Memorable Manitobans: Brenda Joyce Dennis Leipsic (1942-2008)
Community volunteer, Winnipeg city councillor.
Born in Winnipeg in 1942, daughter of Olga and William Dennis, she grew up in the city’s North End. Her junior and high school days were spent at St. Mary’s Academy and she graduated from the University of Winnipeg Collegiate. Once her children were in school full time she went back to University where she studied social sciences at the University of Manitoba receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1985. Her business career began in the mid 1970s with Foster Advertising under the tutelage of Laurie Mainster. She went on to develop her own consulting firm, Leipsic Communications, working with local firms to develop their advertising and marketing plans. She was a member of The Nor'Westers (1988).
She was well known for her work on behalf of several charities. She developed the dream home lottery concept for St. Boniface Research Foundation, creating the Dr. Goodbear personae and introduced the first Teddy Bear’s Picnic for the Children's Hospital Foundation, and co-chairing the Winnipeg Humane Society $11 million capital campaign. She served on the board of the Winnipeg Convention Centre and was also an executive member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba.
She was active in provincial politics, working for Progressive Conservative leader Sidney Spivak in the 1970s and eventually rising to the position of party president from 1994 to 1998 under premier Gary Filmon. She ran for Winnipeg city council in 2006, defeating incumbent Donald Benham. She was appointed to the council’s executive policy committee and assumed the largely ceremonial role of deputy mayor. As a ward councillor, he worked for increased funding for police officers in schools, construction of an indoor soccer complex at the University of Manitoba, and assume responsibility for the restructuring of Assiniboine Park. In her ward she helped establish new bike and walking paths, the building of spray pads for children and the establishment of a new off-leash dog park. She worked on Corporate Sponsorship for the city of Winnipeg and brought awareness to the important work of the Humane Society.
She died at Winnipeg on 9 December 2008.
“‘She brought a lot of love for the city’; Councillor dies after battle with lung cancer,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 December 2008, page B1.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 13 December 2008.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 25 November 2021