Winners of the inaugural Surrey Mayor’s Art Awards in 2017 were Westminster Savings Credit Union, Surrey Youth Orchestra, Mohammad Aminul Islam and Sheila McKinnon. (file photo/submitted)

Finalists announced for 2018 Surrey Mayor’s Arts Awards, a breakfast event June 15

Second annual showcase to be held at new Civic Hotel

Twelve finalists have been announced for the second annual Surrey Mayor’s Arts Awards, to be held June 15 at the new Civic Hotel, 13475 Central Ave.

Surrey Board of Trade hosts the breakfast event, and Mayor Linda Hepner is scheduled to present the awards.

Finalists have been announced in the four categories of Philanthropy, Legacy, Cultural Ambassador and Arts & Innovation.

Concord Pacific Development Inc., Raj Arneja and Werner and Helga Hoing are finalists for the Philanthropy award, while Arts Umbrella, Ellie King and Surrey Little Theatre are up for the Cultural Ambassador hardware.

Surrey Little Theatre, Chris Thornley and Mary Mikelson are finalists for the Legacy award, and the Arts & Innovation award will go to either Peninsula Productions Society, Thomas Nelles or Roxanne Charles.

“The Surrey Board of Trade and the City of Surrey are committed to cultivating and sustaining a healthy and inclusive city, and work towards ensuring that the cultural richness of Surrey is reflected through these awards,” says an event post at businessinsurrey.com.

• STORY FROM 2017: Surrey Mayor’s Art Awards winners celebrated at Guildford hotel.

In June 2017, more than 200 people celebrated winners of the inaugural Surrey Mayor’s Art Awards during a breakfast event at Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel. The winners were Surrey Youth Orchestra (Arts & Innovation), Mohammad Aminul Islam (Cultural Ambassador), Westminster Savings Credit Union (Philanthropy) and Sheila McKinnon (Legacy).

Posted below are biographies of each of the 2018 award finalists, as submitted by Surrey Board of Trade.

PHILANTHROPY (“Awarded to an individual or business that has generously contributed to arts and culture through grants, donations or other investments.”):

Concord Pacific Development Inc.

“Concord Pacific Development was formed in 1987 to develop Concord Pacific Place on the former Expo Lands in Vancouver. Beyond building homes and contributing parks, recreation facilities, school sites and daycares, Concord Pacific supports the people in their communities through family-oriented events and charities including the Surrey Fusion Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Surrey Tree Lighting Festival and Indian Summer Festival. Concord Pacific is also a long-time partner of Arts Umbrella. Together they have been supporting youth in developing their talent in Visual Art and Creative Drama and Theatre in Surrey.”

Raj Arneja

“Raj Arneja is an Owner/Oartner of Nanak Foods (Punjab Milk Foods Inc.). She devotes countless hours, financial support and resources to local/international charities and not-for-profit organizations, including the Surrey Arts Gallery, Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society, Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival, KidsPlay, South Asian Arts Society, Indian Summer Festival and Seva Thrift Society.”

Werner and Helga Hoing

“Werner and Helga Hoing are the founders of Werner and Helga Hoing Foundation. They are passionate about charitable causes and are long-time donors to many causes in Surrey including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO), the Peach Arch Hospital and Peach Arch Hospice. They have supported in bringing the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to the Bell Centre in Surrey as well as providing the VSO several classrooms throughout Surrey.”

CULTURAL AMBASSADOR (“Awarded 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.”):

Arts Umbrella

“Arts Umbrella is a not-for-profit organization that has been providing arts education for 35 years. Their goal is to deliver innovative and multi-channeled approaches to deliver high quality arts education to reach the city’s large proportion of vulnerable children and youth. They provide extraordinary visual and performing arts opportunities for young people ages 2 to 19 to find their voice and develop self-confidence. As a not-for-profit, Arts Umbrella values, supports and encourages diversity in their classrooms and through creative expressions.”

Ellie King

“Ellie King has been producing theatre, teaching, mentoring, consulting, serving on boards and volunteering in Surrey since the mid ‘80s. Through her many years in theatre, Ellie has striven to redress the balance both on stage and as director/writer/producer. As a teacher and mentor, Ellie has been an innovator in this field, often volunteering her time. She was the first person to bring acting classes into the Surrey Arts Centre in the mid 1980s. In terms of community involvement, Ellie partnered with the City of Surrey and together with the Royal Canadian Theatre Company, they brought the first ever ‘Relaxed Performance’ to be staged at the Surrey Arts Centre in December 2017.”

