Surrey’s Zhao family earned a 2020 Civic Distinction Award for their work to keep the city clean. (submitted photo)

Surrey’s Zhao family earned a 2020 Civic Distinction Award for their work to keep the city clean. (submitted photo)

Civic Distinction Awards for 30-plus Surrey people, groups and projects

Read about all the winners in arts, heritage, sports, ‘Heart’ and other categories

Close to three dozen Surrey-area residents, groups and projects were given Civic Distinction Awards during a virtual ceremony on Thursday evening (Dec. 10), for “outstanding contributions to the City over the last three years.”

The City of Surrey-planned online gathering, hosted by Olympian Charmaine Crooks, featured entertainment by Krystle Dos Santos, George Leach, Kwel Eng Sen Dancers and Royal Academy of Bhangra.

Award winners were announced in several categories, including Arts & Heritage, Design, Beautification & Enhancement, Heart, Sport Tourism, Environmental and Mayor’s Choice.

(Story continues below video of the awards event)

The complete list of 2020 Civic Distinction Awards winners, with biographies, is shown in a 44-page PDF posted to the city’s website, surrey.ca.

At the Dec. 8 city council meeting, Jim Bennett was named Surrey’s Good Citizen of the Year for his community work over the past 30 years.

Details about Surrey’s awards programs are posted to surrey.ca/awards.

Posted below are winners of Surrey’s 2020 Civic Distinction Awards, with bios submitted by award presenters:

BEAUTIFICATION & ENHANCEMENT AWARDS

OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY GROUP: WRAPAROUND PROJECT STUDENTS UNDER LEADERSHIP FROM JONATHAN ROSS, FOR THEIR PROJECT: COMMON-UNITY

Utilizing the colours from the medicine wheel, this mural is intended to showcase positivity and racial inclusivity in the City of Surrey. It also allowed brought to life the vision of artist Chris Perez and his desire to give a voice to marginalized groups and promote a sense of community connectedness and inclusion. The mural allowed an opportunity to engage youth from the Surrey Wraparound Project who had an interest in art and also provided them the ability to spend the summer taking part in this exciting project. As Jon Ross said, “Most of these youth experienced discrimination in some form and this allowed them to give their voice some kind of permanence and to feel like they’ve been heard, and they belong.”

OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL: ABDUL HAQ AMARKHIL AND FAMILY

The Amarkhil family contribute regularly, sometimes even weekly, to the City of Surrey through their clean ups at Cougar Creek Park and the adjacent school grounds. This small family is making a big different in their local parks.

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS

OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL: RECIPIENT WISHES TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS.

This is a recipient whose work is described as being a guardian angel. This individual takes note of downed trees, illegal dumping, litter, wet sections of the path, weeds and so much more. He has organized countless planting events, invasive plant removal events, annual open houses and public outreach. His works extends for over 16 years, working to ensure that not only his community benefits from the health of the forest but the entire City and our residents. presentations at Semiahmoo Senior Secondary to the Ecology club. All this is done with the most cheerful demeanor and a huge smile!

OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY GROUP: LITTLE CAMPBELL WATERSHED SOCIETY

The Little Campbell Watershed Society (LCWS) focuses on activities to preserve, enhance and restore fish, wildlife, water resources and green space within the Little Campbell River Watershed. The society volunteers regularly engage in clean ups along the Little Campbell river, Boundary Bay and Semiahmoo Bay. They engage in native plant species planting to enhance the watershed and encourage plant diversity. LCWS holds open house days and educational events to help the public understand and get involved with caring for the environment. The society is currently also involved in helping to bring salmon back into the smaller creeks that feed into the Little Campbell River.

HEART AWARDS

OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL: SIMRYN ATWAL

Simryn has made it her mission to ensure that mental health information and services are accessible to the Surrey community. Simryn is the youngest ever Kids Help Phone Surrey regional chair and vice-chair and launched her own registered non-profit, Bridge the Gap Mental Health Association, aimed at improving accessibility to mental health resources for marginalized communities across B.C. She has worked with the Surrey School Board to present educational programming for hundreds of elementary and secondary school students to help connect students with free local counselling services. Simryn works to amplify at-risk voices in this sector, and always has new ideas and actions to help respond to identified needs.

