The theme of the fourth annual Surrey Social Innovation Summit on September 6 was ‘from thought to action’ emphasizing that good ideas alone are not enough to make the kind of progressive change that builds a better city. BC’s Lieutenant Governor General, the honourable Janet Austin explored this theme in her speech at the official opening of the Summit.
‘Vision without execution is hallucination’
Her honour Janet Austin’s words inspired audiences with humorous anecdotes and personal experiences whilst expressing support for diversity, social inclusion and women’s leadership. Her honour also reiterated her commitment to promote civility in public discourse and respect for public institutions lamenting the erosion of public trust and the fragility of democracy in current times.
This and other welcome remarks emphasized that the biggest challenges are systemic with a call to action to overcome social barriers and deeply ingrained cultures City Councillor Judy Villeneuve who has served for Surrey City for nearly three decades was present at the Summit and commented on the growing impact of the Surrey Social Innovation Summit.
“The City is recognized for the work on social issues and issues of inclusion. The presence of business leaders, community workers, social innovators and professionals across the board acknowledges the value of the Summit.” she said. “Everyone benefits from shared ideas and a day of discussions” she added.
Pivotal time: moving beyond words to practices of reconciliation
One big highlight of the Summit was the strong participation of leaders from First Nations and the shared successes of powerful Indigenous voices. Kevin Kelly and Michael Kelly Gabriel from the Kwantlen First Nation reminded all present in their welcome blessing that ‘Change must be for all our people’ and that ‘it is our obligation to think about how to make the future better for the next seven generations’.
“Everything we are as indigenous people is social innovation” said CBC Reporter Angela Sterritt from the Gitxsan Nation in her keynote speech at the Summit. She shared a powerful video of Indigenous youth learning to tell their stories. The emphasis on working closely together with youth and community came through in the keynote as well as the breakout sessions later in the day when she joined a panel of indigenous change makers. Insights were shared by social entrepreneurs from First Nations into the practice and impact of social innovation at some of the ten breakout sessions throughout the day.
Karine Smith, COO, Inspire Nunavut explained the success of their venture which was deeply embedded in the community with everyone taking ownership. She suggested social enterprises can change the way communities assess their assets and resources and that communities have abundant resources when viewed in the context of knowledge exchange and social objectives.
Inspire Nunavut is an organization that designs and delivers entrepreneurship experiences for youth to create grassroots economic opportunities in their own communities. Another successful youth initiative was a series of cultural dialogues in 2018 that brought together Indigenous and refugee youth for intercultural exchange, celebration and community building.
It was collaboration between youth from the Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association and the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership. Kue K’nyawmupoe from the Surrey Refugee Youth team described the project undertaken with four co-chain leaders under the age of 25 explaining how engaged the young participants were. Sheldon Tetreault is Lead Consultant at the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee (SUILC).
He described the work of their Social Innovation Lab process working to support indigenous children and families and the focus on systemic improvement outcomes through innovative pilot practices. He along with other speakers on the panel helped to break down the jargon and buzz surrounding social innovation labs.
Social Innovation: Beyond the buzz
Cheryl Rose, Associate Director at the Social Innovation Residency, Banff Centre described social innovation labs as ‘multistakeholder groups coming together to map challenges, systemic barriers, flow of resources and to solve problems using design based thinking and group processes’. “There is not only one way to do a lab”, she stressed. The interest in this new business model blending economic and social goals is stronger than ever said another panelist.
These hybrid economic models combine philanthropy, subsidies and income generating activities that drive win win win collaboration with other players such as private sector or government. Successful social business leader Dan Kersaw from Furniture Bank however cautioned that running a social enterprise is hard. “Customers don’t always care about the core philosophy and there are many unexciting things you have to do to run a business” He also shared the framework of working with volunteers within his organization.
