The Canadian Public Relations Society of Vancouver Island (CPRS-VI) is a vibrant and growing community of public relations practitioners, leaders and scholars.
We are part of a federation of 14 member societies across Canada, comprised of men and women who practice public relations in Canada and abroad. Together under the umbrella of CPRS, we work to maintain the highest standards and to share a uniquely Canadian experience in public relations.
CPRS is a member of the Global Alliance, an organization created to promote and represent national associations for public relations and communications. Over 60 countries are Global Alliance members including Canada, Great Britain, South Africa, the United States, India and New Zealand.
Your Leadership Team
President and Chair of Communications & Board Culture
Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, Manager of Corporate Communications and Marketing for Consumer Protection BC (a provincial regulator), develops and leads the implementation of the annual communications and marketing plan, plays a pivotal role in issues management, and is the corporate media spokesperson.
A leader on social in the regulatory world, she developed the organization’s social media identity as a trusted, responsive and empathic organization with a robust and engaged online community. Its Facebook community currently has almost 54,000 people and Consumer Protection BC won an Award of Excellence for a social page by a brand from the Communicator Awards. In 2017, Tatiana was a presenter at the annual Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) national conference where she shared her experience and insights in the world of social.
Along with over 20 years of experience in PR and communications, Tatiana holds an honours bachelor’s degree from Trent University and has a certificate in Management and Leadership Skills from Royal Roads University.
In 2018, she was the volunteer Chair of the organizing committee for the CPRS-VI Beyond the Hype conference and is a member of the national CPRS professional development committee which created the workshop program for the 2019 national conference.
Vice President and Treasurer
Erin Coulson has a decade's worth of corporate and non-profit/government experience in the local region. She started her comms career with positions of increasing seniority at Thrifty Foods, then designed a stage-and-gate product development collaboration toolkit and a Balanced Scorecard-based strategic framework at fast-paced and internationally successful cannabis leader Tilray, and most recently took on planning, promotions, and publications at United Way and Islands Trust Conservancy. She is currently Marketing and Communications Manager at Brentwood College School.
Erin has a History in Art BA from UVic, a cinematography certificate from Capilano University, and has been certified for strategic planning through the Kaplan-Norton Boot Camp based in Boston, MA. She taught ESL in Japan and Hungary for three years combined and has since developed professional interests in team performance management, agile vs. waterfall project planning, and best practices that cross over between the Communications/PR, Public Engagement, and Marketing disciplines.
She wakes early to practice yoga, loves championing local businesses in the Cowichan Valley, and lives there with her husband Cezar, son Ronan, and daughter Ileana, spending her personal time reading (mostly non-fiction) and communicating with friends from the travelling days.
GAELLE VAN ERP
Director and Membership Co-Chair
Gaëlle van Erp has had many titles: communicator, public relations consultant, entrepreneur, Canada’s Next 36 member, translator and most recently – Associate Director, Marketing & Communications, for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation. She graduated with top honours from the Gustavson School of Business in 2015, after holding several marketing and communications roles with companies across the country, including Ledcor Group. Gaëlle joined the Victoria Hospitals Foundation as Manager of Communications in June 2016, where she oversees all print and digital communications, marketing, media and collateral.
Originally from France, she is known for seeing the world through both a literary and visual lens, and for her passion in connecting with people in the community – on a local and global scale. In 2018, she joined the Beyond the Hype steering committee to organize a conference that brings together industry leaders in media, communications, and public relations.
ERIC BERNDT, APR
Eric Berndt is the Communications Director with BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and prior to that, he was the Director of Communications with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.
He has also worked in communication roles with Island Health and AIDS Vancouver Island, and is currently on the Board of Directors of CPRS Vancouver Island.
Andy Watson is the Manager of Government and Media Relations with WorkSafeBC, a role that he took after almost a decade working for the Government of British Columbia in various communications roles with the BC Coroners Service and Government Communications and Public Engagement (EMBC, MARR and JTST).
A collaborator and believer that connections and networking are crucial to any success in the communications industry, Andy believes in the power of information sharing to create meaning, avoid misunderstanding, and develop community.
With over two decades of experience in the communications industry, including five years as a journalist, Andy holds a Bachelor of Journalism (Hons) degree from Carleton University in Ottawa and a Master of Arts in Professional Communications from Royal Roads University in Victoria. Andy was also nominated for a Premier’s Award as an emerging leader in 2019.
Andy is volunteering to support the CPRS National Conference Cultivate in 2021 and looks forward to helping to mentor newer communications professionals in the industry. He lives in Victoria with his wife Lori, and two fur-children. When he’s not communicating, you’ll find Andy refereeing box lacrosse or enjoying one of B.C.’s fine craft beer offerings.