Surrey – The SurreyCares Community Foundation is excited to announce the recent donation of $10,000 to the Surrey City Orchestra Endowment Fund. Late in 2020, the Foundation and Surrey City Orchestra announced the partnership to raise local funds while jointly applying for an endowment incentive from a Cultural Investment Fund Matching Grant Program, funded by the Canadian Government. These funds will help grow a sustainable source of funding for the Surrey City Orchestra and their goal to support the Arts in Surrey, as they are unable to raise funds with usual methods during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Donors Jeff Hector and Erin Anne Beirne, who is also a director of the Surrey City Orchestra, shared their passion for creating a legacy that will help grow the Orchestra to a level of stature consistent with the high caliber of musicians. Beirne also has a personal passion for ensuring that Surrey’s young people are exposed to professional musicians and have opportunities to participate in high-quality music programs.
Beirne commented that “up until recently Surrey was the only large city in Canada that did not have its own professional orchestra. However, dozens of professional musicians live right here in Surrey, including a number who also perform with the VSO, the Vancouver Opera, and a variety of other wonderful organizations. As a vibrant, diverse, and rapidly-growing city, Surrey is well-positioned to add our own flavour to the cultural opportunities available both for musicians as well as audiences who would love to enjoy high quality music right here in Surrey.”
She continued to explain how important it is to provide Arts & Culture programs in Surrey, as many young people travel out of Surrey for entertainment. The Surrey City Orchestra is a great way to listen to live music in their own city, which would benefit our local economy as well. If classical symphony music is not of interest to some, the Surrey City Orchestra provides a wide variety of other musical formats, such as a quartet, a jazz-classical ensemble, even a mariachi band, and many more. The Surrey City Orchestra also likes to play ethnic and crossover music to represent ethnic diversity in Surrey.
“The Surrey City Orchestra also has the goal to open a Musical Performing Arts Centre in the future,” said Stuart Martin, Music Director and Conductor of the Surrey City Orchestra. “Young people in Surrey who aspire to be musicians will have the opportunity to participate in educational music programs (in Surrey).”
Many youth and professional musicians in the Surrey area do not have the option to attend educational music programs such as the ones the Surrey City Orchestra hopes to offer one day. This leads to those individuals having to commute to Vancouver to participate in music education. A Community Music Centre in Surrey would be convenient and help enhance the Arts in our community. There are many well known benefits to a vibrant arts sector, including that the Arts bring economic benefits to Communities.
“The endowment fund will provide a base of support for the variety of musical and educational programs we want to bring to the Surrey Community,” explained Ellen Farrugia, Board Chair of Surrey City Orchestra. “With the help of community donors and the Federal Government, building this fund will help create a stable source of funding for our organization to move ahead with these long-term goals.”
A Community Music Centre is a community-building program that will get the Surrey City Orchestra members involved as well. To instruct the community members who want to participate, the orchestra members will be part of the music faculty.