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Background & Benefits

From a sketch by Elizabeth Hollick of the Cultural Plan's community consultation process.

Background on the Cultural Grants Program

On May 28, 2012, Council adopted a Cultural Plan for Surrey, titled Surrey Cultural Plan: Enhancing Urbanization through Arts and Heritage.

One of the key enhancement goals in the Cultural Plan is to “Enhance Community Involvement Potential” and recommends establishing a Cultural Grants Program. The 2012 approved operating budget included an allocation of $75,000 in support of the Cultural Grants Program.

A Culture Development Advisory Task Force was formed with a mandate to research and develop a Cultural Grants Program for the City. The Task Force studied five (5) other cities that have a Cultural Grant Program as the basis for developing a similar Program for Surrey.

Development Workshop participantsThe Task Force engaged local arts and heritage groups in the development of the Grant Program. In this regard, a Cultural Grant Program Development Workshop was held on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at the Surrey Arts Centre with over fifty (50) participants.

The participants were asked about their funding needs and priorities and the research related to the draft Surrey Cultural Grants Program Guidelines was shared. The workshop participants received a draft set of Guidelines related to the Cultural Grants Program that the Task Force had developed in advance of the workshop.

The input from the workshop was used to further refine the draft Program Guidelines. See Corporate Report (R238 - Surrey Cultural Grants Program).


The participants at the workshop identified the following benefits of a Surrey Cultural Grants Program:

  • provides stability and funding predictability for local arts and heritage organizations;
  • supports Board development for arts and heritage organizations;
  • builds the arts and heritage community in Surrey, thereby improving the quality of life and making Surrey a more liveable city;
  • assists in retaining and drawing cultural assets into the city;
  • stimulates new programs and activities that will contribute to Surrey’s reputation as a cultural destination;
  • encourages intercultural projects and promotes diversity and cultural sharing; and
  • leverages resources (other grants, sponsorships, etc.) and creates opportunities to strengthen the local cultural economy.

Feature image: Detail of a sketch by Elizabeth Hollick of the Cultural Plan's community consultation process.

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