SFU celebrates at the Surrey Fusion Festival

SFU’s Pipe Band, piping away at the Surrey Fusion Festival! - Photo courtesy of SFU University Communications

The eighth Surrey Fusion Festival was sponsored by SFU as a part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.

Over 95,000 attendees and 120 performers came out to Holland Park on the weekend of July 18 and 19 to celebrate Surrey’s diversity and enjoy the beautiful weather.

The free event featured five main stages along with numerous stalls, each representing a different culture with food, arts and crafts, and volunteers who were happy to talk with attendees.

Along with the eclectic variety of food and live performances all day, there were other exciting happenings, like a celebrity cooking stage sponsored by Safeway, and a “Kids World” to entertain the younger crowd with storytime and crafts.

After being named the cultural capital of Canada in 2008, the City of Surrey held the three-day inaugural fusion festival. “It was so well received that, with the assistance of [the] council, we decided to have it every year as a two-day event,” said Melissa Snow, the City of Surrey’s Special Events Marketing Coordinator. “In the beginning we only had 22 cultures participating, and this year we had 40.”

When asked about SFU’s presence in the Surrey community, Snow said that it was undeniable as SFU was heavily invested within the city: “SFU is very much a partner with the City of Surrey, especially as we are neighbors.”

At the festival this year the city bestowed upon SFU a public proclamation recognizing their 50th anniversary.

Not only has the city touted the event as a community bonding opportunity, Snow believes the preparations for the event offer the same — a team effort driven by the diverse community spirit of Surrey.

Snow and the rest of the special events department of the City of Surrey has worked with different levels of city staff and sponsors like SFU and Safeway to make this event happen every year.

“It’s amazing to see people open to experiencing different cultures,” she concluded.