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City Enhances Plan for Arts and Culture in Surrey

Public art outside Newton Cultural Centre.

May 29, 2012

Surrey – The City of Surrey has a new and enhanced focus on arts, culture and heritage preservation following the adoption of two key strategic plans at last night’s Council meeting. The Surrey Cultural Plan and Surrey Public Art Plan will guide community planning and development, and are designed to create a more dynamic city.

“Our new Cultural Plan will create a more vibrant, cohesive city, and provides us with the tools we need to enrich our cultural programs and services,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “We want to build iconic art, create a sense of community, and ensure that cultural industries continue to be a significant component of our local economy.”

The City underwent an extensive public consultation process during the creation of the plan, which included community arts, culture, heritage, sport, diversity, education and business groups. The new Cultural Plan has six goals:

  • Enhance the City Centre: relates to locating iconic public art and developing a major new cultural centre
  • Enhance Town Centres: describes improved access to cultural services by creating town centre-based cultural spaces, programming and unique public art features
  • Enhance Sense of Community: includes phase two of the Surrey Museum and expediting the decentralization of arts and heritage services
  • Enhance Community Involvement Potential: describes the need for a City Cultural Granting Program
  • Enhance the Economy: relates to preparing and implementing a Cultural Economic Development Plan, a Cultural Marketing Plan and adopting policies that support artists including creating affordable arts space
  • Enhance City Efforts: pertains to ensuring the City’s resources and capacity are sufficient to implement the recommendations of the Plan

“The arts play an integral role in connecting people and building strong communities, so we want Surrey to continue to be a cultural leader in the Province,” says Councillor Judy Villeneuve, Chair of the Culture Development Advisory Committee and Chair of the Public Art Advisory Committee.

The City also adopted a new Public Art Plan at last night’s council meeting which refines a plan for incorporating public art into existing and new civic infrastructure being constructed through the Build Surrey Program.

The plan calls for new art in each of the town centres, including:

  • Fleetwood Park Gardens
  • Bear Creek Park
  • City Centre Art Walking Loop
  • City Greenways as a Linear Sculpture Park
  • Creating a Cultural Corridor along King George Boulevard between 68th Avenue and 108th Avenue

“We will continue to create unique public art throughout the city to help build character and shape the identity of our communities and town centres,” says Mayor Watts.

The City’s current Civic Public Art Program applies to all new civic facilities and major renovations to existing public facilities. The artwork is funded out of the project budget at a rate of 1.25% of the construction value. All infrastructure being constructed by the City including pools, arenas, recreation centres, libraries, fire halls, and RCMP buildings is subject to such a contribution.

To download a copy of the Cultural Plan, please visit:

To download a copy of the Public Art Plan, please visit:

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Media Contact:

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor

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