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Surrey Arts & Business Awards

Surrey Arts & Business Awards

The 3rd Surrey Arts & Business Awards – showcasing Surrey’s Creative Industry recognizes individuals and businesses that are committed to enriching Surrey through the arts, thus enhancing Surrey’s livability. The Surrey Board of Trade is committed to cultivating and sustaining a healthy and inclusive city and work towards ensuring that the cultural richness of Surrey is reflected through these awards.

The event will take place on June 14, 2019. 

Event Registration

Nominations

Nominations are closed for 2019. Please check back for nominations in 2020.

Award Categories

  1. Arts & Innovation Award: Awarded for originality, ingenuity, and resourcefulness within the creative sector (music, dance, visual art, literature). Open to individuals and businesses.
  2. Cultural Ambassador: Awarded to an individual or business that has significantly contributed to Surrey’s arts and cultural community and raised the visibility of Surrey’s creative industry. May include exemplary work across disciplines (as an artist or administrator) as well as advocating for and promoting the value of arts and culture.
  3. Philanthropy Award: Awarded to an individual or business that has generously contributed to arts and culture through grants, donations or other investments.
  4. Legacy Award: Awarded for a rich and enlightening career in the arts. This individual or business may be celebrating a milestone anniversary or capping off a long career in the creative economy industry. Ultimately Surrey is more vibrant for their long-standing contributions.
  5. Music Award: Awarded to an individual or company that either supports musicians or has excelled in the musical industry.

Submission:

Please submit your nomination to:

Rhona Doria
101-14439 104 Avenue
Surrey, BC V3R 1M1
rhona@businessinsurrey.com
T: 604.634.0344
F: 604.588.7549


2019 Winners

Arts and Innovation Award Category – Brotherhood Dance Crew

Founded by Scott Forsyth in the basement of a Surrey church in 2011, Brotherhood is a 15-member all-male hip hop group, incorporating storytelling in their performances, known for being one of the most entertaining and synchronized dance crews in the world. 11 of Brotherhood’s 15 dancers call Surrey home. Brotherhood performs and competes internationally, winning numerous dance titles. For example, they won first-place at the Vibe Dance Competition in Costa Mesa, California. Brotherhood was featured on NBC’s World of Dance Season 2. They say that dance is a tricky sport/art; it’s subjective and is judged based on the opinion of others. Their philosophy is: “Don’t take yourself too seriously and never let the opinions of others determine your self-worth. Just keep creating, inspiring, and remember your purpose.”

Cultural Ambassador Award Category – Renée Sarojini Saklikar

Renee’s role as the first Poet Laureate from 2015-2018 was significant because it built support and awareness to the literary arts in Surrey. She continues to inspire and nurture young writers through her work as the 2019 Surrey English Teachers’ Association (SETA) Writer-in-Residence, offering workshops to teens at high schools throughout Surrey. Renée demonstrates her passion for connecting people of all ages and backgrounds through poetry. She mentors diverse writers and writing groups including the Cedar Bark Poets in Newton Grove. In addition she mentors residents at the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre, helping to break down barriers to bring people together to share in the joys of storytelling and writing.

Philanthropy Award Category – Charan Sethi

Charan Sethi and the Tien Sher Group of Companies have been strong supporters of Surrey, particularly in Whalley. Through his efforts, in partnership with others, Whalley was recognized and created as a historic district. His support of the Flamingo Square Arts Initiative and its integration of supporting live music has been instrumental in making Surrey a music city. Charan is a leader in his support of arts, music, theatre, education and cultural experiences by building spaces that enhance cultural livability in Surrey.

Legacy Award Category- Chris Thornley

Chris is a talented artist and musician dedicated to the growth and appreciation of Surrey’s creative industry. Not only did he make Surrey home to his creative agency for almost 39 years, he has also spent countless hours volunteering his time on community boards and sharing his musical talent throughout Surrey. He may have retired from the 9am-5pm agency life in 2018, but he has no plans to stop contributing to the arts in Surrey. In fact, he has spent even more time supporting arts and music over the past year. He works closely with the Surrey Food Bank, Surrey Libraries and the Surrey Arts Centre including their ‘Stand Up for the Arts’ campaign. His art (in various forms) has supported business and non-profit organizations, helping Surrey as a whole grow as a creative destination.

Music Award Category- Richard Tichelman

Richard has been actively pursuing a music career since the age of 14. From the Roxy Night Club to the Surrey Children’s Festival, he has been hand selecting his covers and originals. For over 5 years, Richard has won awards, received scholarships and travelled across Canada and the USA to perform. He received the Don Welden Memorial Award at the Calgary Stampede. Richard has been accepted in the CBC Searchlight Competition, released two EPs which included 7 new songs on Spotify and iTunes, and recorded 3 new songs in Los Angeles with producers ‘The Trackheads’.


