Winterfest 2011

This just posted on the City of Surey’s website …

This year’s annual Winterfest event promises to be jam packed full of exciting activities and entertainment for festival goers of all ages,” said Mayor Dianne Watts. “The event will feature some of BC’s hottest bands including recording artists Hot Hot Heat and Peak Performance Project winner Kyprios, plus a broad mix of winter fun activities for the whole family.

Winter Fest in a free family event taking place on Saturday, February 26th at Central City Plaza located next to the Surrey Central Sky Train Station. Gates open at 12:00 noon with a special Olympic Flashback Celebration starting at 6:00 pm and Hot Hot heat taking the stage at 8:45 pm.Additional event highlights include:

•Outdoor synthetic-ice skating rink for free public skating
•Two performance stages
•Simulated curling centre
•Two toboggan runs
•Olympic Flashback Feature

Winterfest has become another Surrey signature event, one that is eagerly anticipated by Surrey residents of all ages,” said Councillor Linda Hepner, Chair of the Mayor’s 2010 Olympic Task Force. “The eyes of the world were focused on British Columbia for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games last February. Canada truly embraced these Games – in all corners of the country – and in Surrey, our Celebration Site was home to the RCMP Musical Ride and some of the greatest performers in the country, generating record attendance and earning the distinction of Entertainment Event of the Year in BC.

Check out the City of Surrey’s website for further details.

Bursting at the Seams

Surrey’s schools are bursting at the seams.

According the City’s first Corporate Report of 2011 the enrolment for the 2010/2011 school year is up 845 students from the previous year. The increase is the equivalent of two elementary schools.

But the only schools that have opened in 2010-2011 have been on the books prior to 2006 and as of now, no more schools in Surrey are planned.

So what does this mean? Our children will continue to be taught in portables.

In 2010, there are 206 portables at 45 different schools in Surrey. Every high school in Surrey has at least one portable, and five have more than 10. By 2015, if schools aren’t built, it is expected that there will be 266 portables, more if you add pre-kindergarten.
Given that there are no schools on the drawing board, portables at every school will be a reality.

Being taught in portables is not a desirable learning environment. But the issue is bigger than that.

Schools are funded by the Provincial Government. They have two pots of money: one for capital investment and one for operations. Schools are built through capital investment. Even though Surrey is the largest school district in BC and one of the few that is growing, the Province has not shown any plans to invest in needed infrastructure in Surrey.

When you hear that the Province funds everyone equally, they are talking about the operations funding provided per child: $6740 (plus supplemental grants for special needs). Instead of spending the $6740 per child for programming and supplies as part of their learning experience, the Surrey School District must supply portables. With 206 portables currently in use in Surrey, that means $20,600,000 has been taken away from students just to provide them with classrooms.

Does that seem fair to you?

Mayor Watts and Surrey City Council discussed this issue at the Council meeting on January 10, 2011. They don’t think it is fair and will be speaking with the Surrey Board of Education and the Minister of Education.

You can help, too.

Please contact your local MLA. The largest school district in BC needs capital investment in schools now for the future.

Rapper “Rick Ross” at Central City

Rapper “Rick Ross” To Sign Autographs At Central City, Friday January 14, 2011.

Blackwood Partners and Central City, in conjunction with Johnstar Clothing are hosting an autograph session with Miami rapper, Rick Ross. From 4pm – 6pm he will be on location at Johnstar Clothing located in the upper east section of Central City Shopping Centre in Surrey.  Those who purchase articles of clothing from Johnstar will be placed in a priority line up for autograph signing. In addition, photo opportunities are available with Rick Ross in front of a Sean John Clothing media backdrop.

TEFLON DON is more than just the title of the new fourth album by Def Jam recording artist Rick Ross – it’s a title of respect earned the hard way by the man who ruled Miami’s underground rap scene, and then came out of the shadows to make the three biggest scores of his career – when his first three albums all entered the Soundscan chart at #1 in 2006 (Port Of Miami), 2008 (Trilla), and 2009 (Deeper Than Rap). 

Rick will be performing live in Vancouver at the Gossip Night Club following the autograph signing.

 For information on Rick Ross visit:

Things are developing in Surrey City Centre

And how fast are things happening? Very fast.

If you have looked at the plans for the new Civic Centre in Surrey there is no question that Sunrise Pavilion, the senior’s centre for Whalley, is not in the plans. However, the seniors were told there was time before they would need to be relocated.

Within the last two weeks, the seniors and several other stakeholder groups in the community were advised that the relocation was going to take place much sooner than they had anticipated.  If plans go as scheduled, the seniors’ programs will be moved from Sunrise Pavilion to Chuck Bailey Centre in September 2011.