OUTSTANDING GROUP: EMPOWER THE FUTURE, LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT

Under the leadership of Shawna Narayan, a 24-year-old Medal of Good Citizenship Recipient, Empower The future aims to support Surrey’s inner-city high school students with the transition from high school to post-secondary life. Their team has mentored over 1000 students & spearheaded 3 initiatives to support students. The Life After High School project tackles 5 topics: dealing with financial stress; finding information about post-secondary education; preparing to enter the workforce; searching for volunteer opportunities; & caring for yourself.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: GARRY SASS & DIANNA SEARS

Married couple Garry Sass and Dianna Sears are exceptional outstanding members of society and contributors in Surrey. Dianna and Garry have made outstanding contributions to Surrey’s youth and seniors and together an unstoppable force of giving and community spirit. Over the years, they have dedicated their time to running a leadership camp for youth, coaching baseball, working with the Salvation Army, holding an executive seat within the Rotary Club, hosting a Senior’s Christmas dinner, volunteering to create the Kaboom Playground at Hjorth Road Elementary and helping to develop the Starfish Backpack Program. When asked why Garry enjoys volunteering, he answered “I enjoy giving back selflessly to both the local community and International Community.” Dianna particularly enjoys helping younger youth develop skills they have and may not be aware of and introducing the model “service above self.” Both Dianna and Garry would like to acknowledge the groups they are a part of saying that they ‘simply couldn’t do it without the support of these groups.’

ARTS & HERITAGE AWARDS

LITERARY ARTS: FAUZIA RAFIQUE

In addition to being a novelist, poet and community organizer and presenter, Fauzia has worked as a screenwriter and journalist in Pakistan before moving to Canada in 1986. Since 2011, she has published three novels and two collections of poetry in English and Punjabi. Her novels Skeena (2011), The Adventures of Saheban (2016), and Keeru 2020) weave together cultures and literary genres with themes of migration, identity, women’s rights, and religious and systemic oppression. In 2012, she was awarded by the Writer’s International Network with Canada’s Distinguished Novelist & Poet Award. Rafique is also very active as a cultural organizer. She is a founder and coordinator of Surrey Muse, a community group dedicated to promoting different forms of art and literature in Surrey.

PERFORMING ARTS: CAROL SEITZ

Carol Seitz has been an integral part of the Arts in Surrey for many years; being a dance teacher and choreographer for over 45 years. She is a premier teacher of tap and musical theatre in Surrey. Carol has been very supportive of the community with her dance studio Classic Steps Stage Productions performing at events such as Canada Day, The Millennial Celebration, Surrey International Children’s Festival, and Cloverdale Market Days just to name a few. She has taught at elementary schools, high schools and community centres. Her dance studio has encouraged many ages to enjoy and thrive in their chosen Art form.

VISUAL ARTS: ROBERT MICHENER AND ANN NELSON

Painters, Robert Michener and his wife, Ann Nelson have lived in Surrey for many years, and are well known for their gentle images that express their experiences of the natural landscape. Robert Michener was raised in rural Minnesota, which had a profound impact on his painting. He wrote “I chose to paint landscape because of my boyhood intimacy with nature and because I believe that the most urgent challenge facing humanity is to discover a viable way to live with nature.” He is represented in more than 200 public, private and corporate collections. Ann Nelson is a Surrey-based-artist whose work explores the BC landscape, with a particular interest in the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island as well as the Lower Mainland. Her works can be found in private and public collections across Canada, in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

HERITAGE EDUCATION AND INTERPRETATION: DIANE JOHNSON: “ARCHIVAL TRANSCRIPTION”

Diane Johnson has volunteered at the Surrey Archives for over a decade. With a strong passion for preserving and sharing Surrey’s history, she volunteered over 1,000 hours last year alone. Her time is spent transcribing rare and historically valuable archival records preserved for the City of Surrey and its citizens. She has transcribed over 220 oral history interviews containing the reminiscences of Surrey residents as well as 73 years’ worth of council minutes dating back to the year 1880. Her transcripts are accessible at the Archives and will soon be available online, too. Diane has also devoted time to local heritage groups. She is the Membership Chair on the Board of the Friends of the Surrey Museum and Archives; served as an executive board member on the Surrey Historical Society from 2010-2015; was a long-time member of Surrey Heritage Services’ Community Advisory Board; and attends the Surrey Heritage Advisory Committee meetings as an observer. Diane is a champion of heritage and is committed to sharing and providing widespread access to Surrey’s history.

