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Heart in the City Award

The Heart in the City Award will formally recognize and celebrate Surrey-based individuals and groups that are making a positive difference in the lives of people in Surrey, particularly the lives of vulnerable people. The Award will acknowledge outstanding contributions to the social well-being of Surrey residents through the granting of one individual and one group category Heart in the City Award. A third Lifetime Achievement award will be granted to an individual who has been a long-time contributor to the social well-being of Surrey residents. The Social Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC) will oversee the nomination process and selection of the award recipients.

The award recognizes contributions which support vulnerable populations, strengthen our community by building inclusion and a sense of belonging, and address social issues that are priorities in Surrey such as:

  • Affordable housing and homelessness
  • Children and Youth
  • Poverty Reduction
  • New Immigrants and Refugees
  • Urban Indigenous people
  • Vulnerable women and girls

Please refer to our Terms of Reference for more information about this award.

Award Categories

The three Heart in the City Award categories are:

1. Group – The Group Category recognizes the outstanding contributions of a volunteer community group, a business, or a specific program / project of a non-profit organization.

2. Individual – The Individual Category recognizes the outstanding contributions of an individual to the social well-being of Surrey residents. An individual who has overcome a significant challenge, such as being homeless or arriving in Canada as a refugee, and is now giving back to the community in some way can also be nominated in this category; and

3. Lifetime Achievement – The Lifetime Achievement Category recognizes the long-time contributions of a dedicated individual to the social sustainability of the Surrey community.

It is anticipated that three Awards will be granted each award year (one per category). The SPAC reserves the right to only grant awards where there is merit; less than or more than three awards may be granted.

2017 Finalists

Group Category

New Hope Community Services Society (Award Recipient) 

Muslim Food Bank and ASPIRE Community Services (Award Recipient) 

Individual Category

Alex Martel (Award Recipient) 

Douglas Nickerson (Award Recipient) 

Kalwinder Dosanjh, Kids Play Youth Foundation

Shawna Narayan, Empower the Future

Kathleen Burke, Community Leaders Igniting Change

Ihab Habob – Muslim Canadians Integration Society

Lifetime Achievement Category

Marilyn Hermann, Surrey Food Bank (Award Recipient) 

Eligibility & Nomination

Nominations were open from April 10, 2017 to June 10, 2017. The winners were announced on October 25, 2017.

Heart in the City Awards are considered by nomination. Nominations can be submitted online, by mail or dropped off at the City Hall – Planning and Development front counter.

What can be entered?
Any project, individual, volunteer community group, or business that fits the criteria.

Who can be nominated?
All Surrey residents, volunteer community groups, and businesses are eligible.

Who can nominate?
Anyone. Self-nomination of a group or individual is not permitted.

Selection & Recognition
The Social Planning Advisory Committee reviews nominations and recommends to Council the recipients for the Heart in the City Awards. Winners are be recognized by Mayor and Council at the City Awards reception on October 25, 2017.


Related Content

Social Planning

Learn about social planning priorities and actions to support a socially sustainable Surrey.