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Margaret Trudeau speaks on Life, Sex, Love, BC Bud and addressing Personal Mental Health.



Margaret Trudeau – Photo Credit Peter Bregg

The joy of motherhood, the proper use for drugs, sex, career, children, Viagra and the powerful force and wisdom of women in their third act were all discussed at this year’s Surrey Board of Trade, Vancity Sponsored Women in Business Awards with the keynote speaker, Margaret Trudeau.

Margaret Trudeau has become the sympathetic, educated and empowering hero in the defense, assistance and face of mental illness for Canadians. She has traveled across the country speaking to groups like the Surrey Board of Trade, exposing the private and painful parts of her life experiences in an attempt to crack open the silent world of mental health and to help defuse the stigma of mental illness.

The continual journey through mental illness is difficult both for the sufferer, for the family, friends and co-workers. Talking about mental health is still taboo but the walls are coming down. While people still are unwilling to talk about their own personal struggles for fear of how it will be received, they are willing to have general discussions about how good mental health can be achieved.

Mental illness is still misunderstood, misdiagnosed and often ignored. Those who suffer will often suffer alone and in confused silence. They quickly learn that getting help can be a hit and miss situation and well-meaning advice is useless and can be even damaging. They can turn to self medication in an attempt to stem the panic and pain mental illness causes. It is a downward spiral many people never recover from. We pass them on the street. We deal with them and the chaos they can create in our families. We are them.  We deal with them in our work environment. Our emergency wards, police and ambulance services shuffle them from hospital bed to family support to the street and back to the hospital bed, and those are the lucky ones. Margaret speaks from the heart with the intent of influencing how we think about mental health and those who suffer from mental illness.

Margaret Trudeau suffered from depression and is bi-polar so she speaks from experience. She is also a mother who buried a child and a man she loved. She is truly the poster child for survival. It takes a super-human amount of courage and determination to come back from the edge, not once, not twice but over and over again, all in the public’s eye and vulnerable to repeated criticism and public ridicule. She has climbed the mountain with humour, grace and authenticity.

Going to hear her speak, we were prepared for a very somber discussion on mental illness and the cost to society but unexpectedly we laughed at the stories, cheered at the guts it takes to say the things that need to be said and loved all the personal anecdotes.

She owned the room from her first words as she quipped that her son was her warm up act. (Justin Trudeau had been the keynote speaker at last year’s event.)

Margaret enthralled her audience with information, stories, humour and words of wisdom. She was introduced by Anne Giardini, from Simon Fraser University as being a woman who has..

“great personal grace, intellect, a wise and spirited soul, dedicated to her friends and family and the key connection to important causes.”

She a warm, funny, loving, compassionate and honest. When she speaks, you feel like you are sitting in her living room and she has just handed you a cup of tea. She could have talked for hours and no one would have moved from his or her seat.

If you were expecting a politician’s carefully crafted beige speech, you would have been surprised at the candidness and heart-felt sentiments expressed by Margaret as she told her story in all its pain and glory. She didn’t sugar coat anything. She is authentically real. After all, this is a woman who told McCleans magazine in 2010 that

“I believed my job on earth was to procreate and be a pleasant sexual diversion for hard-working men.’’

In that same interview she talked about Michel’s death and the impact it had on her.

“I had to remind myself to breathe,” she says, tearfully. “I felt I had to go with Michel. I couldn’t see any other way. I couldn’t have him go alone.” She pauses. “Maybe I should put it another way: I didn’t want to be alone. In my grief I was so focused on the loss of my boy that I forgot that I had a full life and lots of people who love me very much who are alive and well and here.”


Her raw honesty draws the audience to her. They wait for her next word and she doesn’t disappoint. She has a deep compassion for anyone suffering and her words ring with truth as she describes what it is like to live inside a body that isn’t working properly.

“Depression is not sadness and it is not sorrow and it is not natural, it is not normal and it is not a healthy way of being.”

Depression can be simply described as a lack of serotonin in the brain. She explains the science behind depression and what chemicals are needed for good mental health. She touches on some of the treatments available both pharmaceutical and natural.

