Lama Gyurme Dorje (aka Lama Gerry Kopelow) is the founder and resident teacher of the Dharma Centre of Winnipeg. He studied a variety of Buddhist practices over a period of thirty-five years with his main teacher, the Venerable Karma Tenzin Dorje Namgyal Rinpoche. Lama Gerry is a lineage-holder in direct succession to the latter in the Namgyal lineage of the Karma-Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. He has received lay ordination through the Kagyu school, and was authorized by Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche to give Empowerments in this tradition. The Dharma Centre of Winnipeg was established by Lama Gerry on instructions from Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche and has been in operation for twenty years. Three years ago Lama Gerry established the Rural Dharma Centre, a rustic retreat property, on sixty acres of poplar forest approximately thirty kilometers east of Winnipg. Recently Lama Gerry assisted his teacher, and fellow photography enthusiast, H.H. Tai Situ Rinpoche - the Karmapas's teacher - with his project to digitally document the extensive library of Buddhist paintings and iconography rescued by Ven. Tai Situpa from Tibet.
Lama Gerry is an internationally published author, lecturer, and photographer. As an artist, he received recognition and support from the National Film Board of Canada and the Canada Council of the Arts. As a commercial photographer, he operated an international practice with a long list of clients. Lama's writing and photography have appeared in many periodicals and magazines. His textbooks on photography are distributed world-wide. He has lectured and delivered workshops for a variety of institutions, including the University of Winnipeg, the University of Florida, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the American Institute of Architects. He has lectured at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he was invited to establish a continuing-education professional development program.
For more than a decade Lama Gerry donated his professional photography services to the United Way of Winnipeg for campaigns that raised millions of dollars for community service agencies. He has provided similar assistance to the Winnipeg Harvest Food Bank, the Winnipeg Health Sciences Research Foundation, UNICEF, and the Winnipeg Children’s' Hospital Research Foundation.'