Cyril Elbers is the director of communications at the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA). Cyril brings 18 years of experience in communications, stakeholder relations, socio-economics and sustainability. In his spare time outside of work and family, he serves as the board chair of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO). In early 2021, he will also begin a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in Energy and Infrastructure Law at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University in Toronto.
He is passionate about fostering greater public awareness and engagement in the oil and gas sector. As society transitions to lower-emission forms of energy, it has never been more important to have balanced conversations with Canadians about our energy future – and the role of both renewable and non-renewable energy. He says that public discourse needs to evolve from the current polarized debate about “pipelines, yes or no?” to meaningfully discussing “Canada’s energy future, how?”
Cyril’s advice for fellow communicators: build a compelling narrative. Whether you’re pitching a new pipeline to communities – or your skillset to a prospective employer – having a narrative that answers “why, how and what?” is critical for reaching an audience. Facts matter, but people forget things they don’t connect with emotionally. We all remember a good story.