@BizLondon cover story about @LondonMusicHall

From Business London magazine, @bizlondon, May, 2014

Brian Mortimer remembers the meeting like it happened last week. Early in the development of the Great Lakes Blues Society, he and two fellow board members sat down with Mike Manuel to talk about renting Rum Runners, the smallish music venue which for a time was connected to laser tag emporium Cosmo City.

            Manuel had opened Rum Runners in 2004 as a way of transitioning out of the laser tag business and into live music.

            “We wanted to talk to Mike about staging events at Rum Runners,” recalls Mortimer, a fixture within the London music scene. The long-time agent and promoter once owned the Talbot Inn, home to the Firehall, where he booked hundreds of acts. He now runs Karma Productions.

“We started talking to Mike about bringing some of our shows to Rum Runners, and then suddenly he was interviewing us,” Mortimer recalls affectionately. “He was asking us questions about who we were booking and all kinds of other details. It wasn’t the normal type of conversation you have when booking a venue, that’s for sure.”

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#LdnOnt companies are using card reader from #Square

from Business London magazine @BizLondon, March 2014

It happened at least once a week, often more. At the end of a session with osteopath Bradley Dundas, a patient reached for a credit card to pay. And Dundas would apologize because all he could accept was cash or cheque. Then he would give directions to the nearest bank machine.

            “I needed an alternative,” Dundas recalls. “People just don’t have cash and cheques with them anymore.” The solution was a Square card reader, and Dundas was first in line to get one when the San Francisco company made them available in Canada in January, 2013.

            “It’s a terrific device,” he says. “It’s always worked. There’s never been one glitch. I wanted one in 2012 when I heard about them, but I had to wait until they came to Canada.”

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Meet the former @westernu football player who sells pianos #ldnont

From Business London magazine @BizLondon Feb/2014

When he was playing football and studying music at Western University more than a decade ago, Darryl Fabiani got a lot of media attention. Long before Zac Efron starred as an athlete who also loved music in Disney’s High School Musical franchise, Fabiani was that guy on the Western campus.

            “They took pictures of me in my football uniform sitting at the piano,” Fabiani recalls fondly today. “It was a lot of fun.”

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Play Now, Pay Later

Play Now, Pay Later

From February, 2014, Business London magazine...

It’s 3:00 in the afternoon at Big Viking Games. From alcoves and shared workspaces scattered around the circumference of the office emerge two dozen or more casually dressed computer, math and design savants. Most are men, but there’s a respectable female contingent as well. They gather near a large table in the hub of the office where snacks are being served.

            In his office adjacent to the hub, company co-owner Albert Lai is suddenly distracted. At 2:59 he was talking expansively about Big Viking – how its creation lured him early from a self-imposed 12-month sabbatical; how the culture he and his partner, Greg Thomson, have created not only generates profits but attracts talent from all over North America; how their early decisions about the language in which they write their games sets the company apart from its competitors by delivering a huge strategic advantage.

            But at 3:00, when the snacks arrive, he loses his train of thought and looks over the shoulder of the person he’s speaking to. In a tone that is only slightly sheepish, he excuses himself and heads for the snack table. “It’s 3:00 snack time,” he says, just as a kindergarten student might. “And I didn’t have any lunch.”

            He returns with a cup full of chocolate and continues his story.

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