Two men and two women will be celebrated next month as Surrey’s latest “Civic Treasures.”
This year’s award winners are Mohammad Aminul Islam, Allen Aubert, Ursula Maxwell Lewis and Virginia Gillespie, the Now has learned.
They’ll be recognized on Tuesday, Oct. 4 during the 13th annual Business and the Arts reception, held at Surrey Arts Centre.
The annual awards program, established in 2008, honours individuals “who have achieved excellence in the production of the arts and/or made significant contributions to the development of arts and heritage in the City of Surrey and beyond.”
CLICK HERE to read more about Surrey Civic Treasure Award on the city’s website.
Biographies and photos of the 2016 award winners:
Mohammad Aminul Islam, president of Surrey-based Mother Language Lovers of the World Society, has “worked tirelessly to promote and preserve linguistic diversity and cultural heritage” in Surrey and throughout the province during the celebration of International Mother Language Day, recognized annually on Feb. 21.
Virginia Gillespie is an artist, writer, arts/heritage advocate and community organizer. She helped create the Eagle Nest Labyrinth space at Kwomais Point Park and recently opened the VG PlayRoom studio by renting space from Alexandra Neighbourhood House, at Crescent Beach, as a place to write and develop projects, events and training in the verbal arts. Gillespie has also published a book of poems and songs called “Taoist Inner Tube Rider.”
Allen Aubert, a UK-born architect who lives in South Surrey, is a member of Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and a former president of Surrey Chamber of Commerce. As a founding member of Fraser Valley Heritage Railway, he helped design and raise funds to build the rail barns in Sullivan and Cloverdale.
Ursula Maxwell Lewis, a 40-year resident of Surrey, has worked as publisher, travel writer, photographer, blogger, videographer and volunteer. Founder of the “Cloverdale Reporter” newspaper, now owned by Black Press, she also helped establish the long-running Surrey International Writers’ Conference, held every October in Guildford.
In 2015, winners of the Surrey Civic Treasures award were artists Cora and Don Li-Leger, journalist Alex Browne and historian/entertainer Roger Bose.
In previous years, winners of the award include Elizabeth Carefoot, Don Hutchinson, Eileen Gratland, Ellie King, Kelly Konno, Patricia Dahlquist, Maxine Lloyd Howchin, Gladys Andreas, Ed Griffin, June Laitar, Bonnie Burnside, Lucille Lewis, Ed Milaney, Sheila Symington, George Zukerman, Allan Cleaver, Dave Proznick, Chris Thornley, Barbara Gould, Jim Adams, Stephen Chitty, Stan Clarke, Robert Davidson, Nadine Gagné, Carol Girardi, Dawn Govier, Stephen Horning, Mary Mikelson, Lorne Pearson, Marc Pelech and Jarnail Singh.