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The Re-enactors

2019 Re-enactors group shot

Surrey's Past: See It to Believe It

The Re-enactors are an award-winning heritage re-enactment performance troupe based on real people from Surrey's past. With a focus on the period of 1872 to 1972, they attend City's major events. The Re-enactors are consistent event favourites, offering musical entertainment, intriguing stories of Surrey's early years, and lively, often humorous audience interactions.

2019 Schedule

Date Event Location
May 23-25 Surrey International Children's Festival Bear Creek Park
June 8 Doors Open Museum of Surrey and Surrey Archives
June 22 Cloverdale Market Days Downtown Cloverdale
June 29 Dominion Day Historic Stewart Farm
July 20-21 Surrey Fusion Festival Holland Park
August 10 Fibre Arts and Crafts Festival Museum of Surrey
September 7 Fleetwood Festival Francis Park and Fleetwood Community Centre
September 21 Olde Harvest Fair Historic Stewart Farm

Meet the 2019 Re-Enactor Line Up

Each of the historical characters has a poignant part in Surrey's past. Portrayed by actors who do not break character, they are a troupe to behold.

Eric Anderson made his way to Canada from Sweden on a whaling ship. After some time, his ship arrived in Burrard Inlet in 1872. As the ship’s carpenter, he was sent ashore to get timber for repairs to the ship. Upon seeing how beautiful Canada was, he abandoned his hard life on the whaling ship and crossed the Fraser River to settle near Mud Bay, on the Nicomekl River.

He was a homesteader and carpenter, eventually owning enough land to sell a parcel to the BC Electric Railway for a nice profit.

 

Irene Bourassa immigrated from England in 1913.  She tenaciously debated her way into the Animal Husbandry Program at UBC. She received a degree in Agriculture in 1930 and was the only female in her graduating class. Irene married Art Bourassa in 1931. They ran the Shell Oil plant in Cloverdale.

After Irene’s death in 1995, the Bourassas left $2.5 million each to Surrey Memorial Hospital and Royal Columbian Hospital - the largest personal gifts ever received by these institutions.

 

Zennosuke Inouye moved to Vancouver from Hiroshima at 16. He enlisted in the Overseas Expeditionary Force and fought for Canada in France. After the war, he purchased 80 acres of land in Strawberry Hills and built a homestead. He was President of the Surrey Berry Growers' Association.

During World War II, he and his family endured the hardship of the internment camps and the repossession of his farmland, profitable business and home.  He wrote 80 letters to government offices and ministers, fighting to regain his land. He is the only Japanese Canadian war veteran to have his land returned to him.

Sarjit “Mac” Singh was born in 1929 in Burnaby.  He moved to Surrey as a child and adored The Lone Ranger. The radio character's creed   became a guide for him throughout his life:  “All men are created equal and everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.”  Mac was a leader in Surrey through the 4H Club, the Jaycees, the Surrey Dam and Dyking Commission, and his innovations in agriculture.  In 1951, Mac and Bob Bose were the National Potato Champions at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto and were recognized by the Surrey Chamber of Commerce for their accomplishment.

 

Mary Jane Shannon began her life as a student in the first Surrey school, established by her father, Thomas Shannon and a few others.  She attended high school in Vancouver and after teaching in the wilds of Lac La Hache, she returned to Cloverdale to become the teacher at her old school.

She was a remarkable woman who had a zest for life and learning. She left her teaching post to pursue a degree in Nursing at Columbia University.  Always one for adventure, she studied writing in New York after World War II and spent her later years back in Surrey writing her Cariboo Tales.

*The participation of these Artists are arranged by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance • Opera • Theatre Policy.

Accolades

The Re-enactors were the winners of the 2015 British Columbia Parks and Recreation Association’s Program Excellence Award.