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Diversity & Inclusion

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: 

Reconciliation

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.

Diversity

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.

Inclusion

Surrey removes barriers to participation in City programs, facilities, events and planning processes. Our goal is to make sure no one is left behind.

Social Equity

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.

Anti-Racism

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. 

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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.

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Accessibility 

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. 

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Programs

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.

Get Involved

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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National Indigenous Peoples Day

Surrey is home to the largest urban Indigenous population in BC. Over 13,000 Indigenous people call Surrey home. Explore Surrey's connection to our Indigenous Peoples through our art, exhibitions and partnerships. 

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Pride Month

The City of Surrey is actively involved in embracing its true diversity and the Surrey Pride Society provides a safe place for all genders, norms and sexual orientation but with specific emphasis on the LGBTQ+ community. 

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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.

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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.

Learn more about what we’re doing to ensure that all people feel welcome and included and how we’re building a strong and healthy community.

City Hall staff honouring Orange Shirt Day

Staff and community members honour Orange Shirt Day

Staff celebrating Diwali at City Hall

Staff celebrating Diwali at City Hall

Staff honouring everyone in the City who work to #beboldforchange on International Women's Day

Staff honouring everyone in the City who work to #beboldforchange on International Women's Day

Staff wear pink in honour of Pink Shirt Day

Staff celebrate Pink Shirt Day

Featured News 

City Council Renames Surrey Street to Commemorate Komagata Maru Victims

City Council Renames Surrey Street to Commemorate Komagata Maru Victims

Commemorative signs to be installed on 75A Avenue between 120 Street and 121A Street.

Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre Receives Highest Certification from Rick Hansen Foundation

Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre Receives Highest Certification from Rick Hansen Foundation

City unveils British Columbia’s first aquatic sensory friendly space.

Jumpstart Playground Officially Opens in Surrey’s Unwin Park

SURREY, BC – The City of Surrey and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities officially opened the Jumpstart Playground in Unwin Park today. Mayor Doug McCallum, along with Scott Fraser, President of Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities and Stephanie Dixon, 19-time

Celebration brings community together to experience new inclusive playground.

Surrey Fusion Festival Celebrates Africa

african male singing

The new Celebrate Africa zone will celebrate the continent’s history, music, dance and cuisine.

Surrey Names Park in Honour of African American Settler

Surrey Names Park in Honour of African American Settler

Henry Houston Scott Park honours of one of the first African American families to settle in the area

The City of Surrey Advances Accessibility with Two New Initiatives

The City of Surrey Advances Accessibility with Two New Initiatives

Museum of Surrey launches sensory friendly hours & Surrey Fire Services introduces sensory kits