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YUM — Where Deliciously Simple & Healthy Living is Possible

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Theresa NicassioTheresa Nicassio | Vancouver based psychologist and a gourmet raw food chef is launching her first book inspired by her passion for food, life and love. YUM: plant-based recipes for a glutenfree diet features 180 delicious and easy to make, refined sugar-free easy to make recipes the whole family can enjoy.

The launch event will take place at Shaughnessy Heights United Church from 2:30 – 5:30 pm on Saturday September 19th. “My life’s journey forever changed when my personal health crisis began in 1997.

Since then, I’ve been on a mission to live more vibrantly, mindfully, and healthfully in every way possible and offer my insanely delicious recipes and health discoveries with others.” YUM is the first book of its kind that truly attends to the psychological implications of living with dietary restrictions and preferences.

TheresaNicassioBringing the psychological perspective into the discussion of helping individuals make dietary changes, YUM provides “the missing piece” that has been overlooked far too long.

YUM utilizes this understanding and holds the reader’s hand, while educating and empowering them to successfully change their lifestyle habits in a way that they can confidently and easily sustain.

As a seasoned psychologist, Theresa has personally been touched by the debilitating effects of gluten and other food sensitivities. “It is wonderful to be able to use my experiences and expertise to help others navigate these challenges with greater ease and joy.”

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Q & A with Theresa-Nicassio

Theresa you are a sought after psychologist and a raw-food chef with a cookbook out soon. What inspired you to write YUM: plant-based recipes for a gluten-free diet?

That is a great question. The word “inspired” is the critical word here since writing a cookbook was certainly never on my bucket list.  The conception of YUM came as a result of two really big things happening in 2010, coincidentally, right around the same time.

The first of these was the discovery that the primary underlying cause of my twelve year health crisis (that began after the birth of my first daughter) was my body’s reaction to gluten. Surprisingly, that little protein had wreaked havoc on my immune, respiratory, neurological and articular systems and had led me to be debilitated all those years.

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The second of these was my then twelve-year-old’s sudden decision to live a completely plant-based lifestyle, after watching Alicia Silverstone’s interview on an Oprah Winfrey Show. The journey to find, and then later create, delicious food that our whole family could enjoy (given the special needs and longings of our bodies and souls), became the five year gestation of YUM. This book was intended to be the resource that I longed-for and couldn’t find.

As it evolved, I realized that it could be something that I could pass along to my children as a healthy resource for them to benefit in their lives and be something they could also share with their families. Ultimately, as friends we shared the recipes with got super excited and happy about the creations, I realized that this book could be much more than I had previously thought it could be a gift that I could offer others who also suffer, to bring more pleasure and ease to their lives, regardless of their health circumstances.

With the rapid rise in obesity and diabetes, YUM also became a source of hope to reverse this trend. Watching my own dad suffer from diabetes, enduring the worst of the worst that disease can cause, my passion to offer easy lower glycemic (yet really yummy) alternatives, has become one of my biggest aspirations for YUM.

What is YUM Living?

YUM Living is the soul of this book. It is a psychologically-based philosophy of living that embraces and celebrates pleasure-seeking in a mindful and responsible way that I call “responsible hedonism”. As a species, we love pleasure and prefer to avoid discomfort and effort as much as possible.

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This is our nature. So, instead of judging ourselves and others for these longings, why not accept and dance with them, and find ways to creatively weave them into something wonderful, healing and life-giving? Life is here to be lived joyfully and freely, yet many of the mental and societal constructs that we have co-created as a society get in the way of joy and individual expression.

As a psychologist, having offered therapy for over 29 years, I have come to realize how much emotional suffering is caused by the way we think about ourselves, each other and the world. YUM Living offers a simple paradigm with nine general principles that can help prevent or even reverse much of this unnecessary suffering, replacing this suffering with freedom, connection and joy.

You decided to publish the book yourself. What was that process like, and what led you to make that decision?

