For the last ten years, no blogger has had her finger on the pulse of British Columbian life quite like Surrey alum Rebecca Bollwitt. Blogging since ‘04 and podcasting since ’05, Miss604 (as she’s more commonly known) is a fourteen-year veteran of the online media industry and chances are if you’ve ever browsed the web for what’s up in the Lower Mainland, you’ve stumbled across her fantastic blog. We met with Rebecca to talk about where it all started…
Tourism Surrey: What do you love about Surrey?
Rebecca Bollwitt: It feels like home. Community, people, parks, the easy getaway from work and busy lives to a beach, a forest trail, a farm…
TS: What’s the most valuable thing that you provide Surrey?
RB: I have the experience of being someone who grew up in Surrey, in Whalley. I’m able to tell the story of the city through my eyes as I explored it as a child, lived it through school, and grew with it over the years. Since starting my blog in 2004 I have promoted Surrey activities, notable people, and history – things that many people weren’t talking about online at the time. I began sponsoring the City of Surrey’s major festivals in 2008, starting with Winterfest and I have sponsored every one of the city’s major festivals ever since (Canada Day, Fusion Festival, and the Tree Lighting Ceremony). The first charitable event I ever did online, in 2007, was in support of the Surrey Food Bank and since that time I have promoted causes such as this in my hometown, through online promotion, campaigns and exposure. With photos and stories I shine a positive spotlight on Surrey and its many communities.
TS: What’s the most valuable thing that Surrey provides you?
RB: Surrey gives me roots. My Oma and Opa bought land and built their house there in 1956 and it’s been the core of my family ever since. Surrey to me means family dinners, backyard games, watching my nephews’ little league games, birthday parties, nature walks in the park, a pint at the pub with friends…
TS: How does Surrey inspire you?
RB: Professionally, the City of Surrey has been a valuable partner when it comes to event and festival coverage. Being a part of Canada Day, Fusion Festival, and the Tree Lighting Ceremony has taught me a lot about event promotion, process, organization, media coverage, and much more.
TS: What’s changed about Surrey in the last 10 years?
RB: I did a post recently- Signs You Grew Up in Surrey in the 90s, which was one of my most-read articles. Surrey changes every time I visit (about once a month). A new tower in the downtown core, a new event like a night market, a new shopping area, or a new restaurant.
TS: What do you picture Surrey looking like in the next ten years?
RB: Surrey is so huge in terms of space so I hope to see more restaurants, community gatherings, bus routes, and easier ways for the people of Surrey to live, learn, and enjoy the outdoors. I know ‘the future lives here’ but Surrey will always be the City of Parks to me, and I hope it maintains the meaning of the old slogan.
TS: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
RB: Be proud of being from Surrey. Too often I see community names replace the city’s name – I’m looking at you, Cloverdale! But I’m never afraid to tell people I grew up in Surrey, in Whalley. It’s an amazing place with friendly neighbours, rich cultural diversity, parks bursting with opportunities to connect with nature, and awesome free events for all.