Ben Cottrill is among musicians featured at Surrey’s 2019 Party for the Planet, at Surrey Civic Plaza on Saturday, April 13.

A guide to Surrey’s Party for the Planet, a free Earth Day celebration with much more than music

Free admission at Surrey Civic Plaza on Saturday, April 13

The detailed schedule for Surrey’s 2019 Party for the Planet has been released and Ben Cottrill, for one, is pleased to be performing a couple of times during the city’s annual Earth Day celebration.

On Saturday, April 13, as part of the festival’s acoustic concert series, the Abbotsford-based artist will cap the day’s performances in Tent 2 of the new Live Green World, starting at 5:15 p.m., and he’ll also play his music at 4 p.m. in Tent 3.

“I’m looking forward to it, and I do a lot of different types of gigs, mostly acoustic,” explained Cottrill, 21. “Performing solo, I do a lot of live looping – percussion and vocal looping to fill up the sound and give it that twist, and it has a lot of energy,” he added.

The city’s ninth annual event, long billed as B.C.’s largest Earth Day celebration, is planned for Surrey Civic Plaza from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 13. Admission is free.

This year, the TD Canada Trust-presented Party for the Planet promises to be more grassroots, with less emphasis on big-stage entertainment and more interactive workshops and attractions.

“This year’s Party for the Planet will offer attendees more opportunities to learn about environmental initiatives than ever before,” Mayor Doug McCallum said in a release. “We can all take part in creating a thriving, green, inclusive city and we hope you’ll join us for this year’s event.”

Cottrill is among several artists booked for the TD Acoustic Concert Series, in addition to Alex Maher, Nakajima Duo, Havyn, Olin Brix, The Kwerks and Bukola Balogun.

Many of those same artists will perform at the Live Green World’s Tent 3, along with ventriloquist Norma McKnight every hour. Also, at the top of every hour Big Bird and Elmo will do four meet-and-greet sessions at Live Green World Tent 2, starting at 1 p.m.

Inside city hall, in the Centre Stage/council chambers space, the festival’s TD Main Stage will be headlined by Colin Bullock, starting at 5 p.m., with additional performances by Harlequin Gold, Adyn Townes, Kwel Eng Sen Dancers, Bobs & Lolo, The Apartment, B.C. Lions and, starting at 11 a.m., The Kwerks.

CLICK HERE to read more about the festival’s many performers.

CLICK HERE to view the site map for Party for the Planet.

In the Live Green World, Tent 1 will be a stage for a series of environmental workshops starting at noon with “The Benefit of Trees” with BC Plant Health Care. Other topics include “How to Use & Maintain Beeswax Food Wraps,” “Sustainability with Tupperware Eco Water Bottles,” “Vegetable Gardening on the Patio” with 99 Nurseries, “Indigenous Smudging and Cedar Brushing,” “Sahaja Yoga Self-Realization,” “Tree Pruning Basics” with Surrey Parks and “Pack it in, Pack it out: How To Host a Sustainable Park Event” with City of Surrey Parks Partnerships.

City Centre Library will feature kids-focused programming, including a Science World demo, Urban Safari Rescue, Rockin’ Robin and the Magical Tree, Surrey City Orchestra, Bobs & Lolo and more.

The festival’s Adventure Zone promises fun in the form of a zip line, Enviro Bungee, a rock-climbing wall, a DJ booth, games of road hockey and a dozen food trucks.

For the green thumbs among us, 1,000 free succulents from 99 Nursery & Florist will be given away at city hall at 2:30 p.m. “The plants will come in a number of varieties, and will be handed out after the opening ceremonies in the atrium,” according to a post on the event website (surrey.ca/partyfortheplanet).

A tree and plant sale is a “cash and carry” event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with plants starting at $2 and trees from $20. “Our arborists will be on hand to help you pick the best trees for your yard and will provide tips on how to plant and care for your new tree,” organizers say. “They will even help you get it to your car!”

Inside city hall, a Rethink Waste Sewing Workshop & Clothing Swap will be open for the day: “Help divert textiles from ending up in the landfill and bring repair skills back to use with patches, darning and stitches. Bring 1-3 clothing items needing repair and learn how to repair them yourself with the support of Frameworq’s expert menders. They provide the supplies and sharing skills to fix your favorite garments. Don’t have anything to fix? Bring any unwanted clothes for the Clothing Swap.”

Among entertainers, TD Main Stage headliner Colin Bullock is a multi-award winning artist, voted International artist of the year in the Music OZ awards and the Best Wedding Entertainer by BC professional Wedding Awards.

Also on the Main Stage, Harlequin Gold is a Vancouver-based indie-pop band that features sisters Elle and Avery O’Brien, guitar player Justice McLellan and drummer Jamison Ko.

As for Cottrill, he’s finishing a new record and has plans to tour Canada this summer. Over the winter, he was among 30 artists picked from more than 20,000 applications to appear on the second season of CTV’s The Launch.

Cottrill’s episode was aired on Feb. 27, showing him vying for a chance to record an original song under the mentorship of Vancouver legend Bryan Adams, Quebec pop star Marie Mai, and Scott Borchetta, the music industry icon who discovered Taylor Swift.

On the show, he auditioned for the panel with the songs “Let It Go” by James Bay and “Mercy” by Shawn Mendes. The mentors had him try “Mercy” a second time with a slower pace. Ultimately, Cottrill was not selected as one of the two for the final stage — the winner was Maddie Storvold of Edmonton – but he said the experience was a “brilliant foray into the mainstream music and media business.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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