MINTY: Culture Days on full calendar

We are a community dedicated to culture, centered around the arts. We must be.

There are so many cultural events planned for presentation for the rest of September and into October that it is impossible to take it all in – or for me to keep up with all of it.

So, do a little cultural detecting for yourself: contact Surrey Arts Centre and get on the mailing list for its calendar of events. Call 604-501-5566.

Join the Arts Council of Surrey and receive their Spotlight on the Arts every month. Surf the web. Talk to each other -in person, not Facebook.

Culture Days runs from Sept. 25 to 28 – there are dozens of events, and Surrey is introducing its newest performance space, Centre Stage, located at city hall. Check it out on the web.

In the meantime, there are some fascinating live-theatre choices awaiting your attendance. Avenue Q, that very adult musical theatre with muppets and people, is arriving for a stint at Surrey Arts Centre from Oct. 15 to 25.

"The music is playful, the lyrics are outrageous, the script is hilarious and the characters are delightful," noted director Peter Jorgensen.

"Underneath its colourful fur, a big, boisterous heart beats. Avenue Q is the perfect musical comedy… unless you are under 14 years of age. I’m thrilled to be taking our hit production on tour to entertain even more audiences!"

Jorgensen is no stranger to Surrey.

His very successful musical-theatre training camp for teens has had a home at our arts centre for many spring breaks.

This is the first show of a trio that Vancouver’s Arts Club brings annually to Surrey. Sure, the tour goes other places as well, but who’s counting? Phone the box office for tickets: 604-501-5566.

Jorgensen is not the only name familiar to this column space.

Last week, I told you about Faith Toronchuk and her Imagine That! drama classes.

She does more than that, and this year she is quite pleased to have written the script for A Night on Broadway: After Hours.

This one-day fundraiser for Surrey Food Bank, presented by Envision Financial, has been an annual event for the past several years.

The original concept was first presented by our own Debra DaVaughn and Christopher Simmons.

The theme switched from opera to Broadway and it is a wonderful show put together by wonderful people for a wonderful cause.

Yeah, I know that sounded sugar-coated and gooey, but there it is. Get tickets now for the show, at Surrey Arts Centre on Oct. 4 (show times at 3 and 7:30 p.m.). This may be your last chance. Phone the box office, 604-501-5566.

And since we will be in cultural week next week, think about getting involved in a totally different type of project. Make a film. Just a short one. Enter the seventh annual 50-Hour Film Challenge, presented by Surrey Little Theatre.

You get a group of people, access to a video camera (you can use your smart phone, iPad, Red Camera or any other video-producing camera).

You will need someone on your team who is computer and tech savvy and can edit the film you take.

The film can be no longer than five minutes, but there are some other challenges – of course there are.

The actual 50 hours starts 6 p.m. Friday Oct. 17 and you have until Sunday Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. to deliver your completed DVD to Surrey Little Theatre.

At the beginning time, you will arrive at SLT, and pick up your "inspiration" package. This includes things you must include in your film: a prop, a location, a phrase and a character.

Then your group gets together, writes a script and goes out into the world to shoot your film. Edit. Bring in the finished product. Sound like fun?

There was a group last year that had no experience, got the camera on the first day of the challenge and learned everything all at once. They are going to repeat the experience. First prize is $500, entry fee is $100.

Check out all the rules and regulations and registration at

Surrey Little Theatre’s Brigitte Sieb is still the driving force behind this film challenge.

She has done fabulous set designs, directed award-winning plays, produced plays and has been president of Surrey Little Theatre.

She has done so many things for this community theatre group, including planning the renovations (still ongoing) and, honestly, I don’t know how she manages to have time to run her design business.

The Community Theatre Coalition honoured her with a lifetimeachievement award at its Sept. 6 awards gala. Well deserved.

Be inspired. Get a group, make a film. Make Brigitte proud. Oh yes, I should mention that you probably won’t get much sleep on the weekend film challenge, but artistic achievement always comes at a price.

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