Johnny Papan

Johnny Papan

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. -

THE HOT AMP: New Music Venue Adds Sizzle to Surrey’s Summer Schedule

“My biggest goal is to put music and good energy back on this land. It’s been debauchered these last couple years and because of that the community has come to not trust it. It’s seen a lot of in and out and it’s seen a lot of pain. This whole summer is committed to putting very good energy into these grounds.” The Hot Amp is Surrey’s newest all-ages pop-up music venue. With several shows already set in motion, mastermind Danielle Neilson is looking to add some sizzle to Surrey’s Summer schedule through the means of live music and entertainment. Every two weeks the Hot Amp will feature themed events spanning, but no limited to, speedy punk-rock, groovy metal, and even a burlesque showcase that celebrates the next astrological full-moon. The venue’s opening night featured a ragga-punk vibe with performances by dancehall cover band Joe Dipper and the SnapperWhippers and a...
Arts and EntertainmentMusic

Stephano Barberis | Local Music Video Director Bends the Rules of His Genre

Stephano Barberis is a local music video director born in Kitimat, British Columbia. Finding a niche directing videos mostly for Country music artists, Barberis, to date, has won 18 consecutive BC Country Music Awards (BCCMA,) 10 Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMA,) and was nominated for two MuchMusic Video Awards (MMVA,) amongst a plethora of other award wins and nominations. With such an impressive trophy-shelf, one would assume that Barberis has been developing his craft since his early days with ambitions of always one day being a cinematic director. In his rare case, however, Barberis confirms that he was arbitrarily dropped into the role without expectation or preparation. Barberis came to Vancouver at the age of 18 to study at Douglas College. From there he moved on to SFU, Kwantlen, and BCIT. “I was always in love with city planning,” Barberis explains. “I decided to go in that direction in university....
Local History

A Historic Look Into Surrey: A City of Stories

Surrey, British Columbia is met with a mixed reputation in the eye of our surrounding provinces. For years, the media has put a main focus on negative events that take place, as it does with most cities, never bringing attention to our growing community, developing infrastructure, and the unique, good-hearted people that choose to call this place home. What most don’t know is that Surrey possesses a rich history far greater than what many of its inhabitants could imagine. In celebration of Canada 150, author K. Jane Watt has penned Surrey: A City of Stories , which she hopes will shine a light on our evolving community’s past, present, and future. “People we spoke to told us over and over again what a great place Surrey is to live, and to raise a family,” Watt explains. “We were told repeatedly that residents here are tired of the negative spin that...
Arts and EntertainmentEvents

Famous Slayer: Potter’s House Of Horrors Returns to Forge New Nightmares

It was a dark and stormy night. Gusts of wind rustled the Autumn leaves as chimes wavered calmly beneath the misted moonlight. An eerie sense of fear and excitement washed over the city of Surrey in the year of 2003. A new monster had made it’s presence known, latching on to our deepest nightmares. Legend has it that this monstrosity rises every Halloween season to bring terror and anguish to those who seek its thrill. Patrons of Surrey: Beware. Potter’s House of Horrors has returned from the dead. “Attendees should expect to scream... Attendees should expect to lose their voices... Attendees should expect to jump, shake, squirm and lose control of their bodily functions.” Event organizer Chris Pershick has a tenured history with Potter’s Farm & Nursery. His tale begins with when the humble garden centre was first possessed by the haunted House of Horrors 14 years ago. “Potter’s, which...

Shambhala Music Festival: An Unaltered Tale of My Altered Journey

Featured Image | Shambhala Music Festival It’s 10am on Tuesday, I have just awoken from a nearly 19-hour sleep. I left Shambhala at around 5:30am Monday morning, although it felt more like Sunday night. I walked straight to my friend Steve’s car after spending the entire evening roaming the festival under the guidance of MDMA, LSD and watered down liquor, more on this later. The first few days after Shambhala are always a little strange, I had just checked out of real-world living for the better part of four days. “Normal” doesn’t feel normal at all, at least not yet. I haven’t cut off my festival wristband, I’m not ready to. Before I get too deep into the experience, I must present a disclaimer. I am telling this story to the best of my memory, highlighting things that stood out to me as it relates to my personality. Shambhala is...
Arts and EntertainmentEventsMusic

Homegrown: Surrey604’s Top BC-Born Artists to Look out for at Shambhala Music Festival 20th Anniversary

