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Social and Economic Inclusion: Cities as Solutions



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Surrey Social Innovation Summit – Wednesday, November 15
Sold out third annual Summit connects community, business, academic and political leaders to create economic wealth and inclusive communities for all

Cities play a significant role in creating their communities, but it takes more than just the efforts of City Hall to truly engage its citizens and build better hometowns for all. The City of Surrey hosts the third annual Surrey Social Innovation Summit on Wednesday, November 15th at Surrey City Hall. Entitled Social and Economic Inclusion: Cities as Solutions, the one-day Summit has 8 sessions and two workshops on the agenda on how to protect our most vulnerable citizens, engage our youth and deal with housing, unemployment, poverty, addiction and other health and safety issues.

“As Surrey continues to grow, finding solutions that connect individuals, neighbourhoods, and businesses are critical to moving forward with a completely engaged community,” said Mayor Linda Hepner. “The participants at this summit will help us develop the kinds of practical, effective and innovative solutions that will make all the difference in engaging all citizens in creating a community that serves people first, while building economic prosperity for all.”Cities are increasingly turning toward a “social innovation” approach that connects community, business, academic and political leaders in decision making. Together, they come up with ideas for the economic and social benefit of our city and region – including creating vibrant communities, and generating the kinds of economic opportunities that leave no one marginalized, especially our youth.

“Although the City provides considerable leadership in charting our future direction, we also rely on the creative talents and experience of individuals, businesses, and local neighbourhoods to create the engaged community we all want,” said Councillor Vera LeFranc, Chair of the Surrey Social Innovation Summit. “The inclusion of Surrey residents and neighbourhoods is key to creating the kind of social innovation and workable solutions to pressing issues that incorporates each and every one of us as we build a better community, one that represents every demographic, every neighbourhood and every perspective.”

The morning keynote speaker will be Doug Saunders, International Affairs Columnist for The Globe and Mail will speak on “Arrival City and How the Largest Migration in History is Reshaping Surrey and Canada’s Cities” and examine best practices from Europe and North America in using smart investments and interventions to make cities better places for integration, inclusion and prosperity in the coming decades of growth. In the afternoon, CBC Radio One Cross Country Checkup host Duncan McCue explores the growing movement to Indigenize our cities by making space for the architecture, languages, and cultures of the first peoples. An afternoon workshop with placemaking expert Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces will examine “Placemaking as a Catalyst for Developing the City of the Future”. (See attached agenda for program details and lists of presenters)

For more information about the Surrey Social Innovation Summit, please click here.

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8:45 PM – Opening Keynote

Doug Saunders, International Affairs Columnist, The Globe and Mail
Arrival City and How the Largest Migration in History is Reshaping Surrey and Canada’s Cities

How can cities of newcomers like Surrey reshape themselves to ensure the next generation of immigrants is as successful as the last? Doug Saunders examines best practices from Europe and North America.

1:45 PM – Closing Keynote

Duncan McCue, Journalist, Host of CBC Radio One Cross Country Checkup
Indigenizing our City

Exploring the growing movement to Indigenize our cities and connect urban residents to the lands where we live, by making space for the architecture, languages, and cultures of the first peoples.

10:00 am – Concurrent Sessions (Round one)
Diversity = Innovation

Does the value of a great idea matter if it’s said with an accent? Few cities are as culturally diverse as Surrey which is home to virtually every language on earth. How can modern cities harness that diversity as a force for innovative thinking and new ideas, and how do we build bonds and a sense of belonging for new citizens and their contributions to the community?
Moderator: Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

  • Alden E. Habacon, Diversity and Inclusion Strategist
  • Daniel Hiebert, Professor of Geography, UBC
  • Doug Saunders, International Affairs Columnist, Globe and Mail

Social Procurement: Putting the Economy to Work for Social Innovation

The notion that we can create positive social impacts through existing purchasing isn’t new. It’s something that goes back to Roman times, but its value remains today. This innovative marketbased opportunity to create social impact is as relevant to the private sector as it is to public purchasing by different levels of government.

