2016 has been an exciting year so far for Canadian promoter Paula Perri. In February, she left her job at Air Canada Centre in Toronto to become a promoter at Fource Entertainment, a new independent concert promotion company based in Toronto.
“This opportunity came up with my former boss at Live Nation, Jacob Smid,” Paula told Amplifiy. “He was starting up his own company again here in Toronto called Fource and he called me up and said, ‘Do you want to be part of this crazy adventure,’ and I said, ‘Yes.'”
While Paula has been working in venue programming for the past few years for Air Canada Centre and FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, she has been around the music industry for most of her lifetime.
“When I was younger I was working the merch table at my friend’s punk band show at the community center. Always kind of doing it,” she said.
From there, Paula went on to work at the Hillside Festival in Guelph Ontario. She started out as an intern, making a 45-minute drive from Toronto two days out of the week, and then was offered a job as one of the festival organizers.
“It was a really good place to kind of start, actually. It speaks to the hippie in me. There’s no advertising on the festival site and it’s a lot of community, you ride your bike there – it was just the best place to be,” Paula said.
Today, Paula is knee-deep in the work of getting Fource Entertainment established in the Canadian market. The company was founded in 2011 in the Czech Republic and just opened up its Toronto office this year. The company has already created partnerships with well-established Canadian entities, including hospitality group MRG and festivals Boots & Hearts and WayHome, for which Fource will book acts starting in 2017. Fource also just announced their first show – Deftones with special guests Refused on August 13 in Ontario.
“Like with anything that’s brand new, there’s a lot to take in and there’s learning curves, setting up processes, setting up your business, right?” Paula said. “I’m doing the passion work and it feels really exciting.”
While there’s a lot in store for Paula’s future with Fource, we took a look back at five of her favorite concerts.
Explosions in the Sky at Osheaga, 2013
Osheaga is one of my favourite festivals, and I have seen so many amazing sets there, but the Explosions in the Sky performance was magic. Everything lined up — it was a warm summer night, the crowd was hanging on to every note, the band was so together and delivering this wall of sound, the lighting matched perfectly to the music — you experienced that set, you didn’t just hear it.
Bruce Springsteen at Copps Coliseum, 2012
I was working at the venue at the time, but if the building was on fire, I wouldn’t have noticed. What is there to explain? Bruce Springsteen. 3 hours. Sweaty with tight jeans on. 10th Avenue Freeze Out #duh
The Constantines at Massey Hall, 2015
The Constantines are a band that I have grown up with — I feel that is true for most Canadians who were teens in the early 00’s. Their album Tournament of Hearts is a if-you-were-on-a-desert-island-and-could-only-bring-5-things record for me. I have seen them play many times before this, but Massey Hall is such a special room and to have one of my favourite bands play in one of my favourite venues was amazing. Everyone singing every word. The best!
Robyn at Echo Beach, 2011
This was the show that opened Echo Beach at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre while I was still at Live Nation — we had created this outdoor venue next to the amp, and it was a big night for everyone. She was incredible. I have never seen someone dance so much in platform sneakers. That night I was supposed to be at home in bed because it was my best friend’s wedding the next day, but I couldn’t miss the show. On the way home (a 45 min drive) I got stuck in a horrible construction delay, and didn’t get home until 4am and needed to be doing hair and make up by 6:45am. It was hard to explain why it looked like I had been hit by a bus.
Fleetwood Mac at Air Canada Centre, 2009
The song ‘Silver Springs’ makes me tear up whenever I hear it. To hear it live hit me right in the gut. Stevie Nicks forever. Also, to see Lindsey Buckingham play a guitar solo is out of this world. It’s watching someone do exactly what they were born to do. His musicianship is hard to match.