Mark Marissen is a public affairs strategist and entrepreneur who has helped countless clients take charge of their story and win their case in the court of public opinion since he founded Burrard Strategy in 1998.
Mark has worked across Canada for Prime Ministers, Premiers, Opposition Leaders, Members of Parliament, Members of the Legislative Assembly, and municipal leaders, helping them to do what it takes to succeed.
Mark started his career in Ottawa as the National Youth Director of the Liberal Party of Canada, followed by serving as Senior Advisor to the Honourable David Anderson when he was the Senior Political Minister for British Columbia.
Mark moved to British Columbia in 1996 when his then-spouse, Christy Clark, successfully ran to become the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Port Moody-Burnaby Mountain.
By the early 2000’s, Mark managed the Honourable Paul Martin’s successful leadership campaign in British Columbia, and was the Liberal Party of Canada’s British Columbia campaign co-chair in the 2004 and 2006 elections, the only region where the party increased its seat count in both elections, while losing seats across the country.
In 2008, Mark was the campaign manager for the Honourable Stephane Dion’s underdog campaign to become the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. Mark then served as the party’s national campaign co-chair in the 2008 federal election, along with Senator David Smith and Nancy Girard.
Over the years, Mark Marissen has been called “wonderkid“, a “west coast power player“, “one of the sharpest political minds in the province, if not the country“, a “powerhouse”, and “the Rainmaker.“ Marissen was also featured by the Vancouver Sun as one of five “British Columbians worth watching” as the government changed in Ottawa.
In 2014, Mark co-founded Pacific Future Energy Corporation, a company dedicated to co-creating a near-zero net carbon emissions refinery, on the northwest coast of B.C., in full partnership with First Nations. Mark worked closely with former International Trade Minister, the Honourable Stockwell Day; former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo; Former National Chief Ovide Mercredi; former judge and BC Attorney General Wally Oppal; and Dave Coles, former President of the Canadian Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union on this project.
Pacific Future Energy Corporation endorsed the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples and then-leader Justin Trudeau’s election commitment to honour a ban on heavy oil tankers on the northwest coast that was started by the work of the Honourable David Anderson many decades ago.
In 2018, Mark helped create YES Vancouver, a new “YIMBY” (“Yes In My Backyard”) municipal political party devoted to solving Vancouver’s housing crisis by addressing exclusionary single-family zoning.
Mark ran for Mayor of Vancouver in 2022, after YES Vancouver was rebranded to become Progress Vancouver. His campaign was devoted to multi-family housing throughout the city, partly through lifting the apartment ban that is in effect for over 75% of the residential land, as well as creating a Civic Housing Corporation; creating a Commissioner of the Night-time Economy and Culture; and tackling the drug poisoning crisis through both safe supply and a stronger focus on recovery services.
Mark has BA in Political Science from Carleton University and lives in Vancouver.