get enlightened
May 28 – 30, 2017

Nice Kelowna image

Conference at a glance

Illuminate - verb (used with object), illuminated, illuminating. 1. to supply or brighten with light; light up. 2. to make lucid or clear; throw light on (a subject). 3.intellectually or spiritually enlightened.

The 2017 National Conference embraces and celebrates what it means to illuminate.

Take CPRS2017 into your own hands with the official Conference app. Available now for iOS and Android devices. To download the complete program in PDF format, click here!

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

10:30 AM Sunday Brunch
11:15 AM Opening Ceremonies, PRK, APR and College of Fellows Presentations
12:00 PM

Diana and Charles Tisdall Lecture in Communications Opening Keynote: Trust, Respect and Reconciliation 
Marie Wilson, PhD, Commissioner, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada


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 1:00 PM Break
 1:30 PM

Concurrent Workshops:

The Story is Out There: How to Shape a Culture of Storytelling - Jennifer Pawluk, Communications Specialist, Balmoral Hall School

Case Study: Bring Your Social Media Game to the Next Level - Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, Manager, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Consumer Protection B.C.

Killer Communications - Fentanyl, Opioids and the Overdose Crisis - Clay Adams, ABC, APR, Vice-President, Communications and Public Affairs, Vancouver Coastal Health


Senior PR Leadership Roundtable - Led by Mark Ragan, PR Daily Publisher and Ragan Communications CEO  *Session limited to APR's and College of Fellows Members only. Pre-registration is required via email.

Research Stream Presentation - Virginia McKendry, PhD, Peter Ryan, PhD & Jade Tippe, and Amy Thurlow, PhD, APR, FCPRS & Alex Sévigny, PhD, APR

 2:30 PM Break
 2:45 PM Engagement Plenary Panel
Moderator: Jennifer Davies, Principal, Earnscliffe Strategy Group
Panelists: Mina Laudan, Vice President, Public Affairs, Council of Forest Industries, Chrystiane Mallaley, Director, NATIONAL Public Relations and Jeni Vlahovic, Principal, The C&E Group.
 4:00 PM Break
 4:15 PM Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) AGM
 5:15 PM Break
 6:00 PM

Opening Reception – BNA Brewing, 1250 Ellis St, Kelowna, BC


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Monday, May 29th, 2017

 8:30 AM Breakfast and Opening remarks
 9:15 AM Morning Keynote: Post Disaster Communications: What Happens After the Media Goes Home?
Moderator: Della Smith, Principal, Q Workshops
Panelists: Michael Bourque, President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) and Paul Spring, President, Operations Manager, Phoenix Heliflight
10:15 AM Health Break, Exhibits and Book Signing
10:45 AM

Concurrent Workshops:

Is Influencer Marketing the New Media Relations? - Lizzie MacNeill, PR & Social at

Beyond Words: How the University of Waterloo Tells its Story to the World - Carleen Carroll, APR, FCPRS, Associate Vice-President, University of Waterloo and Dawn Charlton, Associate Director, Marketing and Brand Communications, University of Waterloo.

The Small Town PR Playbook - a new resource for local and First Nations government PR practitioners - Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust

Research Stream Presentation: Rebecca Cohen, Sara Goldvine, Tatjana Laskovic, and Diane Riddell, APR

11:45 AM Break
12:00 PM

Luncheon Keynote: The New PR Stands for Personal Recommendation
Peter Shankman, Founder, ShankMinds Business Masterminds


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 2:00 PM Break
 2:30 PM Concurrent Workshops:

What Questions Would You Ask to Save a Life? - Cecilia Bloxom, APR, ABC, Senior Director Strategic Communications, Canadian Patient Safety Institute

Public Relations: Dealing with Local Fallout to Legislation - Graham Ruttan, Communications Officer, Westwind School Division

PR Evaluation and the Barcelona Principles - Sheridan McVean, MBA, APR, FCPRS, President, McVean Communications
 3:30 PM Break
 3:45 PM Afternoon Plenary Panel: Small Town, Big City: The Divergence of Communications Strategies and Tactics in the 21st Century
Moderator: Kim Blanchette, APR, FCPRS, Vice President Public Affairs, Alberta Energy Regulator
Panelists: Steve Raper, Chief, Communications and External Relations, Northern Health and Bob Reid, Director of Brand Reputation, Veritas Communications   
 5:00 PM Break
 5:30 PM

Monday Evening Event – Summerhill Pyramid Winery, 4870 Chute Lake Rd, Kelowna, BC V1W 4M3


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Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

 8:30 AM Breakfast and Opening remarks
 9:15 AM

Morning Keynote: #AlternativePR | A Full Audience Discussion about PR in an Untrusting World Speaker and plenary leader: Daniel Tisch, APR, FCPRS, President & CEO, Argyle Public Relationships


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10:15 AM Health Break, Exhibits and Book Signing
10:45 AM

Concurrent Workshops:

Champions of Truth: The Role of Public Relations in an Era of Fake News - Heather Pullen, MCM, APR, FCPRS, Principal, Pullen Communications; Terry Flynn, PhD, APR, FCPRS, Assistant Professor - Communications, McMaster University; Jessica Langer, PhD, Professor of Public Relations, Centennial College

Public Relations by Robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) - Jean Valin, APR, FCPRS, Hon. CIPR, Valin Strategic Communications


Spill Your Secrets: When Open Communications Become a Benefit - Heather Young, Director, Communications, Mitacs

11:45 AM Break
12:00 PM Luncheon Keynote: Branding Canada 150
Erica Tao, Region Director General, Western Region of the Department of Canadian Heritage and Perry Boldt, National Manager, Business Development and Marketing, Canada 150 Federal Secretariat
 2:00 PM Break
 2:15 PM Afternoon Plenary: Brand Journalism, Are You Ready?
Mark Ragan, Publisher and CEO of Ragan Communications, Inc.   
 4:45 PM Break
 6:00 PM

Champagne Reception


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 7:00 PM

CPRS Awards Gala
An Evening of Excellence - Celebrating the Best of Canadian Communications


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Schedule is subject to change.

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