Robert Simons with City Council receiving the Freedom of the City Award

Port Moody City Council presented Robert Simons with the prestigious Freedom of the City award at a Special Council Meeting on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. 

“Robert Simons’ contributions to, and impact on, Port Moody cannot be overstated – he is a true inspiration to many and an asset to our community,” said Mayor Meghan Lahti. “He is a hardworking and dedicated community advocate who gives his time and expertise so generously, reminding us of the power of volunteering and how big a difference one person can make. From arts, culture, and heritage to economic development, tourism, and police services, Robert has touched so many aspects of community life and changed things for the better. On behalf of Council and the residents of Port Moody, I offer heartfelt thanks and congratulations to a most deserving recipient of the Freedom of the City honour.” 

Simons, originally from Kimberley, B.C., attended the BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby and completed diplomas in marketing and finance. In 1973, he began working at BC Telephone (BC Tel, later Telus), taking on roles in sales, product management, and business development. Over his 43-year career at BC Tel/Telus, Simons held senior positions in corporate finance and was entrusted with special assignments in systems development, engineering, and network planning. 

It was during his time at BCIT and BC Tel/Telus that Simons became involved with a variety of community, academic, and non-profit organizations, in many cases taking on leadership roles such as:

  • past board member, Variety Club of BC (now Variety – the Children’s Charity of BC);
  • past president and vice-president, Epilepsy BC (now BC Epilepsy Society);
  • past president, Vancouver Neurological Centre (dissolved);
  • past president and vice-president, BCIT Alumni Association; and
  • past board member, BCIT Board of Governors.

Simons and his wife Valerie moved to Port Moody in 1980. In the years since, he has made significant contributions to our community. Highlights include:

  • serving multi-year terms on the City’s Community Care Committee, Heritage Commission, and Economic Development and Tourism Committee;
  • serving as president of the Port Moody Heritage Society (POMO Museum);
  • serving as a provincial appointee to the Port Moody Police Board from 2009 to 2015;
  • working to secure federal funding for celebrations related to Port Moody’s 100th anniversary in 2013; and
  • supporting Port Moody’s Canada 150 Mosaic Mural project in 2017; and 

Additionally, Simons is known for his advocacy work in promoting the revitalization of local heritage sites such as the Ioco Townsite and Ioco School as well as the character and vibrancy of Port Moody’s original Moody Centre neighbourhood. 

Simons is actively engaged with key arts, culture, and heritage organizations in Port Moody. He is the current president and board chair for both the Port Moody Arts Centre and the Port Moody Foundation. He is also the president and board chair of the Yarilo Contemporary Music Society, a member of the Community Board of Directors for Sasamat Outdoor Centre, and the Sasamat Outdoor Centre representative with the Board or Directors for the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC. 

The Freedom of the City award, the highest honour that Port Moody can give, acknowledges and celebrates an individual’s or group’s significant contributions to civic life in Port Moody or their role in enhancing Port Moody’s reputation nationally or internationally. Recipients form an elite list of VIPs welcomed at all City functions and special events as guests of honour. See a full list of Freedom of the City award recipients at