Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media reporter based in CalgaryDarcy Amendt, Dennis Kellner and Brent Macklin of Thorsby, Alberta-based Arctic Spas, a leading global designer and manufacturer of hot tubs and leisure products, captured the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year  2019 Prairies award at an event in Calgary Thursday night.

The company began in 1994 in a small Thorsby, Alberta garage, evolved in 2005 to include a one-of-a-kind hot tub controller connected through mobile applications and has continued to grow by developing new product lines using innovative technologies.

“This isn’t Arctic Spas’ first time competing — they’ve been winners in the program before and we’re excited to celebrate their achievements again,” says Rob Jolley, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies Program Director. “Since winning the Prairies Manufacturing category 14 years ago, Darcy, Dennis and Brent have sanctioned a complete redesign of their product line, including revamping the spa body components, and rethinking manufacturing processes and logistic systems to improve customer lead time delivery.”

Arctic Spas is now an internationally recognized brand with significant market share and products are sold in 125 stores across 26 countries.

“It’s one thing to have the courage to start your own business and another entirely to reinvent an industry,” says Jolley. “That ambition and drive to succeed is what set Darcy, Dennis and Brent apart in this year’s competition. They continue to embody the entrepreneurial spirit of turning challenges into opportunities — recognizing that quality and productivity must be a differentiator, and that flexibility in operations is an ever-increasing necessity to continued success.”

As the Prairies region’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019, the three will compete with top entrepreneurs from the Pacific, Ontario, Québec and Atlantic regions for the national honour of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 Canada, to be presented at a gala celebration November 28 in Toronto. In June 2020, Canada’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 will move to the world stage to compete with more than 50 country recipients for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 Prairies category award recipients were:


Heavy Metal Equipment & Rentals | Camrose, Alberta
Jesse van der Werf


Tank Traders | LaSalle, Alberta
Marcel Vouriot

Communication Technology

SureCall Contact Centers Ltd. | Calgary, Alberta
Desirée Bombenon

Emerging Entrepreneur

Attabotics | Calgary, Alberta
Scott Gravelle

Energy Services

Sky Eye Measurement Inc. | Acheson, Alberta
Richard Hansen


Arctic Spas | Thorsby, Alberta
Darcy Amendt, Dennis Kellner and Brent Macklin

Real Estate & Construction

Mid-West Group of Companies | Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Ken Achs


Versett | Calgary, Alberta
Doug van Spronsen

Young Entrepreneur

Sugarlash PRO | Edmonton, Alberta
Courtney Buhler

Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.

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