Surrey Little Theatre, Ellie King, Concord Pacific Developments Inc. and Peninsula Productions Society were the winners during the Surrey Mayor’s Art Awards held Friday morning (June 15).
The second annual event, launched in 2017 by Surrey Board of Trade to recognize those who make a difference in Surrey’s arts and culture sector, was held at Century Group’s new Civic Hotel.
Earlier this month, 12 finalists were announced in four award categories.
On Friday, Mayor Linda Hepner presented the Legacy award to Surrey Little Theatre, the Philanthropy award to Concord Pacific, the Arts & Innovation award to Peninsula Productions and the Cultural Ambassador award to Ellie King, founder and artistic director of Royal Canadian Theatre Company.
Award winners were each given a glass vessel crafted by Surrey-based artist Robert Gary Parkes.
The Arts & Innovation award is given for “originality, ingenuity, and resourcefulness within the creative sector.” Award winner Peninsula Productions was formed in late 2010 “to help fill a need in White Rock/South Surrey for professional quality live entertainment,” according to an award bio. “Since its inception as a not-for-profit society with a mere handful of dedicated members, it has become a vibrant organization with charitable status, an active board of directors and over 100 volunteers.”
Roxanne Charles and Thomas Nelles were also nominated for the Arts & Innovation award.
The Legacy award recognized Surrey Little Theatre for its rich and enlightening career in the arts.
“Surrey Little Theatre was established in June 1959 when the Greater Whalley Recreation Council sponsored a little theatre group, The North Surrey Thespians,’” a bio says. “Their focus is to provide low-cost entertaining productions for Surrey and surrounding communities. They provide three major productions per year, plus offer a number of additional youth programs, shows, and camps.”
Mary Mikelson and Chris Thornley were also nominated in the category.
The Philanthropy award was given to Concord Pacific Development Inc. for its support of “people in their communities through family-oriented events and charities including the Surrey Fusion Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Surrey Tree Lighting Festival and Indian Summer Festival. Concord Pacific is also a long-time partner of Arts Umbrella. Together they have been supporting youth in developing their talent in Visual Art and Creative Drama and Theatre in Surrey.”
Other nominees in the category were Raj Arneja and Werner and Helga Hoing.
The Cultural Ambassador award was given to Ellie King for producing theatre, teaching, mentoring, consulting, serving on boards and volunteering in Surrey since the mid-1980s. “Through her many years in theatre,” a bio says, “Ellie has striven to redress the balance both on stage and as director/writer/producer. As a teacher and mentor, Ellie has been an innovator in this field, often volunteering her time.”
Arts Umbrella and Surrey Little Theatre were the other nominees in the category.
The breakfast event featured musical performances by Naad Fusion Band, Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell and Richard Tichelman.
In June 2017, winners during the inaugural Surrey Mayor’s Art Awards were Surrey Youth Orchestra (Arts & Innovation), Mohammad Aminul Islam (Cultural Ambassador), Westminster Savings Credit Union (Philanthropy) and Sheila McKinnon (Legacy).