With life slowly getting back to “normal,” Surrey residents are finding ways to have some fun and stay healthy while being careful during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are just a few ways to find adventure in and around Surrey this summer and beyond.
See a movie
In early June, the independent Hollywood 3 Cinemas chain reopened theatres in Newton, South Surrey and two other B.C. cities. “We will be one of the first indoor theatres to open in Canada since theatres were closed due to COVID-19 in March,” theatre operator Rahim Manji said in a news release that month. Meantime, Surrey’s two chain-operated multiplexes – Cineplex Cinemas Strawberry Hill and the Landmark Theatre in Guildford reopened on July 3.
The 18-hole game has enjoyed a resurgence of late, and Surrey’s courses are a popular draw. Some of the options include Guildford Golf & Country Club, Northview, Surrey Golf Club, the Eaglequest course at Coyote Creek, Morgan Creek, Peace Portal, Hazelmere and the “pitch and putt” track at Birdies & Buckets. At Northview from Sept. 3-6, the Ridge course will have the same pin placements as the 1999 Air Canada Championship when Mike Weir won his first PGA Tournament.
Youth Nights are online
The City of Surrey is hosting Online Youth Nights – recreation for youth at home. Every online event has a different theme, on Thursdays starting at 7 p.m., and all events are free using the Microsoft Teams app. Coming events include “Inside Scoop of the Surrey Animal Resource Centre” on Aug. 20 and “Surrey Youth Trivia Night” on Aug. 27. For more details visit surrey.ca/community/26526.aspx.
Fun park it
Months later than planned, Surrey’s new Central City Fun Park opened in early June. The entertainment centre, billed as “Metro Vancouver’s Largest Indoor Amusement Park,” is located in 27,000 square feet of space near Pattullo Bridge and Scott Road SkyTrain Station. The indoor park features a roller skating rink, bowling, nine-hole miniature golf course, 65 arcade games and more, in the former SkyZone trampoline park space at 11125 124th St. Right now, masks are required at all times (supplied free of charge or bring your own). More details are posted at centralcityfunpark.com. Next door, The Hive Climbing & Fitness facility reopened in June after months of being dark. “Right now we’re doing two-hour time slots and then everybody has to leave, we clean the whole place, the contact surfaces, and then reopen with a new group of climbers,” said general manager Brad Blackwell.
Surrey’s spray parks, outdoor pools and the swimming area at Crescent Beach are open this summer, with safety protocols. Spray parks are located at Bear Creek Park, Fleetwood Park, South Surrey Athletic Park, Cloverdale Athletic Park, Unwin Park, Erma Stephenson Park, Goldstone Park, Newton Athletic Park, Bridgeview Park, Hawthorne Park and Hazelgrove Park. Meantime, outdoor pools in operation include those at Sunnyside Park, Unwin Park, Port Kells Park and Holly Park.
Get lost in a corn maze
Bose Corn Maze will open to the public on Sept. 1, with a design celebrating 50 years of Douglas College. Since 1999 the Bose family has welcomed visitors “to get lost in their 25 acres of corn” at the corner of 64th Avenue on 156th Street, according to a post on the website bosecornmaze.com. Look for a aerial photo of this year’s maze design at facebook.com/Bosecornmaze.
The Fraser River is the best bet for a fishing thrill in Surrey, including the popular Brownsville Bar (also known as Whalley Beach), at the end of Old Yale Road. It’s a nice sandy bar, roughly 300 metres long, nestled between the SkyTrain bridge and Pattullo Bridge. Some bring a folding chair and thermos of coffee. The big attraction for trout fishing in Surrey is Green Timbers Lake, stocked twice a year with rainbow trout. It’s easily accessed, open year-round, has a wooden fishing platform and is a great place for a beginning to learn how to cast.
Help document the pandemic
Operators of Surrey Archives are looking for help to “document the effects of COVID-19 in Surrey’s communities and the everyday lives of citizens.” Online, share a story, photo or video (email firstname.lastname@example.org for details, or call 604-502-6459). “The COVID-19 pandemic is an historic event, dramatically altering day-to-day life,” says a post at surrey.ca. “The effects of the pandemic will be the subject of future documentaries, films, research articles, novels and more. The Archives must be proactive to ensure community donations are collected in order to thoroughly document this extraordinary time.”
