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
Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, Director of Communications & External Engagement 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 over 60,000 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 has been a member of the national CPRS professional development committee since 2019, which develops the program for the CPRS national conferences.
SABINA SARAN SINGH
Sabina is a Communication and Strategic Engagement Consultant for one of Canada’s top Indigenous advisory firms. Before joining the Castlemain Group, she acted as the communication specialist for the Songhees Nation. In earlier phases of her career, Sabina gathered communication and public relations experience from the financial services, tourism, and non-profit sectors.
Along with Sabina’s academic achievements in Communication, she holds a Diploma in Social and Community Services. Today she uses the knowledge and skills gained to apply an anti-oppressive lens to her work. Her other academic achievements include a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Communication Management and a Bachelor of Professional Communication from Royal Roads University, and a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations from the University of Victoria.
GAELLE VAN ERP
Director and Membership Co-Chair - on parental leave
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.
Director and Membership Co-Chair
Hannah is Cree with relations to Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta with mixed European ancestry. She has been living as an uninvited guest on the territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples, the Songhees, Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations, for the last 18 years. She is grateful to live, work and play and create her own spiritual connections to these beautiful lands and waters each day.
After graduating with a BFA from the University of Victoria she developed a strong sense of devotion to Indigenous communities after further exploring her own cultural connections. Her shared passion for the arts and serving Indigenous communities in B.C.led her to a career in communications. She worked as a Communications Officer with the First Peoples' Cultural Council and continues to support Indigenous communities in her current role as a Communications Officer with the University of Victoria within the Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement (IACE).
ERIC BERNDT, APR
Eric Berndt is the Communications Director with BC’s Ministry of Attorney General and Housing. He has also been the Communications Director for the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, the Ministry of Health, and 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 volunteered with the CPRS National Conference Cultivate in 2021 and is passionate about 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.