Choral concert at First United

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of Arts and Culture Week as declared by the Province of British Columbia. Coralee Oakes, minister of community, sport and cultural development, wants us to know that “arts and culture thrive today in British Columbia.” Gee, I knew that, but it is always a bonus for governments to acknowledge the importance of the arts in any community.

This week, for all you sports fans who don’t have hockey playoff games to attend, try going to a live entertainment presentation, such as a concert or play. The home team always wins.

Stephen Horning has a choral concert on Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m you might want to sample. His Surrey Choral Arts Project Society will be present a sacred program of choral works at First United Church, 15385 Semiahmoo

Ave., White Rock. The Surrey Youth Chorus and Community Chorus will be performing the “Great Mass in C Minor” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Surrey Youth Chorus will also perform Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus.” The Surrey Children’s Choir will be singing “Cantique de Jean Racine,” by Gabriel Fauré, and “For the Beauty of the Earth,” by John Rutter. And Surrey Chamber Choir will sing Benjamin Britten’s “Missa Brevis.” The organ will be played by Miri Lee. Tickets are available at the door and/or by calling 604-536-3112 – adults for $28, students and seniors, $20.

This concert should be beautiful and inspirational. And some applause to Stephen Horning, as well, for 22 years of enthusiastic leadership. Sometimes it takes one person with a vision and dedication to make a difference.

I do meet a lot of people like Horning who make a difference in our community, and often these people are involved with, or need, the arts community to promote their “cause.” So, just by chance, I stumbled across David Dalley, who

is enthusiastically putting a polish on our problem areas. One of his projects is The Friends of the Grove, a grassroots group of Newton neighbours seeking to transform The Grove (the wooded area behind Newton Recreation Centre) into “a vibrant, welcoming and creative space for all ages.”

I love Newton – culturally mixed, economically diverse and, yes, there are challenges, for sure. I run a business in Newton. I like that it is near Newton Cultural Centre and Newton Recreation Centre. I don’t like the bad things that have happened there. So hurray, here is a group that wants to bring the community together to a create a safe space for all.

The Friends of the Grove will host “The Gathering at the Grove” event on Saturday, May 3, starting at 10 a.m., and the Friends seek help from local artists. Anyone interested in performing at the event or displaying artwork (they are using the trees as display space) should contact David Dalley at or 604-502-8661 for details.

All activities are free, everyone can attend, and I hope this gathering has a huge turnout. Friends of the Grove meet Saturdays at The Grove at 10 a.m. for informal planning sessions. Find “Friends of the Grove – Surrey BC” on Facebook.