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Re-Enactors Bring Surrey’s Past to Present

Have you seen Surrey’s Re-Enactors around town?

My youngest, Zoe, and I had the chance to watch this award-winning heritage re-enactment performance troupe at the Surrey Children’s Festival last weekend.

Launched back in 2012, the Surrey Heritage Services program uses professional actors to portray real Surrey settlers and citizens from 1872 to 1970 – with a focus on the pioneer years.

Each of the historical characters portrayed by actors who DO NOT break character, have a poignant part in Surrey’s past.

Although Zoe is just a week shy of turning 5, she was captivated by the fun and informative monologues, costumes and catchy tunes.

Surrey Re-Enactors

For the older children and parents in the crowd – myself included – it was a great way to brush up one’s knowledge of Surrey’s vibrant history.

In fact, you might say it was a real blast – to the past!


Here’s the lowdown on the three characters that were portrayed by the Re-Enactors at the Surrey Children’s Festival.

First, there was Ryan Haneman, who played the role of Eric Anderson – a Swedish gentleman who made his way to Canada on a whaling ship.

Then and Now

He informed the crowd that as the ship’s carpenter, he was sent ashore in New Westminster to get supplies for repairs to the ship. Upon seeing how beautiful Canada was, he left the ship and crossed the Fraser River to settle in Surrey.


We also learned that Zennosuke Inouye, Portrayed by Kevin Takahide, was a prominent Surrey businessman, chauffeur, and veteran of World War I.

After the war, he purchased 80 acres of land in Strawberry Hills through the Soldier’s Settlement Board and built a pioneer homestead. He was President of the Surrey Berry Growers’ Association and a volunteer at the Japanese Language School.

Last but not least, we were introduced to TJ Sullivan, portrayed by Vince Metcalfe.


TJ Sullivan joined his brother in Surrey to set up a sawmill in 1903, but was drawn into local politics as a way to help improve his community.  He was elected Reeve of Surrey, a position he held for 10 years. He had a hand in the construction of the 1912 Municipal Hall and the Peace Arch. One of his greatest achievements was as a Commissioner of the Surrey Dyking District, which built concrete dams at the mouth of the Nicomekl and Serpentine Rivers to control tidal waters, reclaiming 130,000 acres of farmland.

After the show came to an end, the Re-Enactors stayed true to their characters while visiting with members of the audience and posing for photos.

As a mom of two young kids, I’ve seen my fair share of mind-numbing children’s performances – my friends, this, is not one of them

Make sure to add a performance by the Re-Enactors to your summer bucket list. They kicked off the start of their performance season this past weekend, but can be spotted roving the City’s major events until October.

Note: Every time you see the Re-Enactors, the performance is likely to be different. There are 7 total Re-Enactors, both men and women from Surrey’s past. Each character has three trips, so you could see the Re-Enactors several times and never get to see the same show twice, depending on scripts and which of the seven is performing.

Want to see them for yourself? Find them next on Saturday, June 18th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Surrey Museum & Archives.

For a complete list of performance dates and locations, Click HERE and make sure to check out the video below.


Disclaimer: While all opinions expressed are my own, this is a sponsored post.

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