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dragons den logo 2019 270The Meaford Dragons return for the 11th year, and it promises to be an even more entertaining affair. At Meaford Hall on Wednesday, October 30, this event will feature a dynamic new host, an entertaining new format, a catered intermission, a re-imagined prize format, and improved sponsorship opportunities.

Based on CBC's popular Dragons Den, Meaford's annual business battle pits local entrepreneurs vying for valuable cash, prizes, and advice against a panel of Dragons comprised of successful local businesspeople. This event has entertained sold-out crowds and launched or boosted more than 45 business stars in the local economy.

This year’s battle will feature a new slate of hopeful Dragonslayers including: Back Country Glamping, providing high-end camping accommodations where people can experience the beauty of nature while enjoying luxury and style; Forest School, a non-profit organization that provides students the opportunity to foster a deep connection with nature through outdoor education; Pampered Paw Spa, providing professional dog grooming; PostingsK9 Training, a dog-training company specializing in force-free custom one-to-one classes as well as group classes; and Silk Family Homestead, a sustainable, small-scale, natural vegetable farm.

These hopeful businesspersons will make their pitches to a professional panel of local Dragons, featuring second year judges Marie-Catherine Marsot from The Frauxmagerie Ltd.; Darryl Hindle from Quench Buggy; and Steve Bosman from MSW Plastics. Rounding out our panel, we are pleased to welcome first time Dragons Nancy Sharma from Canada Brokerlink Inc.; and Daryl Johnson from Amici Restaurant Pizzeria.

Exciting new changes to this year’s show

This year’s event will be hosted by stand-up comedian and actor Andrew Chapman, who has hosted programs on YTV and the Discovery Channel, and portrayed a young W.C. Fields on CBC's long-running Murdoch Mysteries. He'll kick off the show with an entertaining ten-minute stand-up set and will keep things rolling during the proceedings. It looks as if this year the Dragons may be in for a roasting of their own, burned by Chapman's improv wit.

For the first time, the intermission will feature light catering by Frauxmagerie – Meaford's revolutionary manufacturer of 100% dairy-free 'frauxmage', amazingly convincing fermented, aged, plant-based 'cheeses', and Windswept Cider, crafters of traditional dry orchard-based ciders that reflect the heritage and flavours of the Georgian Bay area. Meaford Hall's cash bar will also be open during intermission, and patrons are welcome to enjoy their drinks as the show proceeds.

The battle royale

During the first half of the show, the five competing entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to the panel of Dragons in the hope of winning them over and getting their share of cash, prizes, and investment. Since Meaford Dragons launched in 2009, area businesses have received more than $215,000 in cash or in-kind services. After the pitch, it's time for the Dragons to return to their lair to chew on things, while audience members mull over their own choices – who to vote for to receive the $500 Rotary Club of Meaford Audience Choice Award, and what tasty offerings to munch on during intermission.

During the second half of the show, each contestant endures a little more grilling from the Dragons before they make their final decision on who will receive what share of each Dragon's $1,500-plus in cash and investment. Then the winners are announced, including the entrepreneur who most wowed the audience for the Rotary Club of Meaford Audience Choice Award.

More action for Meaford Dragons sponsors and contestants

Every year, prizes include valuable business services provided free of charge to the winners. To make sure these prizes are received by contestants who'll benefit most from the services, this year the entrepreneurs will make their pitches for these prizes before the actual show. And major sponsors, those contributing at least $1,000 in cash or in-kind donations of $1,500 or more, will kick off Meaford Dragons with a VIP Champagne Reception sponsored by The Ear Clinic and Bayview Escarpment Fine Furniture at The Craig Gallery. While socializing with the Dragons, host Andrew Chapman, Mayor Barb Clumpus, sponsors and their guests will enjoy catering by Andrew's Roots Restaurant and Grandma Lambe's.

Past winners of Meaford Dragons include Frauxmagerie, Quench Buggy, Ride On Bikes, Kilannan Brewing Company, and CTRE Productions.

Get your tickets to Meaford Dragons at Meaford Hall or online at www.meafordhall.ca and cheer on your favourite dragonslayer.

For more information, visit www.meafordchamber.ca/meaford-dragons or contact the Chamber office at admin@meafordchamber.ca.