Dickinson on Canada's Walk of Fame
8 October 1956 |
Germiston, South Africa
|Occupation||CEO of Venture Communications|
|Net worth||CAD $80 million (2012)|
Arlene Dickinson (born October 8, 1956) is a Canadian author, entrepreneur, television personality, and venture capitalist. She is CEO of Venture Communications and is represented by CBC Television as a self-made multi-millionaire. Dickinson joined the cast of the CBC business reality show Dragons' Den during its second season in 2007. She was selected to perform on the series after she won numerous awards including Calgary Business Owner of the Year, PROFIT magazine's Top 100 Women Business Owners, Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence and Canada's Most Powerful Women Top 100.
She is also an entrepreneur on another CBC business reality show, The Big Decision.
Born in Germiston, South Africa and raised in Canada, she graduated from high school in Calgary. She married at age 19 and had four children. She divorced at 31. Today, she is single and a grandmother of five.
Dickinson joined Venture Communications in 1988, taking sole ownership in 1998. During her tenure, she has taken the company from a local firm into one of Canada's largest independent marketing and communications firms, with offices in Calgary and Toronto. She is considered to be one of Canada’s most powerful business leaders.
In October 2012, she launched Arlene Dickinson Enterprises (ADE) to fund and target Canada's entrepreneurs. Businesses she has invested in include Urban Cultivator, The Carbon Farmers and Balzac's Coffee Roasters.
Under the ADE umbrella, she also launched YouInc.com, a social website designed to celebrate the "entrepreneurial lifestyle." Future plans for the multiplatform entity include an upcoming magazine, radio shows, apps and television formats.
Over the years, she has served on boards including Ad Rodeo, National Board for Kids' Help Phone, and Calgary Municipal Lands Corporation. She sits on the Advisory Committee of the Stratford Institute at the University of Waterloo, the Leadership Council of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics as well as the Editorial Advisory Board of Marketing Magazine.
She published her first book, Persuasion, in 2011. On the bestseller list for many weeks, the book is now available in paperback. She is currently writing her second book.
Dickinson is also an accomplished public speaker represented by several speakers bureaus.
Dickinson has been recognized with several honours and awards including: Global Television Woman of Vision, the Calgary Business Owner of the Year Award, PROFIT and Chatelaine magazine's TOP 100 Women Business Owners, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence and has been inducted into Canada's Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame. In 2011 she received the WIFTS (Women in Film and Television Showcase) Lifetime Achievement Award. She is an honorary degree recipient from Mount Saint Vincent University and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. She is also an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy. Her company Venture Communications was noted as one of the 2001 winners on the list of Canada's Best Managed Companies sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC, National Post, Queen's School of Business and MacKay CEO Forums.
Arlene Dickinson is the national spokesperson for Breakfast Clubs of Canada to help raise awareness of the importance of children having a nutritious start to the day. In 2013, Arlene joined on as a champion of the Give a Day campaign, in support of Dignitas International and the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
- "Arlene Dickinson - IMDb". Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- "CBC Books - Arlene Dickinson's hope for capitalism 'with a social conscience'". 16 March 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- Mario Toneguzzzi, Calgary Herald, May 31, 2007
- "The Big Decision".
- "The BIG Decision - Arlene Dickinson".
- "Arlene Dickinson launches enterprise to fund, promote entrepreneurs".
- "TLOMA - Arlene Dickinson".
- "Lavin - Arlene Dickinson".
- "Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100".
- "Arlene Dickinson joins the rank as the newest Honorary Naval Captain".
- "2001 Winners".
- Arlene Dickinson on Twitter
- Arlene Dickinson at the Internet Movie Database
- Venture Communications