“It is the same as how nature is balanced and after the horrid storm, everything is calm, beautiful and glistening. We have to learn within our own selves to balance our crisis with the good times and to understand that this feeling of hopelessness will pass.” If you cannot balance yourself again on your own, then get the help that you need. It is out there for you.”


In her book, Changing My Mind, she writes about feeling “thin skinned and raw”, which is hardly the right makeup for someone who is entering the dog eat dog world of politics. In the book she says she winces at some of the things she did as the young wife of Canada’s fifteenth prime minister, Pierre Elliott Trudeau. She says

 “ I finally forgive that twenty-something version of myself and her youthful follies – and I totally admire her spirit and how she lived on the edge.”

She expressed amazement of where the trajectory her life had taken.

“I am astonished that I am standing up in front of an audience and people are listening to me and that I am relevant and have something important to say.”

She has written a number of books, one of which is Changing My Mind, written in 2010, her biography and her real story about her struggle with mental illness and how she was able to overcome a death wish that was going to take over her life because of her untreated condition. Part of her appeal as a speaker is the fact that she doesn’t gloss over the hard subjects.

She spoke about going over the edge from sanity to insanity. To a point where she was unable to make simple choices. She describes her mental state as being one where her brain was missing the part that was able to enjoy any of the pleasures of life. She explained how you could look at a beautiful sunset and feel a sense of awe and beauty, someone whose brain was not working properly would look at that same sun and feel nothing because their brain was unable to process the picture or the emotions attached.

Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Sinclair are married March 5, 1971 at St. Stephen’s Church in North Vancouver. Fred Schiffer/Vancouver Sun [PNG Merlin Archive]

Margaret told of being married and how much her life changed from her carefree young days in North Vancouver to Ottawa as the wife of a hard working prime minister. She talked about being pregnant with her “perfect son, Justin” as well as the joy she found in caring for all of her children. Her depression started, as it often does, after the birth of her first child. She takes the audience through her treatment or lack of treatment and the ups and downs of being trapped in the Prime Minister’s shadow. Another bright, capable, educated woman sidelined by the limitations put on women. As she spoke, you could visualize how empty her life had become, how trapped she felt by comparison to the promise and dreams she had for her future.

It brings to mind how many other woman and young girls, who have so much to offer to the world but are shackled by outdated ideas about a woman’s place and lack of opportunity or space in which to participate. Now in seeing her giving so much and affecting such change around her, you can only wish that she had been freed earlier in life. You feel as if you have been robbed of all those years with her.

She spoke of life with her husband, Pierre Trudeau. In her usual frank style she addressed the difficulties an energetic, young woman coping with the age difference, the expectations and being under the constant spotlight of public opinion, she also spoke very glowingly about how much she loved Pierre. She had so much respect for his intellect and how hard he worked. While the events of their lives drew them apart, it is very evident that theirs was a true love story.

While her book, Changing my Mind, focuses on the past. Her current book The Time of My Life: Choosing a Vibrant Joyful Future, is all about the future.

She has said that the first book was “walking the walk” while The Time of My Life was “talking the talk.”

In her beautiful expressive way, she demonstrated how dopamine is her drug of choice. The brain produces this naturally but in someone with a mental illness, the brain becomes flooded with dopamine and the person enters a manic stage. Dopamine is the drug that controls our creativity, our spirituality and innovation. It fires our huge thoughts and dreams followed by our huge actions. It affects the area of our brain where rapid-fire decisions happen and when a manic mind is flooded with dopamine, thoughts come very quickly, but you are unable to access reason.

Margaret re-told times of her life when she was in a manic state and the outcomes of those episodes. She was encouraging when speaking about brain dysfunction and how it can be corrected but it is a difficult journey. People who suffer are filled with self-loathing. They bounce between guilt, pain and paranoia.

