Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

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

**Please note that all upcoming SIGs will be hosted virtually via Zoom.**

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are championed by IABC/BC members and offer informal opportunities to connect, learn and exchange knowledge with peers in an area of particular interest and relevance. There is no charge for IABC/BC members to participate in a SIG, a discounted rate for students and only a nominal charge for non-members.

Connect with Jessica Purver, Director, Special Interest Groups (SIGs) at sigs (at) iabc.bc.ca for more details.

Learn more about participating in one of our active SIGs:


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 currently works for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as a Communications Advisor.

Interested in joining?

Connect with our Lauren at laurengirdler (at) gmail.com

Fraser Valley SIG | Chairs: Amanda Brittain and Catherine Ducharme

**Please note that in accordance with guidelines from the current BC Health Orders, we will not be hosting any in-person SIGs until further notice.**

Communicators working in the Fraser Valley don’t always have the time (or inclination) to make it downtown for IABC/BC events. The Fraser Valley SIG is now here for you! We are working to hold professional development and networking events in Langley and Abbotsford – and potentially other areas depending on the interest of members.

The Fraser Valley SIG will meet for networking and professional development events that will include: hard skills (strategic planning, digital communications, crisis planning etc.), soft skills (networking, public speaking, difficult conversations etc.), or presentation of case studies/best practices. All communicators located in the Fraser Valley are welcome to attend!

About Amanda

Amanda Brittain, MA, ABC, is the Director of Marketing and Communications with BC Egg. She joined the BC Egg Marketing Board in 2016. Her career spans more than 20 years working in a variety of industries including forestry, finance, health care and not-for-profit. She holds a master’s degree in communications from Royal Roads University and is an Accredited Business Communicator with the International Association of Business Communicators. She has won both national and international communications awards based on her work in the forestry sector.

About Catherine

Catherine is a leader, communicator, coach, entrepreneur and speaker. Before transitioning her career to leadership development, facilitation, and recruiting, she spent 20+ years as a corporate and marketing communications leader, both client side and running her own communication companies. She has a depth of experience leading teams, building companies, providing executive communications counsel, and delivering workshops. She’s now a certified leadership coach, is a trained Engagement Champion through Gallup, and is certified in delivering the Strengths Deployment Inventory. Catherine is past president of IABC Canada West Region and the IABC British Columbia chapter.

Interested in joining?

Connect with Amanda at amandab (at) bcegg.com or Catherine at catherine (at) fluencyleadership.com.

Health SIG | Chairs: Maybe It’s You?

More than ever, health communications is a cornerstone of public health. 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 and all are welcome to attend — from students to senior practitioners and those looking for a career change into health communications. 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: how to effectively implement internal and external communications strategies during a pandemic; working with health professionals and industry partners; communications and fundraising, communicating change, working with the Ministry of Health, keeping health care storytelling fresh; explaining research communications; public health campaigns; the public and patient voice; access to e-tools in health settings; and digital communications.

Interested in chairing the Health SIG, or have a health care topic you’d like to facilitate?

Connect with Jessica Purver, Director, SIGs at sigs (at) iabc.bc.ca.

Independent Communicators SIG | Chair: Candace Jones

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.

Have questions?

Connect Candace at Candace.jones (at) bcldb.com.

Internal Communications SIG | Chairs: Alfie Penfold and Erin Raimondo

Our IABC/BC Internal Communications SIG is about building a network of like-minded individuals in the greater Vancouver area.

If part of your portfolio is dedicated to delivering impactful communications that support a great employee experience, then we have loads in common already. If you are all about helping move your organization forward while proving your strategic value, then all the better!

Topics we talk about

From tackling communication challenges like disengaged employees, remote working, unsupportive executives or transformation, to just finding a group that ‘gets you’, we believe the dialogue for internal communicators is evolving. If you would like to be part of this conversation, please join in!

About Alfie

Engaging employees in the tech, sports, media, finance and education spaces over the last 10 years, Alfie Penfold employs an energetic and fun approach to internal communications. With a focus on building meaningful relationships, putting employees first and helping to connect team members, he seeks to deliver business value through effective and strategic communications.

Having moved to Vancouver in 2019, he is keen to grow his network within the communications community.

About Erin

Erin Raimondo is, at the core, a writer and content-obsessed communicator with more than a decade of experience fostering engagement through effective internal communication. She is an expert at developing integrated communication strategies that fit and flourish in diverse environments.

Originally involved with IABC as a student, she’s back and looking forward to gathering with (and learning from) like minds!

Want to learn more?

Connect with Alfie at alfie (at) icthrive.com and Erin at erin (at) icthrive.com.

Pop-Up SIG | Chair: Maybe It’s You?

Do you have a topic to discuss with fellow communicators or is there a professional development topic you want us to cover? Are you looking for industry experts like yourself to help brainstorm solutions to common communications challenges? This is an excellent opportunity for you to join a SIG or host one yourself!

In this role, you will collaborate with the SIGs Team and arrange informal meetings to connect, learn and exchange knowledge with peers.

Potential SIG topics

Potential communications topics: B2B & Industrial Communications / Crisis Communications / Public Relations / Non-Profit and Government Communications

Past Pop-Ups

  • Senior Communicators SIG: What Does Good Leadership Look Like During a Pandemic? (Jan. 13, 2020)
    • Facilitated by Kristin Linklater, Executive Director, SFU Communications & Marketing
  •  Let’s Talk About Equity, Diversity and Inclusion – IABC/BC SIG Session (Nov. 24, 2020)
    • Facilitated by Dana Higgins, President, IABC/BC; and Asna Shaikh, Event Manager, IABC/BC

Interested in starting a Pop-Up SIG?

Connect with Jessica Purver, Director, SIGs at sigs (at) iabc.bc.ca.

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 find challenging? Whether you’re an independent consultant or heading a team of communicators, chances are many of your peers have run into similar struggles you might be facing.

The Senior Communicators SIG offers seasoned professionals — those with 15+ years’ experience — the opportunity to exchange ideas in a supportive, informal environment.

Join us to network, share insights and explore new ideas with your peers.

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.

Learn more

Connect with Gary at garycarrcommunication (at) telus.net.