Transformative Communities

Summary of organization/program

The Transformative Communities Project (formerly The Surrey Urban Youth Project) is an arts-based, youth driven, empowerment program providing training in anti-oppression, facilitation, peer-support, conflict transformation, nonviolent communication, public speaking, and community organizing for youth  in Surrey.

Contact information


 #114 – 13479 76th Ave Surrey, BC V3W 2W3

 (604) 633-2744

Geographic region

  • Local


  • Youth 14 and older with a particular focus on engaging (im)migrant, refugee, Indigenous and “at-risk” communities in Surrey.
  • 14-20, Interested in hip-hop, poetry, photography, dance, theatre, film, visual arts, and traditional cultural practices
  • Participation is free

History/Background Information

Since 2006, SUYP has filled a crucial gap in youth programming within Surrey.n They have now become the Transformative Communities Project 

Dominant Media Forms

video production


live performance


  • support participants in developing whole and healthy lives to become active leaders in their communities
  • Strengthen the resiliency, connectedness and life-skills of youth participants
  • Support the exploration of creative expression; create opportunities for the advancement of youth-voice;
  • Provide youth with tools to take action on creating change in their communities;
  • Engage the broader community on social issues affecting the lives of young people

Statement of Principles

not provided


Our approach to youth engagement centres on the use of creative expression and urban arts including break dance, spoken word, visual arts, emceeing, video production, photography and more. We use the arts as a tool to explore and take action on personal lived experiences and systemic injustices affecting local communities. Through creativity and expression, we create opportunities for youth and communities in Surrey to strengthen their voices and skills, and develop possibilities for personal and social change. All of our programs are facilitated by community workers who are practicing artists, experienced in using the arts as a tool for social change. Participation in our programs is free.

Samples of work

Making Bridges Out of Walls (MBOW) is an arts-based empowerment and community organizing training program for youth in Surrey.During the workshops, you will develop skills in arts that you are passionate about, while exploring issues effecting you and your community. In May 2010 the art and performance pieces you create during the program, will be featured in a series of Community Performances and Dialogues! MBOW will be facilitated by local artists who are committed to social change.
Program Goal:
  • Bring  youth’s voice into the communityHelp youth to learn conflict transformation and peer facilitation skills 
  • Youth-led movement for social justice and inclusive communities
  • Take action on issues affecting your community
  • Create a community performance

Funding Sources