Creative economy dialogue event produces action plan

Business people and artists gathered at the Surrey Arts Centre Wednesday, Nov. 27, to discuss the connections between culture and Eeconomy in Surrey for the next years. The meeting, hosted by the Surrey Board of Trade, in a partnership with the City of Surrey, was the second part of a dialogue that first began in 2012.

Representatives from the two universities with campuses in the city, Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University, also took part.

The second meeting was created with the purpose of creating an action plan to get businesses and artists moving in the same direction.

During panel sessions, attendees had the opportunity to learn about successful art businesses within the city, with the presence of entrepreneurs such as Glen Chua, Festival Director at Surrey International Film Festival; Kashif Pasta, Director, Editor, Writer, Co-Founder at; and Candace Radcliffe, Department Head and Artistic Director/Producer at Beach House Theatre Co.

In addition, during a breakout dialogue session people were divided in groups according to their affiliations – whether they were university-related, entrepreneurs, artists etc. – to discuss ideas about four main themes: transforming unused spaces for creative industries; creating and promoting existing creative industries in Surrey; supporting young entrepreneurs in creative industries; and attracting the creative class.

Major problems were identified and solutions were proposed, such as: resolving space-related issues; stimulating the art business through tax breaks and short-term leases; having partnerships with Vancouver venues; the need for the city to create more and effective cultural facilities; identifying gaps in the existing cultural plan in order to develop new events; creating new organizations related to the arts sector; and grabbing mainstream media attention to promote local artistic works.

All of those solutions will be put together and will be part of the action plan to be created by the city and the Surrey Board of Trade, which will be put in practice along the next five years.

Joao Vitor Correa

Journalism student from Brazil; passionate about writing, photography and videography.

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