Venture hires Dan Strasser as part of ‘reinvention’ strategy

Venture Communications has hired Dan Strasser, one of Canada’s top creative directors, as a precursor to what the agency is calling “monumental changes” still to be announced.

Strasser joins the Calgary-based company as vice-president and executive creative director, overseeing all creative for both Venture and District Ventures, an investment fund and accelerator program that offers sales and marketing guidance to young businesses in the food and beverage and health and wellness industries.

“When I heard that Venture had an opening, I got really excited,” said Strasser. “Having the opportunity to work on both big brands and help build start-ups and early stage companies is an amazing creative opportunity.”

Strasser will be moving to Calgary, and officially starts with Venture on Oct. 30. He joins from One Method, where he was creative director. Before that he spent several years at Bensimon Byrne, with earlier stops at Leo Burnett in Switzerland and DDB offices in Germany and Chicago.

“Toronto is no longer the epicentre of the creative world,” said Venture founder and CEO Arlene Dickinson in a release announcing Strasser’s hiring. “World-class talent will make their way to world-class agencies all over the country.”

“This pandemic has shown me that great work can be done from anywhere. There’s no need to live in a specific city in order to be part of something great,” added Strasser. “So, I’m excited to move to Calgary. I welcome the change in lifestyle and look forward to working on big things while having a view of the mountains.”

Dickinson said that hiring Strasser is part of strategic shift for Venture, with a goal of becoming a global agency with an emphasis on brands in food and beverage, health and wellness and agriculture, though she declined to provide details.

“Venture has been focused on its own reinvention path throughout the pandemic,” she said in an email to The Message. “In fact, later this month we’ll making a major announcement about the future direction of our agency.”

David Brown