Surrey, BC - Developing a Metro Vancouver Entertainment Hub South of the Fraser

January 19, 2018
In our last blog post, we talked about Surrey’s rapidly growing population and pool of talent. This growing population equates to an increasing demand for entertainment and lifestyle options in the region. Individuals and families are looking for local and engaging alternatives to commuting to downtown Vancouver for their entertainment needs.
FVDED in the Park

Surrey, BC is a strategic and accessible location to become an entertainment hub to service the captive audience of over 737,000 Metro Vancouver residents that live South of the Fraser. 

Blueprint, one of the largest entertainment, lifestyle, and events organizations in Western Canada, saw and capitalized on this opportunity when they took the jump from downtown Vancouver to Surrey City Centre with their FVDED in the Park music festival.  Alvaro Prol, one of Blueprint’s founders, stated, “It was a bit scary of a thought for us to go to Holland Park [in Surrey] instead of doing it at BC Place, but when we started to really look at our data and, year-after-year, see more people come from Surrey to our clubs, to our events, to our festivals, to our pubs, we felt a lot better about taking the risk and coming to Surrey to do what we do now.” In fact, his data showed that 25-40% of his downtown Vancouver club customers were coming from Surrey. Blueprint now runs FVDED in the Park as an annual festival in Surrey and it has sold out for 2 years in a row. In Alvaro’s words, this is “a massive success in a time where festivals are having a hard time.” 

“We want to do more in Surrey. We really like how progressive Surrey is and the investment they have made into entertainment.” 
- Alvaro Prol, Founder of Blueprint

There is also a massive economic and cultural impact that comes with entertainment giants recognizing Surrey as an investment destination of choice. Blueprint’s 2017 FVDED in the Park brought $5 Million into Surrey’s economy, $4 Million of which came from outside the City, including some travelling across the border from Seattle. 
 
But music festivals are only one of numerous entertainment and lifestyle opportunities. Craft brewing is another growing urban opportunity in British Columbia and especially the Greater Vancouver region. The region is fast becoming known as not only the craft brewing capital of Canada, but possibly of North America as well. 
 
Our Invest Surrey Launchpad invited Chris Bjerrisgaard, Marketing Director at Vancouver Island Brewing and Founder of Vancouver Craft Beer Week to show us the incredible opportunities in this area. The numbers show that people are choosing craft beers as alternatives to commercial beer, as shown by its 4% market share increase in the BC beer market over the last 2 years.  People are also choosing craft breweries as the place they spend most of their time outside of home and work. Chris says that this is, large in part, because craft breweries are where the tasting room becomes the meeting place.
 
But what’s the market like in Surrey? Surrey is currently home to four breweries: Central City Brewers, Russell Brewing Company, Big Ridge Brewing Company, and White Rock Brewing. Craft breweries thrive on about 10,000 people to a craft brewery, though many thrive on much less. For example, Rossland, BC has a thriving craft brewing serving approximately 3,000 people. With a population of over 390,000 people over the age of majority and four craft breweries, Surrey is ready for and welcomes the establishment of new craft brewing experiences that will transform and further energize our communities.
 
Live music and dance venues, as well as craft breweries are just two entertainment and lifestyle opportunities that exist within the City of Surrey. Additional opportunities include:
 
  • Cinemas with VIP and 4D experiences
  • Experience rooms (Virtual/Augmented Reality, escape, etc.)
  • Performing arts centres
  • Interactive art museums
  • Unique dining experiences
  • Spectator arenas & conferencing venus
  • Major sports and fitness establishments
  • Film production studios
Connect with us if you have an amazing opportunity you would like to see take root in Surrey.
 
And of course, this is only one of the many transformation opportunities that exist in Surrey, BC. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, or subscribe to our insights to stay tuned as we release more Invest Surrey Launchpad insights over the next weeks.