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Who’s Up For A Surrey City Award This Year? We Have The Scoop!

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Reg Natarajan, Whalley, City Awards, Surrey, Taslim Jaffer
image credit: Reg Natarajan

As Surrey residents, you know that there is a lot to boast about our beautiful city – and a large part of our pride rests on our business and community leaders. In an evening of recognition, the Surrey City Awards program will honour finalists and winners from 7 major categories who each contribute to our progressive and dynamic corner of the world. We are excited to share with you these people and projects that are putting our city on the map!

Sport In The City Award

What brings a community together like nothing else? A shared love of the game. Not only do sports surpass language and age gaps, they also bring in spectators from other cities which spikes our tourism industry. In Surrey, we take our sports seriously; we want people to think of us when they think of a premier sport tourism destination. Not just in the Lower Mainland but all over the Pacific Northwest and Canada. At the same time, we want our own residents to have their community needs met, too. This year’s finalists have all worked diligently with these goals in mind.

The Sport in the City award looks at the past 3 years and recognizes an individual or group for their overall success in hosting a single-sport or multi-sport event. There are actually two awards given under this category: one for a Regional/Provincial event and one for a National/International event.

Find all the details on this year’s finalists (and learn about a sport that we didn’t actually know existed outside of a certain fantasy literature series) right here!

Heritage In The City Award

There are 3 kinds of heritage that form the heart of Surrey: built (rails, roads, buildings, bridges etc), natural (forests, streams, rivers, views etc), and cultural (traditions, ceremonies, languages, arts etc). Preserving and promoting heritage is important to the identity of a city – and because Surrey is growing in population and infrastructure, we need to recognize and honour the individuals and organizations who strive to make our heritage accessible to all.

There are two nomination categories under this award. One is for Preservation and the other is for Education & Interpretation.

Find this year’s finalists and learn more about our resources here.

NewCity Design Award

This is an exciting award category for anybody interested in architecture, urban design, landscape and infrastructure. What do you notice when you drive around different parts of Surrey? There are new buildings, new parks, new landscaping everywhere – and there are some really unique minds behind each and every design. Whether it’s a small to large-scale residential design, a commercial building, institutional building or public space, a lot of creativity and logic goes into the planning and execution, and all of this contributes to the look and feel of our city.

Under NewCity Design, there are 8 different award categories and under each are some beautiful nominations. Check them all out here. Do you recognize any of these landmarks?

Clean Energy City Award

Surrey knows that climate change exists. And we aren’t afraid to do something about it. In fact, we’re an innovative city that values clean energy and we have many progressive individuals and organizations working hard toward better planet health. Did you know that the City of Surrey is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 80% per capita by 2050? With the critical and creative thinkers in our midst, we are well on our way!

There are two categories under the Clean Energy City award: Community and Business. Do you want to know who’s being recognized for their achievements in energy efficiency and conservation? Take a look at this year’s finalists here.

Beautiful City Award

What’s a city without its neighbourhoods? We can be attracted to a city because of its opportunities but we stay because of the people. Surrey is committed to increasing community engagement and pride and this award recognizes the individuals and group who are also pursuing this goal.

Did you know there are many community-led enhancement programs throughout our city? Learn about this year’s finalists of the Beautiful City Award and make some plans to go visit their spaces some time.

Heart In The City Award

You can tell a lot of a city by the way it treats its people – particularly the most vulnerable populations. The Heart in the City award looks at the contributions of individuals and organization toward the well-being of our residents and address social issues such as: affordable housing, poverty reduction, the protection of vulnerable women and children, and the treatment of Indigenous people and new immigrants/refugees.

These finalists are some of the loveliest among us and we are honoured to share these many fine individuals and organization with you. Learn more about them and be inspired!

Green City Award

Surrey really takes it’s ‘green’ seriously – and because of that we have 3 Green City awards presented on October 25! These fall under the categories: individual, community group (non profit or neighbourhood) and business. All of these people take action by rolling up their sleeves and diving into the the work needed to enhance our city’s natural environment. They also get out there and inform and inspire the rest of us; they provide educational materials, give us ideas on what we can do and support us in moving forward on environmental issues.

Who are these unsung heroes? Find the 2017 finalists here!


On October 25, 2017 some incredible community and business leaders will be celebrated at the City Awards reception. All of the finalists contribute to our city in unparalleled ways and we are proud to honour them.

Which award category most interests you? We’d love to hear!

