The March 2020 AGM offered a glance back to 2019 in a
‘Year In Review’

2019 was an exciting 52nd year for the Arts Council of Surrey (ACS). January started off by featuring Balwinder Singh Slatch & Seetal Singh Punni show “Colour of Life” in the ACS gallery from January 3 – 30.

Local artists were featured in Member of Parliament Sukh Dhaliwal’s constituency office in January, which allowed for selected artists to have some great exposure.

The Youth Arts Council of Surrey (YACOS) started off the year right with the Annual YACOS Artist’s Garage Sale on Saturday, January 12 in the Newton Cultural Centre (NCC) black box theatre. This event is a great opportunity for both hobbyist and experienced artists to find some cool art supplies and other unique finds for an affordable cost.

Susan Snow a much loved colleague who passed away in September of 2018 was very much involved with the Surrey Festival of Dance Society activities each year. This was the first Festival without Susan present and it was clear how much she was missed by all. Performing Arts BC awarded Susan Snow for her distinguished service to the performing arts in 2018, her daughter Patty and son David went on stage to receive the reward.

2019 EVENTS…

ROUND TABLE 2019 The ACS hosted its first ever Round Table event in the ACS Black Box Theatre on Saturday June 1. This free event was a great opportunity for ACS Member Groups and Surrey Arts Organizations to come together and commence with City of Surrey’s Arts and Cultural leaders Todd Ayotte, Cultural Development Coordinator, and Liane Davison, Manager of Culture. Some of the topics discussed during the event were, Surrey’s ten year strategic plan for Parks, Recreation and Culture and barriers organizations face in qualifying for grants and how to secure grant funding from the BC Arts Council.

Just Gates 2019 is a juried exhibition created by the Arts Council of Surrey (ACS). The exhibition is featured in the Newton Cultural Centre from April 3 – 28. The exhibition called for artists to create images of gates which was open for interpretation. This allowed for artist to dig deep and decide how they interrupt the word which allows for a vast variety of creativity shown.

Surrey International Children’s Festival took place from May 24 – 26. The ACS teamed up with the Surrey International Children’s Festival to help find a variety of talent for the Community Spirit Stage. The weather was amazing, and the event was a great success. The festival has a variety of entertainment for all ages including lots of cool free activities that help promote creativity in youth.

Arts 2019 is a juried exhibition where the Arts Council of Surrey teams up with the Surrey Art Gallery to invite artists to enter artwork. The artwork is based off the criteria that artists make artwork for different reasons and different experiences. This is one of the most requested art competitions each year and 2019 was the thirty-fifth year. The exhibition ran from June 29 – August 31.

Cloverdale Market Days is a market that takes place in the downtown core of Cloverdale. The Arts Council of Surrey teams up with the Cloverdale Arts and Entertainment Association to help bring more artists to the market to be seen amongst all the various vendors. With an average of about twenty-five thousand visitors to the market it’s a great opportunity for exposure. The market was held on May 25, June 22, July 27, August 24, and September 21.

Canada Day 2019 featured a variety of activities for children and families to partake in while visiting the ACS tent. There is a steady flow of visitors throughout the day. The Surrey Canada Day celebration is hosted at the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre in Cloverdale and features a vast variety of activities for all ages, a great selection of food trucks, amusement park rides, and performances.

Fusion Festival 2019 takes place at Holland Park in Surrey from July 20 – 21. The Canada Pavilion is home for both the Arts Council of Surrey and Association Francophone de Surrey during the festival. The ACS comes together with the Association Francophone de Surrey to create a pavilion that best represents what Canada is all about. This year’s theme was Canadian Sweets which meant that we were responsible for featuring recipes and images of sweets from all ten provinces and three territories.

The ACS GALLERY is featured in the Newton Cultural Centre which is home to the Arts Council of Surrey. The gallery features different artists, art groups, and ACS art competitions on a monthly rotation. ACS members have a chance to apply to the gallery each year at the end of September to be considered for the following year. A variety of art forms where shown over 2019 in the gallery such as photography, paintings, drawings, mixed media, literature, art installations, and sculpture.

Paint the Train 2 is an art competition between the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway and the Arts Council of Surrey. The theme for the competition is the interurban railway. Artists are asked to visit the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway to better understand how the interurban railway played a big part in Canada’s history. The artists for 2019 worked very hard to capture the importance of remembering the past and what the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway is all about. The artist reception was held at the Newton Cultural Centre on September 26.

The Work of Art Conference 2019 is an annual conference held each year at the Newton Cultural Centre in the early Fall. The conference is a full day event including lunch, the theme for 2019 was “Make Your Art – Make Money!” The conference took place on Saturday October 19, 9:00am – 5:00pm. This event is a great chance for artists to come and learn from a lot of professionals in their practice including meeting other talented people. The ACS does its best to utilize the whole building for the conference and speakers specialized in various fields of art such as visual, performing, and literary arts.

ACS Christmas Card Art and Words Competition 2019 is a juried competition that features artwork and words created by artists to capture the warmth and love of the holiday season. Artwork is featured in the Newton Cultural Centre from November 30 – December 14. One winning piece will be selected from both the art entries and word entries submitted. With such a vast selection of beautiful pieces it is hard for the ACS jury to decide the winning pieces for the competition. The winning pieces get featured in the ACS December Spotlight Edition. Twenty-five greeting cards made up with the winning artwork winning verse are given to both winning artists. The cards are also sent to all ACS members to wish them a Happy Holiday!

Awards & Recognition’s 2019

Of course the evening highlights were the awarding of the ‘Outstanding Service to the Arts’ to photographer Helmut Gruntorad and the ‘Business & the Arts’ to John Kearns, GM of Sheraton Vancouver Guildford. Grant recipients were also presented their ACS Grants for 2020. In all, the evening was a fun and fitting salute to public meetings.

Helmut Gruntorad [L], Carol Girardi [C] John Kearns [R] | Photo: Ursula Maxwell Lewis


Each year at the AGM, the ACS awards Grants to member groups to use towards the promotion of their work and members and the promotion of art in Surrey.

AGM 2020 ACS Grant Recipients
Title & Grant Photo: Helmut Gruntorad