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After all, no single sector, public or private, can solve complex social issues alone. But, blending business values and social impact objectives through social procurement is a tool that offers opportunities for both communities and marginalized citizens. Moderator: Joy Johnson, Vice-President, Research and International, Simon Fraser University.

  • Janice Abbott, CEO, Atira Women’s Resource Society
  • Larry Berglund, Author, Good Planets are Hard to Buy
  • Marcia Nozick, CEO, Embers
  • Jeff Waters, Business Development Coordinator, EllisDon
  • Jeff Scott, President & CEO, Fraser Surrey Docks

Public Participation: Every Voice Matters

Every year, all three levels of government look to public engagement and community consultation as they make decisions that impact all of us. As communities and local issues become more complex, what’s on the minds of residents, neighbours and citizens, how do they want to participate, and which forms of modern public engagement and consultation actually work and provide valuable results? Moderator: Mark Busse, Director of TILT Curiosity Labs, HCMA Architecture and Design.

  • Mario Cansesco, Vice President of Public Affairs, Insights West
  • Susanna Haas Lyons, Civic Engagement Specialist
  • Tim Wolfe, Deputy Director, Seattle Department of Neighbourhoods
  • Kathleen Burke, Senior Lecturer, Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University

11:30 am – Concurrent Sessions (Round two)
Placemaking with People in Mind

Effective community participation is key to reimagining and reinventing public spaces. So, what is the role of community engagement, and how do we get more and deeper participation, the kind that ensures citizens have more say in the public spaces that often define their neighbourhoods and communities? Moderator: David Laulainen, Director of Communications
and Marketing, Century Group.

  • James Cheng, Architect, James K.M. Cheng Architects
  • Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces
  • Andy Yan, Director, the City Program, Simon Fraser University
  • Michael Heeney, President and CEO, Surrey City Development Corporation

Our Social Responsibility to Our Youth

Youth who become isolated and marginalized in their own communities are at greater risk of dropping out of school and may eventually become engaged in socially irresponsible activities. Researchers and practitioners agree that connecting schools and their surrounding communities is part of the answer.

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How can we develop innovative approaches to help us ensure we build schools and communities in which everyone feels connected, engaged, and therefore protected from those risk factors?

Moderator: Terry Waterhouse, Director of Public Safety, City of Surrey.

  • Sukh Shergill, Manager, Safe Schools, Surrey School District
  • Dr. Wanda Cassidy, Associate Professor of Education, Simon Fraser University
  • Sonja Van Der Putten, Teacher & Graduate Researcher, SD#36 & Simon Fraser University

Youth Leading for Change: Ideas and Approaches from a New Generation We’re in an era of unprecedented social change and today’s youth have a unique take on how they want to live their lives and shape the future of our communities. This session will explore how the next generation will approach the issues they’ll face and find solutions. Moderator: Vi Nguyen, Director of Youth Engagement, Grants and Community Initiatives, Vancouver Foundation.

  • David Cameron, Executive Director, YELL Canada
  • Zoya Jiwa, Education Programs Coordinator, RADIUS SFU
  • Carmen Moreira, Executive Director and Choreographer, SQX Dance Company
  • Jeska Slater, Indigenous Youth Coordinator, Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association

3:00 pm Workshops
Placemaking as a Catalyst for Developing the City of the Future

Rather than sticking to the outdated model of top-down design and designed around cars and building, we should make cities about people and place.

  • Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces

Place-Based Social Innovation Labs

Join RADIUS SFU and the City of Surrey for a workshop on place based social innovation labs as an approach to tackling complex community problems.

  • Kiri Bird, Manager, Local Economic Development Lab (LEDlab)
  • Shawn Smith, Director of Social Innovation, Co-Director of RADIUS, Simon Fraser University

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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6 events you need to attend in Surrey: Aug. 6-14



Surrey events
There is so much to do in Surrey next week (Steve Smith / Shutterstock)

Looking for something to do? You’re in luck! From outdoor movies to a butterfly release, there is so much to do in Surrey this week.