The process of writing and publishing a book is a very interesting journey. In many ways, the writing itself is largely a very personal and internal process. This decision was multi-faceted, because of many factors. Basically, YUM was “discovered” even before I was even thinking about seeking a publisher. So, about three years into the writing, unknowingly, we had a publisher over for dinner who was blown away by the food and by the story and vision for the book.

The year working with the publisher and editor was fantastic, where amongst other things, independent test kitchens in the U.S. & Canada tested many of the recipes and gave feedback and ideas about the recipes. To make a long story short, unfortunate health circumstances resulted in the need to pursue another route to publish. With the book so far along, this became a difficult decision, since there are benefits and drawbacks around the both the option to work with a publisher or to self-publish.

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I had a very big vision for YUM, wanting it to be a paradigm-changing and high-quality book, large and filled with an inordinate amount of beautiful full-colour, full-page photos (all factors that are very costly). What I discovered was that this wasn’t likely to happen with either the conventional publishing or standard self-publishing model.

Feeling compelled to also ensure that the integrity of my vision of this book would be ensured, I ultimately decided to create a third and unconventional choice the decision to start a new and vibrant independent publishing company that would represent my vision and mission to inspire minds and empower lives.

As a bonus, I already have other books that have been brewing in me for years that would be perfect under this label as well. So, in many ways, not only is the book YUM being launched right now, but the start of this new publishing company is also being launched at the same time. This is a very big deal.

For a busy professional on the go, what are some little changes they can make in their diet to deal with stress and assist with overall health?

I love questions like this! It is really important to be practical and realistic and not expect perfectionism. Three little changes that can help with both stress and also be beneficial are:

  • START SMALL | Learn one or two quick dishes that you can make in a flash that are delicious and easy-to-make. It is amazing how much your stress can go down once you have just one such dish in your back pocket to call upon when you need it. As you gradually start to bring more healthy food into your life, the less healthy options begin to get squeezed out. This is especially great because it requires almost no effort!
  • MAKE LARGE BATCHES | When you have favourite recipes that can be stored in the fridge or freezer for a few days in meal-sized containers, make large batches and use the leftovers for lunches or pulled out to be used for quick suppers. Tabbouleh and bean or lentil salads and soups are some of my favourites for this purpose. Sometimes they can even be used in other dishes such as wraps or over pasta, quinoa, or cooked grains.
  • ENJOY MORE WATER DENSE FOODS | When we eat foods with a high water density (such as fresh greens and other fresh fruits and vegetables), our bodies tend to be very happy. What many people don’t realize is that while hydration is super important, water-dense foods also offer a plethora of nutrients and tend to fill us up faster. When our bodies feel full and are provided with the nutrients that they need to thrive, we also tend to crave the less healthy foods less. It’s really a win-win-win.

With the temperatures dropping, what would you recommend to add into our existing diets to help the body transition for fall/winter weather.

Not being a physician, I cannot speak about the physiological effects of food in this way. It is important to also consult with your doctor about your unique health needs and propensities as you seek guidance around your health. That said, I know that the types of food that I personally enjoy when the weather starts to feel chilly are foods that are inherently warming.

For example, while I enjoy eating a lot of raw food (especially in the summer months), I find that in the colder times of the year, my body enjoys more cooked foods, especially soups and stews. Of course, there are foods that are thought to have “warming” effects as well, such as ginger and hot and spicy foods like peppers, mustards, horseradish and the like. A word of caution, though, is that as with other foods, we need to all eat those foods that our bodies uniquely love. Also, for those with certain food sensitivities or other health conditions or for those who are taking medications that can cross-react with certain foods, it is always important to work with your healthcare professionals for guidance around any dietary changes that you might be considering. It is amazing how many seemingly benign foods, such as grapefruit, can be a concern for some individuals. It’s always best to first consult!

Is it true you took all the bright, colorful photos seen in YUM?

