The latest online project for Surrey’s destination marketing organization focuses on the city through the eyes of local amateur photographers.
Discover Surrey’s “Surrey Through My Lens” campaign features photos and insights by people who live in the city’s six neighbourhoods, including Angie Bunnell in Cloverdale, Ron Villanueva in Guildford, Kiran Kumar in Newton, Roland Kaufman in South Surrey, Arjun Hair in Fleetwood and Sowjanya Kanaparthy in North Surrey.
The photo essays are timed for release every two weeks on discoversurreybc.com/explore/surrey-through-my-lens, starting with Bunnell’s look at Cloverdale events, attractions and businesses. Villanueva’s tour of Guildford went live Dec. 1, with others to follow.
Bunnell got involved after Discover Surrey put out a call for photographers on social media.
Her connection to Surrey dates back five generations, and she’s lived in Cloverdale since 2006.
“My great-great-grandfather had 160 acres where he farmed,” Bunnell notes. “In 1909 he built an office on Clover Valley Road (now Hwy 15), establishing one of the first real estate & insurance businesses, known as Carncross and Company. Ironically I am also in insurance, having been in the industry for 28 years! I suppose it’s in my blood.”
Bunnell’s favourite Cloverdale stops include Hawthorne Beer Market, Elevated Music, the annual Gone Country benefit concert, Yuk Yuk’s comedy club at Elements Casino, Bose Forest Park, Honeybee Centre, Just Cakes Bakeshop and others.
In Guildford, Villanueva focuses on Forsyth Park, shopping at Guildford Town Centre and also Art’s Nursery, Garden and Home.
“Guildford has always felt vibrant to me,” Villanueva says. “It’s especially colourful during the fall season. Guildford is very photogenic. Guildford Town Centre has always been the centre of Guildford, and the the waterfall feature of the mall is a great representation. It’s a place for people to hang out and have fun.
“Guildford has always felt like the unofficial downtown of Surrey. It’s the perfect suburb town for families to settle down in.”
As for the others involved, Newton’s Kumar is a software engineer by day with a love for travel, exploration and food. South Surrey’s Kaufman is a new father with a newfound desire to explore close to home, Fleetwood’s Hair considers Surrey as “part of his DNA,” and North Surrey’s Kanaparthy is a recent immigrant to Canada who loves discovering new things in familiar places.
On Discover Surrey’s website (discoversurreybc.com), visitors are invited to share how they see Surrey through their own lens by uploading a photo (using the provided form on the campaign’s home page) for a chance to be featured and win prizes.
The featured photographers’ local insight “puts them in a unique position to capture an authentic story of the neighbourhood’s true essence and highlight local businesses that are a part of Surrey’s distinctive tapestry,” says a news release.
“By connecting with locals and providing information through storytelling, we hope to showcase the community’s pride and encourage visitors to create and share their own True Surrey experiences,” said Ange Chew, Discover Surrey’s executive director.