Meet our team.
Together, we offer investee companies a knowledge base and expertise in the food and beverage and health and wellness sectors that is unparalleled in the Canadian venture capital industry.
Founder and General Partner
President & CEO, Venture Communications and President & CEO of District Ventures.
Arlene Dickinson is one of Canada's most iconic entrepreneurs. From her starring role on the Gemini award-winning CBC series, Dragons' Den, to her bestselling books Persuasion and All In, Arlene Dickinson is a household name in Canada. At the helm of Venture Communications for 30 years, Arlene has established herself as one of the country's most recognized marketing, sales and communications experts, and knows how to build powerful consumer brands. Her leadership and business acumen have been recognized with a number of awards, including Venture's selection as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies for 3 consecutive years. She has also received multiple honours and awards including the Marketing Hall of Legends, Canada's Most Powerful Women Top 100, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, and PROFIT and Chatelaine's TOP 100 Women Business Owners.
Partner & CFO
Jason has been active in the Canadian accounting and finance industry for nearly 25 years. Before joining District Ventures Capital, Jason was working as the CFO of an institutionally backed wholesale bakery company. Prior to this, he spent over 10 years with a prominent Toronto-based family office where he was a Principal in two Private Equity funds focused on the buy-out of and growth capital investing in mid-market Canadian companies across different industries. Jason has worked with Deloitte’s Transaction Advisory group performing due diligence assignments on behalf of financial and strategic acquirers and began his career in public accounting qualifying as a CPA, CA in 1998. At District Ventures Capital, Jason is responsible for transaction origination, due diligence and execution as well as helping to manage Fund operations. Jason graduated with an M.B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1997.
Senior Fund Advisor
President and CEO, Canada Goose Inc.
As President and CEO, Dani has transformed the small outerwear manufacturer founded by his grandfather in 1957 into a highly coveted performance luxury apparel brand, known around the world. He has been a staunch champion for Made-in-Canada manufacturing and has been recognized for his unwavering passion for authenticity and bringing more of Canada to the world. Dani has been awarded for his entrepreneurial success numerous times, including the Order of Canada in 2016, marketer of the year in 2013 by the Canadian Marketing Association, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011 by Ernst & Young, and Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 award in 2008. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Polar Bears International and on the Board of Directors of Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation.
Investment Committee Member
Executive VP, ATB Financial
Wellington Holbrook has dedicated his career to finding new ways to help Alberta entrepreneurs excel. As Chief Transformation Officer at ATB Financial, – the largest Alberta-based financial institution with more than $40 billion in assets – he leads a team of over 500 business professionals looking to re-imagine banking to make it work for people. Previously, Wellington led ATB’s Business & Agriculture team where he led the creation of ATB Capital, ATB’s private equity group, as well as a large team all committed to make banking work for people and to help entrepreneurs, farmers and ranchers grow their business. Before joining ATB, he spent 15 years at Business Development Bank of Canada in various executive roles and has extensive expertise in equity and quasi-equity investments, as well as other debt solutions, for small and mid- sized business. Mr. Holbrook is actively engaged in the business community and is a board member of the Calgary Convention Centre Authority and the Calgary Chamber.
Investment Committee Member
J. Bradley Holland
Brad has been Special Advisor at George Weston Limited since January 2014 focusing on investment, M&A and venture capital projects.
Prior to 2014, Brad spent 20 years as Senior Vice President, Taxation for George Weston Limited, Loblaw Companies Limited and their subsidiaries providing advice on Canadian and international tax planning and structuring, M&A, divestitures and financing, and was a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
Brad graduated with a BA and MAcc from the University of Waterloo and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CA, CMA)