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The Re-enactors

The 2018 Re-enactor line up

Surrey's Past: See It to Believe It

The Re-enactors are an award-winning heritage re-enactment performance troupe based on real people from Surrey's past. With a focus on the period of 1872 to 1972, they attend City's major events. The Re-enactors are consistent event favourites, offering musical entertainment, intriguing stories of Surrey's early years, and lively, often humorous audience interactions.

2018 Schedule

Date Event & Location
August 18 Cloverdale Market Days and Cloverdale Train Station
September 8 Fleetwood Festival – Fleetwood Community Centre
September 22 Old Harvest Fair – Historic Stewart Farm
September 29 Museum of Surrey Grand Opening
November 24 Tree Lighting - Civic Plaza

Meet the 2018 Re-Enactor Line Up

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.

Eric Anderson is portrayed by *Ryan Haneman. He made his way to Canada from Sweden on a whaling ship. After some time, his ship arrived in Burrard Inlet in 1872. As the ship’s carpenter, he was sent ashore to get timber for repairs to the ship. Upon seeing how beautiful Canada was, 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, eventually owning enough land to sell a parcel to the BC Electric Railway for a nice profit.


Irene Bourassa then and nowIrene Bourassa is portrayed by *Emily Henney. She immigrated from England in 1913.  She tenaciously debated her way into the Animal Husbandry Program at UBC. She received a degree in Agriculture in 1930 and was the only female in her graduating class. Irene married Art Bourassa in 1931. They ran the Shell Oil plant in Cloverdale.

After Irene’s death in 1995, the Bourassas left $2.5 million each to Surrey Memorial Hospital and Royal Columbian Hospital - the largest personal gifts ever received by these institutions.


Zennosuke Inouye is portrayed by Kevin Takahide Lee.  At 16, Inouye moved to Vancouver from Hiroshima. 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.

Elsie Ivy Marshall then and now

Elsie Ivy Marshall is portrayed by Meghan Hanet. She grew up in Surrey, immersed in the social life of South Westminster.  Her father, Albert Marshall owned the Dry Goods store on Old Yale Road.  Elsie give us a sense of the life and loves of a young Surrey girl, discussing her beloved Jersey calf, Daisy,  the Surrey Centre Fair and local dances.  She trained as a stenographer to help with her father’s business.  After WWI, she married Joseph Hughes at St. Helen’s Anglican Church, which still stands on the hill overlooking the Fraser River on Old Yale Road.


Mac Singh then and nowSarjit “Mac” Singh is portrayed by Arjun Panesar. He is the only character born in Canada - in 1929 in Burnaby.  He moved to Surrey as a child who adored The Lone Ranger. The radio character's creed   became a guide for him throughout his life:  “All men are created equal and everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.”  Mac was a leader in Surrey through the 4H Club, the Jaycees, the Surrey Dam and Dyking Commission, and his innovations in agriculture.  In 1951, Mac and Bob Bose were the National Potato Champions at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto and were recognized by the Surrey Chamber of Commerce for their accomplishment.


Mary Jane Shannon then and nowMary Jane Shannon is portrayed by *Sara Holt. She 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.

TJ Sullivan then and nowTJ Sullivan is portrayed by *Vince Metcalfe. He joined his brother in Surrey to set up a sawmill in 1903, but was drawn into local politics as a way to help improve his community.  He was elected Reeve of Surrey, a position he held for 11 years – through the Great War and into the post war boom years. He had a hand in the construction of the 1912 Municipal Hall and the Peace Portal which was opened in 1921. One of his greatest achievements was as a Commissioner of the Surrey Dam and Dyking Commission, which built concrete dams at the mouth of the Nicomekl and Serpentine Rivers to control tidal waters, reclaiming 10,700 acres of farmland.

*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.