Probably not a description he is used to, but that was the first thing that came to mind when looking for one. Well, first it’s the apparent contradictions: wears mismatched socks-on purpose, knows the latest fashion news-enough to get upset about it (the Olsen twins ,000 back pack), has 5 houses but mostly flies commercial, supports many charities-but only once in most cases, is happy to sign 200 autographs-but shies away from the camera at Shannon Tweed’s and Gene Simmons’ wedding.
Then there is the whole change of life philosophy which he has adopted after a near death fight with cancer and consequent reactions-more on that later. Long established in Calgary’s oil and gas investment field, Wilson is known for co-founding First Energy Capital and for his philanthropy, he’s currently the chairman of Canoe Financial and his own Prairie Merchant Corporation, as well as part-owner of several sports teams, including the Derby County Football Club and a minor league baseball team.
I discovered yet another fold in the broad sheet of social media.
Their twitter usage is generally one-way communication. For them to engage their audience could potentially be a public relations nightmare if they get caught saying the wrong thing, or have what they said taken out of context.
As I’ve said before, it’s a revelation for a celebrity or politician to tweet, because we lowly public get to see behind the carefully manipulated brand image (unless the twitter account itself is controlled as part of some larger communications exercise, which happens often).
During today’s cull, I remembered my disappointment and decided to divest him of my allegiance and admonish him in front of my meagre 175 followers because of his stance.
I tweeted, “” I wrote that comment because I felt that my follower base would be interested to know that he agreed with Palin and the purported debate surrounding climate change science, and included his Twitter handle because perhaps just maybe he’d read it and know that some people are disappointed by his belief. The reality is that no one truly cares about what you have to say; perhaps they get a laugh, or care just enough to make a judgement or an opinion on your comment, and then life goes on. As with the other 1,400-some tweets I’ve made, regarding everything from overcooked salmon to a government official’s cocaine charges, they are something that I’m prepared to publish but aren’t anything necessarily newsworthy.
For as much as it can cause concern, tweeting honestly and openly can in some cases reinforce the ethos and character of its author despite straying too far off message on occasion. Not only did Wilson tweet his opinion on climate change science and Sarah Palin, but he took the time to respond and deal with my accusation head-on.
I’m sure part of him was hoping I’d shy away and apologize or something, but what ended up happening was a real engagement of me – some normal, run of the mill guy who does not have millions of dollars or his face splashed all over Canadian public television. They were out of character and entirely genuine for a person of his stature, which seems to be his MO in a lot of ways.
Sorry if that sounds cold, but it’s reality and I think that while not everyone would state this feeling so clearly, it’s probably how we all operate. Brett Wilson, the flamboyant but gentle merchant banker who’s made untold millions of dollars financing energy projects in Alberta and has expanded his investments into other personal interests including sport and entrepreneurship. Aside from his energy interests (and despite what some might call hypocrisy), he seems concerned about the environment.
I do not know him at all, beyond his participation on a show I enjoy – CBC’s Dragons’ Den – and his Twitter engagement. He would also be a healthy role model, in my opinion, save for his oil industry accolades.
I’m also talking about guys like…” In 2001 the day his papers came through on his divorce he received a phone call telling him that he had prostate cancer.