out the RCMP.

The RCMP has been serving Surrey for over 70 years since its inception back in 1951, and during this time, many residents have grown to both love and hate the national service.

A survey in 2019 conducted by the City of Vancouver, City of Surrey, and the RCMP, revealed that many citizens believe Surrey should have its own municipal police service.

Surrey is currently BC’s second most populous city, and is expected to surpass Vancouver by 2041.

With almost 520,000 people calling Surrey home, the City has “transformed from a small suburban community into a major metropolitan hub.”

Furthermore, Surrey is one of 19 Canadian communities with a population of more than 300,000 residents, but remains the only city without a local police department.

Not to mention, Surrey is also 28 times larger than the average community policed by the RCMP, making it an outlier among both major Canadian cities and RCMP jurisdictions.

Thus, the push for the City’s own police force was inevitable and the transition officially began in 2018, when the Surrey City Council passed a motion to “take all appropriate steps to immediately create a Surrey Police Department for its residents and businesses.”

Since then, the journey to this point has been tumultuous, and a centre for criticism. Some residents feel that there is a lack of transparency to the public, including Scott Buchanan, a youth care counselor.

“Due to the outrageous costs, limited benefits, and lack of transparency of such a transition, this is an action that I have never supported,” Buchanan said in a letter to the Vancouver Sun.

“I believe the Surrey RCMP have always provided excellent service to our community and I cannot conceptualize, or justify, the need to dissolve this institution and replace it with a watered-down version,” Buchanan continued.

Since planning for the Surrey Police Service began, “transition costs have tripled from the original estimate, COVID-19 has placed significant stress on communities across the province, and recruitment efforts have stalled leading to early resignations.”

As a result, the transition to the Surrey Police Service has been delayed by at least two years.

On April 15, the President of the National Police Federation, Brian Sauvé, said that staff with the City of Surrey will explore a referendum on the planned police transition.

The National Police Federation is pleased that Surrey City Council directed staff to further explore a motion to hold a referendum on the police transition at this week’s Council meeting.”

“We have been a consistent voice supporting the right of Surrey citizens to have their say on this important issue. The Mayor cannot hide behind an election that took place over two and a half years ago when so much has changed,” said Sauvé.

The National Police Federation is calling on the City and the Province to give voters the final say on this “costly, unnecessary, and disorganized transition.”

Thus, after years of planning and preparation, with just 2 steps left to fulfill on the City’s 14 step timeline to phase out the RCMP, there is a chance that the national police service will be here to stay after all.

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SMH Sim Lab Trains Healthcare Workers To Handle COVID-19

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Photo: Surrey Memorial Hospital Simulation Lab program training frontline healthcare workers

Surrey Memorial Hospital Simulation Lab is Game Changer in Training Healthcare Workers to Handle COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis

Surrey Hospitals Foundation Investing $100,000 in New Simulation Technology

The Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) Simulation Lab has been credited as a “game changer” in helping train healthcare workers to better handle COVID-19 pandemic crisis situations.

The Surrey Hospitals Foundation is investing another $100,000 for new simulation technologies for the SMH Simulation Lab, contributing a total of $1.3 million including seed funding since 2015.

The SMH simulation Lab is one of two regional simulation centres supporting the Fraser Health region. It is a partnership between Surrey Memorial Hospital, Fraser Health and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine.

“Our Simulation Lab has been very successful in training and preparing healthcare workers in various emergency situations and ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it has been instrumental in helping frontline hospital staff handle crisis situations,” says Lisa Ewart, Clinical Practice Consultant and Simulation Program Lead in Fraser Health.

“In addition, our Simulation Lab has facilitated and identified ongoing improvements in healthcare procedures, especially related to COVID-19, that has been adopted and implemented across the region.”

Between March and June 2020 alone, the SMH Simulation Lab has conducted 217 COVID-19 process simulations and trained over 900 hospital staff, using scenarios that were developed based on current pandemic guidelines from the Emergency Operations Committee.

These simulations occurred in emergency, intensive care, cardiac care, medical/surgical cohort units, COVID-19 testing centers and involved interdisciplinary participation.

The SMH Simulation Lab allows learners to practice high risk, low-frequency procedures – such as trauma from a car accident, or how to care for a patient in a pandemic – in a safe, risk-free environment.