Windmill Microlending reminded of the importance of getting the right people to work within the team and building a strong organizational culture aligned with the values of the social enterprise. In the closing plenary Steve Patty from Dialogues in Action, emphasised that all evaluation is educational, that the questions we ask matter and that participation is powerful Stephanie Shardlow from Vancity and others at the Summit looked to gain from just such practical tips and experiences of doers in this field; to get a better sense of what social innovation really means.
Jen Arbo from the City of New West said she had enjoyed learning about some simple solutions through the various sessions. “Social innovation may not always refer to one incredible idea that changes everything. It could also provide transformative solutions in little steps to result in incremental improvements to problems.” Others reiterated the importance of seeing the people behind the innovation and learning about the human need and drive for change since social planning begins with empathy and understanding.
Some other attendees were there to learn about successful collaboration, build networks with likeminded people and be in the know regarding what had been achieved lately in this space. One consensus emerging from speaking to delegates was that ‘a summit that leaves people with many questions is also great… then it is up to each one of us to find our own answers and solutions that work in our communities and in our context.’
5 Restaurants and a New Year in Surrey!
Another new year approaches: Surrey 2022 here we go! But with the new Covid restrictions, where are you going to enjoy this Friday night, whether you intend to celebrate New Years Eve or just celebrate because it’s Friday?
We have a list, albeit a short one, of restaurants that are open on New Year’s Eve.
Open until midnight. Reservations are recommended but not a must. This Surrey restaurant is well known for their Canadian dishes, complemented by an exciting list of cocktails, BC wines, and local craft beer, in an open concept restaurant with high top tables and chairs. Bones: they will be offering an all day happy hour on Friday.
Open until 2am. The Clayton is a unique choice. Although there will not be a party they do have a DJ, along with classic tasty Canadian dishes and appetizers, plus 3 incredible fire tables available in their fully covered & heated patio spaces. Also, they have a ton of drink specials, just in case you might be drinking responsibly during your visit.
Open until 10pm. Featuring a $60 New Year’s Eve menu, The Cabin is a solid choice for a Pacific Northwest experience featuring seafood, “AAA” steaks, gourmet pasta, local craft beers, and a healthy selection of wine. It should be noted, as of right now, 7:30pm onwards is fully booked, however we’ve been told there might be some cancellations. You can and should put your name on the waitlist.
Open until 10pm. Featuring traditional Afghan cuisine. If you live in Surrey, you know this place is amazing. If you don’t, that’s ok, just watch this episode about them on CBC Vancouver’s YouTube. Mom’s cooking never tasted better. Now, perhaps you’re saying to yourself, “Nothing special here, where’s the party!?” however, since many restaurants are closing early this year, and especially living in one of the most diverse cities in BC, what better way to enjoy your end of year than with a local culinary “staycation” at one of Canada’s top 100 restaurants!
With that said, last but not least by any means:
Open until 1130pm. Serving a delicious blend of Nepalese, Indo-Chinese, and Western Cuisine. Like we said, while in Surrey, try something new. Allow your tastebuds to create a mini celebration for you, safely at your table.
Have we helped? We certainly hope so!
No matter how you plan to enjoy this Friday December 31, stay safe, stay warm and we wish, as always, the very best for you and your family.
See you next year!
Desire Kokuvi Amouzou
The best trails to explore in Surrey this fall
There is something beautiful about walking or biking along a trail full of trees with changing leaves and this is the perfect time of year to experience it. Surrey Centre has some amazing trails to explore in the Green Timbers and Holland Park areas that are perfect for a leisurely stroll, a jog, a bike ride or a family affair that the pets and kids can join. Here is a list of the best trails to check out.
Holland Park Loop
Holland Park is a popular park in Surrey, one that hosts plenty of outdoor events, music festivals and gatherings. On top of that, the park also includes a trail loop perfect for a leisurely stroll. The Holland Park Loop is 0.8 kilometres long and is good for all skill levels. The trail is popular for walking, running, and road biking. There are often dogs seen on the trail when it’s nice out, and it’s a great place to take the family and kids. This loop is best used from April to November.
