BC Housing Receives the Canadian Public Relations Society's 2021 Don Rennie Memorial Award

TORONTO, Sept. 23, 2021 /CNW/ - The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) awarded BC Housing Communications the 2021 Don Rennie Memorial Award in recognition of its efforts to support the Province's numerous affordable housing and homelessness initiatives. The award was presented virtually on the second day of Cultivate 2021, the CPRS virtual conference.


As the Crown Corporation responsible for public housing, BC Housing has been tasked with implementing the government of British Columbia's largest ever housing investment, which addressed a continuum of needs: emergency shelter and services for the homeless, supportive and assisted living,  social housing, co-op housing, rent assistance in the private market, affordable market rentals, and affordable homeownership.

The massive undertaking would cause BC Housing's team to experience immense pressure to communicate the progress of the many projects, including its own mandate of  29,000 affordable homes by 2028. More than 21,500 of these new homes are now complete or underway, each requiring significant strategic communications ranging from resident, stakeholder and public engagement, to media relations, web communications,  and social media campaigns.

To respond to the rapid growth requirements, an external communications audit was conducted in early 2019. Later that year, Sara Goldvine, MCM + APR, joined BC Housing as Vice President Communications. Goldvine used the audit's findings, along with additional analysis, to  restructure the entire Communications Branch and develop a Communications Strategic Plan, which has included a focus on equity, data-informed decision making, , proactive storytelling, and a new accessibility strategy.

"Thank you to the Canadian Public Relations Society for this incredible recognition. While my team may have nominated me for this year, it is truly a team award.  When I joined the communications branch two years ago, we knew we had a challenging path ahead of us to deliver on the expectations with a record government investment," said Goldvine when accepting the award. "Throughout the pandemic, our team has leaned into the challenge more than ever, while also growing by more than 50 per cent and addressing significant crises in our communities. I'm thrilled to accept this award on behalf of the team as such well-deserved recognition for their hard work and commitment. Thank you."

The Don Rennie Memorial Award for Excellence in Government Public Relations is presented annually in memory of Don Rennie, a CPRS member who helped change the face of government communications in Canada by developing and introducing a new communications policy that would span all departments of the Federal Government.

This year's Don Rennie Memorial Award was one of 10 Major and Special awards presented at the virtual conference. Winners of CPRS Major Awards are nominated by fellow CPRS members to recognize exceptional involvement in the public relations profession.

About CPRS

Founded in 1948, the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) is a not-for-profit association of professionals dedicated to the practice, management and teaching of public relations and communications. Comprising 13 local societies, CPRS' mission is to build a national public relations and communications management community through professional development and accreditation, collaboration with thought leaders, a commitment to ethics and a code of professional standards, advocacy for the profession, and support to members at every stage of their careers.

For further information: Media Contact: Dan LaBelle, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Canadian Public Relations Society, 416-239-7034 ext. 246, dlabelle@cprs.ca