Although our company was originally for in-person shows only, we quickly expanded to the online sphere, once gatherings became unsafe. Our job is to help artists, curators, festivals and venues keep creating shows and help audiences find them.
When faced with crisis, it is always art that helps us through. Whether it offers comfort, community, understanding, solace, distraction or perspective, art has always been something humanity employs to make it through pain and suffering. We are committed to supporting the creators in safe and innovative ways to connect to their audience.
Co-Founder & CEO
We founded this company to build a friendly and transparent global marketplace that fosters a thriving middle class of artistry. We believe artists deserve more control and less gatekeepers. An empowered arts community with a healthy mid-section will produce the most interesting, diverse and daring ecosystem of expression - which, in turn, serves established and emerging artists as well.
We also understand that many communities are underserved locally by the arts. Within the Side Door ecosystem, everybody wins. Anybody can host shows right where they live, in whatever space they have available, be it online or in the real world.
Side Door builds impromptu communities through the shared experience of art. The performance might be the nucleus, but we have learned that lifelong supporters and fans are won through the feeling of being connected - not just to the performer but to the community that loves them.
We believe you should leave a performance feeling full of heart… that the pros of existing outweigh the cons… that you’ve been injected with enough life force to get you through the coming months. You can be impressed, but it’s better to be moved. Ideally, both.
So - we strive to help artists make a living. To put them behind the wheel in an environment where they can play shows on their terms. And we know that the best way to help them make a living is to help them make a real impact in the lives of their audiences.
Laura Simpson is a music industry professional, living with her family in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She founded The Syrup Factory, which began hosting house concerts 2011 and offering strategy and services to artists in 2015. She has been an organizer in the arts scene since she was 14, going to all-ages shows and then eventually taking live music photography and freelance writing about shows and artists. That led her to be a journalist for seven years, working for CBC and Rogers Radio. Eventually she found her way back into the music world and worked as Export Development Officer and Communications Manager for Music Nova Scotia. She has also managed and produced for the Halifax Jazz Festival, CAPACOA, and the East Coast Music Association. In 2015, Laura mentored with the top-tier music marketing team at Black Box in Los Angeles. She has juried for Music Nova Scotia, Halifax Pop Explosion, CBC Music Searchlight competition and the Junos.
Dan Mangan is a two-time JUNO award winning & two-time Polaris Music Prize listed musician and songwriter. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with his wife and two sons. He has scored TV shows for Netflix, CBC and AMC, as well as Hector And The Search For Happiness, a feature film starring Simon Pegg. Mangan has released 5 studio LPs, a handful of EPs and has spent more than a decade touring extensively in North America, Europe, the UK and Australia. Dan got his start as a DIY artist playing house concerts and underground arts spaces. He learned early on the value that this ecosystem can bring to artists and audiences alike. To help acts on his small record label tour, Dan created a spreadsheet-based network of house concert hosts in 2015. The Madic Records House Concert Series caught the imaginations of many and was the blueprint for what has now become Side Door.