SURREY — Four people were honoured as Surrey Civic Treasures for 2013 during a special event Tuesday evening, Oct. 8, at Surrey Arts Centre.
Recipients of the award this year are Ellie King, Kelly Konno, Patricia Dahlquist and Maxine Lloyd Howchin (see full bios below).
The award, launched in 2008, is given to those who make a difference on the city’s arts and culture scene.
The four award winners for 2013 were recognized during the 10th annual Business and the Arts reception. Actor Jackson Davies emceed the event.
Previous Surrey Civic Treasures awardees are Gladys Andreas, Ed Griffin, June Laitar, Bonnie Burnside, Lucille Lewis, Ed Milaney, Sheila Symington, George Zukerman, Allan Cleaver, Dave Proznick, Chris Thornley, Barbara Gould, Jim Adams, Stephen Chitty, Stan Clarke (deceased), Robert Davidson, Nadine Gagné, Carol Girardi, Dawn Govier, Stephen Horning, Mary Mikelson, Lorne Pearson (deceased), Marc Pelech and Jarnail Singh.
Detailed biographies of the 2013 recipients of Surrey Civic Treasures award, as released by the City of Surrey:
Having started her career in entertainment as a young child, Ellie King has devoted her life to the arts and has earned an enviable reputation as a writer, director, producer, choreographer, and performer appearing on stage, television and in film.
Born in Wallasey, England, just south of Liverpool and trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts this energetic and vivacious human being has worked locally for over 20 years, including having founded the Royal Canadian Theatre Company, Surrey’s first professional theatre company.
Currently the theatre artist-in-residence at the Newton Cultural Centre Ellie has been instrumental in re-fitting the garage space in this former Fire Hall into a fully functioning studio theatre venue.
Children and youth are also among her passions, apparent from her mentorship with the Surrey Youth Arts Council, and her work on the People to People Playworkers tent at the annual Surrey Children’s Festival.
In addition to providing acting classes, Ellie also designed and implemented “Drama Parties”, interactive performance based birthday parties for children ages 7 to 11 years.
Along with her collaborator husband this dedicated arts advocate lives with family, dogs, cats, birds, fish and frogs but still finds time to get involved with local charities and non-profit groups including serving on the Board of Directors for the Arts Council of Surrey.
Kelly Konno grew up in Surrey and now bases herself here and in Los Angeles. Her career has taken her all over the world with such artists as Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Prince, Pink, Deborah Cox and N’Sync.
Her work as a choreographer has been seen in numerous films, television shows and commercials. Her own performances include the Grammy Awards, MTV Video Awards, American Music Awards, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Saturday Night Live, and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Kelly was honoured to be the choreographer on Global Television’s reality series Canada Sings, seasons 1 and 2.
Locally Kelly auditioned youth and developed the Surrey Celebration Dance Team who entertained thousands of people at Surrey’s Celebration Site during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Thanks to Kelly’s mentorship, and her efforts to bring in special teachers and a talent agent this legacy has continued and the Dance Team performs at the Canada Day Celebrations, the Tree Lighting Ceremony, and Party for the Planet.
Kelly is also director and co-owner of the Surrey-based Triple Threat Dance Convention Inc. which travels across Canada to bring together aspiring Canadian dancers for sessions with today’s top choreographers, dancers and artists. Kelly’s supporters consistently mention that she goes above and beyond, with one of them citing: “Not once in all my dealings with Kelly did I ever come across any form of ego, judgement or complaint. She is an outstanding individual and an incredibly dedicated and talented artist and mentor.” This one of a kind individual is worthy of the title Surrey Civic Treasure.
Patricia Dahlquist has been singing professionally for almost half a century in coffee houses, jazz clubs, show rooms, concert halls and hundreds of musical theatre shows across Canada and the United States.
In 1975 she signed a recording contract with CBS and in 1976 her hit single “Keep Our Love Alive” propelled her to winning the Juno Award for Most Promising Female Vocalist of the Year. Patricia has appeared in numerous plays in Vancouver, Surrey, Toronto, and Dawson City as well as over 200 national commercials, ad campaigns, and industrial shows, including her most recent role in the highly acclaimed theatre production of Menopositive! The Musical.
Patricia has studied ballet, violin, singing, and spent five years at UBC studying Theatre and Education. In 2006 Patricia realized a lifelong dream and co-founded Young People’s Opera Society of BC, a not-for-profit society that provides children and youth with the opportunity to explore and learn about the art of opera, gaining both performance skills and valuable life skills.
For ten years she co-produced Surrey Sings! with fellow 2013 Civic Treasure Maxine Lloyd Howchin. She has been a mentor to the Youth Arts Council of Surrey and also directed the winning entries of aspiring high school writers’ productions of their one-act plays for the Write On! competition held annually at the Surrey Arts Centre.
Recently this warm-hearted individual has shared her vast knowledge of the arts with the community of Surrey in her home studio and at the Surrey Dance Centre. Her commitment and contributions to the arts in Surrey are exceptional. She is a constant advocate of the arts and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Arts Council of Surrey.
MAXINE LLOYD HOWCHIN
Maxine has lived in Surrey since she was two years old, received her education here, and continues to reside here. Working in the arts community came naturally to her since her parents were both active with the Newton Lions club and the annual Newton Festival.
Maxine has worked behind the scenes with the Fraser Valley Gilbert and Sullivan Society and earned the title “Queen of Props”. She organized the first Surrey Film Festival, takes Tap and Musical theatre from Carol Seitz at Classic Steps Stage Productions and performs at recitals and many community events.
Maxine also spent ten years co-producing Surrey Sings! an annual concert which showcased Surrey school, church and professional choral groups. Maxine has represented the arts on the Regional Arts Council and the BC Arts Council, the Steering Committee of the BC Festival of the Arts, the Entertainment Committee of the Cloverdale Blueberry Festival and Newton Days, in addition to working with the Guildford Visual Arts competition for secondary students.
Maxine has served on the Board of the Surrey Festival of Dance and has been on the Executive Board of the Surrey Arts Council for 15 years, where she chairs the Grants Committee and interviews the secondary school candidates who apply for assistance. She presents these awards at the annual Juried Art Exhibition held in partnership with the Surrey Art Gallery.
If all of this isn’t exhausting enough, Maxine does it while holding down a job as a Nursing Unit Coordinator at Royal Columbian Hospital. Maxine is loved and appreciated for her dedication and service to the community. She brings enthusiasm and optimism to everything she pursues; she truly is a Treasure.
© Copyright 2013