Aug. 6: Movies Under the Stars


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You can head over to Holland Park for a free movie under the stars starting on Aug. 6. The fun starts at 6pm with plenty of games, singers, crafts, draws, and so much more. Be sure to bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair and some yummy snacks to enjoy. The movie schedule is as follows: 

Aug. 6: Sing 2

Aug. 13: Encanto

Aug. 20: Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Address: Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd.


Aug. 6-7: Music and Meditation Festival

Need some relaxation? Visit Surrey City Hall on Aug. 6 and 7 for the Music and Meditation Festival. The event starts at noon, and on Aug. 6 there will be “meditative flute music by Edgar Muenala, Indigenous dance by the Wild Moccasin Dancers, meditation workshops with Rani Thompson of Raaga with Rani and multi-instrumentalists The Nair Brothers, activities for children and parents, and much more! On Aug. 7 you can enjoy free outdoor music from members of Sahaja Yoga BC from noon–2pm, and free meditation classes at the Surrey Central Library from 2-4pm.

Address: Surrey City Hall, 13450-104th Ave.


Aug. 6-7: Play Time: Heritage Board Games

Tired of Monopoly? Learn about the board games that residents in Victorian Surrey would have played. This event is free and the only thing you need to supply is the players. 

Address: Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Rd.


Aug. 10: Sounds of Summer: Dalannah Gail Bowen


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Enjoy a free outdoor concert in Holland Park on Aug. 10 from 6:30–8pm. This week’s performance is Dalannah Gail Bowen who is a “76-year-old Afro-Canadian Cherokee singer, songwriter, actress, play writer, storyteller, event producer, social activist, International Memphis Blues Awards semi-finalist (2017) and a Blues Hall of Fame Master Blues Artist (2015).”

Address: Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd.


Aug. 13: Habitat for Humanity 11th Annual Butterfly Release

Watch a live butterfly release at the Fleetwood Villa on Aug. 13 starting at 11:30am. This event is free to watch but you’re also able to purchase a butterfly to release, with all proceeds going towards Habitat for Humanity. Butterflies cost $20 each and include a butterfly cookie. There will also be live entertainment and a barbecue lunch. For more information on how to reserve your butterfly, check the City of Surrey website

Address: Fleetwood Villa, 16028 83 Ave.


Aug. 13-14: Play Time: Old Fashioned Toys

You can visit the Historic Stewart Farm to play with the toys that the Stewart children would have enjoyed in the early 1900s. You’ll also be able to play some outdoor games and make your own toy to take home! This free event is a part of the Historic Stewart Farm’s themed summer weekends. 

Address: Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Rd.

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6 events for you to check out in Surrey: July 1–9



Surrey events
From ice cream making to free concerts in the park, there is so much to do in Surrey (@thecityofsurrey / Instagram)

Looking for something to do? Well, you’re in luck! There is so much to do in Surrey this week.


Surrey Canada Day

Canada Day 2022 is coming up quickly and the City of Surrey has plenty of plans to celebrate. You can check out an Indigenous Village, the Summer Market, or enjoy some live music from artists like Arkells! There will also be plenty of food trucks and amusement park rides to enjoy. You can check out our previous article for a full breakdown of everything happening. 

Address: Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, 176th St and 64th Avenue, Surrey


Ice Cream Making

From July 1 to 3 you can visit the Historic Stewart Farm to learn how to make your own homemade ice cream like Surrey residents from the 1900s. Not only that, but you’ll be able to take some home. 

Address: 13723 Crescent Rd, Surrey


Surrey Rides


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If you’re 18 or younger and like to skateboard, bike, or scooter, then head over to South Surrey Youth Park on July 5 from 4 to 8 pm for Surrey Rides. There will be free snacks, good jams, and prize giveaways for everyone who attends. Helmets are mandatory and spectators are welcome. Be sure to visit the City of Surrey website for a full schedule of Surrey Rides. 

