Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke will deliver her State of the City Address on Thursday Feb. 15 with tickets selling at $150 apiece and $1,650 for a table of 11.
She’s set to outline her economic vision for the city at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, at 15269 104 Ave. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., hosted by the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce and the Surrey Board of Trade.
A press release issued by the Surrey Board of Trade on Nov. 29 describes is as “an important event to re-energize the city and build excitement around a renewed economic and jobs plan for Surrey. A state of the city gives business stakeholders and potential investors an inside glimpse of the current economic assets and goals as Surrey becomes the largest city in British Columbia.”
Locke is quoted in the same release.
“In the first year since this new city council was sworn in,” her statement reads, “we have made significant progress in improving the quality of life in Surrey. From building new infrastructure to enhancing public safety, Council has worked hard to improve the livability of our city.
“There’s no question Surrey is thriving and growing at a phenomenal pace. The city is a hub for innovative businesses, research centers, and universities, all working together to boost Surrey’s economy. Council’s commitment to economic growth has seen major companies establish in Surrey, with approximately 9,000 jobs created in 2023 alone. Our city is a regional powerhouse and I look forward to sharing my vision for the next chapter of Surrey’s evolution at my first State of the City Address in 2024.”
Former Surrey mayor Doug McCallum’s addresses, including the final one he delivered in 2022, were organized in-house – breaking with a decades-long practice. Tickets for his 2022 address were $150 apiece and, according to the City of Surrey, it was a “cost-neutral event” that was $379.48 over budget.
Before McCallum, tickets for mayor Linda Hepner’s fourth and final State of the City Address in 2018 cost $110 apiece and $1,210 for a table of 11 and was solely hosted by the Surrey Board of Trade.
“That was always sold out,” Hepner recalled. “I think that was a big event for the board of trade to have all the businesses around the table, seeing what the state of the city was. Generally it wasn’t an individual resident that was interested it was more those who are building the city, or those who are invested in their business in the city. And I think it sold out every year. I’m sure hers (Locke’s) will be too.”
Since then, Huberman noted, costs have gone up “for food etcetera to operate the event.”
“We’ve done it all the time, we just haven’t hosted it when mayor McCallum was the mayor. But we’ve been hosting the mayor state of the city, I’ve been here 30 years, so all of those years except for the Doug McCallum years we’ve hosted the state of the city.”
Huberman said proceeds from Locke’s address will be shared by the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce and the Surrey Board of Trade, “because we’re all not-for-profits ourselves and so it just helps our operations.”