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And the Gala Award Goes to...Surrey Fusion Festival 2023

Part 6 in our 2024 Gala Award Feature Series

All photos courtesy City of Surrey


Gala Award Recipient for Most Outstanding Spectacle, Fair, or Festival

Every year in British Columbia, Canada, the city of Surrey celebrates its cultural diversity in the form of the Surrey Fusion Festival. The festival is a free, family-oriented celebration at Holland Park, where over 50 Cultural Pavilions offer authentic cuisine, art, and education from around the world. 

In 2023, the festival featured eight performance areas, with headliners DJ Shub, JESSIA, Gurnam Bhullar, and Wesli. The year’s theme, “Dance Around the World,” encouraged unity through global rhythms, shown through dance stages, cultural dance attire, and a lively Parade of Culture. Attendees immersed themselves in dance lessons, culinary journeys, and engagement with local businesses and non-profits.  

This festival was not without its challenges, however. First, there was the necessary construction of 50 fully functional kitchens, equipped with tents, flooring, running water, refrigerators, cooking surfaces, and drainage, in a field devoid of existing infrastructure. Then, there was the managing the Point of Sale (POS) systems for over 50 vendors on-site. Planning for technological issues, the City of Surrey, along with MRG Events Ltd., implemented protocols to handle these scenarios. 

There was also a Parade of Culture, which can be tricky to coordinate, with the participation of each pavilion, as well as the 80-plus music and dance groups. However, the teams pulled it off smoothly. 

One of the highlights of the festival was the 50 pavilions, each representing a different country from around the world, with culinary offerings that serve as a delicious reminder of Surrey’s cultural richness. The performances also reinforced the local cultural tapestry, with a fusion of traditional and contemporary performances, featuring artists from all corners of the world. Mesmerizing folk dances and headlining acts had everyone dancing. “The festival was a showcase of artistic talent and a testament to the universal language of music and dance,” MRG wrote in their Gala awards submission. 

Congratulations to City of Surrey and MRG Events Ltd. for taking home the award for Most Outstanding Spectacle, Fair, or Festival!

To submit an entry to this year's Gala awards, please visit our awards portal.         

Important Dates      

  • September 1, 2023-August 31, 2024 | Eligibility Period for Entries     
  • Sunday, September 15, 2024 | Regular submission deadline ($125 fee)     
  • Tuesday, September 30, 2024 | Late Bird submission deadline ($175 fee)     

If you are interested in entering in the ACE awards instead, you can enter the Catersource 2025 ACE awards in the same online portal as the Gala awards. Catersource + The Special Event 2025 will run February 24-27 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Both the ACE and Gala awards will be presented during the conference at a to-be-determined location in Fort Lauderdale. 

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