Michael Donovan of DHX Media Ltd. is Canada's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2015 National award winner

Donovan will compete for the world title in Monaco next June

TORONTO, Nov 25, 2015 /CNW/ - Michael Donovan, Executive Chairman of DHX Media Ltd. (TSX:DHX.B ; @DHXMedia) – a global film and television company specializing in the production, distribution, broadcast and licensing of children's and family entertainment content – is this year's Canadian Entrepreneur Of The Year.

Michael was chosen as the Canadian winner for his industry foresight and relentless belief in the demand for good-quality entertainment content. At a time when the threat of online, on-demand viewing was imminent and content was undervalued, Michael knew the web would become one big and lucrative outlet for children's shows. With conviction and an enviable work ethic, Michael built a company that has become one of the world's leading providers of entertainment content for children and families.

"Michael Donovan had a vision, and jumped into family entertainment content with both feet," says Colleen McMorrow, EY partner and National Entrepreneur Of The Year Program Director. "But his success is no stroke of luck. He has proven himself as a diligent and persistent businessman, first in producing and distributing shows around the world and then in strategically growing DHX Media to become the world's largest independent library of children and family content." 

It all began in the early 1980s, when Michael had just graduated from Dalhousie law school. He teamed up with his brother, Paul, to found Salter Street Films, a Halifax-based production company. Having produced such series as CODCO, Made in Canada, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and winning an Academy Award for Bowling for Columbine, Donovan eventually started what would become DHX Media Ltd, which went public in 2006.

"We're honoured to award Michael the title of Canadian Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015," says McMorrow. "He will no doubt be a shining example of Canada's entrepreneurial strength when he heads to Monaco next June with entrepreneurs from around the world."

Michael accepted the award at a black-tie ceremony in Toronto last night. The event marked the culmination of five regional galas that drew more than 5,000 attendees nationwide.

Across Canada, there were 183 finalists, 51 award winners, 3 Family Business of Excellence recipients, 1 Lifetime Achievement recipient, 3 Social Entrepreneur Special Citation recipients and 1 Entrepreneurial Community Builder Special Citation recipient. The 183 finalists employ more than 46,000 people in Canada and have combined revenues of over $12 billion.

Next up, Michael will compete with more than 50 other country winners for EY's World Entrepreneur Of The Year award in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on 8-12 June, 2016.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Special Citations awarded

The national judges awarded six entrepreneurs, who were  regional category winners from across Canada, for their outstanding work with reference to specific attributes, including marketing excellence, entrepreneurial longevity, personal brand creation, advancing entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial perseverance and product innovation. The full list of special citation award recipients is below.

Entrepreneurial Winning Women

The gala also honoured the four Canadian women in the 2015 class of Entrepreneurial Winning Women, including:

The program acts as an accelerator to help successful women entrepreneurs gain knowhow, mentorship and resources to grow their business, access capital, and develop the networks necessary to become a formidable force in their industries.

More information

Follow @EYCanada and #EOY on Twitter for the latest event updates. Visit ey.com/ca/eoy for more program details and a complete list of finalists and winners. 

The nominations for next year's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program are open now. To find out more, visit ey.com/ca/eoy

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015 national special citation award recipients:

Atlantic

Alex MacLean | Special Citation for Marketing Excellence
East Coast Lifestyle | Halifax, Nova Scotia
www.EastCoastLifestyle.com
Twitter @EASTCOASTLIFEST

In 2013, Alex started East Coast Lifestyle, a unique clothing brand focused on Atlantic Canadian pride, in his entrepreneurship class at Acadia University. Since that first initiative to sell 30 hoodies, the company has exploded internationally, with over 500,000 units sold in 55 countries.

With notable celebrities like Sidney Crosby and Ed Sheeran representing ECL's one-of-a-kind style, Alex is wearing success well.

Quebec

Dominique Brown | Special Citation for Product Innovation
Les Chocolats Favoris Inc. | Québec
www.chocolatsfavoris.com

With 12 budding businesses booming across Québec, Dominique has turned Les Chocolats Favoris into a sensation. Providing a unique in-store experience, the company offers customers a wide range of mouth-watering confections using liquid chocolate … from ice cream to fondue. Les Chocolats Favoris is now poised to open 20 more shops next year.

