W. Brett Wilson is an entrepreneur who has been particularly successful in the oil and gas industry. He co-founded one of the industry’s leading investment banks, now one of Canada’s most respected companies. FirstEnergy Capital Corp. is a leader in institutional sales, trading, research, financings, and a pioneer in innovative corporate philanthropy. In addition to his energy interests, Brett has acquired holdings in real estate, agriculture, sport and entertainment. He is also Chairman of Canoe Financial, one of one of the top 20 mutual fund companies in Canada.
For the past three years, Brett has been a popular panelist on the reality show Dragons’ Den – one of Canada’s most watched television programs. He has used this platform to promote entrepreneurship and innovation to audiences throughout Canada. He is also host of Risky Business TV, which profiles unique opportunities for investment and entrepreneurship. He founded the W. Brett Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the University of Saskatchewan, promoting entrepreneurship among all disciplines, with a vision for becoming one of Canada’s pre-eminent centres for entrepreneurship.
A noted philanthropist, Brett has sought to inspire, engage, and lead the business community into seeing corporate social responsibility not as an obligation, but an opportunity. To help them realize their potential for giving back, he has organized dozens of highly popular – and successful – fundraising events that have not only raised awareness but also tens of millions for Canadian charities.
Respected for his principles and passion, Brett has received wide recognition for his business and philanthropic leadership. He has been singled out as Alberta’s Business Person of the Year, named Calgary’s Person of the Year, and recognized as a Nation Builder for his role in encouraging entrepreneurship, particularly among youth. In 2010, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Royal Roads University. He became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011.