In the Community

Class Act Canada

Giving back to the community has always been a central pillar of the Duperron philosophy. A champion of pluralism, he turned his attention to a personal project in 2009 called Class Act Canada in which $1 million worth of educational opportunities were given to students from across the globe.

The program was devised to showcase British Columbia as the best place to live and the best place to learn. Class Act Canada, was an Internet-based international contest that awarded 10 students with an all-expenses paid education — including living expenses, books, food and accommodation and spending money — at a Sprott-Shaw campus.

The 10 winning students, from countries including Peru, Ukraine, India, Korea, Philippines, and Canada, were selected by judges after more than 7.7 million votes were cast worldwide. According to statistics from Google, the Class Act Canada competition received votes from internet users in all but nine countries across the globe.

This was in addition to over 60 news stories published in newspapers around the world and over 87,200 entries about the B.C. program on the Internet.

Class Act Canada partners included the Vancouver Board of Trade, the Fair at the PNE, the Vancouver-based ideas company New Market Multimedia Inc and Free the Children an international organization of more than one million children, who help other children through education.

Judges for Class Act Canada included Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts, the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Darcy Rezac, Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children, Province editor-in-chief Wayne Moriarty and former Newfoundland premier Brian Peckford.

The Class Act Canada champions were;

Ramanrishi Singh Walia – (India), Sharanjit Singh Taggar – (India), Shiyun Tang – (Vancouver, Canada), Graham Anderson – (Kaslo, Canada), Shannon Yun – (Burnaby, Canada), Sofiia Sagir – (Ukraine), Edwin Levita Llancay – (Peru), Yuna Shin – (South Korea), Pasion Maribet – (Philippines), Mark Jefferson Grospe – (Philippines)

Community Court

Dean Duperron and his wife Sherri are active philanthropists and no strangers to community service. If you ask, chances are the Duperrons will give.

Fabian Dawson, the former deputy editor of The Province approached Duperron in 2010 to see if he would help create a legacy project for the newspaper’s award winning series called Operation Phoenix.

Without hesitation he offered up dozens of educational seats to the Downtown Community Court aimed at giving offenders a hand up and out of the destructive cycle of crime and drug addiction by offering them a chance to go back to school. His move triggered similar action by the Vancouver Community College and Outward Bound Canada. Judge Thomas Gove has then decided to launch the pilot program with 14 seats.

“In spite of many social and health problems, most of the individuals who came before the Downtown Community Court did want to make a change in their lives,” said Gove. “Some of these folks would benefit from learning a trade that would lead to good employment,” he said. “Others would benefit from simply expanding their knowledge of the world around them.”

“We believe in a justice where once the individual admits he has done something wrong, he takes on the responsibility of changing and works to repay the community,” said Duperron.

One of the greatest tragedies of the Downtown Eastside is how people with extraordinary potential are unable to develop their gifts to the benefit of themselves and society. With his gift to the court, Duperron has one again led the way to help people find hope in the midst of desperate circumstances and building something positive from it.

“It’s an amazing opportunity, and there would definitely be suitable people, both in terms of the program being a good fit for them and also as a hand up . . . and an opportunity they’ve been waiting for,” said Sharon Belli, manager of community engagement with the court.

Other Community Services

  • UBC Aboriginal Medical Student Selection Committee Member
  • Sprott-Shaw Community College Academic Counsel Chair
  • Institute of Aboriginal Health Chairperson
  • Métis Family Services Past President
  • Louis Riel Council Board Member
  • Region #2 Métis Board – Provided large sums of funding for training programs targeted to assist Aboriginals
  • Chamber of Commerce Member
  • Self-Employment Advisory Board – Reviewed and approved start-up business for funding in the Coquitlam area.
  • UBC President’s Advisory Committee, First Nations House of Learning Committee Member
  • Halifax Board of Trade, Education Sub-Committee Past Member
  • Vancouver Board of Trade, Education Sub-Committee Past Member
  • Local Area Advisory – Past Chairman reviewed and provided policy input to Canada Employment Centers in the Lower Mainland
  • Palliative Care Volunteer – Lower Mainland
  • United Way Campaign Past Chairman
  • CDI Expo ’86 Volunteer Program Chairman
  • Canada Employment Center Local Area Advisory Council Past Chairman
  • Organized Blood Donor Clinic which exceeded its target by 30%