Amin Dhillon talks about herself as "the little Winnipeg girl who went off and was able to get the job of her dreams."
That job is being the "face" of the Asian Television Network (ATN), one of Canada’s biggest broadcasters with 34 specialty channels and a satellite radio service beaming across North America.
Dhillon cut her teeth as a reporter for ATN and is now the main host for the network — a position that involves everything from interviewing politicians to rubbing shoulders with celebrities at events like the recent Toronto International Film Festival.
"It’s exciting. It keeps me on my toes," she says. "You definitely don’t get bored in my job."
According to Dhillon, cricket and Bollywood are particularly popular among ATN’s many south Asian viewers.
She says a recent career highlight was hosting the red carpet coverage at the Punjabi International Film Academy Awards, the largest awards show in Indian Punjabi cinema.
Although the network is based in Toronto, Dhillon doesn’t spend all that much time there.
"I’m kind of all over the place because I travel so much for my job," she says. "That’s why I consider myself a ‘Pegger... I would say my home base is still Winnipeg."
Dhillon is back home in Winnipeg this week to host a special shop and donate event. It will take place at 93 Shamrock Dr. and run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Sept. 13 to 16.
It’s being put on GP Fashion Clothing, Dhillon’s family business which sells formal and semi-formal children’s clothing, jewelry, fabrics, Indian wear and men’s clothing.
"Winnipeggers love a good deal and that’s exactly what they are going to get at this event," she says.
Shoppers are also asked to bring donations to support the Canadian Cancer Society, an organization close to Dhillon’s family.
Dhillon says she’s looking forward to catching up with friends and family.
"I’m definitely excited to be back," she says. "Hopefully I’ll be able to see as many people as possible."
Dhillon grew up in the Southdale area and graduated from University of Manitoba’s I.H. Asper School of Business.
She became known for winning the Miss India Worldwide Canada crown in 2010 (the first Manitoba woman to do so) and then finishing in the top 10 in the international Miss India Worldwide competition.
Dhillon is proud of her accomplishments, believing she’s made the most of her opportunities. But she’s also thankful to have had some luck along the way.
"I was at the right place at the right time, got some lucky breaks, and ended up at the network," she says.