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August 24, 2018, 12:57 pm

Surrey Announces Winners of Inaugural Social Innovation Awards

City of Surrey

SURREY - As part of its fourth annual Social Innovation Summit, the City of Surrey will honour community leaders by presenting the first ever Surrey Social Innovation Awards at a special reception to be held at City Hall the evening before the Summit opens on September 6th. In addition to announcing the inaugural award winners, Surrey also announced today that the Summit will be officially opened by the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.

The Surrey Social Innovation Awards will recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations who are committed to building a better Surrey through the design and implementation of social innovation. Like the Surrey Social Innovation Summit, the awards highlight commitment, achievement, creativity, community engagement, innovation and our success as a progressive and growing community where all are welcome and every voice counts.

The winners announced on August 23rd:

1. LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Co-Winners: Al Etmanski and Vickie Cammack

Dr. Michael Wilson and Dr. Ann Wilson

Al Etmanski and Vickie Cammack worked in the social innovation space since the term was first coined. Together, they founded the Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN), led a successful campaign to establish the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), and have been instrumental in starting non-profit social enterprises. Today, the Surrey pair travel the world nurturing social innovations. Al’s latest book is called “Impact:  Six Patterns to Spread your Social Innovation.” 

Drs. Michael and Ann Wilson are local and national social innovation heroes. Michael is the founding Executive Director of the Phoenix Society. His passion has been to increase the social, economic and environmental sustainability of Surrey through education in combination with community, social and economic development efforts. Ann has been instrumental in projects such as the Rising Sun Villas, which is a shared equity home ownership model that enables the city’s most vulnerable.
 
2. INNOVATION IN SOCIAL PURPOSE BUSINESS
Co-Winners: Community Living Society and Studio Seventy Three

With the support of the Community Living Society, Studio Seventy Three provides employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities who want to express their creative vision in a meaningful way that also provides them with an income. For these artists, working at the studio producing beautiful and functional glassware, decorative pieces and wearable art has fostered self-confidence, social development, and relationships, and enabled them to learn new skills. 
 
3. INNOVATION IN COMMUNITY
Co-Winners: Cora and Don Li-Leger (The PLOT)
Katheren Szabo and Steve Webster (Friends of the Grove)
 
Artists Cora and Don Li-Leger formed The People’s Food Security Bureau in 2015 as part of their mission to integrate art and life through food. In 2016, they created The PLOT, a non-profit, community-run and supported garden based on artistic expression. Today, that collectively-tended, interactive, and functional land art piece grows and provides free food for food banks and others, all while fostering a strong sense of community.

Katheren Szabo and Steve Webster have worked together quietly building connection in their community through “Friends of The Grove”, a group which brings residents in the Newton neighbourhood together to provide place making activities inside the cluster of cedars beside the Newton Recreation Centre known as “The Grove.” Using music, art and playfulness, the “Friends of The Grove” brings fun, peace and harmony to the Newton neighbourhood.
 
4. INNOVATION IN YOUTH
Co-Winners: Surrey Refugee Youth Team
Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association Indigenous Youth Group
 
The Surrey Refugee Youth Team was set up by the Surrey Local Immigrant Partnership (LIP) in the summer of 2017 as a leadership group comprised of youth living in Surrey who came to Canada as refugees with the aim of “supporting opportunities for youth to convene, connect across cultures, share their experiences and perspectives, and build leadership skills.” The team is led by four youth, who work closely with the Surrey LIP project team to “plan and conduct youth engagement activities and support refugee youth engagement in the Surrey LIP.”

The Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association (FRAFCA) Indigenous Youth Group is a leadership group comprised of Indigenous youth who live in Surrey and want to solve some of the complex problems facing them and their peers. The group has developed a cultural competency curriculum, designed for young people to learn about the history and strengths of Indigenous people in Canada, as well as the challenges they face today in urban centres like Surrey. The group developed a small social enterprise that will provide cultural competency training to schools, community and business.
 
5. INNOVATION IN NON-PROFIT
Winner: Lookout Housing and Health Society
 
Lookout Housing and Health Society goes beyond traditional solutions for homeless residents by fostering growth and change through innovative service delivery and collaborative partnerships. Lookout has been a leader in response to the opioid crisis, through initiatives such as opening Surrey’s first safe consumption site, Safepoint, and by working with partners such as the RCMP, City of Surrey Public Safety, City of Surrey Bylaws, Fraser Health and BC Housing to move more than 225 homeless individuals into temporary modular housing in June 2018. 

Presented by Century Group, the Surrey Social Innovation Summit will bring nearly fifty local and national experts to City Hall to explore how organizations are using social innovation to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing Canadian cities. Among the issues and topics that will be explored are Indigenous reconciliation, housing, social inclusion and mental health.
 
For the complete agenda, topics, and more information about the Surrey Social Innovation Summit, visit http://www.surrey.ca/community/19760.aspx.
 
To arrange interviews with summit panellists or Social Innovation Awards winners (before or during the summit), please contact:
Greg Descantes
Pace Group
604.646.3564
GDescantes@pacegroup.com
#SurreyInnovates
 
Oliver Lum
Communications Manager
Office of the Mayor
City of Surrey
604.591.4519
OWLum@surrey.ca

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