Six of the 12 speakers signed on for the 2021 edition of TEDxBearCreekPark are, clockwise from top left, David Bentall, Fawzan Hussain, Grace Sinats, Dr. Olav Krigolson, Lizzie Allan and Johnny Trinh. This year’s virtual event is planned for the morning of Saturday, March 27. (Photo:

Six of the 12 speakers signed on for the 2021 edition of TEDxBearCreekPark are, clockwise from top left, David Bentall, Fawzan Hussain, Grace Sinats, Dr. Olav Krigolson, Lizzie Allan and Johnny Trinh. This year’s virtual event is planned for the morning of Saturday, March 27. (Photo:


Surrey TEDx talks move online with ‘fast-paced’ event that’s free to watch March 27

Last year’s TEDxBearCreekPark attracted 900 spectators to Bell theatre

Surrey’s TEDxBearCreekPark won’t fill a venue this year, but organizers hope the third-year event will once again fill minds with ideas and inspiration.

A virtual version of the 2021 conference is planned for Saturday, March 27, and it’ll be free for all to watch and hear starting at 9:30 a.m.

Last year’s TEDxBearCreekPark attracted some 900 people to Bell Performing Arts Centre for a series of talks by special guests.

The format will be similar this time, only online, due to the pandemic.

“We had hoped to do it at the Bell, even without an audience, for streaming, but the theatre closed,” explained Alan Warburton, the event’s licensee/curator.

Instead, the 12 presenters will be recorded on the stage at White Rock Baptist Church in mid-March, for streaming on March 27.

“Each of the speakers will come at a certain time (to the church),” Warburton noted. “On the date of the livestream, a few of us will be there at the church, a small number of people, and we will cut away to the pre-recorded presentations.

“We understand people get tired of watching something on a computer,” he added, “so we are making it all very fast-paced and fun to watch, with some musical performances as well. Normally it would be a full-day event but we’re doing a three-hour event this year, a shorter event.”

(Story continues below video from last year’s TEDxBearCreekPark)

TEDxBearCreekPark was launched in 2019 with a 100-capacity gathering at city hall’s Centre Stage theatre, and was moved to the much larger Bell theatre for 2020.

Warburton, a retired school principal who lives in the Ocean Park area, is pleased by how the event has progressed to become “the premier TEDx event in B.C.,” as he calls it.

“It’s gone very well – probably better than expected,” he said. “Last year, it was a wonderful day, and we took a huge step. Now we’re moving on to something new this year, which of course we have to, with the pandemic, but next year we’re hoping to be back at the Bell Centre.”

For free access to watch this year’s event, viewers must pre-register online at

CLICK HERE to watch an event-preview video.

The website pitches the event with an equation: “Twelve speakers + Twelve points of view = Countless ways to shift your thinking,” featuring “an outstanding group of speakers covering topics from the worlds of science, medicine, law, human experience, education, creativity, the environment, and more.”

For 2021, the 12 talkers are David Bentall, Fawzan Hussain, Grace Sinats, Dr. Olav Krigolson, Lizzie Allan, Johnny Trinh, Dr. Brandon Tang, Dr. Carly Phillips, Dai Manuel, Orville Lee, Sandy Gerber and Sue Blyth Hall. Their bios and photographs are posted to

It’s an all-volunteer enterprise “presenting some of the finest and most potent ideas for the betterment of our world from our home city of Surrey,” according to a website post.

Warburton credits sponsors, including Lark Group, Studiothink and G&F Financial Group, for covering expenses and allowing for the free tickets this year. “It has been a difficult winter for everyone, and this is our gift to our audience,” he said.

On Feb. 2, Warburton was a guest on The Quiet Warrior Show, a podcast hosted by Tom Dutta.

Warburton’s career in education spanned 34 years and included teaching in three different countries (England, the Bahamas and Canada), according to a post on

After retirement, Warburton became very involved with Toastmasters. “He accomplished the level of Distinguished Toastmaster and won many Toastmaster Speech contests,” the bio says. “He qualified for the World Championships of Public Speaking on two occasions (San Francisco in 2009 and Cincinnati in 2013). Alan was elected as the Toastmasters’ District 21 Director for 2016-2017 which involved him being responsible for overseeing 150 Toastmaster clubs in Southern BC.”

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Signage on a South Surrey sidewalk reminds pedestrians to respect social-distancing guidelines. (Photo: Tracy Holmes)
Surrey records 4,400 COVID-19 cases in March

New cases almost doubled between February, March

President of the West Coast Fine Arts Show, Brian Croft, said pandemic restrictions necessitated a shift to an entirely online event this year, running until April 30. (File photo)
The West Fine Art Show shifts to an online-only event amid tighter health orders

Website version retains the flavour of the annual live exhibition

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Most Read