British Columbia

Is it time to rebrand Surrey as the city of festivals?

Surrey has become such a successful host for large events that hardly anyone bats an eye when 100,000 people turn up for a festival.

Fusion Festival was the city’s third outdoor event of the year to draw more than 100K people

About 40,000 people came out to FVDED in the Park at Holland Park in Surrey earlier this summer. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)

Surrey has hosted so many large events over the last few years that hardly anyone bats an eye when 100,000 people turn up for a festival.

Fusion Festival — a celebration of the city's diversity headlined by reggae singer Maxi Priest last weekend — once again eclipsed the 100,000 mark.

"It really puts us on the map," said Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association CEO Elizabeth Model.

Big acts like Deadmau5, Mumford and Sons and the Weeknd have performed at Holland Park. (CBC)

"We believe that activating a place — so, place-making activities — actually does a huge amount for the community. It builds pride and self-esteem."

Pride was on full display at the Canada Day fireworks celebration in Cloverdale, which also drew a crowd of more than 100,000.

Fvded in the Park, a music festival headlined by Jack Ü, attracted about 40,000 people earlier this month.

Downtown Surrey BIA CEO Elizabeth Model says major outdoor events and festivals have put her community on the map.

And about 25,000 people turned out in April for Party for the Planet, an all-ages event held on the City Hall plaza.

Surrey's manager of special events, Mary Rukavina, says the events seem to grow every year.

"Fusion Festival is a perfect example," she said.

"We have a lot of people from not just Surrey, but Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond. Even people from the States come up for this."

Surrey's Vaisakhi celebration in April, which is one of the largest in the continent, was by far the biggest event of year, attracting more than 350,000 visitors.