Manitoba Association of Architects - Special e-Bulletin

  // 13 January 2020  

David Penner sitting and reading in his Sandy Bay Cottage.


August 8, 1958 - January 7, 2020

It is with deep sadness that the Manitoba Association of Architects joins our professional community, coast-to-coast, in mourning the sudden loss of David Penner, MAA, FRAIC and long-time Principal of David Penner Architect.

There are many ways to describe David: award-winning architect, inventive innovator, creative genius, friend, mentor, leader and city builder. David was all of these things and so much more, which is why his contributions and indelible imprint will form his lasting legacy.

David graduated with a Master of Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1985 and was admitted to registered membership in 1988. In 1993, he founded his own practice, registering a sole proprietorship under the name David Penner Architect.

His involvement with the MAA was extensive where he served a total of 10 years on Council, including a three year term on Executive Committee as Second Vice-President & Treasurer.

But it was as a long-time member of the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) where we had the privilege of watching David’s creative and strategic passions take root and fly. During his tenure, he played an instrumental role in establishing the Prairie Design Awards which he helped launch in 2000 and after which he chaired 3 programs and co-chaired 6 others across western Canada. Drawing on this experience, he also played a vital role in helping establish the MB Masonry Design Awards and Wood Design Awards.

On PAC, the concept of StorefrontMB began to take shape and in 2011, in large part due to David’s dedication and vision, StorefrontMB was born. Conceived as an independent centre for architecture, design, and planning, its stated mission was “dedicated to advancing the awareness and appreciation of design and the built environment in Manitoba.”

For David, there was no turning back in his tireless efforts and deep passion for wanting to share and engage Winnipeggers and Manitobans in design and architecture. With his trademark mischievous grin, he knocked down one barrier after another as he built lasting relationships and a public engagement program that is envied coast-to-coast. His legacy includes many landmark events most notably Table for 1200 and others which can be viewed on the StorefrontMB website at

In recognition of his outstanding and endless contributions to his profession and community, David was bestowed Fellowship in the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) in 2012.

With respect to awards, the list is very long and can most easily be viewed by visiting David’s website at To celebrate David, as his colleagues are, there is a wonderful article in the Winnipeg Free Press, published shortly after David’s untimely passing:

We will remember you fondly, David, and will miss your warmth, passion, creativity, leadership and commitment to your family, your community and your profession.




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Manitoba Association of Architects
2nd Floor, 137 Bannatyne Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0R3
phone: 204-925-4620 fax: 204-925-4624

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