The Arts Council of Surrey has been working on behalf of the arts community for more than forty years and each year continues to expand its scope of service and influence. It exists to create awareness, appreciation and pride in the artistic and cultural achievements of our community. The Arts Council is a registered non-profit organization under the direction of a voluntary Board and a part-time executive director appointed in 2006. As part of our community outreach program, the ACS often seeks partnership with other entities such as the Surrey Arts Centre, City Tourism, the School Board, Board of Trade, and sponsors from the business sector.

As of December 2009, our membership included: individual members, associate members, honourary, business, Business sponsors, member groups (whose total individual members number in the tens of thousands). Their contributions to the arts have a positive effect on the lives of many thousands of people in our community. We also support of a strong body of volunteers.

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The Arts Council sponsors and produces more than 15 events each year in addition to participating in community events such as the City of Surrey Fusion Festival and Children’s Festival, the Surrey Association of Art Teachers student exhibit, the Cloverdale Blueberry Festival and various other community events.

Our priority issues in 2009 focus on youth, partnerships and facility needs. Our primary sources of funding are the B.C. Arts Council and membership fees.

For some years the Arts Council and the City had been concerned that our youth were being under-serviced and under-appreciated as artists and performers. In 2006 we were presented with the opportunity to address that issue. The Arts Council of Surrey and the Surrey Arts Centre, co-partnered on a project to address our concerns and to fulfill some of the City’s Cultural Strategic Plan’s recommendations regarding youth participation. The main objective was to provide funding for development of a Surrey Youth Arts Council. A proposal from a professional theatre director and producer promised a high caliber community musical theatre revue using amateur performers, mentored by professionals. The show evolved into Let Me Sing: A musical tribute to Irving Berlin, a ten day community event that enjoyed 82% ticket sales, and involved the participation of 600 volunteers including 14 elementary school choirs, and twenty-seven youth cast members. On and off-stage, Surrey Youth were given the opportunity to work with professional actors and technicians.

The Let Me Sing project raised funds sufficient to support new initiatives for the Youth Arts Council of Surrey. The estimated thirty-five thousand youth in Surrey between the ages of 14 and 21 are the target population for these initiatives. The opportunity was be open to all youth in Surrey to get involved, create, make art, and perform! Some of these youth driven programs will be open to the public, so family and friends will see the benefits of these creative experiences. Artists, community business people, and the community as a whole benefit, through their roles as mentors and supporters.

Arts Council of Surrey
13530 - 72nd Avenue, Surrey, V3W 2P1
Phone:  604-594-2700  Fax:  604-592-6763

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TWITTER: @SurreyArts

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Executive Committee
President: Carol Girardi
Vice President: Maxine Howchin
Treasurer:Cathy James

2016 Directors At Large
Patricia Dahlquist
Ellie King
Marc Pelech
Mary-Lou Williams
Jean Blackburn
Carol Poole

Alternative Directors
Bonnie Burnside
Barbara Gould
Sylvia Taylor
Elizabeth Carefoot
James Crosty





To promote and foster the arts - literary, performing and visual - in the City of Surrey.

The purpose of the ACS is to:
-Create awareness, appreciation and pride in the cultural and artistic achievements of our community
-Coordinate, develop, sponsor or produce activities related to the Arts
-Work with the Mayor and City Council to find ways to fund arts programs and facilities in Surrey
-Create programs and events that will ensure the sustainability of the Youth Arts Council (YACOS)
Act as a resource center to provide information to the Arts Community
-Encourage the development local emerging talent in the Performing, Visual and Literary Arts
-Lobby for the construction, development or improvement of Arts facilities
-Research and coordinate Grant opportunities on the behalf of member groups

The City of Surrey is a vibrant, healthy community that respects, honours and supports its artists, and that celebrates and includes its cultural diversity.

Brief History of the organization and its role in the community

In 1965, a parents group recognized that there was an urgent need for a facility that would serve as a rehearsal hall and social gathering place for children and members of the emerging arts community. These pioneers formed the Surrey Arts Council, raised funds and literally built the first community arts center on the site of what is now the Surrey Arts Centre in Bear Creek Park. Thirty years later, the renamed Arts Council of Surrey donated a Yamaha Grand Piano to the Surrey Arts Centre.

Over time the Arts Council has initiated, developed and/or sponsored groups that have become self-sustainable, some of which are:
· Surrey Festival of Dance (now in its 41st year) is one of North America’s largest Dance Festivals with over 10,000 participants
· The Fraser Valley Gilbert and Sullivan Society, who have been presenting their very successful pantomimes and operettas at the Surrey Arts Centre for 20 years
· The Surrey Youth Orchestra whose string quartets and jazz groups entertain as volunteers at many public events.
· Surrey International Writers’ Conference is the 3rd largest such event held in North America attended by more than 600 participants of local and international writers.
· Surrey Rockhound Club holds workshops for thousands of school children each year.

As part of its innovative programming the Arts Council brought the arts to sports through art exhibitions and sales at the PGA Golf Tournament at Northview Golf and Country Club, and since 1994 to Fraser Downs Raceway.

Within the community the Arts Council has created outreach programs involving Business and the Arts at Central City Shopping Centre, Tourism Surrey, Surrey Board of Trade, the Sheraton Guildford Hotel, and other commercial venues. In smaller business venues, local and emerging artists are given the opportunity to display their works through the Arts for Display Program. The Arts Council of Surrey is proud of its ongoing relationship with the Surrey Arts Centre through programs such as the ARTS 2000 series and Youth Arts Council programs.


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