Diversity & Inclusion
See all the ways the City of Surrey is strengthened by its diversity.
Surrey is strengthened by our diversity. Our City is one of the fastest growing and most culturally diverse cities in Canada. As such, we take tremendous pride in our cultural diversity and the inclusion and respect we show one another every day.
Did You Know?
- 22% of Metro Vancouver's Indigenous Population live in Surrey.
- 43% of Surrey's residents are immigrants.
- 34% of Surrey residents speak English as a secondary language. (Source: Surrey census data profile)
The City engages and collaborates with its citizens, businesses, partners, other levels of government and staff to ensure the well-being and resiliency of our community.
Within our many plans and strategies is our commitment to reconciliation, diversity, inclusion, social equity and anti-racism:
Surrey acknowledges it is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Salish Peoples. It is our duty to build respectful consultative practices in our work serving the urban Indigenous populations in Surrey. The City recognizes the importance of honouring the Indigenous heritage of this place.
Surrey ensures the City’s practices and opportunities do not discriminate. We are accepting, welcoming and respectful of all differences of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socio-economic status, religious beliefs, age, physical abilities, and political beliefs.
Surrey removes barriers to participation in City programs, facilities, events and planning processes. Our goal is to make sure no one is left behind.
Surrey implements policies and programs to distribute fair and equal social services. We do so in consultation with our communities to enhance the social well-being of our residents.
Surrey works to identify, challenge, prevent, and eliminate things that perpetuate racism. We do this through continual training and education, community consultation and additional measures.
Following are some examples of our commitments to our City and community’s well-being:
Policies on Human Rights
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is supported by core policies, including the Human Rights Policy and Respectful Workplace Policy. We’re committed to providing an environment that is free from any form of discrimination based on any of the prohibited grounds of discrimination under the B.C. Human Rights Code, as set out to include race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age and conviction of a criminal or summary conviction offence that is unrelated to employment or intended employment.
Official Community Plan
The Official Community Plan (OCP) is a statement of objectives and policies that guide City planning decisions. The OCP ensures accessible and Inclusive civic facilities, programs and community services. A truly accessible community is one where everyone shares equal access to the key elements of life, such as work, play, access and participation.
Canada’s Best Diversity Employers
In March 2020, the City of Surrey was named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for a second year in a row. This national annual award recognizes employers who have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs.
The City of Surrey is committed to providing accessible and inclusive services, programs and opportunities for all members of our community. From our adapted sports, to our award-winning recreation centres.
We encourage full and meaningful participation for all Surrey residents in our services, parks and facilities. We gather input from diverse community groups in the planning, design and development of programs and services, and facilitate services and programs that are sensitive to the needs of all people. As an inclusive and welcoming community, we hold or are partner in many programs, including:
Community Events in Surrey
Surrey celebrates a rich blend of festivals and events. The City receives over 200 applications each year from groups to hold special events and cultural festivals including: Jamaican Festival, Indian Cultural Festival, African Heritage Festival, Surrey Latin Festival, Greek Food Festival, National Indigenous Peoples' Day. Parades within the City include: Vaisakhi Parade, Shaheedy Saka Parade, Santa Clause Parade, Nagar Kirtan Parade, Miri Piri Parade, and the Cloverdale Rodeo Parade.
We also support the Museum of Surrey's Lunar New Year Event and events put on during Black History Month.
Cultural Grants Program
The Cultural Grants Program supports a wide range of arts and cultural activity in Surrey, including artistic practices (music, dance, theatre, literary, visual, media, inter-disciplinary, community-based and Indigenous arts) and cultural celebrations and events that reflect Surrey’s diverse heritage and community.
Surrey Urban Indigenous Strategy
The Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee (SUILC) advocates for the more than 13,000 Indigenous people living in Surrey. The City of Surrey is a member of SUILC and partners to support SUILC’s vision and mission.
Surrey Fusion Festival
In 2019, Surrey Fusion Festival was awarded funding in collaboration with the Arts Council of Surrey by the federal government under the Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program, on the basis that it builds bridges to promote intercultural understanding, promotes equal opportunity for individuals of all origins, promotes citizenship, civic engagement and a healthy democracy.
Surrey Major Events
Surrey works alongside an Indigenous consultant and organizer for Party for the Planet, Surrey Canada Day and Surrey Fusion Festival to ensure ample Indigenous representation at Surrey’s major events, aligning with the values of the All Our Relations Social Innovation Strategy. Surrey Fusion Festival’s decision-making is also guided by cultural pavilion organizers from within the community that advise on opportunities to improve the festival, including regarding diversity and inclusion.
Diversity at City Hall
Taking a lead role in the success of our diverse community not only demonstrates the City’s values, it is also a reflection of the people who work here. We are a caring and compassionate city that learns about and supports its residents of all backgrounds, demographics and life experiences.