Skip to content

White Rock resident, Surrey photographer among 3 Surrey ‘Spark’ Program winners

Funding will help Lise Hines focus on food tasting tours in the area

A White Rock resident is one of three Surrey “Spark” Program winners.

The program, which awards $3,000 seed-grant money and mentorship to help White Rock and Surrey entrepreneurs who have new and innovative tourism ideas, announced the winning recipients Thursday (Nov. 24).

White Rock resident Lise Hines won for her ‘With the Chef’ idea that focuses on elevating foodie tourism in the area.

By partnering with local high-end restaurants, Hines carefully curates guided tasting tours that highlight local top chefs and menus with her Chew on This Tasty Tours. These include an 11-course tasting dinner with chef Vikram Vij at My Shanti in South Surrey.

“She provides an elevated dining experience that highlights local chefs, restaurants and hotels – it appeals to residents and visitors and showcases businesses in the area, too,” said Angeline Chew, executive director of Discover Surrey.

Surrey resident Kris Cu, a passionate young birder and photographer who works as a photographer with Birds Canada, won the seed funding for his personal, guided bird tours.

“Surrey is one of the best bird watching places for winter water fowl,” Chew said.

“Birding really boomed during COVID and he knows where all the owls and birds are.”

READ ALSO: South Surrey photography club looking for more members

The third recipient, Emily Hinrichs, has a plan that’s more in the idea stage right now, Chew said.

Hinrichs plans to partner and mentor with First Nations groups to create an Indigenous-themed, environmentally friendly and inclusive playground and eventually, introduce things like Indigenous guided walking tours.

A collaborative partnership initiative between Discover Surrey, Destination BC and the Tourism Innovation Lab, the Surrey “Spark” Mentorships & Grants program’s goal is to find, foster and support new tourism ideas, experiences and partnerships that will enhance current offerings, address gaps or challenges, motivate travel and longer stays, and increase year-round visits in the region.

Six applications were received; the top five presented their ideas at a virtual pitch session Nov. 23.

“Congratulations to the winners of the Surrey “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program and thank you to all who submitted their concepts and ideas for consideration,” Chew said.

“We hope that these exciting mentorships and grants will aid in bringing these innovative ideas to market, and further enhance Surrey’s tourism experiences. Discover Surrey can’t wait to work with the winners to help make these creative ideas a reality in Surrey.

For more information visit


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’m a lifelong writer, and worked as a journalist in community newspapers for more than a decade, from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey, from 2001-2012
Read more