Members of Functional Transit and strategic planner Denis!


Each year we present the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award at the Volunteer Manitoba Awards. We always look forward to this day because it gives us a chance to recognize our volunteers and the impact their work has had on the community, as well as celebrate volunteerism throughout Manitoba.


From now until awards night, we are celebrating the nominees for the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award, and their contributions to their community through a series of volunteer profiles.


Today we are profiling Denis DePape


Denis has spent years working with community groups, specializing in strategic and priority planning. For the past 5 years he has volunteered his extensive knowledge and expertise to organizations and cooperatives, including  Bishop Grandin Greenway, Green Action Centre, Save Our Seine, Immigrant and Refugee Community of Manitoba, Right to Housing Coalition, Humankind International, Trees Winnipeg, Natural Cycle, Bike Winnipeg, Arab Jewish Dialogue, Mauro Centre for Justice and Peace, and Manitoba EcoNetwork… to name a few.


It was this special skill set that led us to match him with Functional Transit Winnipeg, a  non-profit  with a mission to advocate for a viable public transit system that is frequent, accessible and affordable.


The organization has been active for years, “push[ing] the city to invest in higher frequency transit service and ensure that when transit corridors are built, they are accessible and provide high value for transit riders.” Although the goal is still the same, the group wanted an expert to help guide them in planning sessions and help them identify “priorities for which Functional Transit Winnipeg should act upon in the next 2-3 years.”


Denis met with the group for two planning sessions. The first focused on the organization’s mission, values, and development and prioritization of strategic priorities. The second sessions used those takeaways and focused on action plans and strategic priorities. 


Nominator, Daniel, reported that “after Denis’ strategic planning sessions with our Board of Directors, we began working in smaller committees which address goals both within our organization and our goals in advocacy. Through the strategic planning process, and the priorities we identified with Denis, our organization has a roadmap of how to continue our advocacy for a better transit system, and to continue our outreach to the community.”  


“Denis went above and beyond in his pro bono facilitation of our strategic planning. Denis’ process was one that was democratic, made sure everyone’s voice was heard, and ensured that the strategic plan that emerged was one that truly represented the collective vision of the Board.” 


After the project, Daniel remarked that Denis “is a dedicated volunteer, and has a strong impact on our organization and its structure. Denis sets a good example for volunteers in Manitoba, and is generous in offering his time and service.”


Congratulations on your nomination, Denis! Thank you for volunteering your expertise to an organization that advocates for accessible transit for all.


Interested in reading more about our nominees? Check out our profile on Desiree Downey!