In Memoriam: David LePage

May 24th, 2024

In the opening pages of ‘Marketplace Revolution’ David LePage invites the reader to join him on a journey. When you worked or spent time with David it was a journey sprinkled with stories, teaching and coaching, and solutions-focused ideas. All shared with patience in a soft and thoughtful voice.  Plus, a side of San Pellegrino, lemon and no ice. 

At his retirement party in February, there were jokes and memories shared about David’s many careers. He worked with Indigenous communities and travelled to India while working in community radio in the United States. He always cared about social justice and shifting perspectives. He was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam war. He went to Woodstock in 1969 but left after the first day because he knew it was going to be a gong show. It’s likely that his brother still owed him $20 for the return gas fare.

Since moving to Canada to be with his wife, Kim, he dedicated himself to supporting social enterprise (a verb, not a noun). He worked with colleagues to start three successful Vancouver social enterprises; EMBERS, Community Impact Real Estate Society (CIRES) and Buy Social Canada. His advocacy contributed to the formation of a social enterprise incorporation – the Community Contribution Company – and to the design of the Vancouver Community Benefits Agreement Policy. You can read more from his friends and colleagues from our post about his retirement which was all too recent.

David was always generous with his time and knowledge. He would have coffee chats with anyone who reached out and wanted to connect about social enterprise or social procurement. He was a mentor, a co-conspirator, an aggravator (in the best way) and a true revolutionary. He believed that we have everything we need to make our communities healthy and whole. We just need to get started. “Build it, ship it, fix it,” he would say.

A man of action and purpose who led many and leaves a legacy and a hole in many hearts. David’s actions will have ripple effects that many people who never hear his name will benefit from. He is sorely missed.

But the fight goes on. Each of us has the opportunity to act, to shift our marketplace, our economy, and our communities so that all may prosper.

“Only by travelling this journey together will what we dream of today become our reality tomorrow.” – David LePage, Marketplace Revolution

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Social Enterprise Policy Fund which David established.

Related Updates

Webinar recap – Net-Zero Procurement: How to engage suppliers in the race to net-zero

Buy Social Canada recently hosted a Net-Zero Procurement webinar, with special guest speaker Bob Willard. Bob is the founder of Sustainability Advantage, a Buy Social Canada Community Champion, and a […]

Canada’s first social procurement consulting company celebrates 10 years of championing economic and social impact

Since 2014, Buy Social Canada has helped corporations and governments realize the power of purchasing to deliver social outcomes. Vancouver, June 13, 2024 – Buy Social Canada, a national social […]

Event Recap from Marketplace Impact: Social Procurement in Action

Marketplace Impact: Social Procurement in Action shared social procurement implementation best practices and innovation while nurturing conversation between engaged purchasers, suppliers, and community members across Canada. Participants engaged in community […]