Kunda Africa performs at Surrey’s Fusion Festival. (File photo: Gord Goble)

Kunda Africa performs at Surrey’s Fusion Festival. (File photo: Gord Goble)

Awards for Surrey’s two biggest annual events

City’s Canada Day celebration and Fusion Festival win at Canadian Regional Event Awards Competition

Surrey’s two biggest annual events were winners at the inaugural Canadian Regional Event Awards Competition.

The city’s Canada Day celebration and Fusion Festival were both given awards in the contest, put on by Canadian Special Events Magazine.

Surrey’s Canada Day gathering was named British Columbia’s “Most Outstanding Public Event Over $200,000” in 2017, while Fusion Festival was named “Best Public Event/Fair/Festival.”

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said 2017 was a milestone year for both of the events, which are co-produced by John Donnelly & Associates.

“We are honoured to receive recognition for these events from the Canadian Event Industry Awards,” Hepner stated on Wednesday (Jan. 10).

“We are excited for the 2018 festival season as we continue to offer a broad variety of rich cultural experiences to residents and visitors alike.”

Both events in Surrey celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday with expanded “Canada 150” programming, and Fusion Festival also marked its 10th anniversary at Holland Park for two days in mid-July.

Nelly Furtado and Classified were among headliners at Fusion Festival, and the Canada Day celebration, held at Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre in Cloverdale, featured performances by Hedley, Magic! and others.

• READ MORE: Surrey’s Canada Day party just got bigger, with headliner Hedley, Magic! and others announced, from May 2017.

Both events drew the largest crowd sizes in their respective histories, with 150,000 attendees attending each free event, according to City of Surrey officials.

The other Major Annual City Events in Surrey are Party for the Planet (which celebrates Earth Day in April), Surrey International Children’s Festival (at Bear Creek Park and Surrey Arts Centre in May), Pie in the Plaza (at Central City Shopping Centre Plaza in September) and Surrey Tree Lighting Festival (at Surrey Civic Plaza at the end of November). Details about the events can be found online at surrey.ca/events.

Looking ahead, Surrey’s Canada Day and Fusion Festival events will be in the running for the Canadian Event Industry Awards national competition, which opened Monday. National finalists will be announced online on Feb. 28 and winners of the Nationals will be announced on March 21 in Toronto at the CEIA awards gala.

Announced on Jan. 5, the full list of winners in the Canadian Regional Event Awards Competition can be found at canadianeventawards.com.

“Starting in 2017, Canadian Special Events added a regional awards competition,” says a post on the website. “This program celebrates the best in local event planning and design. The winners in each regional category will advance directly to compete in the national awards without having to re-enter.”

Other B.C. winners in the regional competition include Fairmont Chateau Whistler (for All About Me, in the category of Best Event Produced by a Venue In-House), Go2 Productions (for the Facade Festival, Best Audio Visual Design for an Event), Elizabeth Stanley Event Design (for the DISTILL gala, Best Event Design Concept up to $30,000), Bright Ideas Events Ltd. (for Secret Garden, Best Event Design Concept Over $30,000) and BC Cancer Foundation (for its 2017 Hope Couture, Best Fundraising Event). The Best Catered Event category award was shared by Culinary Capers Catering and Special Events/Vancouver Art Gallery (for Monet Secret Summer Gala) and EdgeCeptional Catering (for Jerica and Jeff’s Wedding).



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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