Shari Lukens grew up in the wheat fields of Alberta. When she wasn’t working the golden fields on the family’s grain farm, she spent her time carving her own path on the ice. She even landed a spot at the prestigious Mariposa School of Skating.
“My goal was to be world champion and that’s what I was training for,” Lukens said. But at 16, her skating dreams were ended by a drunk driver.
While no longer able to compete professionally, her passion led her to coaching, and eventually Denmark, where she not only taught other skaters but was also asked to teach power skating to the Danish men’s national hockey team.
After returning to Canada, Lukens shifted careers to broadcast journalism. Her career led her across the province and back to the prairies. It was while working on an award-winning documentary that Lukens was set up on a blind date with the man that would eventually become her husband.
The couple lived on the mainland for a while but in 2005, they moved to Vancouver Island. Her husband was originally from the Duncan area, so the Cowichan Valley seemed like a perfect fit.
But their island life together was short-lived. In 2006, Lukens’ husband was killed in a helicopter crash.
“It really takes the wind out of your sails,” she said. Her father had been a pilot and she knew the risks of the profession, but she said you never imagine something like that ever happening.
In August 2009 she moved to Colwood, a place she had told herself years before that “If I ever get the opportunity to move down here I would.”
That love of the West Shore drew her into the area and she became highly engaged in its communities, eventually running for Colwood city council in 2011 and serving until 2014.
But tragedy struck again. Just as she was preparing to run for another term her mother was diagnosed with cancer. She was forced to make what she refers to as a “life choice.” Not knowing what kind of treatment her mother would need, she decided not to run because she didn’t want any absences caused by her taking care of her mother in Alberta to force a by-election and cost tax payers more money.
Now she’s onto what she calls ‘plan B,’ and has put her travel plans on hold with hopes to represent her riding in Ottawa.