Arlene Dickinson introduces Venturepark

Arlene Dickinson formally launched a new industry brand Monday, the culmination of a years-long process to refocus her businesses on food and health CPG.

Venturepark will serve as the overarching brand under which five distinct companies will operate to provide “capital, marketing, programming, innovation, commercialization and media amplification,” for CPG businesses.

Dickinson has talked openly about a strategic shift for her businesses to become a brand that operates in Canada and internationally to build food and health CPG brands. “Venturepark is a vision I’ve been busy building for the past six years,” she said in an email. “From global to local, from packaging to platforms, from strategy to social media, Venturepark is a place for brands to innovate, to build, to create.”

The five companies that comprise the new Venturepark are: Venture Play (formally Venture Communications); Venturepark Labs (formerly District Venture Accelerator and Kitchen); Venturepark Voice (formerly Newsworthy Co.); District Ventures Capital and District Ventures Plus (formerly District Ventures Marketing).

The reorientation of the company reflects the shift among consumers to be more educated about the foods they eat and their interest in healthier lifestyles.

“We believe that food and beverage, health and wellness and agriculture entrepreneurship will become key economic drivers for our nation moving forward,” said Dickinson in a release announcing the changes. “This is why we have strategically shifted our current business units, acquired others and are developing new ones, to embrace and respond directly to this trend.”

In the last year, Venture hired Dan Strasser as creative director for Venture Communications (he’s now VP, executive creative director, Venture Play and District Ventures Plus) and acquired The Bullet and Newsworthy Co.

While the changes in consumer habits that drove the strategic shift at Venture have been present for some time, they became even more pronounced during the pandemic.

“It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a focus on health and self—as well as a desire and demand for homegrown industry and products,” said Dickinson in the release. “At Venturepark, we provide a support system in which CPG businesses of all sizes can not only successfully navigate this new business terrain but be better equipped with the resources to thrive in it.”

David Brown