As part of the city’s phased approach, Surrey’s parks, recreation and culture facilities will gradually begin to re-open, starting on Aug. 17 with the North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex (arena only). More gradual re-openings will happen on Sept. 8, Sept. 9 and in mid-October. Follow surrey.ca/covid19 for facility re-opening updates.
A walk through Surrey’s public art collection
Surrey is filled with some amazing works of public art, but sometimes it takes some work to find and enjoy them.
Public artworks are installed in Surrey parks and facilities and also along streets, bridges and even SkyTrain pillars.
More than 100 examples of public art are featured on Surrey’s Arts & Culture Map, which can be found on the city’s Cosmos online map system (cosmos.surrey.ca/external, also at surrey.ca/culture-recreation/1656.aspx).
The map shows you the location of public artworks with photos and a link to learn more about them.
The City Centre Art Walk is a great way to discover something new and creative. The route is flat and wheelchair accessible with three SkyTrain stations along the way. People can choose their own route and walk a little, or see it all.
The following highlights some of the art that can be seen on the City Centre Art Walk.
A series of pebble mosaic panels are installed on wall inserts and walkways in Holland Park. Artist Glen Andersen worked with river rocks, carefully combining colour, texture, size, and form to build complex yet simply stunning designs. These mosaic artworks are based on mandala, wheel, and floral designs and reference cultural and natural motifs. At Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd.
“Protecting the Future, Serving the Present”
Crafted by Artform Sculpture Studio, this bronze-coloured concrete sculpture was dedicated to the Surrey Firefighters in recognition of their contribution to the city over the past 50 years. It speaks of the spirit and diversity of firefighters, their efforts to safeguard our neighbourhoods and homes, and their charitable work, especially that directly benefitting youth in our community. The firefighter depicted has been modeled after a serving member of the Surrey Fire Department. At Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd.
Surrey’s City Hall features an artwork inspired by the theme of democracy. The lead artists, Sophie Nielsen and Rolf Knudsen of Studio Roso, took their inspiration for the planned artwork from the behaviour of animals, who work collectively to ensure their survival. Approximately 800 aluminum birds are suspended from the roof of the building’s six-storey atrium. Within the atrium’s glass walls and skylights, the flock of birds appears to be flying through the building. At night, a special lighting system adds to the effect of the sculpture’s dynamic movement. At City Hall, 13450 104th Ave.
“Were It Not For You”
Glen Andersen’s three-panel “bas-relief” (low-relief sculpture) decorates the central fountain wall in Holland Park. The scenes on the panels are executed in a joyous, Art Nouveau style, with a nod to Asian ornament. The triptych’s imagery depicts earth, air, fire, water, and space in dynamic interplay. Symbolic of these are images of a curling fern frond, a hummingbird, the sun, and a fish with overarching waves. This artwork celebrates the life force and complements the other nature-based artworks in the park, at Holland Park.
“The Sea Captain”
By Marianne Nicolson and John Livingston and located at Surrey Central SkyTrain Station, this TransLink-owned work was installed in 2019. Hanging from the roof of the transit station, the large wooden sculpture was inspired by a pipe from the early 19th century, carved by an unnamed master from Haida Gwaii. The figure imitates the function of a pipe with the bowl positioned inside his backpack. “This symbolism reminds us that the creation of a homeland on these coasts relies heavily on the peaceful and honourable negotiations between arriving and existing peoples, as well as with the land itself,” Nicolson explains.
Look for folded, draped and wrapped blankets atop the boiler stacks on the roof of Surrey’s West Village Park and Energy Centre and Park, opened in 2018 at 13231 Central Ave. Created by Erica Stocking, these fibreglass blankets are a reminder of the warmth the West Village neighbourhood shares through district energy. The three variations of the blankets (folded, draped, and wrapped) match the three states of energy: stored, waiting, and in use.