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City Recognized for Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

April 18, 2011

Surrey, BC - The City of Surrey received an award at the 16th Annual Cultural DIVERSEcity Awards on Wednesday (April 13th) in the Public Institutions category. The City was recognized for its commitment and dedication to diversity through City programs, events and community development outreach initiatives.

“Surrey’s diverse social fabric is one of our greatest strengths and it’s an integral part of our identity,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “We work hard to create an inclusive workplace, and it’s important to engage residents and ensure they feel welcomed, supported and empowered.”

As the second largest City in BC Surrey is one of the most diverse communities in Canada. The City has a wide range of programs and services for residents adapted to various cultural groups. The City strives to create a welcoming environment for newcomers and has outreach programs for all age groups, needs and abilities. The City of Surrey's Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee’s mandate is to enhance and celebrate diversity and inclusion and to advance Surrey as a welcoming and inclusive community for all.

“We are proud to accept the Cultural DIVERSEcity Award, which honours our commitment to embracing diversity and offering innovative services and programs that promote inclusion,” says Councillor Barinder Rasode, Chair of the City of Surrey's Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee. “We celebrate the many cultures that exist in Surrey and promote unity by recognizing that we are all more similar than we are different."

The City has demonstrated its commitment to diversity through an integrated City-wide approach including innovative cultural policies and programs established to engage all cultures or Surrey’s diverse community including:

• the diversity policy and inclusive policy and gender equity policy

• Sustainability Charter, (social cultural pillar), Social Well Being Plan

• engaging with the community with the Diversity and Inclusive Committee and with the Social Planning Committee

The City also has a number of community events in support of diversity. The annual Fusion Festival is well attended each year and brings together many distinct cultural groups hosting 40 international pavilions, presenting music, food, costume and dance. The City also hosts a series of City Hall Cultural celebrations throughout the year marking significant cultural days, it has a devoted an intercultural website, and conducts facility tours for new residents to recreation facilities, libraries, arts centres and museum with support from an interpreter. The City has unique inclusive and accessible options to recreation programs using trained volunteers and staff, volunteer programs and employment opportunities.

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For further information contact:

Laurie Cavan
General Manager
Parks, Recreation & Culture
City of Surrey
(604) 598-5765