Ontario

Michael Solcz | Special Citation for Entrepreneurial Longevity
Valiant Corporation | Windsor
www.valiantcorp.com

In 1959, Michael formed Valiant to help manufacturers build better products. The company provides full-service production systems and tooling to a wide variety of industries, adopting new technology and processes as needed. When Valiant expanded internationally, Michael ensured the company's overall stability by creating independent branches. Today, Valiant remains nimble and effective … and Michael's boundless vision is paying off.

Marc Anthony | Special citation for Personal Brand Creation
Marc Anthony Cosmetics Inc. | Concord
www.marcanthony.com
Twitter @MarcAnthonyHC

Marc Anthony is style personified. After becoming the youngest World Champion Hair Stylist at 21 and opening his first salon, Marc formed Marc Anthony Cosmetics to sell his premium beauty care products. A natural-born multitasker, he promoted the brand while staying active as a stylist. His signature line is now widely available and a favourite of A-listers like Catherine Zeta Jones.

Prairies

Christopher Micetich | Special Citation for Entrepreneurial Perseverance
NAEJA Pharmaceutical Inc. / Fedora Pharmaceuticals Inc. | Edmonton, Alberta
naeja.com

In 1999, Christopher founded NAEJA Pharmaceutical to produce antibiotic and anti-cancer drugs. With a fearless management style, he persisted in working with top scientists even when competitors were cutting back. This bold approach led the company to pioneer outsourcing to giants like Pfizer. With sister company Fedora Pharmaceuticals now fielding new breakthroughs, there's no limit to where Christopher can go.

Pacific

Shafin Diamond Tejani | Special Citation for Advancing Entrepreneurship
Victory Square Labs | Vancouver, British Columbia
www.victorysquare.com 
Twitter @VictorySquareVC

Shafin Diamond Tejani believes in nurture over nature. Victory Square Labs, Shafin's venture building company, fosters start-ups in the web, mobile, gaming and film arenas. With a focus on funding socially responsible organizations and those led by female founders, he has received numerous accolades, including the Prime Minister's Volunteer Award this past year.

Victory has helped 40 start-ups spread their wings … and Shafin is leading the way.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 140 cities in 50 countries.

The 2015 national independent judging panel consists of Linda Hasenfratz, Chief Executive Officer of Linamar Corporation and Canada's Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014; Jon Hantho, Chief Executive Officer, Maxxam Analytics, Entrepreneur Of The Year Services category winner 2012, Ontario, and National Special Citation for Entrepreneurial Leadership in 2012; Ben Cowan-Dewar, Managing Director, Cabot Links Venture Inc. and Entrepreneur Of The Year Hospitality and Tourism category winner 2014, Atlantic.; Ashif Mawji, President, Trust Science and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Young Entrepreneur category winner 2002, Prairies; Donald McInnes, Partner, Oxygen Capital Corp. and Entrepreneur Of The Year Cleantech/Information Technology category winner 2011, Pacific; Anne Darche, President, Pertinence Inc.; and Dr. Alan Ulsifer, Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of the Board of FYidoctors and Canada's Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 winner.

This year's program national sponsors are TEC Canada, La Presse, RDI, TMX Group (TSX: X), Merrill DataSite, Kira Talent, Air Canada and The Printing House Limited.

About EY World Entrepreneur Of The YearTM
EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. For more than 150 years in Canada, we've delivered the insights and quality services that help build trust and confidence in capital markets here and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

For more information about the program, FAQs and key dates, please visit ey.com/ca/EOY.
Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada, #EOY

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)

For further information: about this press release, gala information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Sasha Anopina, sasha.anopina@ca.ey.com, 416 943 2637; Julie Fournier, julie.fournier@ca.ey.com, 514 874 4308; Leigh Kjekstad, leigh.kjekstad@ca.ey.com, 604 648 3807

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