Music makes it's mark at business awards
Amid bankers, accountants and miners, a couple of tables of music folks cheered on one of the nominees in the Ontario Business Achievement Awards (OBAA), hosted by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce last night. And lo and behold, our efforts were rewarded!
Grant Dexter accepts the award from Ann Bowman of RBC
MapleCore Ltd. was named one of two RBC Royal Bank Small Business Award winners for a company with fewer than 250 employees that excels in technological advancements, sales and export growth, product innovation, skills training and development, community leadership and entrepreneurial spirit.
MapleCore becomes the first music company to win an OBAA in the 29 year history of the program. But while it may have set a precedent, President Grant Dexter was quick to relate his company's success to diversification efforts noted by some of the other winners, "Selling music is tough today and so, not unlike other companies recognized here tonight, we've had to go where the money is such as e-commerce and ticketing solutions."
But Dexter also sent a strong message that MapleCore has not given up on it's core business,"We will fight to the day we die for an artist's right to be compensated for their work.". The crowd of roughly 500 business people and Ontario government representatives responded with resounding applause.
"This award is a very fitting tribute to an innovative leader in our industry," says Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada (who also earned a shout out of thanks from Dexter in his acceptance remarks). "Technology has created a rapidly changing marketplace, fraught with challenges, but also peppered with new opportunities; entrepreneurial companies like Maple are doing a great job navigating both."
One striking difference between Maple and the other winners came when it was time to thank their investors. In every other case the successful firms thanked the support of one of Canada's biggest banks. Dexter, on the other hand, introduced his largest investor, Universal Music Canada, represented last night by Randy Lennox and Tyson Parker.
Despite having only one winner from the creative industry at last night's awards, the evening was full of references to film and music, complete with a music video created by staff and volunteers of the Ontario Chamber.