Musician/business owner Chris Thornley is among nominees in the inaugural Surrey Mayor’s Arts Awards. (file photo: Gord Goble)

Talk of Surrey as ‘music city’ destination during inaugural Surrey Mayor’s Art Awards

Nominees announced for event, to take place Friday at hotel in Guildford

A dialogue about “making Surrey a music city destination” will be part of the inaugural Surrey Mayor’s Art Awards this Friday morning (June 9).

The two-hour awards event, presented by Surrey Board of Trade, will be held at Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel starting at 8 a.m., with Thea Karki (Playing for Change Foundation), Sami Ghawi (FUSIONpresents) and Rob Calder (Secret Study Projects) leading the discussion about the importance of music in Surrey.

“Can Surrey be developed into a Music City?” asks an event advisory posted at “We will explore the economic potential of how businesses in Surrey can take advantage of a thriving creative economy in Surrey.”

Awards in four categories will be given at the breakfast event, emceed by musician Jodi Proznick.

Perminder Chohan, Chris Thornley and Westminster Savings Credit Union are finalists for the Philanthropy Award, given to an individual or business that has “generously contributed to arts and culture through grants, donations or other investments.”

Finalists for the Cultural Ambassador award are Arts Umbrella, Barbara Gould and Mohammad Asimul Islam. The award is given to an individual or business that has “significantly contributed to Surrey’s arts and cultural community and raised the visibility of Surrey’s creative industry.”

Those in the running for the Legacy Award (“for a rich and enlightening career in the arts”) are Sheila McKinnon, Robert Gary Parkes and Chris Thornley.

Nominees for the Arts & Innovation Award (“for originality, ingenuity and resourcefulness within the creative sector – music, dance, visual art, literature”) are Studio 73, Surrey International Writer’s Conference and Surrey Youth Orchestra.

Sponsors of the event, details of which can be found at, are the Now-Leader newspaper, Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, Tien Sher Homes and Focus AV.

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Glass artist Robert Gary Parkes, shown here in 2013, is among Legacy Award nominees in the inaugural Surrey Mayor’s Arts Awards. (file photo: Gord Goble)

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