This move is necessary as the new road (103 Avenue) and the underground parking planned as part of the new Civic Development will substantially decrease the parking in the area until the development is complete. The lack of parking will impact the ability of the seniors to use the building.

Chuck Bailey Centre will be renovated to accommodate the move.  So in addition to the Youth Skate Park taking shape at the south end of the facility, there will also be an addition to the year-old facility as  most of the patio on the second floor is enclosed to add space for the senior’s arts equipment, billiards tables and multi-purpose space. Lots of building going on!

Laurie Cavan, General Manager of Parks & Recreation for the City of Surrey, will be meeting with the seniors’ groups as well as the community in January 2011 to insure that their needs are being addressed before the move takes place.  

Given the growth of the area, additional expansion of the Chuck Bailey Centre is predicted.

Concord Pacific

Concord Pacific Comes to City Centre

Canada’s largest developer joins the future-forward team of community builders in Surrey’s downtown core with Park Place, its latest master-planned community. With the first two of six towers slated for completion in late June 2011, Concord Pacific will play a leading role in creating livable and sustainable urban ‘villages’ in Surrey. This strongly aligns with the City’s and community’s vision of a Live-Work-Play environment.

“In the next 20 years, more than a million people will come to the Lower Mainland and 70% will be going south of the Fraser,” says Grant Murray, VP of Sales for Concord Pacific Developments Inc. “We look at all areas that have great opportunity where we can build a whole community and City Centre is an ideal location with a clear vision for a city core, incredible amenities, spectacular views, and easy access to major arterial routes and Skytrain.

“We’re defining a different kind of lifestyle; an urban environment with highrises, parks, entertainment, shopping, performing arts, concentrated in a small area which gives vibrancy to the city core.”

“When you work with a city with a Master Plan you get to be very purposeful; a very unique situation,” says Peter Udzenija, Manager of Project Marketing, and

Project Manager for Park Place. “The 6,000 professional people coming into the Surrey city core through the RCMP, Fraser Health, and major businesses, will experience a whole new diverse urban community. We’ve been blown away by what’s going on here.”

The City’s and senior governments’ $5billion dollar investment in Surrey’s infrastructure in the last few years, including SFU, City Hall, Holland Park, hospital expansions, Central City Tower, roads upgrade, main library, rec centre, festivals, and civic plaza, has set the stage for a planned city core unique in the world.

 Concord Pacific is committed to building 2300 suites in six City Centre towers. The three-quarters-sold two current towers will reach 36 stories with 700 suites at an affordable range of prices and sizes and offer amenities like concierge, fitness, theatres, and bowling alley.


PriceWaterhouseCoopers Cashes In On City Centre

Price WaterhouseCoopers is marking its hundred years of excellence serving Canada’s accounting and financial needs with a major move to Surrey’s Central City Tower in summer, 2011. For the first time, the downtown Vancouver and Guildford offices of this worldwide business financials giant will be brought together on the 14th floor. By summer 2012, their full complement of 150 industry specialists will be part of a rapidly growing population of professionals and services enjoying Central City Tower’s billion-dollar view.

“This is a highly desirable area and building, and a magnet for other businesses in the future. We wanted to be part of it as early as possible,” says Rod Johnston, corporate finance specialist and Managing Partner of Price Waterhouse’s Guildford location. “ We specifically focused on the Central City Tower as the best one to be in with its proximity to SFU, Skytrain, City Hall, and its future as the financial hub of the Lower Mainland. This is a very strategic move for us.

“The Central City Tower is the best office tower in all of BC in terms of quality and the view is better than anything in downtown Vancouver or anywhere in the Lower Mainland.”

Begun in 1849 in the UK and 1907 in Canada, PriceWaterhouseCoopers International Ltd is one of the “big four” accounting firms with 766 offices in a worldwide network of 154,000 people in 153 countries, and more than 5,200 partners and staff across Canada. In 2008 PWC collectively generated US$25.2 billion in aggregated revenues.

Mayor Watts

Mayor Watts – Looking Forward to the New Year

Mayor Watts gave us an early Christmas present when she announced she would be running for another term as Mayor of Surrey and not jumping into Provincial politics.

Over the last five years, Watts has grown into her role a Mayor and leader for our City. Recently she was recognized worldwide as the 4th best Mayor in the World.