 

Taslim combines her love of writing and social change by telling the stories that build bridges among people. Her motivating forces are her 3 children and her INFJ personality. Taslim is a regular contributor to Huffington Post Canada and Yummy Mummy Club, and a columnist for Peace Arch News. She has romantic notions of travel writing across European countrysides and historic African towns but her heart belongs to Surrey, B.C. You can connect with Taslim on Twitter and Instagram @taslimjaffer.

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Events

Get in the Christmas spirit with these five local events

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christmas event in surrey
A Wonderheads Christmas Carol via Surrey Civic Theatres / Facebook

The holiday season is here and that means warm drinks, baked treats and heartwarming holiday movies. Due to strict COVID-19 restrictions last year, most people spent the holiday season at home, but this year more events are available to be enjoyed safely.

If you’re looking to enjoy some Christmas carols, watch a play with family and friends or find fun activities for the kids, then look no further than these fun events that will be hosted in Surrey this month.

Swing Dance Christmas

If you have a holiday party to attend this month and you want to brush up on your dancing skills, try taking a swing dancing class. Rock Step Swing Dance is hosting a swing dance Christmas event on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. The class will be 45 minutes and attendees will enjoy some Christmas snacks and a dance session afterwards. The class costs $20 and anyone who wants to attend can get their tickets here. There are 75 spots available in the class.

Alice in Wonderland

The holiday season is also a time to revisit childhood memories by watching a panto. The Royal Canadian Theatre Company will be presenting the play Alice in Wonderland, written by Crystal Weltzin, at the Surrey Arts Centre. The play will run from Dec. 16 to 19, 23, 24 and 26. Tickets cost $34.99 for adults, and $29.99 for seniors over 60 years of age and children under 12. If you want to make it a family outing, there is a group price of $115 for four people.

Christmas Train

For a more active event for children, check out Bear Creek Park’s Christmas train from Dec. 6 to 31, excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Families with two children and two adults can pay $35 to attend and single tickets are $11.50. In this train ride, families will get to enjoy all things Christmas like Santa, hot cocoa, Christmas music and pretty lights.

A Christmas Carol

Another Christmas show to check out is A Wonderheads Christmas Carol presented by the Wonderheads at the Surrey Civic theatre on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. If you enjoyed Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, you’ll be sure to enjoy this play because this is reportedly an adaptation of the novel. Tickets are $26 for children and $39 for adults and they are going fast.

Christmas Choir

For those who love the sounds of Christmas, check out the Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir who will be performing at the Surrey Arts Centre on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. This group of talented men have reportedly been performing in Surrey for the past 30 years. Attendees are required to show their vaccine card and wear a mask, and tickets are $29 and can be purchased here.

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The Surrey Holiday Lights festival is kicking off next week

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surrey holiday lights
Image via Surrey Holiday Lights / Facebook

There is a spectacular and dazzling new light and music festival coming to Surrey Civic Plaza this holiday season called Surrey Holiday Lights.

It will follow the annual Surrey Tree Lighting Festival which takes place on Nov. 20, and will remain open into January. There will be live entertainment, carollers, and an immersive Christmas lights extravaganza.

What to expect at the Surrey Holiday Lights festival 

There will be a tent with Santa and his elves, his workshop, and a holiday house. Enjoy enchanting displays in the Glow Gardens with interactive areas and light tunnels. Then sway to live entertainment taking place at the North Pole and Snowflake stages.

As expected you will be treated with a variety of holiday eats. There will be food trucks serving up mini doughnuts, twisted potatoes, crepes, savoury meals, and many tasty snacks. Stay warm with gourmet hot chocolate, special coffees, or enjoy a craft beer or cooler.

There will also be a chance to catch a glimpse of Santa himself. Santa will be taking free photos through the month of December.

The festival will run daily from Nov. 25 to Jan. 2 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Surrey Civic Plaza, 13450 104 Avenue. For more information, visit www.surreyholidaylights.com.

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A brand new immersive light festival is coming to Surrey next month

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lumagica

The Lumagica light festival is making its Canadian debut right here in Surrey.  

Starting Dec. 3, guests will get to experience a holiday festival of lights like never before. Lumagica is an outdoor/indoor event that is bringing joy and brightness to every city it touches. 

Lumagica, created by MK Illuminations, provides a unique opportunity to get into the holiday spirit. It has been experienced on a global level, and is now coming to the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. 

With more than 120 features and ornaments, a light tunnel, magical North Pole village, Gingerbread Lane and a fully lit forest, there is so much to enjoy. You can stroll along a one kilometre light walk and feel the magic of Christmas. Do all this while warming up with a cup of cocoa, mulled wine, or one of the other food and drink options available. 

There will also be an opportunity to visit Jolly Ol’ St. Nick and his cabin in the North Pole. There you will also find a wide array of delicious treats and eats, live entertainment, or go shopping at the marketplace. 

