Michael Donovan of DHX Media named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Atlantic 2015

EY celebrates legacy-building entrepreneurs at annual awards gala

ST. JOHN'S, Oct. 9, 2015 /CNW/ - Michael Donovan, Executive Chairman of DHX Media Ltd. (TSX:DHX.B) – 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 Entrepreneur Of The Year Atlantic winner.

"Michael is a shining example of visionary leadership," says Ian Cavanagh, EY's Atlantic Entrepreneur Of The Year program director. "Under Michael's direction – despite a market that told him content was dead – DHX has become Canada's leading producer and distributor of entertainment content for children and families, and one of the top companies in the sector globally."

Michael has been a pioneer and leader in Canadian film and television for more than thirty years. From founding Salter Street Films, a Halifax-based production company that produced such series as CODCO, Made in Canada and most significantly, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, to winning an Academy Award for Bowling for Columbine, Donovan has always had an eye for recognizing the next big opportunity.

"Looking to the future, Michael made a solid bet on quality children's entertainment," says Cavanagh. "He recognized that the Internet was poised to become a major new outlet for children's content. He focused relentlessly, trusted his vision and empowered the right people to build a legacy for DHX."

Today, DHX employs more than 1,300 personnel globally and holds the world's largest independent library of children's and family content. The company's distribution arm has secured hundreds of broadcast deals, exporting Canadian programming to almost every country in the world. DHX content is shown on all major broadcast outlets and streaming platforms. In 2014, the company acquired four leading Canadian television channels, including Family, the country's most-watched kids' channel, to become a fully integrated media company.

"Entrepreneurship isn't just about dollars and cents. It's about finding new ways to approach challenging problems. It's about growing your community while growing your business, and building prosperity for yourself, as well as the next generation," says Jim Lutes, EY's Atlantic Region Managing Partner. "All of our finalists are stars in their own right, and we're proud to honour their legacies."

Social entrepreneur honoured
This year's gala also honoured Jeff Schnurr of Community Forests International, who received a special citation award for social entrepreneurship. Community Forests International (www.forestsinternational.org) is an international organization that uses sustainable technology, farming and forestry to help rural communities kick-start economic growth and adapt to climate change.

What's next?
As the Atlantic region's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015, Michael will compete with top entrepreneurs from the Pacific, Prairies, Ontario and Quebec regions for the national honour of Canada's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015, to be presented at a gala celebration on 24 November 2015 in Toronto. In June 2016, Canada's Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015 will move to the world stage to compete with more than 50 country recipients for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year.

More information
Follow @EYCanada, #EOY and #EOYAtlantic on Twitter for the latest event updates. Visit ey.com/ca/eoy for more program details and a complete list of category finalists and gala dates in the regions. 

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Atlantic 2015 category award recipients:

Business-to-Business Products and Services

Peter Toombs
Diversified Metal Engineering Ltd. | Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Operating from Prince Edward Island, DME has become recognized as one of the premier suppliers of quality microbrewery systems.

Business-to-Consumer Products and Services

Laurie Jennings
Masstown Market Limited | Debert, Nova Scotia
A combination of retail, food and beverage, and tourism – grocery, restaurant, bakery, liquor, produce, seafood, nursery products, gas station and event venue.

Emerging Entrepreneur

Alex MacLean
East Coast Lifestyle | Halifax, Nova Scotia
A clothing line created as a university class project. An initiative to sell 30 hoodies has now turned into 500,000 units sold in 55 countries around the world.

Information technology

Jamie King, Raymond Pretty and Brendan Brothers
Verafin | St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
An industry leader in cloud-based fraud detection and anti-money laundering (FRAML) software with a customer base of over 1,200 financial institutions across North America.

Media and Entertainment

Michael Donovan
DHX Media Ltd. | Halifax, Nova Scotia
A global film and television company specializing in the production, distribution, broadcast and licensing of children's and family entertainment content.

Professional/financial services

Jonathan Lewis
Eastport Financial Group Inc. | Halifax, Nova Scotia
Leaders in the financial planning field with a unique service standard in wealth management, tax and estate planning and insurance actuarial services.

Real estate/construction

Kevin King
KMK Capital Group of Companies | St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Offers residential and commercial development, property management and leasing; real estate investment and brokerage; and project management, construction, and engineering consulting services in Canada and the U.S.

Technology and Communications

Shawn Kersey
DWS Data Wiring Solutions | Halifax, Nova Scotia
Provides communication products and services to residential and commercial markets, including Fibre-Op installations, structured cabling services and outside plant services.

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 Atlantic independent judging panel consists of Ben Cowan-Dewar, Managing Director, Cabot Links Venture Inc. and Entrepreneur Of The Year Hospitality and Tourism category winner 2014, Atlantic; Robert Crosbie, Chairman, Crosbie Group Ltd. category winner and Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall winner 2014 Atlantic; Philip Fraser, President & CEO, Killam Properties Inc.; Iris Petten, President, Petten Holdings Inc. and Robert Youden, Partner, Savarin Consulting Limited.  

This year's national program sponsors are TEC Canada, La Presse, RDI, TMX, Merrill DataSite, Kira Talent, Air Canada, The Printing House Limited. Atlantic regional sponsors are Progress Media, Royal Bank of Canada and McInnes Cooper.

About EY's Strategic Growth Markets Network
EY's worldwide Strategic Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of high-growth companies. For more than 30 years, we've helped many of the world's most dynamic and ambitious companies grow into market leaders. Whether working with international mid-cap companies or early-stage venture-backed businesses, our professionals draw upon their extensive experience, insight and global resources to help your business succeed.

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)

Image with caption: "Michael Donovan of DHX Media (second from left) was named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Atlantic 2015 at an awards gala in St. John’s last night. Jim Lutes (far left), Colleen McMorrow of EY and Derek Purchase (far right) presented the award. (CNW Group/EY (Ernst & Young))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151009_C8026_PHOTO_EN_517746.jpg

For further information: For further information about this press release, gala information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Erika Bennett, erika.bennett@ca.ey.com, 403 206 5157; Julie Fournier, julie.fournier@ca.ey.com, 514 874 4308; Sasha Anopina, sasha.anopina@ca.ey.com, 416 943 2637


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