Honorary degree citation - Arlene Dickinson
By: Linda Dyer, June 2016
Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour to present to you Ms. Arlene Dickinson, a nationally renowned entrepreneur and CEO, generous philanthropist and investment guru.
A self-made multi-millionaire and one of Canada’s most powerful business leaders, Ms. Dickinson is a familiar face to many Canadians.
From 2007-2015, she starred on Dragon’s Den, the award-winning and immensely popular CBC reality show where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of venture capitalists.
Ms. Dickinson’s tenure as a “dragon” investor spanned eight successful seasons, during which she offered mentorship and counsel to hundreds of Canadian entrepreneurs.
Par ailleurs, madame Dickinson a mis son expertise en finance et en marketing au service d’autres émissions télévisées, notamment The Big Decision et Recipe to Riches.
Entrée en 1988 à l’agence Venture Communications, madame Dickinson a rapidement gravi les échelons. Elle y occupe maintenant la fonction de chef de la direction.
Grâce au leadership démontré par madame Dickinson, l’entreprise a crû rapidement. Aujourd’hui, elle est l’une des plus importantes agences de marketing et de communications indépendantes du Canada. De plus, Venture Communications figure au palmarès des sociétés canadiennes les mieux gérées.
Malgré ses nombreuses obligations professionnelles, madame Dickinson se consacre à plusieurs causes caritatives.
Since 2010, Ms. Dickinson has been the national spokesperson for the Breakfast Clubs of Canada, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of children having access to nutritious food each morning.
In 2013, she served as a champion for the Give a Day campaign, raising funds for Dignitas International and the Stephen Lewis Foundation to help fight the HIV & AIDS epidemic in Africa.
Over the years, Ms. Dickinson has also sat on boards for organizations including Kids Help Phone, Canada’s only 24/7 counselling and information service for young people, and Ad Rodeo, a non-profit offering mentorship and support to young create professionals in Calgary.
Ms. Dickinson takes great pains to support the industry in which she leads.
In 2012, Ms. Dickinson founded YouInc.com, an online community and resource hub for entrepreneurs.
That same year, she launched Arlene Dickinson Enterprises, a company dedicated to promoting the advancement of entrepreneurs.
A bestselling author, she’s published two books aimed at helping people develop their entrepreneurial skills: Persuasion, in 2011, and All In, in 2013.
Ms. Dickinson is ranked on the list of Canada's Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame. She’s been named a Global Television Woman of Vision as well as one of PROFIT and Chatelaine’s TOP 100 Woman Business Owners.
Ms. Dickinson has won the Calgary Business Owner of the Year Award, the Pinnable Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence and the Woman in Film and Television Showcase Lifetime Achievement Award.
Other institutions have also recognized Ms. Dickinson’s success. She received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and is an honorary captain of the Royal Canadian Navy.
Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and honour to present to you Ms. Arlene Dickinson, so that you may confer upon her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.