Address: South Surrey Youth Park, 14601 20 Avenue, Surrey


Sounds of Summer: Sons of Granville


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Visit Glades Woodland Garden for a free summer concert with Sons of Granville on July 5. Be sure to bring a picnic blanket or chairs and you’re encouraged to bring a picnic dinner to enjoy. Sons of Granville started as a busking duo back in 2010 and have since gained popularity and brought on more band members. This is definitely a concert you won’t want to miss. Gates open at 5 pm and the concert starts at 6:30 pm. 

Address: The Glades Woodland Garden, 457 170 Street, Surrey


FVDED in the Park

FVDED in the Park returns to Holland Park this year on July 8 and 9. Headlining the iconic Surrey festival are Illenium, Excision, Rick Ross, and Don Toliver. Tickets are on sale now and you can purchase them online

Address: Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Road, Surrey


SHIAMAK: spirit of India

BC’s biggest Bollywood dance company is coming to the Bell Performing Arts Centre on July 8 at 7:30 pm to perform “spirit of India.” This is a celebration of India’s spirituality, mythology, colourful festivals, weddings, music, dances, Bollywood, and will include over 90 performers! Tickets start at $36 and can be purchased onlineAddress: Bell Performing Arts Centre, 6250 144th Street, Surrey

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BC’s biggest Bollywood dance company, SHIAMAK, is performing “spirit of India” in Surrey



This event is to celebrate the 75th year of India’s Independence.

SHIAMAK is coming to Surrey on July 8 for the “spirit of India,” a celebration of the 75th year of India’s Independence with music and dance. 

The performance will include India’s spirituality, mythology, colourful festivals, flamboyant weddings, magnificent music, exhilarating dances, and, of course, Bollywood — this production manifests the true spirit of India’s multiculturalism.

There will be over 90 different performers who come from all over the Lower Mainland and the performance will include a retelling of the Ramayana, one of the largest ancient epics in world literature.

Not only is this a must-attend event but this will be SHIAMAK’s return to the stage since their last performance in 2019.

You can buy tickets to “spirit of India” online starting at $28. The performance will take place at the Bell Performing Arts Centre on July 8 starting at 7:30 pm. 

Address: Bell Performing Arts Centre, 6250 144th Street

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Here’s what to expect from Surrey’s Canada Day Celebration



Surrey Canada Day
The event will be headlined by Arkells and have an Indigenous Village, amusement rides, a summer market, and more! (City of Surrey / Facebook)

Canada Day 2022 is coming up quickly and the City of Surrey has plenty of plans to celebrate. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s celebration. 



There will be musical performances for the entire day with Arkells headlining the show. You can also expect performances from Shawnee Kish, Haviah Mighty, En Karma, Teon Gibbs, Ashley Pater, Glisha, Kung Jaadee, Pleasant Trees, and many more! Plus, all of these performances are free so you can enjoy as much music as you want. 


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Summer Market: 

Plenty of local vendors will be making their way to the Canada Day celebration this year, and they’ll be set up in the Summer Market. Some of the vendors include Mysgreen, lil so&so handmades, The Refill Shop, Mountain Mornings, and So Fresh Air Fresheners. 


Food Trucks:

No Canada Day celebration is complete without food, and there will be tons of food trucks available for you to choose from. Whether you’re feeling like some delicious sandwiches from Bread and Cheese, Bannock from the Bannock Queen, vegan delights from the Dirty Vegan, Japanese-inspired hotdogs from Japa Dog, or mini donuts from Mr. Ken’s Donuts, Surrey’s Canada Day will have it all! There will be over 30 different food trucks at the event. 


Indigenous Village:

For this year, the City of Surrey is putting a big emphasis on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. On the Surrey Canada Day Website, the City said “July 1st is a day to chart a new and better path forward. Together, we can work towards reconciliation and a more equitable society for all. We invite you to come together to experience diverse cultural expression, as well as the best of Canada and its hope for the future. Surrey Canada Day is committed to sharing music, education, entertainment, and the cultural practices of many Indigenous and multicultural artists. Event organizers are working with leaders from land-based Nations and an Indigenous consultant in the planning and programming of this event.”