“We know that we don’t fit in. We know we are irritating and unlovable at times and yet we still hang on like fierce warriors against the idea that we do have a mental illness. The fancy word for mental illness is impaired insight and that is the truth and that is the problem. At times of our lives we will all feel mentally ill. We will feel frustrated or angry and most of us will self-fix by making some good choices or by having a good nights sleep. But those who can’t get out of it can get deeper and deeper into it and get stuck in their mental illness.”

She encouraged people to access Great West Life’s website where all the information one will need to know about mental health is accessible for everyone. Learning about mental illness and good mental health is an important thing for all of us to do. In discussing how she recovered from the horrible experience of losing her son, she pointed out that it is very important for all of us to be ok with asking for help.

“You cannot pull yourself out of it, you need to get help, you need to ask for help, you need to be ok with asking for help.”

After Pierre’s death, she stopped eating and drinking because her damaged brain had a death wish and she thought that was what she needed to do. Suicide is the highest among people with bi-polar because as she puts it…

 “We know we are letting everyone down and we know that we are not being the best that we can be but we can’t seem to get back to it. We have to have courage to accept that we are flawed or ill and that you have to ask for help and get correction. My family had the police take me to the psychiatric ward and force me to face the fact that I was dying. I had lost all hope and everything that I knew that was beautiful was gone. Once I turned myself over to the treatment, I got help from a wonderful compassionate doctor that treated me like I was intelligent. It took three years to get my brain back. I moved from the dark and cold to the sunny side of the street. And I said all that so I could talk to you about my next book…..”

And once again she took the audience from serious conversations to laughter. She moved from talking about dying to talking about the book she is working on right now. This new book is about the next stage in a woman’s life after working and raising your children, and now what are you going to do with this last chapter. The book is co-written by wonderful women who are giving good advice about tackling the next portion of your life.

“Transitions are the hardest parts of our lives. Going from one stage to the next. Becoming old is a big transition and we need each other as we go through it.”

When I had the chance to personally interview her, I asked her if she had any regrets. If there was anything she would go back and do differently.

“I would have gotten help and accepted my mental illness sooner and avoided so much pain.”

When asked what she would say to families or friends dealing with someone that was struggling with mental illness, she responded.

“Even though we are unlovable and irritating and even in some case unlikeable, understand that that is not us. Find us inside of ourselves. The real people that we are, trapped inside our mental illness. We don’t want to live this way and we need to not be pushed away but to be brought in and given a hug.”

Shara Nixon of Surrey604 Online Magazine with Margaret Trudeau

Struck again by the sense that I, as well as all Canadian women, have been robbed by these lost years when she struggled with lack of treatment.  Due to the restrictions put on women, the nature of mental illness and the women who disappear behind powerful men, we have all suffered the loss of  the ability to connect and learn from this beautiful, gracious woman. It brings  to mind the importance of getting help sooner rather than later.

Who else has their contribution to the world locked behind untreated mental illness?

The book table sold out of books immediately and Margaret stayed after her presentation to sign books and talk and take pictures with each lucky person.  In person, she is as gracious and caring as she appears on stage.  She took as much time as was needed to give each person the attention they needed.

Anne Peterson of the Surrey Board of Trade getting an autographed copy of Margaret Trudeau’s new book


Margaret Trudeau with Surrey Board of Trade Board members and winners of the Surrey Woman in Business Award with Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. Photo credit: Surrey Board of Trade

If you ever get a chance to hear Margaret Trudeau speak, – run – don’t walk! Be the first to get your seat. And speaking of seats, before she had said her last word, the room,  rose as one to a long and loud standing ovation. She taught and touched every heart and once again opened the conversation to the question…

How is your mental health?

Are you living the full life you should be living?  Are you contributing to society in ways that only you can?  Is your mental health affecting your ability to be the best you can be?

Get help.