2019 Finalists

Philanthropy Award

Awarded to an individual or business that has generously contributed to arts and culture through grants, donations or other investments.

a. Perminder Chohan

Perminder Chohan has always come across with a strong passion and vision for helping others and making a difference. His heartfelt humanitarian work easily displays the characteristics and attributes of a philanthropist to the community at large. He has created jobs for over 500 individuals who were new to the country since 2000. His philanthropic beneficiaries include the Surrey Food Bank, BC Cultural Academy, and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

b. Charan Sethi

Charan Sethi and the Tien Sher Group of Companies have been strong supporters of Surrey, particularly in Whalley. Through his efforts, in partnership with others, Whalley was recognized and created as a historic district. His support of the Flamingo Square Arts Initiative and its integration of supporting live music has been instrumental in making Surrey a music city. Charan is a leader in his support of arts, music, theatre, education and cultural experiences by building spaces that enhance cultural livability in Surrey.

c. Jim Trimble

Jim Trimble contributes to Surrey’s performing arts industry through his work with the Surrey Vaudevillians, formed in 2002, where he served as the resident master of ceremonies for all performances. The Vaudevillians started with a small group of seniors offering a vibrant ensemble of dance, music, song and comedy. Jim helped establish the vaudevillian organization as a registered charity and was responsible for establishing a bursary for art students. In 2016, he founded the Naked Stage Production Society and continues to serve as its President. Naked Stage performs a handful of plays each year at the Newton Cultural Centre.

Cultural Ambassador

Awarded to an individual or business that has significantly contributed to Surrey’s arts and cultural community and raised the visibility of Surrey’s creative industry.

a. Shara Nixon

Shara Nixon started as a Volunteer Coordinator with the Surrey Children’s Festival, signing up hundreds of festival volunteers. She then joined the Board of the Royal Canadian Theatre Company, eventually becoming its President.  Under her guidance, the RC Theatre was able to gain financial strength, secure stable rehearsal space and create a strong functioning theatre company with significant community impact. Shara was instrumental in fundraising, strategic planning, financial and legal assistance, capacity building and foundational support giving the theatre company the space it needed to create live theatre productions.

b. Renée Sarojini Saklikar

Renee’s role as the first Poet Laureate from 2015-2018 was significant because it built support and awareness to the literary arts in Surrey. She continues to inspire and nurture young writers through her work as the 2019 Surrey English Teachers’ Association (SETA) Writer-in-Residence, offering workshops to teens at high schools throughout Surrey. Renée demonstrates her passion for connecting people of all ages and backgrounds through poetry. She mentors diverse writers and writing groups including the Cedar Bark Poets in Newton Grove. In addition she mentors residents at the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre, helping to break down barriers to bring people together to share in the joys of storytelling and writing.

c. Amarjeet Singh Vabhana

Amarjeet is an ambassador for Canada’s cultural diversity, music and art. He is a bridge that joins people of different cultural traditions in their love of music and art. He is the founder of the Naad Foundation, a musical and cultural training and exposition centre that helps troubled youth to stay away from drugs and gang violence through music and arts. He promotes music, inspires and teaches exceptionally talented young students. The Naad Foundation has cultivated local talent and represents Canada’s cultural diversity at many international events in countries such as USA, Uzbekistan and Germany.

Legacy Award

Awarded for a rich and enlightening career in the arts. This individual or business may be celebrating a milestone anniversary or capping off a long career in the creative economy industry. Ultimately Surrey is more vibrant for their long-standing contributions.

a. Terry Armitage

Terry opened Accent Guitar Studio and Canopy Productions in Surrey in 1983. Since then, Accent has grown as a staple in Surrey’s creative economy industry. His students ranges from 6 years to 85 years old. His contributions are many, including developing a pilot program for troubled teens at the Whalley Youth Centre; working as a mentor for the City of Surrey Band-Aid program; working as a member of the Registry of Guitar Tutors and helping to set the standards in guitar education across Canada; working with the BC Ministry of Education to set up external music credits for Grades 10 – 12; and, writing several guitar books, some of which have reached the bestseller list in the United Kingdom.

b. Devinder Hundal

Devinder was only 9 years old when an accident occurred leaving him blind. However, this did not stop him from pursuing his passion for music. He arrived in Canada 40 years ago and has been teaching students from all over the region, specifically in Surrey because of its thriving South Asian population. Devinder’s ability to identify talent at the first encounter is well known.  Through his 40 years of teaching music, he has taught thousands of students, many of them winning awards internationally. Devinder has also performed at the Bell Performing Arts Centre, Surrey Arts Centre, and at other Surrey events.

