Brandon Carinha (left) with Ryan Laface and Yousuf Zafar at a Canucks Autism Network event at Surrey Sport and Leisure Complex in April 2016. (File photo: Gord Goble)

Canucks Autism Network ‘birthday festival’ to bring concerts, beer garden to Surrey

Single-day event in July will mark CAN’s 10th anniversary

A “birthday festival” celebrating the 10th anniversary of Canucks Autism Network (CAN) is planned for Surrey Civic Plaza this summer.

The “inclusive” event on Saturday, July 7 will feature “family-friendly games, performances, vendors and an outdoor carnival in the daytime, followed by evening concerts and a beer garden,” according to a post at canucksautism.ca.

“This one-of-a-kind birthday party will also see special appearances from Vancouver Canucks representatives and other local celebrities.”

More than 1,500 CAN supporters and members of the general public are expected to attend the gathering, according to the website. The network boasts 3,983 members.

The organization provides year-round sports and recreation programs for individuals and families living with autism, while increasing awareness and providing training in communities across B.C.

• READ MORE: Magic unlocked in kids at Canucks Autism Network hockey tourney in Surrey, from 2016.

CAN programs have been offered in Surrey since the fall of 2012, according to a report to council on April 23.

“These programs include weekly swim, skate, physical literacy, soccer, basketball and hockey lessons, as well as bike and multi-sport day camps,” the report notes. “Through this collaboration, we have positively impacted hundreds of individuals and families with autism in the City of Surrey, providing opportunities that may not have been possible before our collaboration.”

• RELATED STORY: PHOTOS: Surrey Stingrays turning dreams into reality for autistic kids, from 2017.

Surrey will support the festival with $5,000 in funding from the Council Initiatives fund.

“CAN has also worked closely with the City of Surrey in delivering autism training to city employees in day camp, aquatic and arena programs,” the report adds. “By sharing our knowledge, we have been able to further increase capacity throughout the City of Surrey, empowering city employees with the skills and confidence to also support individuals with autism within their own programs.

“Given the City’s strong relationship with CAN it is very fitting to host this milestone event in Surrey.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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