NDP strategists gather for weekend meetings in advance of 2017 B.C. election

More than 500 members of British Columbia's New Democratic Party are in Kamloops for an event the party hopes will put it on the path to power.

Speakers include Betsy Hoover who helped get Barack Obama re-elected in 2012

BC NDP leader John Horgan meets with party members in Kamloops as the party prepares for the 2017 provincial election. (BC NDP)

More than 500 members of British Columbia's New Democratic Party are in Kamloops for an event the party hopes will put it on the path to power.

BC NDP members at a election strategy meeting in Kamloops on Saturday, June 25, 2016. (BC NDP)

NDP justice critic Leonard Krog says the meeting is being held in the southern Interior because New Democrats believe the election will be won or lost in rural ridings.

He says seats from urban centres are important but party members believe the last election slipped through their fingers when rural, traditionally NDP seats, went to the Liberals.

Officials with the B.C. NDP say the key to winning the next provincial election is to win more rural ridings, something then-leader Adrian Dix failed to do during the 2013 election.

Opposition Leader John Horgan says the weekend of closed sessions and high-profile speakers will be a big step toward a New Democrat government for B.C. in 2017.

Participants will hear from several high profile speakers including Betsy Hoover who served as director of digital organizing for the 2012 re-election campaign of U.S. President Barack Obama.

Premier Christy Clark's government currently holds 48 seats to the NDP's 35 and the next general election is set for May 9, 2017.

Outgoing leader Adrian Dix says jobs, economy are central issues 2:16