Photo courtesy of Katy Lederer
Two Permanent Locations Built in 2012

On Thursday March 2, Arts Umbrella – Metro Vancouver’s largest arts education organization for young people – launched the 5th anniversary year of its Surrey locations. The year of celebrations kicked-off with a special dinner for friends and supporters at its South Surrey location. Among the guests in attendance were MLA: Hon. Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, Ken Hardie, MP, Fleetwood-Port-Kells, Diane Watts, MP, South Surrey-White Rock, Anita Huberman, CEO of Surrey Board of Trade, and acclaimed chef Vikram Vij.

In 2012, Arts Umbrella opened two permanent facilities in Surrey. To date the organization has reached more than 7,000 Surrey youth with high-quality arts programs. Sixty percent – or 3 out of every 5 – take Arts Umbrella programs at little or no cost, including free programs at 46 Surrey schools.

“Arts Umbrella makes a lasting difference in young lives – an investment that will help our communities and economies prosper.” says Paul Larocque, President & CEO, Arts Umbrella. “While there is still more we can do, we would not have achieved any of this without the tremendous support of the Surrey community.”

Catering for the dinner was generously donated by renowned chef and restaurateur Vikram Vij, who recently announced a partnership with Arts Umbrella to teach culinary arts to Surrey teens.

“I’m extremely passionate about teaching young people about Indian food.” says Chef Vij. “Not only that; this is a perfect partnership with Arts Umbrella. In the same way you take a script or an art project and add your own personality, I want these students to take a recipe and adapt it to make it their own.”

The dinner also coincided with Creative Industries Week in BC, a showcase and celebration of the Province’s vibrant creative economy, which includes digital media, motion pictures, publishing, and music.

“We have all seen the creative successes born here in BC, those like Hootsuite, Lions Gate Entertainment, Electronic Arts, and Nettwerk Music Group.” adds Jill Price, Arts Umbrella Board Chair.  “The success of such an important economic industry relies on having a pool of talented, creative, people to hire, and for over 39 years Arts Umbrella has been an inspirational incubator for young people.”

Though Arts Umbrella’s Surrey programs vary widely from painting to theatre to hip hop, the idea of inspiring creativity is a consistent theme. When young people explore creativity, they develop essential, life-long skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and artistic expression. Skills they can hold on to forever – because young people who have access to the arts today will be creative resources throughout their lives.

 About Arts Umbrella Surrey

Art can change the lives of children in incredible ways, which is why Arts Umbrella has been helping young artists cultivate creativity and grow self-confidence through performing and visual arts programs for more than 35 years. In 2012, Arts Umbrella expanded its operation to Surrey with the launch two new facilities in South Surrey and Surrey Centre. Through the establishment of accessible arts education programs in more communities, Arts Umbrella’s founding mission continues: to positively impact as many children and youth through exposure to the arts. Arts Umbrella brings opportunities for skills development and personal growth to young people in Surrey, while helping to create a cohesive, economically vibrant community.

For more information please contact:
Eric Lowe
Manager, Marketing and Communications
604-681-5268 x104