SURREY— South Surrey could have a cultural hub to call its own if a proposed arts/residential development gets the go-ahead from the city.
The proposed development, which would see an arts centre, café and gallery built at 152nd Street and 19th Avenue, would be part of a 350-unit residential development that would also see a 26-storey and 19-storey tower built on top of the would-be arts amenities.
The development’s architect is Patrick Cotter, who is also involved with the 3 Civic Plaza development in City Centre, and details provided show that the proposed arts centre would total 22,000 square feet, including a proscenium theatre, a studio theatre, rehearsal hall and dressing rooms. The other part of the arts proposal includes a 6,900-square-foot contemporary arts centre that would include a café and gallery and exhibit space.
Barbara Cooper of Semiahmoo Arts said the performing arts spaces would be much-needed amenities for the South Surrey community.
Citing a community consultation between the city and residents regarding Surrey’s cultural plan that was held a few years back, Cooper said this type of project is exactly what’s needed.
“They had a number of discussions where certain priorities around the city were identified and certainly cultural amenities for the South Surrey area came through loud and strong,” said Cooper, noting that the café and gallery portion would likely be run by artists. “That’s my understanding. There isn’t anything that currently focuses on these people who are part of a collaboration called Contemporary Arts Matters. Their focus is more on contemporary arts forms as opposed to more traditional forms like landscape paintings and such.”
Currently, there are no city-owned public arts spaces in the south, but Cooper said there was a performance venue at Earl Marriott Secondary that does get some use.
The project in question has yet to come before council, and there is currently no timeline on the development.
A public meeting on the proposed development will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at the Rotary Field House at 14600 Rotary Way.
The meeting will be in an open-house format running from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. and architect Patrick Cotter will give two presentations, one at 5 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m.
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