To get the full experience along with memories to take home, be sure to have your camera ready to capture the festive backdrops for holiday photos. 

Lumagica will be held at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds in Surrey from December 3 to 30, 2021. The immersive experience will be open daily from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

Tickets start is $16 and are available online at lumagica.ca. Children under age 4 are free, and discounts will be offered for families, post-secondary students, and seniors.

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Where to be spooked this Halloween weekend

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cougar creek halloween surrey
Image via Cougar Creek's House of Horrors / Facebook

It’s that time of year where we carve pumpkins, indulge in scary movies, check out haunted houses and fill ourselves up with candy. There are so many local activities in Surrey to partake in this Halloween that it’s hard to pick just one.

If you’re struggling to narrow down how to spend Oct. 31, we’ve put together a list of spooktacular outings that shouldn’t be missed. Whether you’re looking for a haunted house, a place to enjoy spooky treats or just somewhere to play Halloween games, Surrey has it.

Halloween Pumpkin Express 

For families with young children, Halloween Pumpkin Express will be a good place to check out. It’s at Bear Creek Park and families can enjoy a train ride through the forest. The tickets for the daytime train ride cost $11.50 each for anyone over age 2, and $14.70 for the night train which is recommended for people over the age of 12.

The kids on the train will reportedly receive a snack as they enjoy their ride and a little pumpkin to take home. The day train runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the night train runs from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Cougar Creek’s House of Horrors

Now, if you’re looking to get scared, look no further. What was formerly known as Potter’s House of Horrors has been renamed to Cougar Creek’s House of Horrors — and it’s just as scary as ever.

Get ready for a double dose of fright because each ticket allows access to two haunted houses. Tickets can be purchased online and the website advises that they sell out fast.

Cougar Creek’s House of Horrors requires proof of full vaccination for customers 12 and up to access the haunted house. You can pick anytime from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. this Friday and Saturday. Sunday is the last day to check out this haunted house and it will be open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. that night.

Mainland Whiskey’s trivia and costume contest 

For costume contests and fun trivia games, Mainland Whiskey, a distillery in South Surrey is offering a fun Halloween night on Saturday starting at 4 p.m. The distillery promises yummy soul food, fun prizes, and spooky cocktails.

The trivia will start at 7 p.m. and space is limited so make sure to arrive on time.

Spooky desserts at Rocky Mountain Chocolate 

Of course the perfect way to end Halloween is with some yummy spooky desserts. Head over to Guildford Town Centre for some sugary treats at Rocky Mountain Chocolate. There are also spooky chocolate packages available online.

Make sure to check out as many fun and frightening places as possible and celebrate safely.

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There could be another music festival coming to Surrey this fall

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Holland Park Surrey Fvded

The FVDED in the Park music festival last weekend was just the beginning. Music lovers in Surrey can get geared up for another festival coming their way — the Contact Winter Music Festival.

The Contact Festival pulled off an epic show in Vancouver earlier this year. In February the show took place on the roof of BC Place Stadium. Fans were able to watch virtually and enjoy live music to beat the pandemic blues.

Now it appears that the Contact Festival may take place in October at Surrey’s Holland Park.

There haven’t been a lot of details released to confirm the event, nor tickets on sale, however Stay Happening has announced that the festival will take place from October 8 to 10, 2021.

Contact Festival & The Organizers

The Contact Winter Music Festival has been running since 2012, and normally takes place inside BC Place, hosting 36,000 people. The music played and presented is the best in EDM (electronic dance music). The 2-day festival highlights up-and-coming Canadian artists.

This event normally takes place in December, but was cancelled last year due to the pandemic. Event organizers then put together a virtual performance that was broadcasted live from the roof of BC Place.

Now there are murmurs of the festival taking place in Holland Park this October, perhaps to a smaller degree.

FVDED in the Park just wrapped up on September 11 at Surrey’s Holland Park, and this festival is brought on by the same event organizers, BluePrint. FVDED also brought together technical and electronic music, with headliners such as DeadMau5.

BluePrint operates venues like Celebrities Night Club on Davie Street, Venue on Granville Street and the Fortune Sound Club on East Pender, all in Vancouver.

Holland Park

Holland Park is a popular park in Surrey’s City Centre and is located beside Central City. The park is huge, covering 10 hectares. Although it isn’t the largest park, it is often referred to as the “Central Park” of Surrey.

One of the main draws for Holland Park is its ability to host events. There have been numerous events and festivals organized at this park over the years. 

Fans are excited to learn more details about the Contact Festival in hopes that Surrey’s City Centre will get another major event.

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