Using innovation to support the artistic experience

May 15

By Sean Meyer


When was launched in 2004 the idea was to support the cultural, global leisure and entertainment markets while providing innovative ticketing solutions to venues and events across Canada.

As company founder Paul Rivard worked on growing his business, the idea of moving towards becoming a B Corp — a purpose-driven organization focused on creating global change — was brought forward to him by the team at Innovation Works.

“We had been working on our new software, developing what the market needed, what event planners needed,” he said. “It was more feature sets and numbers. Now it is people and impact. At the time I didn’t even know what social enterprise was.”

Paul spent many years as a singer and songwriter, touring for promoters, so he knows first-hand the ins and outs of the concert business.

In that time, he ended up doing whatever he could — everything from delivering tickets to concert-goers to dropping tickets off at bookstores and record shops — to make the event he was involved with a success.

Then it hit him, why not launch his own ticketing service. is a full-service ticket agency providing box office software to places like the Palace Theatre and Airshow London.

From the moment he launched the business, Paul said It was like every promoter and venue wanted to know what was going on. After all, in 2004, there weren’t a lot of ticketing companies around.

Today, it’s more pick and choose. The great thing about what he is offering, Paul explains, is that when a ticket provider cares about the success of the promoter, cares about the success of the artist, then it’s like “true capitalism,” in that if the event doesn’t succeed, companies like his won’t either.

Paul’s goal, however, isn’t one that comes down to a simple math.

Instead, he knows consumers are shopping today based on motivations beyond purely dollars and cents.

“This is the 21st century and we need to think forward. This is the think forward business,” he said. “Pillar has the space; they have the people. What I do like the most is knowing I can sit down with any one of them and get good counsel.”

To help achieve his vision of being a B Corp — as well as understand how it may influence both his business model and his personal desire to create community impact — Rivard said he’s excited to be working alongside the Pillar team.

We’re working on that. What was the missing piece? I think we found it in wanting to make an impact through social enterprise,” he said. “If I can make an impact and help the experience of not just buying a ticket, but the experience of the event itself, no matter what the event someone is buying a ticket for, that’s our responsibility.”

In his exploration of social enterprise, Paul said he remembers a lot of people pointing him towards Innovation Works.

Paul is quick to credit the innovation hub with proving to him his business is on the right track.

“The space, lends itself to people embracing each other. I see a lot of people willing to support each other’s dreams,” he said. “You come in and the energy of people rub off on you. You can’t help but go home with it. You feel comfortable knowing you are surrounded by like-minded people. I take comfort in that.”

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