My favourite Dragons’ Den interview

July 27, 2007

As an interviewer, I know I will never be as good as the likes of Charlie Rose or even our own beloved George Stroumboulopoulos. But today, I can brag about one thing that neither Charlie nor George has done.

Today, I have finally interviewed all five Dragons and the host of the season 2 CBC Dragons’ Den. As a big fan of Dragons’ Den even before CBC filmed season one, I am so happy to have the opportunities to chat with these key people of Dragons’ Den.

I even turned Barbara Walters’ tree question into an art form by asking all five dragons the “tree question“. (smile) And for Arlene, I even added a bonus “shoes question“. (big smile)

Here are the links to the six video interviews,

  1. Dianne Buckner – Host
  2. Robert Herjavec – Dragon
  3. Kevin O’Leary – Dragon
  4. Laurence Lewin – Dragon
  5. Jim Treliving – Dragon
  6. Arlene Dickinson – Dragon

With me asking pretty much the same general business questions to each dragon, I felt a bit constrained (self-imposed in a sense). You see, in the book Hong Kong, Portraits of Power, the photographer Lord Snowdon did a crazy thing by taking the glasses off the face of Li Ka-shing (owner of Husky Energy, part owner (5% ?) of CIBC, and the richest and most powerful man in Hong Kong). Snowdon was trying to reveal more of Mr. Li to us. (According to Snowdon, there are no photos of Mr. Li without his trademarked glasses.) For me, my tree/shoes questions were my attempts in hope of revealing more from the Dragons in my limited interview time with them.

Now, which interview is my favourite? I really enjoyed the background insights on the show provided by Dianne. And the businesses insights from Robert, Kevin, Laurence, Jim, and Arlene were all shared with great generosity. So it is tough for me to pick a favourite. But since I said I will pick one, I am going to say my favourite interview is the one with Arlene because I had more time to talk to her. And the interview was more relaxed than the other on set interviews where we were all in a hurry. Plus I never got around to ask my new “shoes question” to Dianne (I think she would love it), and especially to the gentlemen dragons Robert, Kevin, Laurence, and Jim. (big smile)

Now, do you have a favourite Dragons’ Den Interview?


Arlene Dickinson – Dragonfly Interview 2007

July 27, 2007

First of all, I like to thank our Lady Dragon Arlene Dickinson for taking time out of her busy day to be interviewed by me in Calgary. I really enjoyed my chat with Arlene (as you will see from the video). Arlene also gave me a wonderful tour of the office building and a chance to meet Arlene’s charming daughter Carley and some of her team members.

As an avid reader of Advertising Age and a lover of great award winning advertising, it was wonderful to know that Arlene’s Venture Communications is the first Calgary based agency to be shortlisted in the film category at Cannes and had two commercials shortlisted. Now, if you love great ads like I do, take a look under “Our work” in the website of Venture Communications. One of my personal favourites is the Subway ad.

Here is my interview with Arlene. My apologies for the first few seconds of shaky camera work. Now, if you were to film and interview the charming Arlene all at once, I bet your hands will shake like a leaf too. (smile) I am going to add some photos and a link to this video to the Facebook group “Dragons’ Den Canada!” as well. I hope you will enjoy the video as much as I in conducting the interview with Arlene.

Here is Arlene’s Dragons’ Den bio.

“Arlene Dickinson is a 20-year veteran in marketing communications, and is president and CEO of Venture Communications Ltd.

After joining Venture as a partner in 1988, Arlene took over sole ownership in 1998. Her vision has driven Venture’s growth, successfully building it from a local firm into one of Canada’s largest independent marketing firms, with offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Ottawa.

Her accomplishments, vision and leadership have been recognized with several honours and awards. They include: Global Television Woman of Vision; the Calgary Business Owner of the Year Award; PROFIT magazine’s TOP 100 Women Business Owners, 2001 to 2006; a winner of the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence; Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100, 2003 to 2006; Ad Rodeo’s Lifetime Achievement Award; and Marketing Magazine’s Power List. Venture has been recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.

In addition to her busy roles as president of Venture, mother of four children and grandmother of one, Arlene finds time to lend her skills and leadership to benefit the industry and the community. She served for many years and in various board roles – including chair – with Ad Rodeo and is past co-chair of the National Board for Kids Help Phone.

She is a director of the Calgary Municipal Lands Corporation, 2016 Homeless Foundation, a member of the International Women’s Federation (IWF) and a director of the Recreation for Life Foundation. As well, Venture does extensive pro bono work for several non-profit organizations.”


CBC Dragons’ Den on Facebook

July 26, 2007

I’ve always hope to see more CBC Dragons’ Den fans talk about the show. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is already a Facebook group call “Dragons’ Den Canada!” started by Marcus Troiano a few months ago. Great stuff Marcus. It is great to have an open forum that Dragons’ Den viewers can join and talk about the show.

I have added some behind the scenes photos to the “Dragons’ Den Canada!” group album. Check them out.