SURREY — A new cultural and spiritual centre in Surrey is a little closer to reality, thanks to a fundraising event at Surrey Art Gallery on Saturday.
The event, hosted by Hindu Buddhist Foundation of Canada (HBFC), raised $6,500. HFBC is a charity initiated by the Nepalese Community in the Lower Mainland.
Madhu Acharya, president of HBFC, said about 250 people attended the event, including Bruce Ralston, minister of jobs, trade and technology. Acting City of Surrey mayor and councillor Bruce Hayne, as well as Harry Bains, minister of labour were also at the event.
“The Nepalese community don’t have a religious and cultural centre and that’s why we registered this charity organization two years ago,” Acharya said. “On one side, we will put a Hindu and Buddhist temple and (on another side) space for a community meeting.”
Acharya said the spiritual space at the temple would consist of the idol Pashupatinath and Boudhanath, a religious structure. The project is in the initial phase and organizers are looking for a good location for the centre.
“Our plan is that by early summer we need to look at the property and if we can’t buy a land or a property, we will go with a warehouse.”
Acharya added that they are planning to start a GoFundMe campaign for the project.
HBFC has so far collected $112,000 for the project and they have a target of $200,000.
“We are trying to get some support from Nepali people living outside of Nepal,” Acharya said. The 2016 census says there are 465 people with Nepali origins in the city and over 1,400 people across B.C.