Canadian Mental Health Association

University Health Services – University of Michigan – Mental Health

Here to Help

All Care Counselling

Moving Forward Family Services – Pay what you can

The presenting sponsor for this event was Vancity who has built their marketing around the idea of making room for everyone at the table. The speaker sponsor was Margaret Trudeau’s own alma mater Simon Fraser University. Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the law firm of McQuarrie Hunter and the Co-operators Insurance company were the awards sponsors. The media sponsors were all present with their lights and cameras. Global TV, The SurreyLeader and News Talk 980 CKNW  all rotated around the room asking questions and taking pictures. The Women’s Enterprise Centre was the Community Sponsor.

Shara Nixon loves to hear and repeat the stories of people’s lives and cultural viewpoints. She enjoys deep conversations and people who hold strong viewpoints. In her day job she is a social worker for business owners, helping them meet their goals. As an insomniac, she writes at night to clear her head. She is punctuationally challenged and uses too many !!!. She also believes in creative spelling as an art form. Her super-power is in connecting like-minded people and communicating with an intent to learn instead of respond. She writes about relationships, business savvy, online dating, finance and general things that piss her off. Shara believes that key to peace is education and connection!!!

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Arts and Entertainment

7 shows you didn’t know were filmed in Surrey



shows filmed in Surrey
The Good Doctor isn't the only big show to film in Surrey (ABC / Art Streiber)

The city has been a prime location for many famous TV shows. Here is a list of some of our favourite shows filmed in Surrey.


You’ll be surprised to know that the hit Netflix series Riverdale has filmed some scenes in Surrey, along with other famous places across BC like Rocko’s Diner and the Twilight Drive-In Theatre. The most notable place in Surrey is Bear Creek Park where in Season 5 the football workout scene was filmed. 


The Flash

Not to be confused with the movie featuring Ezra Miller (who knows what’s happening with the DC movies anyway?), CW’s The Flash has also filmed around Surrey and the Lower Mainland. You can see many familiar places like Surrey City Hall and Central City Mall. 


Turner & Hooch (2021)

While this show may claim to take place in San Francisco, and it’ll do everything it can to convince you it was filmed there, this remake starring Josh Peck was filmed right here in BC. Specifically, the exterior of the police station that Turner works at is Surrey City Hall. You can even see the evidence of the Take Five afe right outside. 



The DC movie universe just seems to love filming in Surrey. Peacemaker, starring everyone’s favourite John Cena, filmed scenes in Surrey. 


The Good Doctor

Surrey’s City Hall can be seen in The Good Doctor as the exterior of the San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital. Now why they wouldn’t use the actual Surrey Memorial Hospital as a hospital is beyond us. 


The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has used a couple of different locations in Surrey for filler shots like in Redwood Park for scenes in the woods. But it also converted a closed storefront into Cerberus Books, a bookstore from the series. Without the signs, it may be difficult to locate, but you can find the building used for this bookstore at 5657 176 St. 


The Stand

Based on the book of the same name by Steven King, The Stand was also filmed in Surrey. Starring Whoopi Goldberg, Alexander Skarsgård, and James Marsden (yes, this is the guy from Sonic the Hedgehog), this story takes place “After the world is in ruins, due to a man-made plague,” and “a battle of biblical proportions ensues between the survivors.” It shot scenes throughout BC, but most notably is the Pacific Inn Resort, which was used to film interior shots for the Flagg Hotel in the show.

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Arts and Entertainment

Famous Wrestler ‘Shakes Up’ Surrey Artifact Collection



John Tenta ‘Earthquake’ memorabilia now on display at Museum of Surrey

Surrey, BC – The legacy of WWF wrestler John Tenta, known worldwide as ‘Earthquake’ is being celebrated with a display of memorabilia in the Museum of Surrey’s latest feature exhibition ‘Shake Up: Preserving What We Value.’

Visitors will have the opportunity to see the former Surrey resident’s iconic 1991 action figure, “The Wrestler” Magazine, featuring Earthquake vs. Hulk Hogan from 1990, a deck of trading cards and more in the exhibit’s pop culture section.

“Earthquakes are some of nature’s most powerful forces, and John Tenta certainly evokes that energy with the persona he created, which makes his legacy a perfect fit for the exhibit,” said Curator of Exhibits, Colleen Sharpe.

