Kevin O’Leary and Bruce Croxon Replaced by Michael Wekerle and Vikram Vij on CBC’s Dragons’ Den

CBC’s Dragons’ Den today revealed two new risk-taking Canadian business moguls will be joining the the cast of the award-winning reality television series this spring.

Michael Wekerle and Vikram Vij “herald a new era” for Dragons’ Den, according to CBC.

Wekerle made his fortune investing in tech and media companies. Wekerle’s rise to success began at the age of 18, where he honed his talents on the Toronto Stock Exchange trading floor before ascending the ranks to become a Bay Street pack leader.

Most recently, Wekerle founded and was appointed CEO of the merchant banking firm Difference Capital. He is described by CBC as a “heavily tattooed single dad to six children, who loves fast cars, rock music and living a lavish lifestyle.”

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Restaurant magnate Vikram Vij is most famous for running Vij’s arguably the most popular and successful East Indian restaurant in BC. Born in India, Vij left home at 20 to begin his culinary journey abroad. Since Vij’s, he has opened two additional restaurants, Rangoli in 2004 and My Shanti in 2014, as well as a gourmet food truck, and a line of pre-packaged curries available in grocery stores across Canada.

Further, Vij has published two cookbooks and has also appeared as a judge on Food Network’s Top Chef Canada and Chopped Canada, as well as CBC’s Recipe to Riches.His branding and entrepreneurial skills were rewarded in 2011 when he won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

“I am really pleased to be getting the opportunity to work with Michael and Vikram. We are delighted that the two new Dragons are top calibre entrepreneurs and that they are so eager to get inside the den and start making deals,” said Tracie Tighe, executive producer of Dragons’ Den.

The announcement comes just before the start of production for the show’s ninth season, which kicks-off at the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto on March 24.

Kevin O’Leary and Bruce Croxon will leave the show “in pursuit of other endeavours,” according to CBC.