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Former Olympics CEO paid $20,000 to speak at Abbotsford economic symposium

Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong was paid $20,000 to speak at last fall
Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong was paid $20,000 to speak at last fall's economic symposium in Abbotsford.
— image credit: Kevin Mills

Despite a $20,000 speaking fee for John Furlong, former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, the Abbotsford Economic Symposium, held in November last year made the city a profit, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request by The News.

An income statement from the city indicates the event made a surplus of $11,675.96. Total revenue was $82,192.30, with expenses of $70,519.34. All of the numbers recorded are before taxes.

Furlong spoke for less than an hour.

Katherine Jeffcoatt, the city’s director of communications, said Furlong’s presentation was an important part of the event.

“Furlong’s reputation as a visionary leader was a contributing factor in the financial success of the symposium, attracting both sponsors and delegates to his inspirational and authentic message of success through collaboration and community building.”

Guest speaker Ian Hanomansing of the CBC was paid $5,000 for his speech.

The symposium attracted more than 300 people, including  business and political leaders, to the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre to listen to presentations, and attend workshops on how to strengthen the economy of the Fraser Valley.

Revenue was largely gained from sponsorship. Donations of $10,000 were made by the University of Fraser Valley, Fortis BC, Krahn Engineering and the Abbotsford Airport.

Global Spectrum (the parent company), Front Row, Ovations and New Era made a collective contribution of $5,000.

The remainder of the revenue was derived from ticket sales, including $13,676.23 from corporate tables and private sales, and $14,516.07 from online sales.

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