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Raising the Flag for Community on Dominion Day

We’re hoping guests and local visitors will join us between 2 and 5 pm on Sunday, July 1, for the first annual Dominion Day celebration. Taking place on Civic Plaza, directly outside Civic Hotel’s doors, this open-air, music-filled celebration offers something for every member of the family. The afternoon event is being organized and sponsored by Dominion Bar + Kitchen, a full-service bar and restaurant serving New Canadian cuisine, innovative cocktails and local brews, located just off the hotel lobby.

Come early and sample complimentary crispy chicken or vegetarian tacos cooked up by the amazing chefs at Dominion and wash them down with (alcohol-free) mocktails or flavoured and bottled waters. Catch the lively beats of Vancouver Producer and DJ Tails, the upbeat anthems by Juno-nominated country music star Aaron Pritchett (pictured above), or relax in the partially covered outdoor area. You can also head indoors to the restaurant for appies or enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail on their patio.

Darren Pierce, Dominion Bar + Kitchen’s General Manager, is one of the chief organizers of the event. Putting his energy behind a community celebration of Canada and the diversity and inclusiveness that have come to define Surrey is a natural for Pierce. He’s simply looking to extend the warm welcome to event guests that mirror the kind of support and acceptance that he received when moving here from his native Ireland six years ago.

Working in the hospitality industry since the age of 15, Pierce says he “wasn’t expected to amount to much” by teachers. But he set his sights on a career in the hospitality industry, eventually earning an honours degree in hospitality and business management. Through sheer hard work, he rose through the ranks quickly only to find that the opportunities for advancement that he sought were not available, a situation created in part through a growing economic downturn in Ireland.

So, like many of the people who now call Surrey home, he looked elsewhere and, together with his wife, decided to give Canada a try for twelve months. The rest reads like a classic Canadian success story. “Within three days of landing in Vancouver, I landed my first job, as a bartender. I put my head down and worked. I did long hours, long weekends, missed a lot of family birthdays and weddings. But it’s paid off because I’m seeing the results now. We have a wonderful life in Canada and I’m the manager of a brand new restaurant in an amazing community.”

At the helm of Dominion Bar + Kitchen since its launch in early 2018, Pierce is joining the many professionals, entrepreneurs, academics, administrators and local community members whose talent and hard work are driving the remarkable transformation of Surrey’s City Centre. “When I took a walk around City Centre, all I could see was how much they were investing in infrastructure and all the new hi-rise residential buildings they’re building. I was shocked how beautiful the architecture of buildings like the library are. It doesn’t take an expert to see this place is growing and thriving. We didn’t start it but I want to be a part that change and growth.”

The DBK G&T (dominion bar + kitchen) (gin & tonic)

This weekend, when it comes to joining with family and friends and raising a glass of cheer for the “unity of communities,” Pierce will probably turn to the enduring appeal of old-school cocktail classics like the Gin and Tonic. What makes these Irish eyes smile, however, is the version created by the professional mixologists at Dominion Bar + Kitchen. “We’ve taken the basics of what’s popular and added our own unique, cosmopolitan twist by drawing on Surrey’s superb local, seasonal produce and locally distilled spirits.”



Fill a glass with ice. Add 2 ounces of Queensborough gin, ½ ounce of dry vermouth, 3 slices of fresh cucumber and 1 tablespoon of juniper berries. Top up with tonic. For extra flavour, add a touch of cracked black pepper.