One of the highlights of this year’s celebration is the Indigenous Village with plenty of different sections to check out. The Siam Stage (which means “Respected Ones” in Coast Salish languages) will feature Indigenous cultural sharing, the Residential School Survivor Honouring Ceremony, and contemporary music performances. There will also be a sharing circle where “the public is invited to participate in discussions with Residential School Survivors to learn first-hand about the hardships they lived through while attending the schools. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet the children of the Residential School Survivors, who will share how their lives were impacted by the inter-generational trauma caused by the Residential School system.” 

In addition, there will be traditional teachings, doll-making demonstrations, game playing from the Onyota’aka Nation with S^yowah (Son-Yo-Wah), ribbon skirt making, and a community mural painting with Brad Henry.


Amusement Rides:

If you’re looking for some thrills then you’re in luck, there are plenty of amusement park rides available at Surrey’s Canada Day celebration. You can ride on the Ferris wheel, crash into some bumper cars, get turned around in the Zipper, or walk through the Kreepy Kastle. To get on these rides you must buy tickets, with one ticket costing $1.50. You can also buy 20 tickets for $30 or 40 Tickets for $50. There will be 16 different rides to choose from. 



The celebrations will end with a fireworks display starting at 10:15 pm that you will not want to miss. 


For more information on everything happening for Surrey’s Canada Day, be sure to visit

Address: Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, 176th St and 64th Avenue, Surrey

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7 events for you to check out in Surrey June 10–18



7 events for you to check out in Surrey June 10–18
There's so much to do in Surrey (Oleg Mayorov / Shutterstock)

Looking for something to do? Well, you’re in luck! There is so much to do in Surrey this week.


June 10: Seniors Week

Visit the Historic Stewart Farm on June 10 from 11 am to 2 pm for Seniors Week. There will be live music and performers, heritage activities and demonstrations, tours of the 1894 farmhouse, samples of delicious homemade treats, and activities in recognition of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Address: Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Road


June 11: Magical QUIRK-E Tour

QUIRK-E (Queer Imaging and Riting Kollective for Elders) is hosting numerous spoken word and video performances at the Museum of Surrey on June 11 from 2 to 4 pm. There will be cartoons, videos, short films, songs, a scene from a play, stories, and poems. This event is 14+. 

Address: Museum of Surrey, 17710 56a Ave


June 11: Car-Free Day

Car-Free Day is coming to Surrey Saturday, June 11. This event will turn 137 street into a car-free paradise with tons of local merchants, musicians, and family-friendly activities like balloon twisting, jugglers, and face painting. There will also be a beer garden (for the grown-ups) and plenty of food trucks. 

Address: 7380 King George Blvd


June 16–19: Strawberry Tea on the Farm

If you missed Seniors Week, then you can visit the Historic Stewart Farm from June 16–19 for strawberry tea on the veranda. There will also be ice cream and other treats for you to enjoy. Tickets cost $18.20 and you can register for them online or by calling 604-501-5100.

Address: Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Road


June 17: Youth Pride Dance

Youth ages 13 to 18 are welcome to attend the Youth Pride Dance, an inclusive and welcoming event to celebrate Pride. There will be dancing (of course), games, snacks, and prizes for the most creative outfits. LGBTQ2S+ and allies can attend this event. Registration for this free event is available online

Address: Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, 13458 107A Avenue


June 18: International Picnic Day

Visit Hazelgrove Park for International Picnic Day on June 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Bring a packed meal and your friends and family to enjoy an evening full of fun activities. There will be mini-golf, storytime, different fun park activities, and different vendors from the Cloverdale Farmers Market. This event is free and open to all ages. 

Address: Hazelgrove Park 7080 190 Street


June 18: Surrey Fest

This year is the 22nd anniversary of Surrey Fest! Head over to Holland Park from 11 am to 4 pm to enjoy music, prizes, vendors, and more! This event is free but expect it to get busy. 

Address: Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd

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