I know it is pretty crazy, but yes, I took all of the food and garden photos in YUM, except for the photo of the Chia Chips (which my wonderful author and lifestyle photographer Alejandra Aguirre photoali took). Ali took all of the photos of me and all but four of the lifestyle photos. Colour, light and balance entrance me. It was wonderful to be able to share the world as I see and experience it through my own lens.

Particularly special was being able to do so, even in those most quiet and sacred moments, such as when communing with nature, including my intimate encounters with the bees. This is something special that I am particularly happy to be able to offer to my readers not just the sound-bytes of my words or the food-bites of the yummy recipes, but also the sight-bytes of the visual sensual experiencing.

Pictures can express what words can only attempt to communicate. Images can take our breath away in awe, soften our inner world, and even calm our other senses and physiology, in a mere moment. Beauty transforms us and I believe is an under-tapped vehicle for emotional healing.

You have been receiving a lot of praise for YUM. Are there any plans for more books in future?

Oh yes! I have some other beautiful books in the making and gestating within me. The next book will be a book of reflections for living. Another that has been percolating is about connecting with the beauty that resides within each of us. There is a more provocative one I’ve been contemplating, and of course, this will not be the last of the YUM recipe books!

We hear there is a launch party for YUM coming up! Can you give us some details about that.

Oh my goodness, yes! This is going to be the party of parties a free family-friendly community festival celebrating living, great food, each other and our planet. Inspiring artists, non-profit organizations, local business, and health and wellness professionals, all committed to healthy living, humanitarian- and earth-friendly initiatives will be there.

In addition, there will be food demonstrations, speakers, yummy samples, a great kids craft corner, henna for teens, door prizes and fantastic musical performances by local musicians, featuring singer-songwriter Tessa Mouzourakis, throughout the main event. After the main event, there will be a free Disco lesson and a dance party to follow.

The launch will be at Shaughnessy Heights United Church, located at 1550 W. 33rd Avenue (at Granville St) from 2:30-5:30pm. $1 per book will be donated to the charity of your choice of the four that D&D Publishing and Distribution is sponsoring for the year (Canadian Celiac Association, the Suzuki Foundation, American Autoimmune and Related Diseases Association, and The Master Shift.

We would love to get your favourite smoothie recipe and breakfast ideas that we can share with our viewers.

I have so many! However, in the spirit of finding the easiest healthy tips and tricks, I would love to share with your viewers my Peach Banana Green Smoothie that my daughter Alex created that has only 3 ingredients, plus ice and water! (p. 55) Another dynamite breakfast recipe that is super delicious and seriously packed with nutrition and can be made to be a convenient on-the-go meal that is one of my favourites when I travel is my Flax & Chia Raw Power Breakfast. (p. 60)

YUM took 5 years in the making. Where can we purchase the book?

yum-bookThe best place to purchase YUM if you are unable to attend the launch party is on the YUM website: yumfoodforliving. When you order from this website, $1 per book will again be donated to the charity of your choosing of the four sponsored this year by D&D Publishing and Distribution. As a special deal for our loyal customers, through September 20th, you can get the special book launch 25% discount for all books purchased on the website.

After the launch promotion ends on September 21st, YUM will also be available on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. Locally, Gardenworks is also carrying YUM, and it will soon be available at many other stores. Inquire at your favourite stores to ask whether YUM is available in their stores. If not, feel free to give them the contact information for them to order YUM at info@danddpublishing.com or they can phone 604-445-MIND (6463).

If you would like to make a large purchase of YUM books or you have a charity or business and would like to make a large order of YUM (e.g. for fundraising efforts, corporate gifts, etc.), you can contact D&D Publishing directly for information about discount pricing available for large case orders.

Thank you for your time.

For more information please visit:
Web: yumfoodforliving.com
Twitter: @TheresaNicassio
Facebook: facebook.com/AuthorTheresaNicassio

The creator of Surrey604.com, Daman Beatty (AKA 'Beatler') is originally from Sackville, New Brunswick. A longtime media producer, visual designer, marketing and communications specialist, Daman loves travel, technology and being a Daddy.

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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