Have a say in Surrey’s cultural plan

Upcoming public open houses will help determine arts needs and desires in various neighbourhoods.

Does Surrey need a major entertainment venue for big-name artists? Do you wish the Surrey Museum had a satellite site in another location of the city? Could your neighbourhood benefit from a new arts facility or some public art?

The City of Surrey is looking for public input as it develops a new Cultural Plan and will be hosting a series of open houses in the various parts of Surrey to provide information and solicit ideas for the plan, which will serve as a practical guide for the future development of arts and heritage services in Surrey.

The first open house will be held in South Surrey on March 16 from 5-8 p.m. at Elgin Hall, 14250 Crescent Rd. Everyone is welcome.

The open houses will encourage participants to consider needs Surrey-wide, as well as what individual Town Centres’ arts and heritage strengths, gaps and priorities are.

Ideas will also be sought regarding opportunities for public art, the role of new cultural facilities, Surrey Museum expansion and effective communication about arts and heritage.

The City is engaging the community in these discussions to enhance awareness and understanding of the role of arts and heritage in Surrey’s ongoing evolution as a major urban centre.

“Surrey has a vibrant arts and heritage scene that plays a very important role in shaping our City,” said Mayor Dianne Watts. “As we move forward, we need to engage residents and businesses and develop a comprehensive cultural plan that meets the needs of our growing communities.”

A “World Café” – a round-table workshop involving dozens of key individuals tasked with generating ideas for maintaining and promoting Surrey’s cultural sector – was held Tuesday (March 1). The ideas generated will be shared at the open houses.

To assist the Cultural Plan process, the city is also developing a Cultural Inventory, outlining Surrey’s cultural resources, including organizations, artists, facilities and programs. Groups and individuals involved in arts and heritage are encouraged to go to the project website (www.surrey.ca/culturalplan) to ensure they are part of this snapshot.

Following the consultation process, the city will draft a cultural plan outlining a strategy for Surrey’s continued cultural development, reflecting an innovative city characterized by rapid growth, diversity and youth.

Additional public open houses are being held in each town centre to discuss each areas needs and desires. The dates are:

• South Surrey – March 16 at Elgin Hall, 14250 Crescent Rd.

• Guildford – April 5 at Guildford Recreation Centre, 15105 105 Ave.

• Newton – April 7 at Newton Cultural Centre, 13530 72 Ave.

• Fleetwood – April 27 at Fleetwood Community Centre, 15996 84 Ave.

• Cloverdale – April 28 at Surrey Museum, 17710 56A Ave.

• City Centre – May 3 at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, 13458 107A Ave.

All events run from 5-8 p.m.

For more information, visit: www.surrey.ca/culturalplan.