Systemic racism is deeply rooted in historical, social, material, and economic inequalities, and we understand this is a lived reality for many in our communities. We acknowledge and share a deep respect for people striving to create change within systems that devalue the lives and futures of Black, Indigenous, and racialized peoples. We are motivated by and learning from the Black Lives Matter movement, and its resistance and resilience.
In 2019, 2020 and 2021, Surrey Fusion Festival – in collaboration with the Arts Council of Surrey – was awarded funding from the Federal Department of Canadian Heritage on behalf of the Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program for events. Festival organizers are committed to creating a festival that builds bridges to promote inter-cultural understanding and provide equal opportunities for individuals of all origins to participate in the event. Organizers are dedicated to working with and learning from partners, exhibitors, pavilion organizers and the festival committee to dismantle systemic racism, while specifically supporting Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) to create a safe and inclusive event.
Surrey Fusion Festival organizers have paused to reflect internally, to listen, learn, and accept responsibility to continue to create change. Imagining our collective futures, and as witnesses to this historic movement of social change, we commit ourselves to the following actions:
- Surrey Fusion Festival will continue to work alongside pavilion organizers to ensure ample and appropriate representation of cultural histories, traditions, food and music;
- Surrey Fusion Festival will continue to coordinate Indigenous programming and features;
- Surrey Fusion Festival organizers commit to supporting BIPOC performers and entertainers, by programming a balanced festival representative of Surrey’s diverse communities;
- Organizers are committed to evaluating and diversifying programming to ensure it achieves the goal of accessibility and inclusion of all colours, genders, sexual orientations, beliefs, and abilities; and
- Organizers will coordinate a post-event debrief with staff and contractors to ensure ongoing learning.
Each year, festival organizers contact cultural societies and organizations within Surrey and the lower mainland, with a focus on outreach to cultures that have not previously participated in the festival.
If you would like to participate in the festival on behalf of your culture, or would like to share your thoughts or suggestions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Surrey’s commitment to reconciliation, diversity, inclusion, social equity and anti-racism, visit the City of Surrey’s diversity and inclusion webpage.