60 Years of CPRS Vancouver: AGM and Anniversary Gala

In 1959, the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) officially launched a chapter in its most western city: Vancouver. Sixty years later the chapter is going strong, and on Thursday, June 13, 2019 we celebrated its 60th anniversary milestone by honoring the past and celebrating the future of CPRS Vancouver.

Held at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, past presidents, directors and members shared memories and moments that defined their careers and the PR industry over the years.

“The benefits of a strong, active, ethical professional association cannot be overstated. As we acknowledge this anniversary, we tip our hats to you—our members—who have tirelessly contributed to CPRS both locally and nationally, and to the advancement of the profession. If we’ve come this far in 60 years, just think where we can go in the next 60! We hope you’ll stay aboard and continue the journey with us.” said CPRS Vancouver President Johanna Ward.

“My term as CPRS President has been a great experience. When the board met last September to do our strategic planning for the year, I was reminded once again what a great group of volunteers form the leadership of this organization. At that session, we agreed as a group that we wanted to focus on diversify our programming, offering different types of events aimed at more targeted groups. My fellow board members are an amazing group of professionals, who work hard to deliver high-calibre events and services to CPRS Vancouver members.”

After thanking and acknowledging all the Volunteers, Board of Directors and Members for their continuous help and support in making the Vancouver chapter for what it is today, Johanna introduced the new President of CPRS Vancouver for 2019/2010: Theodora Jean.

“To each and every one of you here tonight, there is little something inside you, a spark, something that makes you more engaged, more authentic and more ambitious than the average person. I truly believe that for anybody who is involved in CPRS. And these are the kind of people I want to surround myself with,” she said.

“Very early in my career, I attended a CPRS one-day conference in Ottawa, where one of the speakers said something that still resonates with me today: ‘Never confuse the pursuit of excellence with the drive for perfection.’ I have since learned that the key to success in our industry (and in life!) is having a growth mindset; if we maintain the desire to learn and work hard, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.”The event was well attended with over 80 attendees and organized by CPRS Special Events Co-Directors Amanda Munro and Emily Marroquin and Past President Emma Shea, and came to life with the generous support of volunteers. But the birthday cupcake and cocktails were no match to the featured presentation of the evening: a video presentation by Munro/Thompson featuring interviews with 10 public relations and communications professionals sharing what CPRS means to them and how it has impacted their careers.

You can view the full video here: CPRS Vancouver 60th Anniversary Celebration

Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)

Every year at our AGM, we acknowledge the professionals who have earned their APR. There are 42 APRs in Vancouver’s Society (out of 450 nationally) and this year, we congratulate the following three individuals on achieving their accreditation:

  • Deneka Michaud
  • Sara Goldvine
  • Beverly Pauchek


CPRS Vancouver Student Scholarship

The AGM also included a presentation by Cydoney Curran, Director of Students and Education, to award the CPRS Vancouver student scholarship award to Bernice Puzon, the 2019 winner.

2019-20 Board of Directors

The evening also acknowledged and honored the current Board of Directors and thanked CPRSVan board members who stepped down this year. It was sad to say good-bye to a few including:

  • Darian Kovacs, Director of Sponsorship & Partnerships
  • Deneka Michaud, APR, Director of Mentorship
  • Justine Poirier, Director of Operations
  • Emma Shea, APR, Past President

Report to Members

For a full report of this year’s highlights and achievements, please see the 2018/18 Report to Members on our website.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

  • Munro Thompson
  • Strategy Corp
  • Leger
  • [communica]
  • Lawson Lundell
  • Britannia Mine Museum
  • SM
  • innovate BC
  • freshprep
  • RBC
  • NNW Communications
  • Red Racer
  • Vital Communications
  • Switchboard

Photos by: Sabrina Miso Creative

About the Author

Wahida Gardizi holds a Master degree in International Public Relations and Global Communication from Cardiff University with a BA in Criminology from SFU. She runs her own consultancy business in PR and Comms and enjoys her time volunteering in not-for-profit organization with YWIB Vancouver. She has a drive and passion for continuous learning. Twitter: @wgardizi Website: wgcommunication.com