British Columbia is known worldwide for a number of different reasons. The beautiful and natural greens that surrounds the province, the cleanly-coated white mountains of Whistler, the multicultural diversity that inhabits the Seattle-meets-Hollywood Canadian hybrid that is the city of Vancouver. Most of us also won’t forget about that sweet-sweet BC bud. Greenery is not all that grows within these Western Canadian soils, however. Lurking the electronic dance music community is a plethora of British Columbian artists with dreams of making the world a bouncier place. BC’s own Shambhala Music Festival is an annual meetup of those looking to share a one of a kind music and soul-filled experience. Located at Salmo River Ranch, this family and volunteer-run event encourages peace, love and unity amongst artists and attendees alike, opening individuals to a sense of free-spiritedness and self-discovery. Many patrons have thanked the Shambhala experience for breaking them out of...
Arts and EntertainmentEventsMusicPeople

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

“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” Bains mixes elements of pop, rock, electronic-dance, and even hints of Bollywood into his music, receiving well produced...
Arts and EntertainmentEvents

Vancouver Paranormal Society to publicly host ghostly investigation at Surrey’s Camp Alexandra

Paranormal is a word that often draws intrigue. For years, humankind has tested ways to communicate with those who have passed on while others remain skeptical and reserved from the phenomenon. Vancouver Paranormal Society (VPS) has been exploring the questions of afterlife since 1993 and officially became a legitimate non-profit organization after VPS President Peter Renn took over around six years ago. Vice President Kelly Berge and Investigator Mike Lutke spoke with Surrey604 about their personal experiences with spirits as well as the public investigation of Surrey’s Camp Alexandra on July 16. “This will be our second public event at Camp Alexandra,” Berge states. “Our first was quite an extraordinary event.” Berge and Lutke will share tales of voices being caught on audio recordings, physical altercations and unexplainable images captured on InfraRed Cameras. “Peter Renn was, I believe, in the children’s daycare when he captured an image of a full...

All Star Wrestling brings ECW hardcore-legend Tommy Dreamer to Cloverdale for 10 Year Anniversary

Love it or hate it, the art of professional wrestling has been a strong entity in the entertainment business for a long time. Beginning as far back as the 1920s, the theatrical sport consistently grew and by the 1980s professional wrestling would see a boom in popularity, bringing light to stars such as Ric Flair, Andre the Giant, “the Macho Man” Randy Savage, as well as the mainstream-wrestling posterchild, Hulk Hogan. The sport lost some of its lustre in the early 90s. Fans had grown tired of the comic-book esque characters and family friendly subject matter being broadcast by big-league wrestling promotions such as the NWA and WWE (then-WWF.) Lurking in the shadows, however, was a small promotion from Philadelphia who would soon turn the wrestling-genre on its head. Extreme Championship Wrestling. Under the guise of Paul Heyman, who currently manages WWE Universal Champion (and former UFC Heavyweight Champion) Brock...
Pastor Dave Morgan, Eden Whalley

From within the bleak depths of hopelessness, Pastor Dave found his light, and now aims to make Whalley shine

“Whenever I see hopelessness, I also see hope, because I used to be that hopelessness.”   Dave Morgan of Eden Whalley Church lived a life much different than what you would expect from a normal pastor. Diagnosed with dyslexia and a learning disability at a young age, Dave faced many hardships growing up, including an estranged relationship with his father. Unable to cope with the pressures of his young years, Dave dropped out of high-school, and turned to a gang-affiliated lifestyle heeded with substance abuse. “Addiction is a hard animal to beat, you can’t just wish it away,” Dave confirms. “It takes brute striving to make better choices, and distance yourself.” Unfortunately, Dave’s substance issues would soon result in the destruction of his family, leading him further down a seemingly never-ending spiral. “I locked myself in my apartment and went on a three week bender fuelled by drugs and alcohol. I...

Canada’s filthiest rappers to honour three years of Smoked Out Battles

UPDATE: Watch Smoked Out Battles 3 Year Anniversary Smoked Out Battles is a competition that pits Canada’s dankest verbal maestros against each other in a raw, no-holds-barred contest of wits, flow, and poetically delivered fire. “Rap battling can be intense. It's in your face, rough, and sometimes can get downright ugly,” confirms Red Shirt Mike, organizer and host of Smoked Out’s founding Surrey division. Red Shirt Mike and company are preparing for the Smoked Out Battles third year anniversary show, to begin at the league’s primary venue, Surrey’s Peacock Bar & Grill, on January 27th. The two day event will be headlined by a championship bout between Nova Scotia’s Komp, and the reigning champ, New Westminster’s own, DP The Mercenary. This take no prisoners brawl is expected to be jam-packed with stings, burns, and knock-out blows. “Putting together the two day card was a surreal moment for me, seeing...