c. Chris Thornley

Chris is a talented artist and musician dedicated to the growth and appreciation of Surrey’s creative industry. Not only did he make Surrey home to his creative agency for almost 39 years, he has also spent countless hours volunteering his time on community boards and sharing his musical talent throughout Surrey. He may have retired from the 9am-5pm agency life in 2018, but he has no plans to stop contributing to the arts in Surrey. In fact, he has spent even more time supporting arts and music over the past year. He works closely with the Surrey Food Bank, Surrey Libraries and the Surrey Arts Centre including their ‘Stand Up for the Arts’ campaign. His art (in various forms) has supported business and non-profit organizations, helping Surrey as a whole grow as a creative destination.

Arts & Innovation Award

Awarded for originality, ingenuity, and resourcefulness within the creative sector (music, dance, visual art, literature).

a. Brotherhood Dance Crew

Founded by Scott Forsyth in the basement of a Surrey church in 2011, Brotherhood is a 15-member all-male hip hop group, incorporating storytelling in their performances, known for being one of the most entertaining and synchronized dance crews in the world. 11 of Brotherhood’s 15 dancers call Surrey home. Brotherhood performs and competes internationally, winning numerous dance titles. For example, they won first-place at the Vibe Dance Competition in Costa Mesa, California. Brotherhood was featured on NBC’s World of Dance Season 2. They say that dance is a tricky sport/art; it’s subjective and is judged based on the opinion of others. Their philosophy is: “Don’t take yourself too seriously and never let the opinions of others determine your self-worth. Just keep creating, inspiring, and remember your purpose.”

b. Nina Buddhev, Vois Creatives

Nina Buddhdev, inspirator, heritage arts advocate, consultant, artiss mentor and visual artist, is a seeker of potentials and creator of opportunities. Her fulfilment comes from seeing the arts thrive. The advocacy nature of her work has created an interconnected and evolving cultural movement. As a systems influencer, innovator, thought leader, and community champion Nina’s philosophy and progressive ideas continue to inspire excellence in BC’s arts and culture sector. With over 16 years in the creative management field, Nina Buddhdev is known to empower transformative ideation, incubation and strategic planning for professional, emerging and aspiring artists, organizations and communities.

c. Alex Sangha, She Vancouver LGBTQ Friends Society

Alex Sangha is a Surrey-based senior producer behind multiple international award winning local short documentary called, ‘My Name Was January’. This documentary film is a celebration of January Marie Lapuz’s life, a transgender woman of colour who was murdered in September 2012 in New Westminster, BC. This film is about remembering the impact that January had on the lives of everyone she encountered. It is about uplifting the narratives and lived experiences of trans women of colour. This film aimed to collectively liberate all marginalized and oppressed people. ‘My Name was January’ has garnered many international awards and recognition in Canada, Norway, India, Spain, the United Kingdom and the USA.

Music Award

Awarded to an individual or company that either supports musicians or has excelled in the music industry.

a. Sami Ghawi

Sami is the Director of FUSIONpresents Ltd. Founded in 2002, FUSIONpresents provides quality entertainment to many venues throughout the Metro Vancouver region. The company, and Sami himself, have provided entertainment for numerous events at the Surrey Arts Centre, the Surrey Museum, Fusion Festival, corporate events and spaces. Sami also provides entertainment for charities, such as the MS and Leukemia Societies. Sami as also a member of the Surrey Board of Trade’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Committee and leads, through his own time, the Surrey Music City Centre initiative.

b. Ranj Singh

Ranj has been playing music professionally in Surrey since 1984. In 2006, he started playing his own original music sharing songs of love, peace, and touching on topics of bullying, alcohol abuse and stories about Punjabi culture. He has played in Folk Festivals throughout North America, seven hockey games at the 2010 Winter Olympics, CBC Radio and CBC TV. To him, music is medicine and the rewards he has witnessed are immense.

c. Richard Tichelman

Richard has been actively pursuing a music career since the age of 14. From the Roxy Night Club to the Surrey Children’s Festival, he has been hand selecting his covers and originals. For over 5 years, Richard has won awards, received scholarships and travelled across Canada and the USA to perform. He received the Don Welden Memorial Award at the Calgary Stampede. Richard has been accepted in the CBC Searchlight Competition, released two EPs which included 7 new songs on Spotify and iTunes, and recorded 3 new songs in Los Angeles with producers ‘The Trackheads’.




