The Family Unit

W. Brett Wilson: Remembrance Day Versus Christmas

Last week Calgary, Alberta financier W. Brett Wilson called on businesses to refrain from putting up Christmas decorations until after Remembrance Day. He says early Christmas displays and sales show a lack of respect for our war veterans.

Wilson posted and tweeted the 10 days between Halloween and Remembrance Day should be free of Christmas sales and decorations. He utilized social media to make his point, taking his message onto the international stage and he received a lot of response to his online campaign, not all in favour of holding off on the tinsel.

“I welcome opportunities to raise the profile of those who serve or served our nation in a way the initiates conversation, because people who serve in uniform on every level deserve a lot more respect than they get, often because they serve in a less public way. Military members tend to provide their services out of sight. Once they are out of sight, they really are out of mind, forgotten and taken for granted,” explained Wilson.

Christmas music piped through stores in early November. Why not music relevant to Remembrance Day questioned Wilson.

“Terry Kelly’s song and video “A Pittance in Time”, always touches me deeply as it is moving and relevant. A pathetic minute or two on November 11th just doesn’t seem like much of a celebration of our military – which is why I simply don’t want the commercialization of Christmas to overwhelm Remembrance Day.”

Wilson, is a Canadian entrepreneur, philanthropist and three-season panellist on CBC Television’s Dragons’ Den. He was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan and holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Royal Roads University.

He travelled to Afghanistan to visit front-line Canadian troops with General Walter Natynczyk, Defence Minister Peter MacKay, hockey player Guy LaFleur and actor Paul Gross and has hosted events to support military members and their families.

Wilson began work as an investment banker with McLeod Young Weir Limited (now ScotiaMcLeod or Scotia Capital). He co-founded an investment banking advisory firm, Wilson Mackie & 1991 and in 1993, he co-founded FirstEnergy Capital Corp., a leading Canadian stock brokerage firm providing investment banking services to global participants in the energy sector – via offices in Calgary, AB and London, England.

Wilson retired from FirstEnergy in July, 2007, but retained his role as chairman of the company until December, 2008. His primary holding company, Prairie Merchant Corporation, is the vehicle from which he makes most of his current investments.

Please visit for more information on W. Brett Wilson.

Read Under the Radar, Blog by Vicki L. Morrison for further thoughts on Remembering Remembrance Day.

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Vicki L Morrison

Thanks to her husband's military career Vicki reinvented herself as a writer so she could work from home, while taking care of their three kids. A former MFRC executive director Vicki is a passionate advocate for military families who loves telling their stories.

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