Surrey Little Theatre

“Surrey Little Theatre was established in June 1959 when the Greater Whalley Recreation Council sponsored a little theatre group, ‘The North Surrey Thespians’. Their focus is to provide low-cost entertaining productions for Surrey and surrounding communities. They provide three major productions per year, plus offer a number of additional youth programs, shows, and camps. Over the 59 years that Surrey Little Theatre has been around, they have won multiple awards in many different categories from the Community Theatre Coalition, Fraser Valley Zone Festival and at the Theatre BC’s Main Stage. Today, Surrey Little Theatre thrives, not just as a historic landmark, but as an award-winning theatre group producing quality entertainment and opportunities for youth.”

LEGACY (“Awarded for a rich and enlightening career in the arts. This individual or business may be celebrating a milestone anniversary or capping off a long career in the creative economy industry. Ultimately Surrey is more vibrant for their long-standing contributions.”):

Chris Thornley

“Chris is a talented artist and musician who is dedicated to the growth and appreciation of creativity in Surrey. Not only did he make Surrey home to his creative agency for almost 39 years, he has also spent countless hours volunteering his time on boards and sharing his musical talent. He works closely with the Surrey Food Bank, the Surrey Libraries and the Arts Centre including the ‘Stand up for the Arts’ campaign. His art (in various forms) has supported business and non-profit, helping Surrey as a whole to grow as a creative destination.”

Mary Mikelson

“Mary has spent tireless efforts along with her late husband, Arnold, to promote the arts in Surrey and across Canada. She has organized art festivals for 40 years promoting upcoming and established artists from all over Canada and has held lectures for children and the general public regarding the important benefits art creates in our lives. Mary has been a recipient of numerous awards that include the Heart of Gold Award, a recognition for her outstanding contribution to the community; Province of British Columbia Certificate of Beauty of Enlightenment for opening doors through art, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada.”

Surrey Little Theatre

“The Surrey Little Theatre was established in June 1959 when the Greater Whalley Recreation Council sponsored a little theatre group, The North Surrey Thespians. Their focus is to provide low-cost entertaining productions for Surrey and surrounding communities. They feature three major productions per year, plus offer a number of additional youth programs, shows, and camps. Over 59 years, Surrey Little Theatre has won multiple awards in many different categories from the Community Theatre Coalition, Fraser Valley Zone Festival and at the Theatre BC’s Main Stage. Today, Surrey Little Theatre thrives not just as a historic landmark, but as an award-winning theatre group producing quality entertainment and opportunities for youth.”

ARTS & INNOVATION (“Awarded for originality, ingenuity, and resourcefulness within the creative sector (music, dance, visual art, literature”):

Peninsula Productions Society

“Peninsula Productions was formed in late 2010 to help fill a need in White Rock/South Surrey for professional quality live entertainment. Since its inception as a not-for-profit society with a mere handful of dedicated members, it has become a vibrant organization with charitable status, an active board of directors and over 100 volunteers. As an arts organization they actively raise awareness of British Columbia’s rich multicultural identity through theatrical events.”

Roxanne Charles

“Roxanne is a mixed media artist from Semiahmoo First Nation. She is an active and proud member of her community where she promotes arts, language and culture. She explores a variety of mediums including digital, jewelry, engraving, painting, weaving, sculpture, ceramics and installation-based works. Her works explore a variety of themes that reflect her life’s experience as an indigenous woman on Turtle Island.”

Thomas Nelles

“Born and raised in Surrey, Thomas has seen how the arts make an impact in the city. After a decade of contributing art and design to Surrey, he develops art experiences even further. Some of his past experiences include working both as an artist, arts administrator and documentary photographer with the Arts Council of Surrey and Canada Youth Visions. In 2017, the City of Surrey, in partnership with TransLink, commissioned a temporary mural with the theme ‘Connecting People, Connecting Places’ for the construction boarding at Surrey Central Skytrain Station during site upgrades. A print of a detail of this design is now a piece in the City of Surrey’s Public Art Collection.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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