The Re-enactors delight crowds with authentic and intriguing stories from Surrey’s history
That's A Wrap!
Thanks for a great year! We'll be back again in 2023. Watch this page for our performance schedule.
About the Troupe
The Re-enactors are an award-winning heritage re-enactment performance troupe based on real people from Surrey's past. Attending the City's major events, each of the historical characters has a poignant part in Surrey's past. Portrayed by actors who do not break character, they are a troupe to behold.
Meet the Cast
1852 - 1911
Eric left his home of Sweden when he was just 11 years old in 1863. He made his way to Canada in 1872 when his ship arrived in the Burrard Inlet. As the ship’s carpenter, he was sent ashore to gather timber for ship repairs. Upon seeing BC’s natural beauty, he abandoned his hard life on the whaling ship and crossed the Fraser River to settle near Mud Bay, on the Nicomekl River. He was a homesteader and carpenter and early settler of Surrey.
Portrayed by Ryan Haneman* (he/him)
Ryan started acting when he was six and fell in love with performance from the first time he stepped in front of an audience. He grew up in Ottawa and learned the craft from several teachers around North America. He has performed in theatres across Canada as well television and motion pictures. Ryan has entertained almost in every style of performance, including magic shows, mime, busking, stand-up, improv, corporate gigs, musicals and more. Ryan is looking forward to performing with The Re-enactors again this year!
1884 - 1957
Zennosuke moved to Vancouver from Hiroshima at 16. He enlisted in the Overseas Expeditionary Force and fought for Canada in France. After the war, he purchased 80 acres of land in Strawberry Hills and built a homestead. He was President of the Surrey Berry Growers' Association.
During World War II, he and his family endured the hardship of the internment camps and the repossession of his farmland, profitable business and home. He wrote 80 letters to government offices and ministers, fighting to regain his land. He is the only Japanese Canadian war veteran to have his land returned to him.
Portrayed by Kevin Takahide Lee*
Yonsei, Kevin Takahide Lee is a firm believer that the arts must be interwoven with social needs. He has been involved with productions focused on bringing attention to IBPOC stories. This includes producing and directing a multicultural choir, being exhibited at the National Museum for Human Rights and for the past ten years sitting on the Powell Street Festival’s programming committee.
Kevin is particularly interested in telling Japanese Canadian stories. He is currently in his ninth season portraying Zennosuke Inouye and was recently in Edmonton for ‘Hold These Truths’ the story of Dr. Gordon Hirabayashi by Jeanne Sakata.
Mary Jane Shannon
1876 - 1964
Mary Jane Shannon began her life as a student in the first Surrey school, established by her father, Thomas Shannon and a few others. She attended high school in Vancouver and after teaching in the wilds of Lac La Hache, she returned to Cloverdale to become the teacher at her old school.
She was a remarkable woman who had a zest for life and learning. She left her teaching post to pursue a degree in Nursing at Columbia University. Always one for adventure, she studied writing in New York after World War II and spent her later years back in Surrey writing her Cariboo Tales.
Portrayed by Sara Holt* (she/her)
Sara is so thankful to be performing and living on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, q̓ic̓əy̓ (Katzie), q̓ʷɑ:n̓ƛ̓ən̓ (Kwantlen), and Semiahma (Semiahmoo) people. She has been working professionally as an actor on repeat contracts since graduating Langara College’s professional actor training program, Studio 58, in the spring of 2000. Her credits include productions with: DreamRider Productions, The Only Animal, The City of Surrey, Azure Studio's, The Kot Collective and Fort Steele Heritage Town.
She is a founding member of DreamRider Productions, resident actor, costume designer and choreographer. She has a passion for historic theatre, musical theatre, theatre for young audiences, writing, animal rescue, and protecting the environment. When she is not busy working, creating or volunteering for the GirlGuides of Canada or VRRA (rabbit rescue), Sara is a happily married, busy mom of two.
1906 - 1995
Irene Margaret Bourassa (nee Christmas), was born in Harting, England to Arthur John Christmas and Ethel Amy Christmas in 1906. Irene is the second eldest. Irene immigrated to Canada with her mother, sister, and brother in 1913 when Irene was 7 years old – her father had immigrated two years prior to help set up their new life in Canada. The Christmas family lived on Cumberland Street in New Westminster together until 1921 when they moved to Surrey. Irene studied Animal Husbandry at UBC as one of the first women in the program and spent the rest of her life living in Surrey with her husband Arthur Bourassa until her passing.
Portrayed by Holly Newberry (she/her)
Holly found her passion for theatre and performing arts as a young girl in summer acting camps. After taking part in high school plays, falling even deeper in love with her craft, she completed The Performing Arts & Theatre diploma program at Douglas College. Since graduating college, Holly has had the pleasure of working professionally in the world of film/television, portraying characters in various short and feature films. She is excited to get back to her theatre roots with The Surrey Re-enactors troupe. When she’s not on stage or in front of the camera, Holly runs her own small business “Earth Angel” creating handmade goods inspired by her spiritual approach to her acting practice.
Sarjit "Mac" Singh
1929 - 1978
Mac's family moved to Surrey in 1938. Mac was active in the 4-H Club and the Jaycees and was the National Potato Champ in 1951 along with community member Bob Bose. He participated in many Surrey initiatives to do with agriculture. In his life, he experienced many hardships such as racist bullying when he was in school, the death of his father in stories address the racist bullying he confronted in childhood, the hardships his family faced when their father passed away, his mother re-married and Mac had to quit school to help on the farm, and finally the success he found in agriculture and farming later in life.
Portrayed by Akshaya Pattanayak (he/him)
Akshaya is an actor based in Vancouver. The name Akshaya means 'never ending'. He was born in Montreal, Canada, but raised in different parts of India. He graduated in 2019 with an MFA in Acting from the University of Southern California. Notable theatre credits include: Bad Hamlet and Milkcrate Monologues.
*The participation of these Artists are arranged by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance • Opera • Theatre Policy.
The Re-enactors were the winners of the 2015 British Columbia Parks and Recreation Association’s Program Excellence Award.