Learn and network with your professional peers and explore your shared interest through regular meet-ups.

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are championed by members and offer informal opportunities to connect, learn and exchange knowledge with peers in an area of particular interest and relevance. Each group holds a minimum of four meet-ups/year. There’s no charge for IABC/BC members to participate in a SIG. There’s a nominal charge for non-members to participate ($20/meeting, $10/meeting for students). Everyone is on their own dime for refreshments. If you are interested in starting up your own SIG, let us know.

Learn more about participating in one of our active SIGs:

Do you have a topic to discuss with fellow communicators or is there a Professional Development topic you want us to cover? Do you live or work outside of Vancouver and want to arrange a casual communications focused meetup in your location? This is an excellent opportunity for you to take on a SIG (Special Interest Group) that fits the topic or location of your choice.

Interested in joining or chairing a “Pop-Up” SIG?

Connect with Director, Special Interest Groups (SIGS) – Lauren Girdler at

Independent Communicators SIG | Chairs: Candace Jones and Ruth-Anne Eisler

The IABC/BC Independent Communicators Special Interest Group (SIG) hosts opportunities for local communicators who have their own consultancy to share ideas, opportunities and resources in a friendly, casual environment. Since independent communicators typically work alone and wear many hats, sharing and engaging through discussion, feedback, and the group’s collective expertise can be especially energizing and productive.

About Candace

Candace Jones is currently the Director of Corporate Communications and Stakeholder Relations at the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. Prior to this role, she was an independent contractor for many years, working as associate to boutique consulting firms based in Vancouver and as owner of Ethos Consulting Group.  She looks forward to connecting with a group of independent communicators to explore relevant topics, collaborate on best practices and identify solutions to current issues faced by the members.

About Ruth-Anne

Ruth-Anne Eisler is a freelance writer, copyeditor, and founder of RaeWrites Corporate Communications. She is interested in connecting with and growing a group that will focus on topics and issues of the group’s choosing. She looks forward to leading meetings that will explore best practices, insights, challenges, and solutions relating to issues particularly relevant to independents/freelancers.

Interested in joining?

Connect with our SIG directors at:


LinkedIn: Candace Jones


LinkedIn: Ruth-Anne Eisler


Health SIG | Chairs: Shannon Henderson and Elaine O’Connor

Our IABC/BC Health SIG offers an informal, confidential and supportive venue to receive feedback and exchange ideas on day-to-day challenges in health communications. We strive to be inclusive — all are welcome to attend from students to senior practitioners and those looking for a career change into health coms. No problem is too small or too big to warrant input and discussion. We strive to keep sessions focused, constructive and relevant.

Topics we might tackle include: working with health professionals, communications and fundraising, communicating change, working with the Ministry of Health, keeping health story telling fresh, explaining research communications, public health campaigns, public and patient voice, access to e-tools in health settings and transition to digital comms.

About Shannon

Shannon Henderson is an IABC Communications Management Professional. She has more than 18 years of communications experience in the private, public and voluntary sectors, currently working as a Senior Communications Consultant with Communications and Public Affairs at Fraser Health. Believing that good communication makes for good health care, Shannon looks forward to exploring with other Health SIG members how communications can support connections, engagement and health literacy to help build healthier communities.

About Elaine

Elaine O’Connor a Senior Communications Consultant with Fraser Health who has a side gig as an occasional travel writer. She’s a recovering journalist, who spent more than 15 years as an award-winning reporter at major dailies in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, with an interest in long-form reporting on everything from health care to education and international aid. She has a postgraduate degree in Public Relations and made the leap from media to Comms in 2015. She’s found the Health SIG a great place to pick brains and meet interesting industry colleagues.

Interested in joining?

Connect with Shannon at or Elaine O’Connor at


Digital Strategy SIG | Chair: Lauren Girdler

The Digital Strategy SIG is where communications and marketing folks can meet (offline AND online through webinar) and talk digital strategy. As a group we will share our best practices, tips, and discuss case studies all related to digital. Our meetings will focus on topics like: defining digital strategy; content & video marketing, SEO/SEM; web writing, social media strategy, and measurement analytics.

About Lauren

Lauren previously worked in communication and marketing in technical fields including public safety, engineering, and mining. She made the switch to “high tech” in 2018 becoming the Communications Manager at Lighthouse Labs, a coding bootcamp for web and mobile software development.

Interested in joining?

Connect with our SIG director at:



Senior Communicators SIG | Chair: Gary Carr

As a senior communicator, do you find yourself looking for ways to connect with your peers on issues that you’re struggling with? Whether you’re an independent consultant or heading a team of communicators, chances are many of your peers have run into the challenges you might be facing.

The Senior Communicators SIG is a fairly new group that offers seasoned professionals — those with 15+ years’ experience—both face-to-face and online channels to exchange ideas in a supportive, informal environment.

Join us to network, share insights and explore new ideas with your peers. Only 12 spots available.

About Gary

As an IABC member since 1991, Gary’s been a long-time IABC/BC volunteer and is a Past President of the chapter as well as a Past Chair of the Canada Western Region of IABC. He currently works as a Regional Communications Leader for Vancouver Coastal Health after spending more than 10 years working as an independent communication consultant and seven years at ICBC. As someone who loves connecting IABC members in pursuit of good discussions or wanting to learn from each other, he’s looking forward to organizing a lively group of seasoned members who are interested in participating in an online and F-2-F community on issues chosen and directed by the group.

Interested in joining?

Connect with Gary at