STEVEN PUREWAL: “DUTY, HONOUR & IZZAT: THE CALL TO FLANDERS FIELDS”

Steven Purewal’s Duty, Honor & Izzat project started as a way to teach his children about the little-known contributions of the Indian army to WW1. Mr. Purewal extensively researched the topic of the Indian army, then created exhibits, wrote a novel, presented lectures, and organized school tours. He designed a website rich with content, including videos, articles, and primary documents. Mr. Purewal’s exhibits travel to learning spaces across the province, including recent stops in Surrey such as the Museum of Surrey, Surrey Archives, Simon Fraser University’s Central City Campus, and the Surrey Central Library. The Duty, Honor & Izzat feature exhibit has been toured to the prestigious Canada War Museum in Ottawa.

HERITAGE PRESERVATION: BARRY MCGINN ARCHITECT & SURREY FIRE FIGHTERS ASSOCIATION, PORT KELLS FIRE HALL NO 7.

Barry McGinn Architect and the engineering consultants worked with the Surrey Fire Fighters Association to achieve a rear addition to both the 1923 original building and the 1950s garage addition that is respectful of the original buildings in terms of massing and scale and is discernible as a contemporary addition. This collaborative project ensured that a historic building met the administrative, meeting, social and storage needs of the Association. The project became a source of pride, fitting their functional needs like a glove, with help to nurture the camaraderie and social connections that are core to any fire fighting battalion and be a base for their extensive social outreach and awareness programs. The team worked together to ensure the heart of the building was kept including the original firepole, the antique ladders becoming a valence and encouraging the group to incorporate their history and craftsmanship into the interior design.

LEGACY HERITAGE BUSINESS: ROUND UP CAFÉ

The Round Up Café has been a popular destination in Surrey for over sixty years. Located in the historic 1949 Goodmanson Building, the building itself is listed in the Canadian Register of Historic Places and the City of Surrey’s Heritage Register due to its architectural and historical significance. Orest and Goldie Springenatic purchased the Round Up Café in 1959. As one of the first restaurants along the northern stretch of King George Boulevard in the 1950s and 1960s, the Round Up Café quickly became a popular gathering spot for both locals and those commuting. Their original hours of operation – open 24 hours for six days a week – helped the Round Up Café become a main rest stop for those in the trucking industry delivering goods in the Lower Mainland and into the United States. While the Whalley community has evolved over the years, the restaurant itself continues to be a central pillar to its community and its loyal customer base.

DESIGN AWARDS

RESIDENTIAL SMALL SCALE AWARD OF MERIT: INFINITY PROPERTIES “THE LINKS”

The classic west-coast architecture and muted, neutral-tone colour palette is inspired by heavily-treed location. The low-density layout allows plenty of open space between buildings with the majority of the homes to fronting or backing onto green-space. They planted 187 trees, more than three-times the number removed during construction which resulted in trees being viewed from major thoroughfare at entryway. This protected riparian area becomes community’s natural centrepiece.

RESIDENTIAL MEDIUM SCALE AWARD OF MERIT: ADERA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION “SOUTHRIDGE MASTER PLAN COMMUNITY”

Driven by a commitment to health and social well-being, South Ridge Club is a community designed for young families and active adults. This townhome community consists of 209 townhomes over three phases. Each phase connects homeowners to the West Coast through modern architecture and through expansive views of mountains and abundant greenspace from private rooftop terraces and patios. At the heart of this community is a walkable, private clubhouse that offers an array of amenities to the community members, comparable to a luxury hotel. Amenities include: a heated outdoor pool, hot tub, a play area for kids, a 1,300 sq.ft. gymnasium, a fully equipped fitness centre, outdoor showers, indoor showers, a movie theatre room, a lounge, a pool table, a gourmet kitchen, a banquet ready dining area, and an outdoor barbecue and dining area for easy entertaining.