Simulation encourages team training, by building on teamwork and communication skills, identifying roles or practicing use of protocols during a crisis or code blue situations.

The Simulation Lab supports healthcare workers, hospital staff, students, social workers, lab technicians and other learning groups such as community first responders.

Pediatric Emergency Department Simulation Practice

The Simulation Lab also takes part in the Surrey Hospital Foundation’s Mini Med School Education Program which gives high school students an opportunity to explore a variety of medical specialties with small-group workshops with physicians and technicians.

Interesting facts about the Surrey Memorial Hospital Simulation Lab:

  • 3 high tech rooms, 2 debrief rooms, 3 skill rooms, 1 virtual reality surgical simulation room.
  • Pediatric simulations to support pediatric emergency department, child health centre and pediatric psychiatry.
  • In 2020 alone, the SIM Lab completed more than 2,400 hours of simulation education and more than 800 simulation sessions compared to 401 hours and 153 sessions in 2016.
  • The pediatric mannequins that were bought in 2020 have been used in more than 60 simulations sessions and over 110 hours of clinical training.
  • The adult mannequins from 2015 have had 17,000 compressions, been ventilated 2,400 times and been shocked 700 times.

“Our Foundation provided the seed funding when the SIM lab was first launched in 2015, and we are proud to continue supporting this crucially important education program to help improve the quality of our healthcare and health outcomes of our patients,” says Jane Adams, President and CEO of the Surrey Hospitals Foundation.

About Surrey Hospitals Foundation:

Surrey Hospitals Foundation is the largest non-government funder of health care for families in Surrey and surrounding Fraser Valley communities.

The Foundation supports the major health facilities in the region, Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) and Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC), as well as numerous specialized programs for newborns, children, adults and seniors.

The Foundation invests in the future of health care by funding innovative research in Surrey that can lead to medical breakthroughs.

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Vaccinations Cancel Cloverdale Rodeo

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2021 Cloverdale Rodeo cancelled to support vaccinations

Organizers promise an action-packed celebration in May 2022

Surrey, B.C. – The 2021 edition of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair has been cancelled by the event’s organizers in order to help get more people vaccinated faster.

Fraser Health is providing COVID-19 ‘mass vaccinations’ at the Cloverdale Recreation Centre, located at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds now through the end of the year. The Cloverdale Rodeo is supporting this initiative by committing a significant portion of the Fairgrounds for free public parking.

“We support everyone that is getting vaccinated,” states Shannon Claypool, President of the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association. The decision to forfeit space for vaccinations will result in a loss of income for the Association.

Claypool explains the Association’s choice this way: “Until this health emergency has been corralled up, everyone needs to do everything they can for the sake of our community.”

The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair will resume occurring each Victoria Day weekend, with the next being May 20-23, 2022. The Rodeo’s 75th Anniversary celebration is being postponed to next year.

“We take off our hat to the Rodeo’s fans, sponsors and the entire community,” adds Claypool. “We’re sad not to be providing thrills, fun, and memories this year. However, everyone’s understanding will be rewarded next year with an exciting, rip-roaring shindig well worth the wait.”

Despite the fact that there will not be a Rodeo, the Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation has vowed to continue awarding scholarships to young, local leaders this year. More information on how high school students can apply will be available later this spring.

The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair is just one of nearly 1,000 events held each year at the Fairgrounds. Other activities range from fun runs to trade shows. The Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association manages the Fairgrounds, stewarding the 90 acre, eight facility property for the community.

To thank its members for their on-going support, the Association is extending memberships an additional year at no charge.

To discover more about the Association, Fairgrounds, and the renowned Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair, visit the website.

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UrbanScreen Exhibit Invites Visitors To Play “I spy” With Their City

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Surrey, BC – Surrey Art Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibit I Spy a City by Flavourcel animation collective on display at UrbanScreen until May 2, half an hour after sunset until midnight. UrbanScreen is the Gallery’s outdoor art projection site located on the west wall of Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre.

Riffing on the classic children’s game “I spy”, Flavourcel’s project captures different sights from across Whalley and the broader Surrey region in animated form.

Each member of the collective (consisting of eleven young artists from a variety of backgrounds) specializes in a different form of animation, including hand-drawn, digital, and even clay. The result is an eclectic mix of moving artworks with a mesmerizing effect.

