Shari Lukens

Candidate of Record: Shari Lukens

The daughter of Prairie farmers, Shari grew up in the wheat fields of Hardisty, Alberta. Waking up in the combine after a late night working the fields at harvest time was not uncommon. Those mornings, Shari would race to school only to return to the fields in the afternoon, often acting as ground crew alongside her sister as their dad buzzed overhead on crop duster duty.

Never one to let the wheat grow under her feet, Shari balanced her chores with a passion for figure skating. By age 9, Shari was making the 120 kilometre trek to Edmonton each week for training at the Royal Glenora Club. Hard work and determination earned her an opportunity to train with coach, Doug Leigh at Ontario’s prestigious Mariposa School of Skating. There she shared the ice with champion skaters like Brian Orser. Shari was a fierce competitor. She achieved gold level status in all disciplines and became a certified level 3 coach. Her skating star was on the rise when, at 17, she was struck by a drunk driver. Her competitive career was over.

Skating taught Shari an important lesson. When you fall down, you pick yourself up, put a smile on your face, and carry on. She did just that and launched what became a 23-year career as a respected figure skating coach, in Canada and Denmark. When asked to train the Danish Men’s National Hockey team in power skating, she accepted without hesitation. Skating with the big boys has never intimidated Shari.

Shari returned to Canada and to school in the early 1990s, studying broadcasting at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. A successful career as an award-winning anchor and reporter took Shari back to the Prairies and across British Columbia. While shooting a documentary on the Western Canadian grain transportation system, Shari met her husband. She signed off the anchor desk and settled with him in Vancouver.

Next, Shari embarked on a successful 11-year career climbing the corporate ladder at TELUS. She thrived leading teams, managing projects, and implementing workforce management systems. After achieving top sales manager, in 2005 Shari relocated to Vancouver Island to help builders ready their developments for new TELUS technology. She was enjoying the Cowichan Valley when life took another uninvited turn. In 2006, her husband was killed in a helicopter crash. As life reshaped, Shari was drawn to the spectacular natural setting and urban amenities of the West Shore. She became a highly engaged member of the Colwood community and in 2011 topped the polls when she won a seat on Colwood City Council.

Throughout her 3-year term on council, Shari helped facilitate community engagement, reduce red tape at City Hall, and was instrumental in diversifying the city’s tax base. Her vision was key in furthering fiscal responsibility, establishing a transportation master plan and realizing an aggressive economic development strategy.

Three years in municipal politics gave Shari a unique opportunity to understand the issues, the challenges and the opportunities in Colwood and the region. She knows what matters to residents. More importantly, she cares.

Connect with Shari on Twitter (@ShariLukens), Instagram (@ShariLukens) and on Facebook (Shari Lukens).