RESIDENTIAL LARGE SCALE AWARD OF MERIT: WESTSTONE GROUP “EVOLVE”

Evolve consists of a 37 storey multi-family residential tower consisting of 406 and attached three-storey commercial building. The building design is a sculpted tower rising from a 35-foot residential. The podium’s facades are articulated to emphasize the townhouse rhythm and massing with materials including brick masonry, glass and metal frames to further establish human scale at the lower levels of the project. Amenity spaces include residential lounges, exercise room, media and boardroom are provided on the ground floor, level two & three and at the top on level 36 which offers 360-degree views.

COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL AWARD OF MERIT: WA ARCHITECTS “CITY CENTRE 2”

City Centre 2 (CC2) is a part of the rapidly growing health & technology district in Surrey. Completed in 2018, the building consists of 12 storeys of clinical, professional office, education, technology, as well as ground floor retail and restaurant uses. There are large landscaped rooftop decks, both at the podium and at the roof level, are provided for tenants to enjoy. As a part of the building’s sustainability features, operable windows contribute to the comfort of its users. CC2 was designed to compliment its sister building City Centre 1 (CC1), and though it utilizes the same finishes at CC1, CC2 starts to introduce different glazing colours that will be reflected in future City Centre office projects.

INSTITUTIONAL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: REVERY ARCHITECTURE INC., “SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY’S SUSTAINABLE ENERGY ENGINEERING BUILDING”

Simon Fraser University’s Sustainable Energy Engineering Building at its Surrey campus is a state-of-the-art, five-storey academic research facility designed and purpose-built to house the university’s new Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEE) program. The building’s program comprises wet and dry teaching and research labs; collaboration and study spaces; faculty, graduate, and administrative offices; recreational rooms; undergraduate and graduate lounges spaces; student services; and plant maintenance facilities. A 400-seat Lecture Hall strategically situated on the ground floor serves SFU’s entire Surrey campus and is also available to the broader Surrey community. The building’s award-winning façade design—composed primarily of framed, undulating precast concrete sandwich panels and reflective glazing—is derived from abstracted circuit board imagery (also replicated in the maple wood panels lining the Lecture Hall) to symbolize the SEE program’s technological subject matter.

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: FRANCL ARCHITECTURE, “WEST VILLAGE PARK AND DISTRICT ENERGY UTILITY”

The West Village Park and District Energy Centre is a cornerstone of the ongoing renewal of Surrey City Centre into a denser, greener, live and work community. The project includes an urban scale park and an energy centre generating hot water, which is fed into to the expanding district energy pipe network. The City Parks and the District Energy Departments partnered in this novel type of project and the resulting design thus maximizes the land available for park use, while creating a visually dynamic building, showcasing the energy production process to any interested park user or passerby.

LANDSCAPE, PUBLIC SPACE AND INFRASTRUCTURE AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: FRANCL ARCHITECTURE, “WEST VILLAGE PARK AND DISTRICT ENERGY UTILITY”

The City Parks and the District Energy Departments partnered in this novel type of project and the resulting design thus maximizes the land available for park use, while creating a visually dynamic building, showcasing the energy production process to any interested park user or passerby. The design team chose to depress the floor of the main boiler hall 14 feet below grade, which minimizes the building height relative to the size of the urban park and the adjacent low scale residential building, and creates more interesting viewing of the 4Mw boilers from street and park level. Purposefully exposing the sustainable energy creation was a major goal of the collaboration between Parks and Engineering.

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: INFINITY PROPERTIES, “THE LINKS”

The classic west-coast architecture and muted, neutral-tone colour palette is inspired by heavily-treed location. The low-density layout allows plenty of open space between buildings with the majority of the homes to fronting or backing onto green-space. They planted 187 trees, more than three-times the number removed during construction which resulted in trees being viewed from major thoroughfare at entryway. This protected riparian area becomes community’s natural centrepiece.