Birch and Willow Trail
Part of Green Timbers forest, the Birch and Willow Trail is a 1.8-km loop. This trail offers scenic views as it features a lake that is often full of ducks. It’s a great walk for kids as well, and has plenty of signs to follow. The trail is popular for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips. The gravel makes it a nice trail even on a rainy day.
Birch Salal and Douglas Loop
Another loop in Green Timbers is the Birch, Salal and Douglas Loop. This is a bit longer at 2.9 km. This loop also features the lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is flat with lots of shade. It’s a great place to go for a walk, jog, or bike ride. There is an area for picnics by the lake where you can take a rest after your exercise. This trail is often used for hiking, walking, running, and biking. There is limited parking in the area, so be prepared to walk to the trail.
Salmonberry, Yellow Arum, Douglas Fir and Hemlock Loop
If you are looking for a longer trail in Green Timbers, you will find the Salmonberry, Yellow Arum, Douglas Fir and Hemlock Loop. This is a 5.6-km loop. As the name implies there are beautiful trees along this hike. The trail is acceptable for all levels, though it is a bit longer so it’s best to prepare ahead. The trail is popular for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips. In certain spots the trail comes close to the road, and some areas can be waterlogged at times, but it’s an enjoyable walk all the same.
Hawthorne Park Loop
Hawthorne Park Loop is a 1.9-km trail in beautiful Hawthorne Park. There is a lot of nature to take in here including plenty of beautiful wildflowers making this loop a favourite among birdwatchers. Good for all skill levels, this trail is popular for walking, running, and nature trips. Dogs are welcome on this trail but must be on a leash. This area is very popular amongst hikers and runners, for good reason.
Willow, Cedar and Pine Trail
There is one more Green Timbers trail worth mentioning. The Willow, Cedar and Pine Trail is a 2.6-km back trail. The lake is accessible from this trail as well and it is suitable for beginner hikers. This loop is great for a walk or run.
5 ways Affordable Housing will Benefit the City of Surrey
Lack of affordable housing has quickly become one of the largest barriers in preventing homelessness in British Columbia. Having served the Lower Mainland for the past 50 years, Options Community Services and Habitat Housing Society are working to provide safe, affordable rental units for the local community.
Options provides essential social services in Surrey, Delta, White Rock/South Surrey and Langley. Recently, the organization has partnered with 50 local women to help raise $1.5 million in funding for a new affordable housing building in Surrey, BC. The money raised in this partnership will go towards the 100-unit complex at 81st and King George Boulevard. Of these 100 units, 30 will be market rentals, while the remaining 70 will be well below market rates —designated as affordable housing, with rent starting as low as $375 per month. This building and the resources connected to it will make a monumental impact on the community. Here are 5 ways that this building will directly impact Surrey:
1. Additional Resources:
Not only will the affordable housing build feature 100 new rental units, but it will also feature several community services provided by Options. These services include Early Years, special needs services for children and mental health outreach. Having these programs available for tenants in the building will be a bonus for all.
2. Build Relationships:
Whether it’s a social worker or an elementary school teacher, having and maintaining long-lasting relationships is crucial to establishing roots in a community. These networks of support will help at-risk individuals and vulnerable people build stability in their lives and increase their sense of community. Knowing there are people in your neighbourhood that can help support you can be a relief for individuals who do not have friends, family, or any other source of support.
Currently, the housing market is very hot and the number of buyers is outnumbering the available stock. This applies to both home buyers and renters who are looking for affordable places to stay. This building offers 100 brand-new units that are affordable for low-income families. These families otherwise might not have any other options to turn to and be forced to consider unsafe housing conditions. Priced at $375 monthly for a one-bedroom, these homes can change the lives of those who are in need.
4. Increased Safety:
By having a door to lock and a place to call home, the safety and security of the community is enhanced. Far too often, vulnerable peoples are subjected to unsafe conditions or forced to make tough choices. Many of these individuals are women fleeing violence, refugees, displaced seniors, at-risk youth or persons living on a disability income. . Housing such as this will better protect these groups and ensure that they have access to safe, secure and affordable places to live.