When asked what her immediate plans are, she replied, “The redevelopment of our town centres and the City Centre certainly is top of mind. The transportation issues are absolutely key and making sure that our Economic Investment Action Plan is really positioned in a way where we are attracting the jobs that we need to have within the City of Surrey to insure that our population has jobs close to home”

Watts has identified “the funding of transportation and the need for extensive transportation South of the Fraser” as the key challenges looking forward to 2011.

“The challenge is that mega projects were implemented in other areas of the Lower Mainland which we all support. Now is the time for South of the Fraser to have that infrastructure. We can be very innovative and very flexible. We don’t need these multibillion dollar Cadillac infrastructure pieces. We can do a lot with looking in our community and looking at how we connect it internally because 80% of the trips are within the South of the Fraser region.”

Surrey is investing in City Centre with the new Library and City Hall. There are plans for a performing arts centre and the eventual relocation of the North Surrey Arena. The City will continue to invest special events, like Fusion Fest and Winterfest. But the City can’t do everything. 

“I would definitely like to partner with both the provincial and federal governments on a performing arts centre, on a convention centre and most certainly looking at different types of infrastructure. We have been very lucky in terms of securing dollars for roads and bridges and that type of hard infrastructure but now we need to look at our arts and culture.”

 With a young and growing population, Watts identifies education as another challenge for the upcoming year. “We really need to make sure that we are properly funded in terms of education and capital plans for building additional schools.”

Another project Watts has identified for 2011 is the entrance or gateway to Surrey from New Westminster. “One of the areas that we really need to foster is the businesses in the Bridgeview area. I think that has continued to be a challenge and working more closely with those businesses is key to all of us moving forward. “

When talking about the people of Surrey, Watts feels that “In the City of Surrey we are extraordinarily blessed to have the kind of volunteers and the business community that we have. I think that in everything that we do, from creating events and festivals, business events, everybody participates. It speaks to the Surrey Spirit and who we are as a community. I am very proud what we have been able to accomplish over the years and I would encourage people to continue with that, because the most valuable thing you can give of yourself is time.”

Watts has modest personal goals for 2011. “I’m looking forward to some time off with my family. As we know next year is an election year so I’ll have my little break in the spring and that is about it.”

Big Rigs for Kids

Big Rigs for Kids Parade Poster 2010 low res

This Sunday, December 5 there is a new event happening at Holland Park. Lighted Big Rigs from around BC will be arriving in Downtown Surrey at 6:30 and will be staying until just after 8 pm.

In addition to special guests, Mr. & Mrs. Claus, there will be music, facepainting and other surprises.

Bring an unwrapped toy or some non-perishable food or even cash donations. The Surrey Christmas Bureau and the Surrey Food Bank will be on hand to collect your contributions.

Together we can create a more sustainable Downtown Surrey!

The Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association (DSBIA) recognizes that, as sustainability has grown in importance within the City of Surrey and the Lower Mainland as a whole, there are many opportunities for business to get involved in initiatives and work towards greater sustainability.

It’s not about being perfectly sustainable tomorrow – it’s about making more sustainable choices more often. Putting sustainability on your to do list can help you save money on your energy, water and waste bills as well as help you attract the growing number of consumers that would rather buy sustainable products and services.

How can you get started? Assess where you are at and set goals for the future. For example, if you want to tackle energy use, first you should measure your current energy usage and set a goal for reduction (ex: 10% reduction over the following year).

See the list below for a sample of the many tips and resources available to businesses. Pick one…get started today!


  • Upgrade to energy efficient technology and save money on your energy bill! (lights, refrigerators, stoves etc.
    • Get a rebate from BC Hydro’s Product Incentive Program  or 1 866 522 4731 Example: BC Hydro offers a $55 incentive for businesses to upgrade from a Incandescent Exit Sign to a LED Exit Sign
  • Turn off appliances when not in use
  • Plug everything into a switchable power bar and switch off at night
  • Improve the insulation of your building – ex caulk / weather strip windows and doors
  • Check out more tips: Power Smart Tips for saving energy in your business
  • Restaurants, check out Restaurant Energy Saving Tips (Washington State University Extension Energy Program)


  • Default your printer to double sided printing
  • Buy products with less packaging
  • Buy recycled materials – ex paper products: recycled printing paper, napkins, toilet paper
  • Consider recycling non refundable plastics and metal
  • Restaurants: be sure to recycle your oil 
  • Restaurants: offer optional smaller portions on your menu, provide incentives for people to bring their own take out containers
  • Check out other waste reduction tips at: Quick Tips: Waste Prevention Ideas That Save You $$$
  • Restaurants also check out: Food for thought – Waste reduction in the Restaurant Industry (Greater Vancouver Regional District)





Feel free to leave your comments, questions, or suggestions below!

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