Arts, cul­ture and en­ter­tain­ment key to a vi­brant city: Tom Gill

Asian Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

Sur­rey: Sur­rey First may­oral can­di­date Tom Gill out­lined his team’s plans on Thurs­day to show­case and grow the arts, cul­ture and en­ter­tain­ment in Sur­rey. Joined by coun­cil can­di­dates Vera Le­franc and Narima Dela Cruz, Gill said Sur­rey First will cre­ate an en­dow­ment fund to kick-start plans for a world class per­form­ing arts cen­tre, dou­ble arts and cul­ture grants, de­velop a con­tem­po­rary art gallery in South Sur­rey and use the “maker space” planned for the new Clay­ton Com­mu­nity Cen­tre as a model for more artist work spa­ces across the city.

“Great cities, the ones we all ad­mire, have a strong and vi­brant cre­ative side and Sur­rey is no dif­fer­ent,” said Gill. “We have a very cre­ative arts and cul­tural com­mu­nity in Sur­rey. We want to en­cour­age that tal­ent and see it flour­ish right across our city. For in­stance, the per­form­ing arts cen­tre will be a cre­ative hub for Sur­rey, a des­ti­na­tion for our re­gion and an an­chor for a vi­brant new en­ter­tain­ment dis­trict.”

Gill said he would com­mit $1 mil­lion an­nu­ally over the next five years to an arts and cul­ture en­dow­ment fund as a way of launch­ing plans for the per­form­ing arts cen­tre, in­clud­ing de­vel­op­ing a de­tailed fi­nan­cial and fundrais­ing case that would in­clude other lev­els of gov­ern­ment and lo­cal phi­lan­thropists with a pas­sion for the arts. Gill first in­tro­duced the per­form­ing arts cen­tre at his cam­paign launch.

The 1,200-seat per­form­ing arts cen­tre would in­clude a smaller 200-seat the­atre and re­hearsal space, ex­panded lobby for re­cep­tions, meet­ing space for con­fer­ences and a pri­vately-run sig­na­ture res­tau­rant. The pre­lim­i­nary 240,000 sq ft con­cept is es­ti­mated at $245 mil­lion.

“The per­form­ing arts cen­tre would be a cat­a­lyst for a vi­brant en­ter­tain­ment dis­trict in and around city cen­tre and a ma­jor at­trac­tion for those of us in Sur­rey as well as vis­i­tors from across the re­gion,” ex­plained Gill. “I’d like to see us spend the next four years pulling the busi­ness case to­gether, find­ing the right part­ners and se­cur­ing fund­ing. There’s a lot of work to do, but I be­lieve we can have our per­form­ing arts cen­tre open within 10 years. But, the time to start is now.”

Coun­cil can­di­date Narima Dela Cruz lives in city cen­tre and said Sur­rey First’s com­mit­ment to the arts comes from the gen­uine be­lief that art and cul­ture can “trans­form com­mu­ni­ties” and add value to the en­tire city.

“The per­form­ing arts cen­tre will be an ex­cit­ing ad­di­tion to our city and some­thing ev­ery­one will en­joy,” said Dela Cruz. “When you add it to our new city hall, the grow­ing uni­ver­sity dis­trict and the thou­sands of peo­ple who are call­ing city cen­tre home its easy to see why there’s such a great fit.” Mis­sion: Save-on­foods of­fi­cially opened its 19th in-store B.C. wine depart­ment at its Mis­sion store on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 27 at 11 a.m.

With more than 1,100 va­ri­eties of 100 per cent British Columbian wine on its shelves, Save-on­foods Mis­sion is the lat­est store in the com­pany to of­fer cus­tomers the con­ve­nience of pick­ing up a high qual­ity bot­tle of wine at the same place they pick up gro­ceries since the prov­ince be­gan al­low­ing gro­cery re­tail­ers to ap­ply for B.C. VQA li­cences in 2015.

“Our cus­tomers love great lo­cal prod­ucts, and of­fer­ing them the op­tion of buy­ing a madein-b.c. wine to com­ple­ment their meals is just one of the ways we’re go­ing the ex­tra mile for our friends in Mis­sion,” said Save-on-foods pres­i­dent Dar­rell Jones. “We are thrilled with the qual­ity of these British Columbian wines, the com­fort­able shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence of our wine de­part­ments, and we think our cus­tomers are re­ally go­ing to love hav­ing this con­ve­nient op­tion in their neigh­bor­hood gro­cery store.”

Tom Gill

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