Dancers on stage at the 2019 Surrey Festival of Dance at Surrey Arts Centre. (File photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey Board of Trade calls for more arts, culture infrastructure

SBOT finds Surrey’s inventory of significant arts facilities ‘compares poorly to other Canadian cities’

The Surrey Board of Trade has released a recommendation paper that urges the City of Surrey to create a “more robust, aggressive and focused” arts and culture strategy to “bring positive change in communities.”

The report, released Tuesday, notes that Surrey’s inventory of significant arts facilities “compares poorly to other Canadian cities, many of which have lower populations than Surrey.”

According to the report, Surrey’s performing arts seat inventory was significantly lower than any of the bench-marked cities – and less than half the inventory of Vancouver or Seattle.

The report argues Surrey needs “to make significant strides, leveraged by City capital investment, other levels of government, and private sector funding, in building new cultural infrastructure.”

“We are building a city of great cultural spaces, but there is still so much more work to do,” said Anita Huberman, CEO of SBOT, in a release. “The creation of new arts and culture infrastructure continues to lag behind population growth. For the next 10 years, it is vitally important that we focus on activating arts and culture infrastructure in all areas of Surrey.”

The paper’s release comes as Surrey council is amid budget deliberations. Last year, several civic amenity projects were “postponed” in the city’s controversial budget that passed in a split 5-4 vote. Delayed projects included an ice arena in Cloverdale, as well as the acquisition of land for a performing arts centre in City Centre.

That delayed arts facility is among the amenities the SBOT argues the city needs.

“We need Anchor Spaces such as a Music Centre; Incubator Spaces; Major Community Arts Centres such as a Performing Arts Centre, Galleries, Art Incubator, and Film Centre; and Small Community Arts Centres such as a Performing Arts Youth Centre, and other community spaces,” the SBOT’s recommendation states. “These new spaces can have a positive effect on the lives of artists and the cultural life of Surrey residents and workers.”

READ ALSO: Disappointment, frustration after Surrey council votes to approve budget

SEE MORE: Surrey councillor vows to push for Cloverdale rink in this year’s budget

SBOT also calls for infrastructure that reflects demographic changes and population growth, with an eye to focus on underserved areas in the city, and wants to see the protection of current amenities.

Tourism is another focus of the SBOT report, which calls for continued investment in the creation of new tourism infrastructure.

SBOT’s recommendation paper explores the following other areas: Surrey as an arts capital; Surrey as a destination; marketing/branding to businesses/residents; supporting local artists; and Surrey’s musical city potential.

“To ensure Surrey continues to be an opportunity city, an economic development focus on tourism, arts and culture, with a commitment to building or working on needed assets in collaboration with the private sector, is essential to supporting and attracting business and ensuring a sustainable workforce,” said Huberman.

Read the full report at businessinsurrey.com.

The Now-Leader has contacted the Mayor’s Office for comment.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Surrey latest city to denounce Quebec’s Bill 21

The bill bans public workers from wearing religious symbols while working

Cloverdale ‘Ladies’ Night Out’ shopping event expected to draw thousands

Annual event kicks off the holiday shopping season in downtown Cloverdale

Surrey RCMP say three people deported in connection to brawl caught on video

Police say they have been ‘actively engaged’ in the issue of youth fights in Newton since March

South Surrey’s A Rocha Canada an agriculture-leader finalist

Surrey Board of Trade industry event set for Nov. 21

Guildford highrise proposals pass third reading despite community opposition

City of Surrey received 229-signature petition opposing the plan

Bye bye Bei Bei: Giant panda born in U.S. zoo heads to China

Panda heads back to China as part of cooperative breeding program

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

Workers union calls strike vote in SkyTrain labour dispute

Mediated talks are scheduled to begin Nov. 28

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Bids down, costs up on Highway 1, B.C. independent contractors say

Rally protests NDP government’s union-only public construction

Members of little people community applaud change to drop ‘midget’ term

‘It’s not about sensitivity,’ says Allan Redford, the president of the Little People of Canada

Most Read