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Surrey Spiritual Summit Strives for Positive Community Connections

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David Dalley
(Surrey BC’s David Dalley, Surrey Spiritual Summit Event Coordinator. Photo by Bronwyn Scott)

People from diverse belief systems are gathering at Camp Alexandra Retreat and Conference Centre on Saturday, March 1st, for Surrey Spiritual Summit, designed to promote understanding and build positive relationships across traditions.

The free event, initiated by Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society, features workshops that explore such themes as values, youth, children, environment and art, with speakers from a range of backgrounds.

The summit, funded by the provincial government, is designed to address the nuanced differences among our communities, focusing on worldviews rather than observable differences.

“The way that multiculturalism has been done has sometimes focused too much on the superficial elements of diversity,” said David Dalley, event coordinator. The different ways we eat and dress, for example.

“Sometimes it’s those deeper elements of misunderstandings around beliefs or values or religious practices, or spirituality, that’s where a lot of misunderstandings occur,” he said.

Dalley is a pediatric physiotherapist and works with severely disabled children.

About six years ago, he and his wife decided they were going to be very intentional about raising their own two very young children to be literate in diversity and to be good global citizens.

“We were starting to look at ways to connect in the community and to build those relationships and those experiences for our children,” Dalley said.

They found that, even in Surrey where there is a mosque on one corner and a gurdwara on the next, it was difficult to learn about these places as parents and to teach and expose their children to them.

That’s when Dalley started doing interfaith work, organizing events for people of different religious, spiritual, humanist, philosophical or atheistic belief systems to encourage constructive and positive connections that cross ideological boundaries.

But learning about other cultures was important for his professional role, too, working with families of children in medical crisis.

“I became aware that it is really important to understand how families understand quality of life and suffering and meaning, and all of these things, if I am to work with their children,” said Dalley.

“Those are essentially religious and spiritual questions, and so even as a physiotherapist I’m going in and I’m talking about wheelchairs and crutches and exercises, it was helpful for me to figure out all these other sort of contextual things.”

Surrey Spiritual Summit is the first event of its kind in Surrey, and is designed to appeal to people in all professions and stages of life. The youth workshop, for instance, is run entirely by and for youth.

“Youth are so vibrant with their definitions and their manifestations of their spirituality and their ways of acting that out in the world, whether it’s art or activism . . . they may not define them in traditional ways, they may not identify or affiliate with a particular religious tradition, but what they’re doing is spiritual transformative work,” said Dalley.

“Bring religion and spirituality as it means for you. Not what the old men think it is, or others, but how you interpret it, understand it, express it. And with the real hope to empower youth to be spiritual and to let that guide their activities and their sense of agency in the community.”

The children workshop focuses on exploring children’s own ideas about the sacred, and participants who attend this workshop and the rest of the conference can receive six hours of early childhood education professional development credits from the Liberation Learning Project.

The music workshop will feature people from different traditions using the language of music to connect, playing with music together and then inviting the audience to participate.

“Sometimes our minds get caught up in differences and misconceptions, but if we just sort of be playful together sometimes we can get beyond that and get to know each other a bit better,” said Dalley.

A First Nations Blessing Ceremony before the workshops begin will set the day off and a Hindu prayer will conclude it.

Surrey Spiritual Summit is by registration and space is limited. A free lunch is provided. For more information contact interfaith@movingtogether.ca.

Bronwyn has lived in Ottawa, P.E.I., Victoria, Squamish and Surrey, B.C. She has an English degree (SFU, 2011) and a journalism degree (Langara College, 2013) and for four years worked with Sandra Djwa on Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page, which won the Governor-General’s Non-Fiction prize in 2013. She’s an adventurous spirit who loves the outdoors and all things artsy. She’s written for the Surrey Leader, the Langley Times and The Squamish Reporter.

Events

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

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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

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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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Events

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

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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

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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. 

 

Music:

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. 

 

Fireworks:

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 https://www.surrey.ca/canadaday/

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

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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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