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: OFFICE OF MCFARLANE BIGGAR ARCHITECTS + DESIGNERS, “SURREY CENTRE SKYTRAIN STATION – NORTH STATION HOUSE”

The new North Station House improves capacity, exiting, passenger safety and accessibility, while reinventing the station’s identity and relationship with its evolving context. The design for the Surrey Central Skytrain Station upgrade responds to the City’s rapid growth, while facilitating a long-term vision developed between TransLink and the City of Surrey. The vision reconfigures the Surrey Central bus exchange, which is critical to the City’s future development plans, specifically the Center Block. To accomplish this, the SkyTrain Station needed to expand and the bus exchange reconfigured to be ‘on-street’. New street trees, planting, paving and lighting help animate the public realm, giving the station a unique identity, while complimenting the adjacent City Plaza.

RENOVATION AND ADAPTIVE RE-USE AWARD OF MERIT: ST. MARY COPTIC CHURCH

St. Mary Church is the current owner of the 100-year old South Westminster School Heritage Building. When they moved in 2007, the building was in desperate need of maintenance and upkeep. This project is an amazing story of the community coming together to restore a part of an original community landmark. Amongst other work, they have greatly enhanced the interior of the building through restoring the windows to their original size and configuration. The building now engages the streetscape in a way that helps to bring animation to an area that has previously been an uninviting pedestrian environment.

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: OFFICE OF MCFARLANE BIGGAR ARCHITECTS + DESIGNERS, “SURREY CENTRE SKYTRAIN STATION – NORTH STATION HOUSE”

The new North Station House improves capacity, exiting, passenger safety and accessibility, while reinventing the station’s identity and relationship with its evolving context. The design for the Surrey Central Skytrain Station upgrade responds to the City’s rapid growth, while facilitating a long-term vision developed between TransLink and the City of Surrey. The vision reconfigures the Surrey Central bus exchange, which is critical to the City’s future development plans, specifically the Center Block. The concept for the new building provides a counterpoint to the eclectic architecture of the existing station and neighboring developments. A simple glazed form is articulated and carved by urban flows to showcase the functions / activities within and around the station. Internally the volume provides a vertical circulation experience, while integrating engineering and building systems to respond to current and future needs. Exposed mass timber, warm metal panel and architectural concrete infuse warmth into the interior.

INTERIOR AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: REVERY ARCHITECTURE INC. “SFU BUILDING”

Simon Fraser University’s Sustainable Energy Engineering Building at its Surrey campus is a state-of-the-art, five-storey academic research facility designed and purpose-built to house the university’s new Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEE) program. Organized around a spectacular light-filled central grand atrium, incorporating stepped seating tiers and more intimate seating pods punctuated with real Ficus trees. The distribution of windows adds to the quality of day light adding to its beauty and accessibility.

PUBLIC ART: LARK, CITY CENTRE 2 – ABSTRACT MOUNTAINS, BY ARTIST MARIE KHOURI

Made of stainless steel, this abstract sculpture stands near City Centre 2, a mixed-used development. The three silhouettes mirror our beautiful British Columbia mountains and was inspired by renowned Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti’s 1934 Cube.

RIZE: WAVE IN CITY CENTRE – NAUTILUS, BY ARTIST DOUG TAYLOR

Nautilus is made up of two parts that create tension and contrast: the curvy and weightless-looking steel outline of the nautilus, and the three metres tall, angled steel wall on which it is mounted. In the evenings, Nautilus is illuminated in colour. The rear of the wall features a fifteenth century inscription by the great poet Rumi: “Live in the nowhere that you come from even though you have an address here.”

POLYGON: HARVARD GARDENS SOUTH SURREY – SUPERNATURAL EYE, BY ARTIST ROBERT DAVIDSON

Supernatural Eye is a monumental sculpture that measures almost three metres in height. Its graceful contours and bold colours combine the traditional visual iconography of Haida art with a contemporary aesthetic. Davidson’s inspiration was the many supernatural beings that dwell in Haida Gwaii. Supernatural Eye is the second edition of a similar work currently in the collection of the National Gallery in Ottawa.

