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Bill Dickson and Family

Bill Dickson

Bill Dickson, a longstanding Calgary Real Estate Board member, has been involved in the real estate industry for 50 years.

He was born in Medicine Hat in 1930, with the name William Dickson. When he came of age, he left for Calgary for schooling. In his youth, he had various jobs, including working as a short order cook, a cab driver, and a shoot jockey for Canmore Coal Mine. In 1955, he started a construction business, building homes in the Montgomery, Bowness, and Forest Lawn areas before they became part of Calgary. That same year, he entered the real estate profession as a salesman for Bow Valley Agencies. In 1958, Bill Dickson established his own real estate company, Corral Realty Ltd. He changed the named of the company to Centennial Realty Ltd. in 1967.

Bill Dickson has done a lot of important work for organized real estate in Canada. He became a member of the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB), serving as a director for the organization and as president in 1977. He was vice-president of the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) in 1982, and president of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) in 1984. He worked on the education committees of CREB and AREA for 14 years. Bill was involved in the creation of the Canadian Real Estate Board's Political Action Committee in 1983, a lobby group aimed at improving business and housing conditions in Canada. He also spearheaded the trademarking of the term REALTOR® to apply to members of the national real estate boards in Canada and the United States. He was instrumental in creating the Assurance Fund for licensed real estate practitioners in 1983, which protects the public from losses resulting from breach of trust and fraudulent actions of real estate practitioners. In addition to his work with the real estate board, Bill was a member of the Housing and Urban Development Association of Canada for 15 years. His membership began in 1978, when he worked as chairman of the legislative committee.

For the Dickson family, real estate is a family business. Bill Dickson's three sons and his grandson have all been involved in real estate.

In his brief life, Bill's son Michael was in the modular home industry from 1976 until he passed away in 1980.

Bill's son Rick joined his father's company, Centennial Realty Ltd, in 1973. Rick eventually took over Centennial Realty, while his father Bill stayed on as a broker/agent. Centennial Realty prospered until the recession hit Calgary in the early 1980s; like many other large real estate companies, Centennial Realty went out of business because few people were buying real estate and interest rates were skyrocketing. After the company closed, Rick joined Trans Alta Realty, and then Sutton Group Advantage in 2002. Like his father, Rick is heavily involved the Calgary Real Estate Board, serving on many committees.

Bill's son Don also worked for Centennial Realty, beginning in 1974. He left the company to start his own business, Tarmigan Real Estate, in 1978. His company's goal was to provide badly-needed low income housing for residents of Fort McMurray, when the city was booming because of tar sand development. The company had a short existence, however, and it was forced to shut down in 1980. Don then became a broker for Canwest Real Estate from 1981 to 1989. In 1989, he joined Sutton Group. Don is an active member of the Calgary Real Estate Board and he chaired the committee that united the Board with the Calgary Region Home Builders' Association. Don was director of CREB in 2000, and president in 2004. His son, Nathan, is also a REALTOR®.

For more information on Bill Dickson and his family, read the Calgary Real Estate News articles “Real estate: A family affair” and “Dicksons make real estate a family affair” in our feature article database.


Leslie, Jean. "Real Estate: A Family Affair." Legends of Real Estate. Calgary Real Estate News, August 20, 2004. Retrieved July 17, 2008

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