Since we last spoke with Dallas Arcand in 2017, he has been working on some amazing projects as he expands and diversifies his business. From high profile performances to producing an album and filming a documentary—and everything in between—Dallas has been keeping busy and shows no signs of slowing down. 

Making Big Moves in a Small Business

When one door closes do five more open? This was the case when Dallas closed down one of his businesses. With no infrastructure and slow traffic in the community, along with knowing his upcoming year was going to be busy with contracts and commitments in place, Dallas made the hard decision to close down the Silver Bullet Café.

He had little time to dwell on that decision because after hiring a new manager, his entertainment business caught fire. With big contracts including the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show, and performing at the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) Awards and as the opening act on the CP Canada 150 Train Cross-Country Tour working alongside artists like Dean Brody and Jann Arden, he was getting some great promotion. At the same time, he felt as though these opportunities took his entertainment business to another level.

Building an Entertainment Empire

Another branch of Dallas’ entertainment business is music—he is working on an Electronic Dance Music (EDM) album in which he writes the lyrics in Cree, uses powwow melodies, and works with a singer. He also produces all of his music and is working on a couple more songs to complete a full album.

Dallas has been filming every step of his journey and is creating another business venture: his documentary. His goal is to license out his documentary and invest the profits towards having it shown at film festivals around the country and hopefully around the world. He has been working with a film editor to turn the raw footage that he has been gathering into a full rough copy of the documentary. 

Recognizing the Contributions of Indigenous Art

Dallas’ artistic side is also being widely recognized: he was the recipient of one of the Hnatyshyn Foundation Reveal Indigenous Art Awards. Along with the honour of winning this award came a cash prize and an opportunity to go to Winnipeg, where he and the other laureates received their awards at a ceremony hosted by Manitoba’s Lieutenant Governor. He has also been actively volunteering and advocating for Indigenous Artists with the Government of Alberta on how the government should be recognizing these artists as contributors to society and the economy and how they can show appreciation for those in this industry.

Growing and Learning in Business

Dallas believes his music, flute playing, powwow dancing, and his documentary all connect and will lead to yet another business venture he has been working on. When Dallas returned from his most recent tour, he started his Bison Chief Jerky business. Loving jerky since he was a kid, Dallas followed his passion of creating something cultural and authentic to the Indigenous people by starting to make beef jerky. His current goal with this business is to sell it in every reserve and every tourist destination across Alberta.

Along with every success Dallas has had, he knows that he is still learning. When asked if he would like to pass along any advice to other entrepreneurs, Dallas stated that the most important thing you can do while running a business is being organized and added: “getting your priorities in order should be your priority.”

Dallas plans to build himself a dance studio for a convenient place to dance on his reserve while inviting others to utilize that space. He is also interested in investing in his roots: “we need to be investing in our languages and culture to pass onto and guide our younger generation.” To accomplish this goal, Dallas has plans to eventually open a tourism business to help spread this knowledge to others. With his work ethic and passion, we’re sure to see him succeed in this as well. Keep on shining Dallas!

You can keep in touch with Dallas by following him on social media!