‘Shake Up: Preserving What We Value’ was originally developed by the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Using cultural objects, art, and multimedia displays, the exhibit tells the story of earthquakes—and other natural disasters—through Indigenous knowledge passed down through oral histories.

To complement the multi-media installations, MOS added Surrey-specific content from the Heritage Surrey Collection, including the recent acquisition of Tenta’s memorabilia.

Kristin Hardie, Curator of Collections, says the memorabilia acquired for the Surrey Artifact Collection is one example of how objects can serve as a connection point with our community’s memory.

“We are thrilled to be able to preserve the amazing story of a ‘Surreyite’ who rose to the highest levels of his sport and who became famous on a global scale.

We hope that these items both preserve John Tenta’s legacy in his hometown and encourage his neighbours and fans to share their memories and stories about him.”

Hardie recently reached out to Tenta’s son, Jeff Tenta, who resides in Florida with his wife and two children. When asked how he felt about his father being included in the exhibit and his story being preserved and shared at the museum, he responded that it was a proud moment for the family.

“We’re happy that his community appreciates it – it’s good to know people care,” he said. Preserving and Sharing Surrey’s Stories. Heritage Services administers a large civic artifact collection, which consists of over 20,000 objects.

Already a world junior wrestling champion by age 20, Tenta first rose to fame in Japan, where he spent eight months as a sumo wrestler. He and his family returned to his hometown of Surrey from approximately 1989 to 1996, where he was affectionally known as ‘Big John’ to local media.

By 1989, Tenta was a full-time member in the WWF with the name, Earthquake. In 1993, Tenta headlined a West Coast wrestling competition at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.

In 2006, Tenta passed away from bladder cancer at the age of 42. His sister, Brenda, currently resides in Langley.

‘Shake Up: Preserving What We Value’ runs until June. Visitors must pre-register for one hour long self-guided visits, which are available from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. from Wednesday to Saturday. Visitors can register by visiting emailing or by calling 604-592-6956.

The museum follows all citywide COVID- 19 safety protocols as per Health BC, City of Surrey and Worksafe BC. Masks are mandatory. Registration required for every person in your family group, including infants. For more information, visit us.

For more information about the Surrey Artifact Collections, visit our site. The City’s artifact collection can also be viewed virtually using the Surrey Archives & Museums free Online Access (SAMOA).

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Arts and Entertainment

A Symbol of Welcome at Museum of Surrey



The Rivers that Connect Us by kʼwyʼiʼyʼe Spring Salmon Studio

Surrey, BC – A new public artwork has been installed at Museum of Surrey, the final component of the Museum expansion. The artwork is easily viewed by those travelling along Highway 10. Designed and fabricated locally by kʼwyʼiʼyʼe Spring Salmon Studio (Drew Atkins, Phyllis Atkins, and Aaron Jordan),

The Rivers that Connect Us is a monumental sculpture that makes an important contribution to the Cloverdale Historic District by acknowledging and reflecting the longstanding presence of First Nations peoples.

The artwork’s five-metre-tall, illuminated paddles are raised to the sky recalling a traditional Coast Salish gesture indicating peace and respect made when a canoe traveller approached a village.

The artwork’s welcoming gesture is intended to honour the diversity of newcomers arriving in Surrey and the traditional lands of the Coast Salish peoples.

The sculpture’s four paddles encircle a 3.5-metre round base that features a design inspired by the traditional form of a Coast Salish spindle whorl, a tool used by Coast Salish women to spin wool for weaving.

The base also references a compass and the four directions. The Salish Eye designs around the base of the paddles represent the seven traditional teachings of the Kwantlen peoples: health, happiness, generations, generosity, humility, forgiveness, and understanding.

While referencing the deep history of the land and the traditional territory of the Coast Salish peoples including the q̓ʷɑ:n̓ƛ̓ən̓, q̓ic̓əy̓, and səmyəmɑʔɬ (Kwantlen, Katzie, and Semiahmoo First Nations) and traditional Coast Salish design, the sculpture also incorporates innovative technology with its steel and polycarbonate materials and programmable LED lighting.

