Credit: Graphic rendering of "Atheana Picha: Echoes" by Crissy Arseneau.
City of Surrey Culture Division Announces 2021 Culture Days Initiatives
The City of Surrey is offering many free programs during Culture Days, designed to connect people with the arts and heritage.
Surrey, BC – This fall, participate in Culture Days, a national celebration of Arts and Culture in the City of Surrey. Culture Days programming includes a range of free activities and events organized by Surrey Civic Theatres, Surrey Art Gallery, Historic Stewart Farm, Museum of Surrey, Surrey Archives, and the City’s Special Events team.
Once again this year, as was the case in 2020, Culture Days will be a month-long, cross-country celebration. The City of Surrey Culture Division will be providing interactive, free, online presentations and activities, as well as welcoming the community back for in-person experiences at several arts and heritage facilities.
To keep all patrons and staff safe, and to adhere to current public health guidelines, masks will be mandatory for in-person City of Surrey Culture Days activities. Patrons will also be required to show proof of their vaccination certificate as well as government ID.
This year’s theme, RE:IMAGINE, signals a positive turning point—the commitment to building tangible change in the future of arts and culture.
Hubs have been created for organizations to feature their activities on the Culture Days website. Visit the City of Surrey Culture Division Hub for full access and information to all free events and activities the City is offering.
Virtual Fusion Festival
- Digital Concert Series: Videos showcasing music and dance of different genres and cultures will be posted on Surrey Fusion Festival, @surreybcevents, and COS YouTube social media channels.
- Pavilion Collaborative Billboard: The festival will create interconnectedness between cultural pavilions organizers by inviting them to paint a piece of a paint-by-numbers billboard, where individually painted squares will be put together as a combined installation and displayed at Holland Park from September 24 to October 24, 2021.
- Cultural Cooking Challenge: Surrey Fusion Festival will challenge attendees to make cultural dishes – including appetizers, drinks, deserts and “a dish you’ve never made before”, with one challenge posted each week of Culture Days on the Surrey Fusion Festival website. People who make the dishes and post their photos on social media will be entered to win a prize.
- Cultural Pavilion Stories Video Series: A series of 4 videos will be filmed to be posted each week of Culture Days, highlighting the stories and memories of the festival’s Cultural Pavilion organizers. The videos will touch on topics of diversity, reconciliation, immigration and anti-racism.
Visit surreyfusionfestival.ca for more details.
Surrey Art Gallery
- Art in Motion Video Art Lessons: Delivered by artists and art-educators from south of the Fraser and beyond, participants can follow along to create their own artworks using materials found at home.
- Exhibition Visits: includes Sandeep Johal: What If?, multimedia exhibit amplifies stories of resilient South Asian women; Phyllis Atkins: Divine Connection, paintings and sculptures drawn from Coast Salish tradition celebrate the artist’s connection to life and spirit; PICS: Seven Stories, photographs by women from Iraq, Syria, and Jordan newly living in the Lower Mainland; Manuel Piña: Naufragios, video project on migration and the ocean; and Atheana Picha: Echoes (pictured above), an installation on the windows of Surrey Arts Centre that celebrates the significance of Coast Salish mountain goat horn bracelets.
Surrey Civic Theatres
- Offering four free online presentations from the 2020-21 Digital Stage season – one each week for the duration of the event. The performances will be available for viewing for the full week that they are posted. Presentations include concerts by cellist Cris Derksen and singer songwriter Krystle Dos Santos, an imaginative and interactive show for very young children and their families from Vancouver’s Foolish Operations called Under the Sea, and a performance from the ever-popular story telling series The Flame.
- Historic Stewart Farm History Talks: Four talks between September 24 - October 24 featuring the Elgin community. Join in person in the Stewart Hall, or from home online, to learn about the history of Mud Bay, the Stewart Farm, and the local community of Elgin. The newcomer history of the Stewart family will be explored in depth.
- Guided Tours of the Historic Stewart Farm: Join a group for a tour through the 1894 Victorian house to see how a local family would have lived some 100 years ago, then head outside to check out the Historic Pole Barn. Tours will be offered Wednesday to Sunday from 1:00 to 2:00 pm and 3:00 to 4:00 pm.
- Stories from the Past: This is a remote program that focuses on sharing memories and stories. Participants are sent images and reminisces from Surrey’s past which bring back memories and inspire live discussions led by a heritage programmer. Four live events will be offered between September 24 to October 24.
- Self-Directed Driving Tours of Surrey’s neighbourhoods explore heritage in our community. Four tours will showcase the variety in the City’s Heritage Register, with everything from natural history to built heritage across the City. Participants can drive the tour routes themselves or explore them virtually from the comfort of their homes.
- Community Histories: Featuring Guildford, October 21, 6:30 to 7:30pm. Delve into the historical Port Kells, Port Mann and Guildford neighbourhoods with Surrey Archives staff as they explore the past through photographs, oral histories and more in this virtual talk.
- Online Activities connect participants to Surrey’s history from home. Online offerings include the Surrey Archives 1949 Interactive Aerial, the Surrey Time Lapse Tool, and try-it-at-home recipes from the kitchen of the Historic Stewart Farm like Cream Scones and Thumbprint Cookies.
Museum of Surrey
- Cemetery Tour: On October 16 from 2:00 to 3:30pm, bundle up and enjoy an informative tour with local historian Sue Bryant while she reveals the fascinating stories that lie beneath the headstones of the Surrey Centre Cemetery.
- BEES! Feature Exhibition: Opening October 5 and virtually beginning October 19. The wonderful world of bees seen through the eyes of beekeepers and bee lovers in Surrey. This bilingual exhibition, with a virtual component to be ready by October 19, considers the fascinating science, environmental challenges and social world of bees. Curated in collaboration with The Honeybee Centre and partially funded through Heritage Canada.
- The Story Bee-hind BEES!: A tour and discussion of the BEES! Feature Exhibit at Museum of Surrey. Join Curator, Colleen Sharpe and Honeybee Centre collaborator and beekeeper, Cassie Gibeau as they share insights into the making of the BEES! exhibit.
- BEES! Drop-in: On October 22 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm the Museum will be hosting a family drop-in to celebrate the BEES! feature exhibit. Focused activities, crafts and performances all afternoon. The Honeybee Centre staff will be at the museum to answer bee-related questions. For children aged 6-12 years.
About Culture Days
Culture Days is a national celebration of arts and culture. At the end of each September, millions of people attend thousands of participatory arts and culture events across Canada. Culture Days programs invite the public to get hands-on and behind-the-scenes to highlight the importance of arts and culture in our communities. Once again in 2021 the celebrations have been extended to a 4-week run.
Culture Days serves as a year-round catalyst that connects individuals and creators to build measurable support for the entire sector and amplify its contributions. They seek to eliminate barriers to access and participation, and stimulate understanding, appreciation and exploration of arts and culture—so that every person in the country has a deeper connection with themselves, their communities, and Canada.
Publicist, Surrey Civic Theatres