Press release

5 Oct 2017 Calgary, CA

Arlene Dickinson to receive the 2017 EY Prairies Lifetime Achievement Award

Arlene Dickinson will receive the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Prairies Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of her work supporting Canada’s entrepreneurs, her commitment to giving back and her contributions as a female role model in Canada’s business community.

Press contact

Sarah Shields

EY Canada Assistant Director, Public Relations

Passionate communicator and writer. Firmly believes Vancouver summers are worth six months of rain.

Arlene Dickinson will receive the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Prairies Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of her work supporting Canada’s entrepreneurs, her commitment to giving back and her contributions as a female role model in Canada’s business community.

“Arlene Dickinson exhibits numerous qualities that are deserving of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies Lifetime Achievement award. As a household name in Canada, her passion for business, community and people is recognized from coast to coast,” says Kent Kaufield, EY Canada’s Managing Partner, Energy Market. “Dickinson has proven that business and compassion can – and should – go hand in hand.”

Born in South Africa, Dickinson was raised in Calgary, where she started her career by selling ad time at a local television station at age 30.

Less than two years after that, she joined Venture Communications as partner and saw her determination and work ethic pay off. In about a decade, she took over sole ownership of Venture and turned the company into one of Canada’s largest independent marketing firms.

But her passion for entrepreneurship didn’t stop there. In 2015, Dickinson founded District Ventures Accelerator, quickly followed by the launch of her first venture capital fund, District Ventures Capital, to help fund and grow entrepreneurs in the food, beverage and health sectors. Today, District Ventures Accelerator and District Ventures Capital are regarded as Canada’s top accelerator and venture capital fund for entrepreneurs in the consumer packaged goods industry.

Dickinson stars on the hit CBC series, Dragon’s Den, where she’s become known for her kind but savvy investment style. She has authored two bestselling books: Persuasion and All In and is currently working on a third book.

In recognition of her accomplishments, Dickinson was named as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100, as well as PROFIT and Chatelaine’s TOP 100 Women Business Owners. She’s become a true inspiration and advocate for women in entrepreneurship and beyond.

Known as a generous philanthropist, Dickinson supports many causes across the country. This includes her role as an Honourary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy, her past role as the national spokesperson for the Breakfast Club of Canada and helping fund and support such charitable causes as Hope Blooms, an entrepreneurship program for inner city kids. Dickinson has also founded the Arlene Dickinson Endowed Scholarship at Mount Saint Vincent University, a scholarship dedicated to the advancement of women, and in particular, single mothers seeking post-secondary education.

Arlene is the recipient of honorary degrees from Mount Saint Vincent University, Concordia University, Saint Mary’s University, NAIT, and Olds College, and is the proud recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

“Few people reach Dickinson’s level of success. On top of that, she’s balanced her business achievements with helping others,” says Kaufield. “Dickinson demonstrates that when it comes to entrepreneurship, hard work and perseverance are just as important as a good idea. And she has done it all with grace, too.”

EY will present this prestigious award to Ms. Dickinson at the Prairies Entrepreneur Of The Year awards gala in Calgary, Alberta on 19 October 2017. For more than 20 years, these awards have celebrated the achievements of our country’s brightest innovators.

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About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global awards program of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

The 2017 Prairies independent judging panel consists of Laurie Goldberg, CEO, People Corporation; Tim Melton, Executive Chairman, Melcor Developments Ltd.; Kristi Cawthorn, President; Startec Compression & Process Ltd.; Prabha Mitchell, CEO, Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc.; Steven Kantowitz, Vice President-Energy, Warburg Pincus LLC; Steve King, President and CEO, Alaris Royalty Corp.; Allison Grafton, President, Rockwood Custom Homes; and Marcela Mandeville, CEO, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs.

This year's program national sponsors are TEC Canada, La Presse, RDI, The TMX Group, The Globe and Mail Inc., Merrill Corporation, Kira Talent, Air Canada, SheEO, The Printing House Limited, Hillberg & Berk and MediaOne Creative.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

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