Tourism Cowichan names Karen Elgersma as new executive director

A long-time television journalist and former manager at Tourism Victoria has been named as as Tourism Cowichan’s new executive director.

Karen Elgersma worked as a producer and host of Shaw TV’s Go Island, and was an award-winning journalist for Shaw Media for nearly two decades before joining Tourism Victoria’s communications team.

“I am thrilled to be part of Tourism Cowichan — and to be marketing such a magical destination to the world,” said Elgersma. “I love the Cowichan Valley, and I have always had an authentic passion for sharing the stories of this incredible place with locals and potential visitors.”

Elgersma takes over from Shelly Knott who was hired for the executive director role last November.

She brings a unique blend of experience, education and a comprehensive perspective on the industry from her work in media and most recently with Tourism Victoria.

“There are so many amazing stories in the Valley to tell – the farms, wineries, distilleries, craft beer and cider,” said Elgersma. “But it doesn’t end there, there is also an incredible art, music and performing arts scene. Add in the beautiful trails, world class marinas, and natural beauty and you have a destination that is unlike no other in Canada.”

Her experience with Tourism Victoria has given her a wealth of knowledge on earned media, social media and creating effective marketing campaigns using the a strategic plan.

“We are so excited to have Karen join our team at Tourism Cowichan,” said president Janet Docherty. “We are confident she will play a key role helping us attract media coverage, and create events and opportunities that will increase tourism year round, including our shoulder season, and help tell the stories of our stakeholders to the world.”