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Surrey, British Columbia

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Surrey in British Columbia.

 

Surrey is a city in the province of British Columbia, Canada. It is a member municipality of Metro Vancouver, the governing body of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. It is the province's second-largest city by population after the city of Vancouver.

The six "town centres" comprising the City of Surrey are: Fleetwood, Whalley/City Centre, Guildford, Newton, Cloverdale, and South Surrey.

Culture

Attractions

Events

Attracting 15,000 people every February since 2004, WinterFest is a day of live music, sporting activities, food, and fireworks, held at the Central City Plaza.

Since 1888, the town centre of Cloverdale has hosted the annual Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds every May long weekend. The Fair is Canada's second largest rodeo, and it features 150 acres (0.61 km2) of family-oriented entertainment including agricultural/horticultural exhibits, a western tradeshow, parade, community stages, and the Pacific Northwest Firefighter Combat Challenge.

Due in part to having one of British Columbia's youngest populations, with nearly one-third of all citizens under 18, Surrey has become known for its annual Children's Festival, which began 2004. The free, multi-day festival features circus and clay arts, world rhythm music and movement, popular children's performers, storytelling sessions, and a parade.

Every year on April 13, the Sikh community celebrates Vaisakhi, which often includes a nagar kirtan, or parade, and free food is often handed out. Roughly 100,000 people attended in 2008.

Surrey has the largest Canada Day event of its kind in Western Canada. Presented every July 1 at Cloverdale's Millennium Amphitheatre Park, the event includes amusement rides, a tea ceremony, booths, musicians and performers, and a fireworks show at night.

In 2008, the City, thanks to the federal government's designation of Surrey as Canada's Cultural Capital for the year, put on a three-day multicultural festival. The Fusion Festival celebrated over 60 different cultures through food, music, and dance. The event attracted 60,000 attendees, and will return for 2009. It is expected that the Fusion Festival will become an annual event for Surrey.

Following the success of the Surrey Regional Economic Summit, held in September 2008 at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, in Guildford Town Centre, it is anticipated that this too will become an annual event. The first summit featured BC Premier Gordon Campbell and VANOC CEO John Furlong as speakers and a keynote speech by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The event attracted 400 business and community leaders for a day-long conference to discuss issues including public safety, transportation, and sustainability. The second summit is being planned, and will feature former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as keynote speaker.

Every October since 1991, Surrey has hosted the Surrey International Writers' Conference. This event brings established writers, agents, editors and publishers from all over the world to the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel in Guildford Town Centre.

The Surrey Festival of Dance, an annual event since 1966, is one of the largest dance competitions held in North America, with over 10,000 dancers participating in the multi-week festival.

The Surrey RCMP hold an annual basketball tournament with participation from all the city's secondary schools. The event is the city's largest annual sports tournament.

One of the lesser-known events in Surrey is the annual Nicomekl River Race. Every year, in early June, teams of four meet at Nicomekl Park in Langley, British Columbia to begin the race. Unlike most traditional boat races, the Nicomekl River Race requires that all boats be made by the participants. The racecourse extends from Nicomekl Park to Blackie Spit Park at Crescent Beach. The first team to reach the mouth of the river is awarded a prize of $1,000. Additional prizes are awarded to the most creative boat and costume. All proceeds go towards the BC Cancer society.

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