AMICA: ABBY LANE ON 16TH – WATERS EDGE, BY ARTIST METZ & CHEW

Waters Edge is a bronze dog that sits facing the residence’s front entrance, seemingly waiting for someone to come out to play. For senior residents, the sculpture is designed to initiate reflection and meditation; a practice which can help find a sense of tranquility and appreciation during these challenging times.

HONOURABLE MENTION: SURREY CENTRAL SKYTRAIN STATION: THE SEA CAPTAIN, BY ARTIST MARIANNE NICOLSON WITH JOHN LIVINGSTON

Hanging from the roof of Surrey Central station, this large wooden sculpture was inspired by a pipe from the early 19th century, carved by an unnamed master from Haida Gwaii.

HONOURABLE MENTION: ECOLE SALISH SECONDARY: VARIOUS LAND-BASED NATIONS INDIGENOUS ARTISTS INCLUDING: GARY LEON, TRENTON PIERRE, DEANNA POINT, ELINOR ATKINS, ROXANNE CHARLES, LES WELLS, BRANDON GABRIEL AND WES ANTONE.

These pieces, located throughout the school are reflective of the land we call home, bringing beauty and positive energy to the school.

SPORT TOURISM AWARDS

PROVINCIAL/REGIONAL EVENTS: OCEAN ATHLETICS TRACK AND FIELD CLUB, “2019 BC ATHLETICS JUNIOR DEVELOPMENT TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS”

The 2019 BC Athletics Junior Development Track & Field Championships were Ocean Athletics’ (OA) 4th hosting of the event. This event brought 460 athletes aged 9-13 from across the province together with Surreys athletes for 2.5 days of Championship track & field events. As British Columbia’s largest track & field club, Ocean Athletics continues to look for opportunities for both Surrey athletes and the development of sport in Surrey as well as supports the City of Surrey’s bids to host multi-sport events such as Summer Games, Senior Games, Legions and more. Its financial success allows OA to keep our membership fees accessible and to purchase equipment that will further enhance the programming offered to young athletes.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL EVENTS: WICKENHEISER FEMALE WORLD HOCKEY FESTIVAL 2019

The Wickenheiser Female World Hockey Festival has been an incredible success story for the City of Surrey. WickFest has become a renown world-class event, attracting national and worldwide media, teams from around the world and special guests from Olympians to NHL players. More than 100 teams from the US and Canada participated with more than 1,200 players competing and even hosted a demonstration team from India. Sport equipment that is purchased by WickFest budget is allocated to local sports organizations or school districts in need through the First Shift program in collaboration with the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Player’s Association

MAYOR’S CHOICE AWARDS

OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY GROUP: DOWNTOWN SURREY BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION (DSBIA)

In the past 24 months, the DSBIA has contributed to the City in a wide variety of ways improving Surrey’s downtown core making it more attractive to business and residents alike. In addition to the DSBIA’s mandate, they have been leaders in the Love Where you Live initiative. They organize regular community clean-ups, ran a cigarette butt buy-back initiative, have a Clean Streets Team, champion litter reduction strategies and graffiti removal programs. This outstanding group exemplifies their commitment to the City’s downtown core through their beautification initiatives such as rock painting, painting the front of vacant storefronts lead an art project to add artwork to the fence on 135A street.

OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL: ZHAO FAMILY (AMABEL LI, AUSTIN AND JOE ZHAO)

The Zhao family is dedicated to keeping Surrey and their neighborhood clean and beautiful. They use social media to encourage people to join the neighborhood clean up and to cleanup after themselves, leaving the neighborhood as clean as when the found it. From June to October, mother and son clean up the neighborhood every week for 20 minutes and sometimes up to an hour. The family’s seven-year-old son loves to contribute to the community! Each member of the family participates in the events and is completely committed to ensure that their neighborhood shines and that their neighborhoods and visitors can take pride in the place they call home!



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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