Newton's Studio 73 Continues to Support Artists with Developmental Disabilities

Local studio sees success after shifting business online

January 20, 2021

Studio 73 signage

Situated in the heart of Newton Town Centre is Studio 73, a Surrey-based business that has been serving the local community for nearly six years.

As a not-for-profit studio and gallery supported by the Community Living Society, it is home to a group of artists with developmental disabilities who work with glass to create beautiful glassware and decorative pieces.

In addition to selling the art pieces, a regular business year would have seen Studio 73 offering glass classes, drop-in opportunities and team building sessions.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Studio 73 was one of the many Surrey businesses who had to take their creativity to the next level, as they closed their doors to both in-store sales and classes.

On top of shifting their business online, increasing their social media presence, and kickstarting virtual fused glass classes over Zoom, Studio 73 is one of over 520 businesses who are participating in the Surrey Store to Door initiative.

Since March 2020, this City of Surrey initiative has been encouraging residents to discover, explore, and support local businesses through the Surrey Store to Door website. The program is free for businesses and has facilitated over 66,400 online visits to local Surrey businesses.

“Studio 73 is a perfect example of just how resilient our community is when we work together,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “We launched Surrey Store to Door last March to help businesses get through the initial wave of COVID-19. Now, 10 months later, over 500 businesses have come together to offer the community local products and services in one central hub, making it easy for residents to support local, while keeping jobs in our community.”  

Woman working on a mosaic

“It was, and still is a tough time, but with a bit of creativity and support from the Surrey community, we’ve been able to find new opportunities to serve our customers and keep afloat,” said Jodi Leech, Community Living Society Coordinator of Studio 73.

“We are extremely appreciative of Surrey’s Store to Door initiative, because it has provided an opportunity for our businesses to stay connected with the community and reach new customers.”

Studio 73 has been able to take the wins they’ve achieved and redirect it back to the community. While their success allows them to purchase more glass, make more products, and pay the artists more, Jodi emphasizes that there is much more that drives them.

“When community members see how engaged and involved the artists are in not only producing the glass, but in running the business, they can begin to further recognize that people with developmental disabilities are fully participating members in society.”

They have also been able to give back to the community by purchasing and donating art supplies to the Surrey Arts Council – Surrey Christmas Bureau, donating a portion of their Dr. Bonnie Henry-inspired art piece sales to the Surrey Women’s Centre, and using a grant from the United Way – Local Love Fund to provide 100 glass take-home kits to local seniors.

To discover and support local businesses like Studio 73, visit SurreyStoreToDoor.ca.

“Studio 73 is a perfect example of just how resilient our community is when we work together.” – Mayor Doug McCallum

Mayor Doug McCallum at City Hall