Surrey First slate and mayoral candidate Linda Hepner pledge “cultural corridor” for city

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      Mayoral candidate Linda Hepner and her Surrey First slate have pledged to establish a “cultural corridor” in B.C.’s fastest-growing city.

      Hepner is touting the proposed corridor, running along King George Boulevard from Surrey City Centre to South Surrey, as an economic driver as well as a future regional and international tourist destination.

      The initiative is part of Surrey First’s cultural-policy platform. Its strategic goals include the construction of a performing-arts centre, a key spot in the planned cultural corridor.

      According to the civic party’s program, the corridor will be a “unique hub of cultural and arts facilities that concentrates heritage and arts groups in a critical mass to facilitate ease of access for citizens, collaboration and synergy within artists and groups and to create an economic hub that draws investment and entrepreneurs who want to invest in the creative economy”.

      In addition to a performing-arts centre, Surrey First’s long-term goals include a contemporary-arts gallery and café, and a 350-seat performing-arts centre in South Surrey. Both would be stops in the cultural corridor.

      “It will be an economic engine, with students from SFU’s School of Interactive Arts and Kwantlen’s School of Design getting work experience and launching careers with companies that locate along the Cultural Corridor and Innovation Boulevard in order to access the creative talent of Surrey’s young workforce,” the civic party’s platform states.

      The corridor would include Centre Stage at the new city-hall location, Holland Park, and the Newton Cultural Centre.

      Surrey First’s platform notes: “Partnering with the Surrey Board of Trade, investment will be attracted to Surrey, turning the arts community from a niche entertainment sector to a vibrant, accessible and growing job-creator.”




      Nov 13, 2014 at 4:51am

      Surrey has culture all right, a culture of neglect and indifference to the poor, a culture of exploitation and destruction of natures bounty, a culture of ignoring the elderly and impoverished, a culture of ignoring societal ills and abusive policing.
      A culture ignoring first nations needs and rights, a culture of visionless politicians with knee jerk reactionism, a culture of putting lipstick on a pig, a culture pollution, a culture of sprawl, a culture that locks park gates at 6pm, a culture that glorifies war mongers like GWB, a culture that poisons its residents with death by diesel, a culture that kills its waterways with parallel hiways, a culture that slaughtered untold numbers of forests and wildlife corridors, a culture that paved every fucking square meter it could, a culture of strip malls and cars. Now let's get them university students to work for free and call it work experience.


      Nov 13, 2014 at 1:59pm

      @Cultured you just described every developed city in North America.

      William Gibbens of Influency

      Nov 13, 2014 at 6:26pm

      The Watts/Heppner "Cultural Corridor" concept is a sham because Surrey suppresses creative individuals – even when funding them. But Surrey does not work alone. The 2010 "Surrey Transportation Program" was a “collaboration” between Surrey and SFU during which some students were denied the right to present their papers at SFU – including me.

      My paper, “Transiting Surrey Central”, used anthropology and history to illuminate the modern day. It also formed the basis for my two Election runs in Vancouver Point Grey (2011 and 2013) which focused on massive growth and density plans fuelled by transportation via a re-branded GVRD. My paper pointed to the dangers of said strategies - indicating how flaccid such “iconic”, high-risk political whims as Surrey City Centre may ultimately prove to be.

      I drew upon my chance discovery of the 1911 City of “Port Mann” - marketed as The Place to, “Make a killing!” in real estate. Sadly, “The world's First City Designed in a Test Tube!”, sold out and collapsed – as perhaps BC's first major alleged real estate fraud. Why? Because the railway terminus was secretly switched to Vancouver. Investors lost their shirts, the Great War began along with massive de-population while a new “City of Parks” composed of bankrupt properties was soon to be born.

      In 2010, Having worked at the Delta Museum and Archives and Fort Langley National Historic Park, I believed my paper might be worthy of support for a book. But, Surrey and SFU made certain that my name, my voice and my paper were demeaned and citizens of Surrey were denied unique perspectives and engagement on their past, present and future.

      Thankfully, in 2014, two Surrey Mayoral candidates, Barinder Rasode and Doug McCallum have committed to changes in Surrey's behaviour. They say, if elected, they'll ensure I can present my paper publicly at Surrey City Hall in City Council Chambers. Notably, both politicians have also said they will extinguish the city-owned, Surrey Development Corporation.

      Creative and independent voices rarely present easy, or comfortable answers – nor should they - but welcoming such voices - rather than silencing them – engages communities in exploring their contradictions and challenges on pathways to solutions. On November 15th, 2014 I'm hoping citizens vote for change in Surrey and in Vancouver and dreaming of speaking proudly and freely as a Canadian.