Community consultation guided this public art opportunity from the outset. Multiple community engagement sessions were held, culminating in a group of Cloverdale residents serving on a panel to select the artists and artwork concept.

One of the key recommendations from the community was that the sculpture serve as a gateway feature for travellers to Cloverdale and the City of Surrey. The lighting will ensure the artwork is visible at night and fulfills the expectation of the Cloverdale community.

The artwork also offers an invitation to learn more about Surrey’s history, located beside Museum of Surrey (17710 56A Avenue) and Surrey Archives (located in the 1912 Municipal Hall).

For the artists, The Rivers that Connect Us provided an important opportunity to mark the traditional territories on which Surrey is built.

They say, “The Fraser River and its local tributaries—the Salmon, Serpentine, and Nicomekl Rivers—formed a transportation network that connected First Nations people in the area since time immemorial. Relied upon for resource gathering, travel, and trade, these rivers were traversed by canoes from many nations. Presently, the Highway 10 corridor, and its many connecting roads, is today’s river.”

The artwork’s title, The Rivers That Connect Us, is a reminder and an invitation to a shared human connection regardless of cultural or ethnic backgrounds.

About the Artists

Drew Atkins (Nəq̓ɑɬc̓i) is a member of the Kwantlen First Nation community by marriage to his wife and fellow artist, Phyllis Atkins (q̓ʷɑt̓ic̓ɑ’s). He works in many mediums including painting, drawing, carving, and sculpture.

He was trained in the Coast Salish carving tradition while apprenticing with his dear friend and mentor Xwa-lack-tun (Rick Harry). Atkins owns and operates K’wy’iye’ Spring Salmon Studio and Gallery in unceded Fort Langley, BC with Phyllis Atkins.

Phyllis (Qwoy’tic’a) Atkins is an artist of the Kwantlen First Nation whose name means “I wear the clouds like a blanket” or “Shrouded in clouds.” Her name comes from the Nɬeʔkepmx language and it was given to her by her maternal grandfather Hereditary Chief Anthony Joe of the Shakan Band (Thompson River People).

Phyllis is also part Sto:lo (People of the river). Phyllis has taken oil painting lessons from Barbara Boldt and hand-carved silver jewelry lessons by Master Carver Derek Wilson. She is a renowned painter and jeweler at their home on Kwantlen First Nation in Fort Langley.

Aaron Jordan grew up surrounded by artists and craftsmen of all mediums. Working for a few years in art galleries and museums led Aaron to attend Langara College to study fine arts. He went on to discover the world of film and was swept up by the creativity and diversity of the industry while working as a sculptor and carpenter building sets and props.

About Surrey’s Public Art Program

Established in 1998, Surrey’s Public Art Program contributes to the creation of a lively, beautiful, inclusive, and complete community. The City’s art collection reflects community identity, cultural diversity, and Indigenous heritage.

Public art contributes to placemaking across the City and its sustainable socio-economic development. Among the 100+ artworks in Surrey’s public art collection are mosaics, paintings, and interactive sculptures that remember Surrey’s history, enhance infrastructure, and honour the surrounding natural environment.

From subtle to iconic, public art can be found in the City’s parks, on pathways, streets, SkyTrain pillars, and civic buildings throughout the City of Surrey. For more information about the Public Art Program and the collection, visit

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Arts and Entertainment

Recent Past Meets Speculative Future In Mark Soo’s Video Installation (Apr 17)



April 17−June 6, 2021
Artist Talk: Saturday, April 17 | 1:00 p.m. –2:00 p.m. PST on Surrey Art Gallery’s Facebook page and YouTube channel

Surrey, BC – Surrey Art Gallery launches their spring exhibit Mark Soo: Twilight on the Edge of Town on Facebook Live and YouTube on Saturday, April 17 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. PST with a talk by the artist that will be available for replay afterwards.

Drawing from an archive that evokes the history of science fiction film, 3D animation, documentary photography, and literature, Mark Soo’s newest video artwork explores the nature of perception and the limits of storytelling.

