FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 6, 2023
South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce announces expansion of support to arts community
The South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce its expansion of support to the local arts & culture community in a significant way. Starting in January 2023, the Peninsula Arts and Cultural Alliance (PACA) will become an official part of the Chamber. PACA is comprised of over 40 local arts-based businesses and groups, musicians and individual artists of every genre who meet monthly to share their updates, collaborate and review opportunities.
The partnership with the Chamber and PACA members has been in discussions for the last few months and was precipitated because the Co-Chairs, Michele Partridge and Elaine Cheung were recently elected to the White Rock City Council. The Chamber accepted the request to take on the management and coordination of PACA to ensure the group continues and expand the Chamber’s membership and resources for the arts community.
Most of the businesses in PACA are already members of the Chamber and will now save on their PACA fees. Many of the independent artists who were not members of PACA will now be able to access the resources and opportunities through the Chamber. To accommodate the merger, the Chamber Board approved a new level of membership at a discounted rate for independent artists, students, retirees and seniors.
Along with the arts community, the Chamber and the City of White Rock representatives were already active participants of PACA. The Chamber has been increasing its support of the arts over the last few years. It introduced the ‘Supporter of the Arts’ award category as part of its Business Excellence Awards in 2019. The Chamber recognized the significant impact of the pandemic to the arts and made it one of the 3 important pillars in the Chamber’s “Let’s Get Local” campaign which included a Winter Variety Arts Show and promotional videos for 10 local arts-based businesses and musicians. The Chamber also opened its online Events Calendar to allow local organizations and artists to add their shows, exhibits, etc. to make it a resource for the community. This is also a full circle transition for PACA, because along with Michele Partridge, Ritu Khanna was one of the founding members that helped formalize PACA in 2017, prior to her role at the Chamber as Executive Director.
The Chamber will be hosting the first PACA meeting of the year on Wednesday, January 11 at the White Rock Community Centre at 1PM-2PM, doors open at 12:30PM. The meeting is open to members of the Chamber and anyone in the community interested in the local arts scene. Pre-registration is required.
“It’s a wonderful and natural progression of the Chamber’s continued support of the local arts community. It is important for our local economy and health of the community that we have a thriving and robust arts scene and support our local artists.” - Ritu Khanna, Executive Director of the Chamber
“As an artist you are your own brand and business, so this merger will definitely give our local arts community an opportunity to expand their exposure to the business community which in turn could foster some great connections for collaboration.” - Michele Partridge, former Co-Chair of PACA
“The arts and culture community naturally goes hand in hand with the business community; together, they generate economics and create vibrancy and connection within our community. So having PACA become part of the Chamber of Commerce just makes perfect sense!” - Elaine Cheung, former Co-Chair of PACA
PACA was founded in 2017 with the goal of fostering a vibrant arts and cultural scene in the region. Over the past 4 years, it has worked to connect artists and cultural organizations with the community, and to provide opportunities for them to showcase their work.
About the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce
The South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit membership-based organization that was established in 1937 to support, advocate for and promote the interests of local businesses. For over 85 years the Chamber is committed to supporting local economic development and promoting the interests of its members and the community.
Executive Director, South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce
Co-Founder, Hilarapy /City of White Rock Councillor