Surrey Art Gallery: 45th Anniversary Celebration

It was the fall of 1975 that the Gallery began presentations of contemporary art exhibitions, tours, talks, and classes in Surrey. Forty-five years later, the City has grown, and in many ways, art has evolved. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the critical importance of art to daily life. To mark the 45th anniversary, we are thinking back to the thousands of artists, artworks, events, and hundreds of thousands of visitors we have welcomed the Gallery over the years. We are constantly amazed by the artists we work with and the art they make – the joy they bring, the ideas they provoke, and the actions they inspire.

The Gallery has always been a place that presents interdisciplinary art. In the spirit of artists showing work across artistic boundaries, we decided to invite some innovative performing artists in the community to create work that responded to the new exhibition at the Gallery Where We Have Been, which brings together some of the Gallery’s oldest and most recent works from our permanent collection.

Tune in to experience tabla player Amarjeet Singh, multi-instrumentalist Bruce Harding, and singer Bhargavi Singh’s response to Sarindar Dhaliwal’s olive, almond & mustard (2010) in the exhibition, as well as dancer Ziyian Kwan and cellist Peggy Lee’s response performance. These new works will be featured in our celebration event, along with staff reflections on the Gallery’s past, present and future.


About the Artists

Ziyian Kwan has worked as a dance artist since 1988. As an interprète, she has performed close to 100 original creations by an eclectic range of choreographers on international stages, and is recipient of The Dance Centre’s Isadora Award for excellence in performance. Kwan’s choreography has been performed across Canada, receiving commissions and invitations from a generous community of presenting partners.


Bruce Harding is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist (voice, flutes, guitar, bass, and percussion) with a PhD in musicology from The University of Toronto and over 30 years experience making music with artists from around the world. Harding delights in bridging the gap between the sacred and the profane, creating instrumental and vocal music for people who thirst for musical and spiritual nourishment.


Improvising cellist/composer Peggy Lee leads and co-leads numerous ensembles, including the Peggy Lee Band, Film In Music, Echo Painting, Waxwing, and Handmade Blade. She has also collaborated extensively in theatre and dance with companies and artists such as Electric Company, Ruby Slippers, Rumble theatre, Presentation House, Ziyian Kwan, Machinenoisy, EDAM, and Kokoro Dance. Lee is the recipient of a number of awards including the Freddie Stone Award (2005) and the Vancouver Mayor's Arts Award for music (2013).


Amarjeet Singh, the founder of Naad Arts Centre, has a Master’s degree in music and many years experience performing tabla solos as well as accompanying a myriad of leading Indian and Western musicians and dancers at international music and dance festivals. He started learning the tabla from his elder brother, Mr. Deedar Singh, followed by Guru Shri Thakur Kishan Singh ji of Benaras Gharana. He has received several prestigious appointments, scholarships, and awards locally and internationally.


Bhargavi Singh is nine years old, and started her classical music training five years ago, and for the past two years she has learned from Mr. Narinder Singh Panesar as well. Along with her vocal music training, she is learning Indian classical Kathak dance from Mrs. Mangala Bhatt. and Mrs. Prajakta Trehan. In her short musical journey so far, she has performed at various prestigious musical events in the province.


Follow #ArtInConversation for live event discussions and talks, interviews with local and nationally-based artists, virtual tours of art exhibitions, and other behind-the-scenes features on the artworks which move us.


We couldn't do this without the generous support of our sponsors. If you're interested, we'd love to chat. We look forward to working with companies and organizations ready and excited to share their love for the community!


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Festival Sponsors