Surrey is honouring five more ‘civic treasures’ at the eighth annual Business and the Arts on Wednesday (Nov. 9) at Surrey Arts Centre for their contributions to the city’s cultural community.
The honourees are bassoonist-impresario George Zukerman; Lucille Lewis, conductor and Surrey Youth Symphony conductor; painter and mixed media artist Sheila Symington; Ed Milaney, performer and arts advocate; and longtime community booster Bonnie Burnside.
Zukerman is a symphonic and chamber music bassoonist, Order of Canada and Order of B.C. recipient, founder and artistic director of the highly successful White Rock Concerts subscription series since 1956, and a tireless touring musician, concert promoter and educator.
Until her retirement this spring, Lewis was the conductor and artistic director of the Surrey Youth Symphony, which over the past 35 years has given hundreds of young classical musicians their first orchestral experience. She was also founding president of its fund-raising umbrella organization the Surrey Symphony Society and its subsidiary groups the Intermediate Strings and Junior Strings.
Symington, in addition to her ever-evolving personal artistic vision, has also been an organizing member of the White Rock and South Surrey Art Society and was co-creator and organizer of the successful White Rock Summer School of the Arts, which brought many artists and internationally-recognized instructors to the region for extended workshops.
Longtime musical theatre performer, director and all-around arts advocate Milaney, has served on the boards of the Surrey Arts Council, Surrey Little Theatre and the Young People’s Opera Society of B.C., and was a member of the host committee for the B.C. Festival of the Arts in Surrey and the Surrey Public Arts Advisory Committee.
Burnside, former owner and operator of Stardust Enterprises (she continues to oversee the Stardust Kids on Wheels programs), has been a member and volunteer with the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association since 2003. She is president of the Whalley Community Association, vice-president of the B.C. and national inline hockey associations, and board member of the Surrey Association for Sustainable Communities, Surrey Arts Council, Surrey Christmas Bureau and the North Surrey Lions Club.
Canadian Heritage and Official Languages minister James Moore is to attend the event, which will include the official unveiling of the newly renovated Surrey Arts Centre Main Stage theatre.
The awards were established in 2008 to honour citizens who reflect the unique character and history of Surrey or help develop or build appreciation of the city’s culture.