5. Job Growth:
The success of our vulnerable community members is a success for us all. In communities with affordable housing, there is often a growth in job opportunities. A study by the New York State Association for Affordable Housing found that affordable housing projects created nearly 330,000 jobs in New York between 2011 and 2015, with many of them being permanent or long-lasting contracts (source). From engineers to health care workers, the growth of a community can directly contribute to an increased demand for workers.
The Women of Options campaign was created to support the build at King George and 81st. More information and a profile on each of the 50 Women of Options can be found at womenofoptions.ca. Community support is vital to ensure its success. To learn more about ways to help or donate, please visit womenofoptions.ca.
Plastic Bag and Foam Takeout Container Ban Planned To Come Into In Effect November 2021
The City of Surrey moves a step closer in eliminating the negative environmental impacts of plastic bags and other single-use Items.
At last night’s Regular Council Meeting, Council approved the Communication and Education Plan to prepare businesses for the ban on plastic bags and foam takeout container and cups, planned to begin in November 2021.
“I’m proud that Surrey is anticipated to be the first city in the Metro Vancouver region to implement a ban on plastic checkout bags,” says Mayor McCallum.
“Council has been leading the way on green initiatives and this step is proof of the measures we are prepared to take to protect and better our environment. This move affirms Surrey’s commitment to reducing landfill waste and pollution created by these types of materials.
In the coming months, we will be working closely with our business community to support them on this very important initiative that is good for our citizens, our communities and our City.”
The City will lead a comprehensive communication and education plan to help businesses phase out and eliminate the use and distribution of plastic checkout bags, foam cups and take-out containers.
The plan outlines key tools, resources and awareness activities which will prepare businesses and the public for the upcoming ban.
The plan will include:
- A business toolkit;
- Virtual information sessions;
- Brochures; and
- Additional engagement activities and resources.
Other municipalities, provinces, and the federal government are making similar commitments to reducing unnecessary waste and pollution caused by short-lived plastics that are designed for limited use with limited recyclability.
For more information on Surrey’s please visit our site.
Surrey Libraries Offers Access to O’Reilly eBooks and Videos
Surrey Libraries is excited to announce the addition of O’Reilly eBooks to its list of online resources. This platform offers over 35,000 eBooks and 30,000 hours of video courses on technology, business, design, science, engineering, travel, hobbies, health and more, all free with a Surrey Libraries card!
O’Reilly has books and videos for makers, gamers and tinkerers. There are more than 100 hobbyist titles including a STEAM Lab for Kids and The Lego Build-It Book, Volumes 1 & 2. More than 900 books from the “For Dummies” series are included, as well as over 150 titles on job-seeking and career development.
The resource also has technology learning paths like SQL Fundamentals – SQL for Data Analysis and Database Design, case studies like “Pinterest’s Journey to the Cloud,” and countless hours of video instruction on topics like Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, Linux Fundamentals, or Amazon Web Services.
We’re excited to welcome you back to our branches! Check our website for information on hours and available services and what we’re doing to keep everyone safe.
– View All Events –
7 shows you didn’t know were filmed in Surrey
Surrey’s Sullivan Heights Secondary opens new expansion for incoming students
This Surrey cafe offers a delicious Bombay brunch
6 events you need to attend in Surrey: Aug. 6-14
6 of the best sushi restaurants in Surrey
Food & Drink4 months ago
Here’s the best bubble tea in Surrey
Food & Drink4 months ago
Surrey just got a new Australian brunch spot
Food & Drink4 months ago
You need to visit this new Surrey Mexican restaurant
Events4 months ago
Cloverdale Market Days are back!
Events3 months ago
BC’s biggest Bollywood dance company, SHIAMAK, is performing “spirit of India” in Surrey
Food & Drink3 months ago
This Surrey restaurant is serving up “monster burgers”
Events4 months ago
What’s going on for Pride in Surrey 2022
Events4 months ago
7 events for you to check out in Surrey June 10–18