CPRS tackles issues at the heart of democracy, truth, reconciliation, and public relations

WINNIPEG, MB, June 7, 2022 /CNW/ - The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) "At the Heart" conference for public relations and communications professionals and industry partners concluded today in Winnipeg. An intensive three-day event filled with robust conversation, an exceptional line up of speakers, introspection, and reflection was put on by the Society.
CPRS National Board President, Cam McAlpine, APR, opened the final day acknowledging, "As a group of professionals, we continue to weave a tapestry of conversation around one of the core themes of the conference, truth and democracy.  We have held important discussions on equity, diversity, and inclusion and their importance to the health of this organization, our profession, our practitioners, and ultimately the community around us." Crisis and risk communications, internal communications and change management were woven in. 

PR professionals considered important questions about equity and accessibility in communications and finding purpose in work alongside of themes of truth and reconciliation. Keynote speaker Dr. Niigaan Sinclair spoke on the important role communications professionals play in the goal of truth and reconciliation and shared a guided five-point plan, steps and actions communicators can and are encouraged to take.

The CPRS President's Award was presented by McAlpine to Kúkpi7 Rosanne Casimir of the TkÌ"emlups te Secwepemc First Nation in what is known in English as Kamloops, British Columbia. It was her community that first brought to light the tragedy of the children lost to the horrors of the residential school system, and the trauma of that history that endures in her community to this day. The award is presented by the CPRS Board of Directors to an individual with exceptional involvement in the promotion and practice of public relations efforts and recognizes outstanding leadership and excellence in communications management. 

To say Kukpi7 Casimir was thrust into the spotlight last year is an understatement. "She has been a community leader and a communicator for and with her people for a long time and brings a lifetime of experience, integrity and character learned from her community to her moment of truth." McAlpine went on to describe that she has honoured us all in telling the story with courage and conviction – even when it meant standing up to the leader of a nation and the leader of a church.

Other CPRS major and special award recipients were recognized members for the exemplary work.
Bruce MacLellan, APR was recognized with the Philip A. Novikoff Memorial Award for superior and outstanding service over time by an accredited CPRS member who has furthered the standing of the public relations profession in Canada through professional practice, personal relationships and the betterment of the CPRS community.

Christine Szutaczek, APR, received the Heather Pullen Memorial Award for demonstrating a commitment to upholding and advancing the values outlined in the CPRS Code of Professional Standards.
The Entrepreneurial Leadership Award was awarded to Pat McNamara for showing entrepreneurial leadership in starting a public relations and communications consulting business, building the company, and creating employment for others in the industry.

Finally, the Lamp of Service was presented to Tim Conrad, APR, for demonstrating distinguished and dedicated service to CPRS. It is awarded to a member whose personal activities, leadership, and dedication have resulted in a striking illustration of the Society's principles.

Tonight, the event closes with the Awards of Excellence Gala evening hosted by Emcee, Monique Lacoste, who will hand out seventy-five awards to industry professionals for their campaigns, programs and dedication and contribution in the practice of public relations.

About Canadian Public Relations Society

Founded in 1948, the Canadian Public Relations Society 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. 

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SOURCE Canadian Public Relations Society

For further information: Manager, Marketing and Communications, Canadian Public Relations Society, 416-239-7034 or communications@cprs.ca.