Previous Winners

2018 Winners

Arts and Innovation Award Category – Peninsula Production Society

Peninsula Productions was formed in late 2010 to help fill a need in White Rock/South Surrey for professional quality live entertainment. Since its inception as a not-for-profit society with a mere handful of dedicated members, it has become a vibrant organization with charitable status, an active board and over one hundred volunteers. As an arts organization they have actively sought to raise awareness of British Columbia’s rich multicultural identity through theatrical events.

Cultural Ambassador Award Category – Ellie King

Ellie King has been making and presenting theatre, teaching, mentoring, consulting, serving on boards and volunteering in Surrey since the mid ‘80s. Through her many years of making theatre, Ellie has striven to redress the balance both on stage and as director/writer/producer. As a teacher and mentor, Ellie has been an innovator in this field, often volunteering her time. She was the first person to bring acting classes into Surrey Arts Centre in the mid 1980s. In terms of community involvement, Ellie partnered with the City of Surrey and together with the Royal Canadian Theatre Company, brought the first ever ‘Relaxed Performance’ staged at the Surrey Arts Centre in December 2017.

Philanthropy Award Category – Concord Pacific Development Inc.

Concord Pacific Development Inc. was formed in 1987. In the late 90’s, the group merged with the publicly listed Burcon Group, which controlled Oxford Properties that owned one of the largest office and retail portfolios in Canada. In the early 2000’s. Concord Pacific became a separate public company and was subsequently privatized. Beyond building homes and contributing parks, recreation facilities, amenities, school sites, seawall walkways and daycares, Concord supports the people in their communities through family-oriented events and charities, including Vancouver Jazz Festival, Surrey Fusion Festival, Surrey Tree Lighting and Indian Summer Festival. Concord Pacific has been supporting the Arts Umbrella since 1990. In 2012, Concord Pacific helped establish the Surrey Centre location of Arts Umbrella by donating funds to outfit the studio, providing rent-free space for many of Arts Umbrellas classes.

Legacy Award Category – Surrey Little Theatre

Surrey Little Theatre was established in June 1959 when the Greater Whalley Recreation Council sponsored a little theatre group, The North Surrey Thespians. Their focus is to provide low-cost entertaining productions for Surrey and the surrounding communities. They provide 3 major productions per year, plus offer a number of additional youth programs, shows, and camps. Over the 59 years that Surrey Little Theatre has been around, they have won multiple awards in many different categories from the Community Theatre Coalition, Fraser Valley Zone Festival and at the Theatre BC’s Main Stage. Today, Surrey Little Theatre thrives not just as a historic landmark, but as an award-winning theatre group producing quality entertainment and opportunities for youth for the surrounding community.

2017 Winners

Arts & Innovation Award – Surrey Youth Orchestra

The Surrey Youth Orchestra has a long history of bringing orchestral music training to children.  The Orchestra has been under the direction of founder Lucille Lewis for 35 years until 2011 when she retired and is now under the direction of Joel Stobbe and his conductors Ben Goheen and Andrea Taylor. Each September, more than 100 young musicians rehearse weekly from September to May, taking part in music camps, extended workshops, chamber music, and specialized instruction.

Cultural Ambassador – Mohammad Asimul Islam

Mohammad is the President of the Mother Language Lovers of the World Society, based in Surrey. For the past 10 years, he has worked tirelessly to promote and preserve linguistic diversity and cultural heritage within Surrey and throughout BC through the celebration of the International Mother Language Day (IMLD), recognized annually on February, 21st worldwide. In Surrey, every year approximately 70,000 students, representing 172 various mother language speakers have the opportunity to know about and celebrate their languages, identify their cultural heritage and share this with others. Mr. Islam’s work promotes diversity and respect for other cultures through cross-cultural sharing.

Philanthropy Award – Westminster Savings Credit Union

Westminster Savings is committed to increasing access to active living and the arts in their communities. They call this commitment Project Better Balance. The credit union’s philosophy is that participation in arts and active living leads to greater self-confidence, athletic development, personal expression, enhanced critical thinking and social reinforcement. Both staff and senior management at Westminster Savings provide outstanding support to their community partnerships by volunteering at a variety of public events, attending local initiatives and creating a number of opportunities to heighten awareness of the arts.

Legacy Award – Sheila McKinnon

Sheila’s choice of career was initially motivated by a desire to work with children and youth in high needs communities and to make a difference in the quality of people’s lives.  Sheila was recruited to work in Surrey from a large municipal organization in Ontario where community development was her strong suit. This year, retiring in her 22nd year, working for the City of Surrey, her legacy is found in the outcomes from the Cultural Capital of Canada Award programs. The Fusion Festival has become a catalyst for cultural sharing; the 6 public art installations beautify our spaces in Surrey, and the Surrey Civic Treasures Awards have given the city a sense of pride in the accomplishment of its highest achievers in the cultural sector.