The B.C. Historical Federation’s annual conference will “return” to Cloverdale in 2021.
The BCHF announced April 25 their annual history conference will once again be scheduled for Surrey after this year’s event was cancelled.
“Hosting in Surrey next year made sense given the amount of work, passion, and excitement generated for this year’s event,” said Shannon Bettles, BCHF president. “We look forward to continue working with the Surrey Historical Society.”
“Wow! We were hoping for that!” exclaimed Michael Gibbs, president of the Surrey Historical Society, after he was notified the SHS was once again chosen to host.
The SHS was set to host the original event in Cloverdale from June 5-7, 2020, until the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered the world.
“Everyone’s excited and we’re all looking forward to hosting the conference in 2021,” Gibbs told the Cloverdale Reporter.
After Gibbs heard the good news, he began working the phones. “I’ve been in touch with everyone that was involved with the (2020 conference),” he said. “I’ve had positive responses – meaning they all said, ‘yes, we’d love to be involved again’ – from about one-third of them.”
Gibbs added that no one he contacted said they weren’t interested in participating in the 2021 event, but that he had only heard back from about one-third of everyone he called.
“I’ve spoken with guest speakers, sponsors, partners, and there is great excitement. It gives me a good base to work from.”
While Gibbs’s time as president will soon be up, he will still be the go-to organizer for the conference after his term ends.
He noted the date for the conference will most likely be in June again, but he stressed that nothing has been decided yet. He did say the conference’s theme would change.
“Because it will be British Columbia’s sesquicentennial in 2021, the primary theme of the conference will relate to our province’s 150-year anniversary.”
Gibbs added, “I’m very excited for this second chance.”