Through his juxtapositions of visual and experiential phenomena, this project stimulates poetic associations to place, reality, and imagination.

Across multiple screens, the artist creates an immersive choreography of visual elements over twenty-five minutes. Holographic images depict objects and events of the seemingly everyday where surreal log jams and raindrops mingle with flickering streetlights and backyard scenes.

An ambient soundtrack includes the voices of a child and adult simultaneously narrating the images, one in a speculation on the future and the other in a recollection of the past. Experienced in an ambiguous present, remembrance slips into projection and past and future are intertwined.

Mark Soo says, “I’ve tried to make a work that speaks to a complicated relationship to where we are, and of how we perceive that in terms of time and the relation to space.”

The result is part theatre, experimental cinema, and art installation. “By experimenting with the relationship between image and sound, fact and fiction,” says curator Jordan Strom, “Soo’s large-scale environment is a compelling meditation on the nature of individual and collective memory.”

Twilight on the Edge of Town builds on Soo’s work of the past decade and a half, including his interests in photography and film, the history of social movements, and experiments with the technological image. Surrey Art Gallery and Wirklichkeit Books, Berlin, will be co-publishing a catalogue about Mark Soo: Twilight on the Edge of Town in the fall of 2021.

Twilight on the Edge of Town is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded in part through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.

Other exhibitions at Surrey Art Gallery include Art by Surrey Secondary Students, a display of collages, drawings, and paintings from local youth (closes April 30) and the artist video Yam Lau: Hutong House. At UrbanScreen, Surrey Art Gallery’s offsite art venue, the Flavourcel collective presents I Spy a City, a series of animations that capture different sights in Surrey (closes May 2).

About Mark Soo

Mark Soo was born in Singapore. He graduated from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design in 2001 and currently lives and works in Vancouver and Berlin. He works in a variety of media including photography, sound, and video, which he uses to investigate notions of perception, modes of representation, and considerations of social space.

Soo draws on diverse sources ranging from art history to popular and social histories. He has had solo exhibitions in Vancouver, Berlin, and London and has participated in numerous group exhibitions.

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.

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Arts and Entertainment

Shake Up: Preserving What We Value



Indigenous knowledge, science and pop culture unite to address ‘the Big One’

Surrey, BC – Museum of Surrey announces its latest feature exhibition, Shake Up: Preserving What We Value, coming March 11 to June 6. Through multimedia installations, art, and cultural objects, Shake Up examines the knowledge of earthquakes and natural disasters that has been passed down for generations through First Nations oral histories.

“It’s about reflecting on what we value, and how we ensure we keep our loved ones and stories safe,” said Museum of Surrey manager, Lynn Saffery, of the exhibit that was originally developed by Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.

As part of the immersive exhibit, visitors will have the opportunity board an electric car and take a simulated drive down a San Francisco street, featuring never-before-seen footage of the big 1906 quake aftermath. Visitors can get up close to an earthquake-proof yurt, built locally in Langley.

The theme of earthquakes in pop culture is explored through movie posters, cards, earthquake toys and the famous WWF wrestler, ‘Earthquake.’ Surrey-specific content and artifacts from the Heritage Surrey collection will also be on display.

Free pre-registered, one-hour self-guided visits of the museum are available from Wednesday to Saturday. The museum follows all citywide COVID-19 safety protocols as per Health BC, City of Surrey and WorkSafe BC. Masks are mandatory. Registration required for every person in your family group, including infants. Call 604-592-6956 or email to register.

Museum of Surrey is a dynamic and accessible community hub and cultural space that reflects the City of Surrey’s innovation and creativity.

It is a people museum, with a mission to connect people and stories through engaging events, interactive award- winning exhibits, programs, textiles and local, national and international exhibitions, as well as public space for rentals. The site, located at 17710 56A Avenue in Surrey, is on the Heritage Campus, home to Veterans Square, Anderson Cabin, 1881 Town Hall and Anniedale School.

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