Visitors to UrbanScreen are invited to “spy” the things that connect with them: nearby shop facades, local ingredients, Surrey wildlife, popular sports, and more.

Spinning SkyTrains soar over dancing streetlights, smashed skateboards, and swimming salmon, while pagodas, volleyball nets, and satellite dishes shiver and spin.

The coldness of concrete and metal contrasts with the warmth of parks, food, and nature. Working with rotating and looping animations, Flavourcel seeks to create pockets of life and connection within the social context of Surrey.

Over the course of the exhibition, different members of the collective will re-mix I Spy a City, adding new animations while reconfiguring others, ensuring that there will be plenty of surprises in store for repeat visitors to UrbanScreen.

The selected animations cover a range of style and content, all connected in their charming, surreal, or cerebral imagining of micro narratives, fantastic characters, and surprising re-configurations of ordinary materials and processes.

“True to their name, Flavourcel offers up a sumptuous feast for the eyes,” says Assistant Curator Rhys Edwards. “Surrey Art Gallery is delighted to showcase the extraordinary talent of these young artists. Their creative energy is boundless, and it’s on full display in I Spy a City.”

In conjunction with the exhibit, Surrey Art Gallery will release a series of free instructional videos as part of its Art Together series of art programming. Members of Flavourcel will show viewers how to make their own animations at home, including one-frame loops, basic digital animations, and traditional pencil and paper animation.

These videos will be shared on Surrey Art Gallery’s social media. The first has just been released—“Wire-frame Animation with Julia Song”—and can be watched on the Gallery’s YouTube channel.

Other exhibits at Surrey Art Gallery include Facing Time, an exploration of the human face (ends March 27), Art by Surrey Secondary Students, local youth display their talents (ends April 30), and Yam Lau: Hutong House, a meditative video installation on home, friendship, and time (ends May 30).

About the Artist

Flavourcel is an animation collective based in the unceded Coast Salish territories. Born out of a desire to break down the institutional barriers that limit animators and introduce play into their work, Flavourcel produces experimental animations in a variety of styles.

From hand-drawn cell-shading to digital doodles, music videos, and gifs, each artist pushes the boundaries of the medium and challenges the preconceptions of how animated art should be made.

Flavourcel includes Harlo Martens, Kat Morris, Josh Neu, Julia Song, Alia Hijaab, Chhaya Naran, Gil Goletski, Laurel Pucker, Lana Connors, and Chris Strickler.

About Surrey Art Gallery

Internationally recognized for its award-winning programs, Surrey Art Gallery, located at 13750 88 Avenue in Surrey on the unceded territories of the Salish Peoples, including the q̓ic̓əy̓ (Katzie), q̓ʷɑ:n̓ƛ̓ən̓ (Kwantlen), and Semiahma (Semiahmoo) nations, 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.

Surrey Art Gallery will continue to present Art Together, a series of online programs that began in March 2020 and explore art and artists in the community, spark the imagination, and celebrate the ways that art can impact our lives.

Visit our website, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. surrey.ca/artgallery

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Mayor Doug McCallum Urges Everyone To Do Their Part And Get Vaccinated When Turn Comes Up

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Surrey, BC – Mayor Doug McCallum is asking everyone to get vaccinated when their turn comes up. Eligibility to book an appointment in Mayor McCallum’s age bracket came into effect yesterday. The Mayor promptly went online and scheduled an appointment for his immunization shot, which he received this afternoon.

“The light in this long tunnel that we have been travelling in is getting brighter everyday. We can get there sooner if everyone gets vaccinated when it is their turn. I can assure you that booking an appointment was easy and fast through Fraser Health’s online process and that the shot I received today was done safely, quickly and virtually pain-free. Let’s stamp out COVID. Book your immunization shot as soon as your turn comes up.”

The City of Surrey is supporting Fraser Health’s mass immunization clinics by offering space at three Recreation Centres. Eligible residents can book vaccination appointments beginning March 29 for clinics at Cloverdale Recreation Centre and South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre. Fraser Health is planning to open a third Surrey clinic at Guildford Recreation Centre and a date will be announced soon.

Visit fraserhealth.ca/vaccine to learn more or to book a COVID vaccination appointment.

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