Interview conducted by Wendy Purcell
Wendy Purcell: Where in the community do you live?
I live in Hatchet Lake with my wife, Dale, who spent her whole life in Terence Bay, andIbelievesheis4thgeneration.Mywife and I moved to Brookside 6.5 years ago after having lived in Terence Bay for 10 years. She helps with the time consuming task of book keeping. For the last 30 years, I have worked as an artist for myself in one capacity or another. I enjoy what I do, meeting people and teaching them how to play music.
John Sotirakos: What inspired you to open a Mansion on the Hill Music Studios in this community?
The Community of Hatchet Lake, White’s Lake and Terence Bay particularly inspired me. There were no professional services for Music Lessons in the area at that time. I have spent my whole life as an Artist in one capacity or another. I also went to Red Deer College in Alberta, on a scholarship for music for three years. I played for the Prime Minister of Canada, the Governor General, to name a few. I have been very privileged to be asked to play for some dignitaries.
WP: Did you do a community assessment before opening up your business?
JS: No, people just started calling me and we have had great success over the years. Ask any of the people who have taken lessons;, some of them who have been with us for 5 years. Word of mouth for 99% of my business has been my success. I also am on the Internet and in the White and Yellow pages. Having an internet presence makes people very comfortable in shopping around as well as for price comparison. I know that is what I use it for as well.
WP: Has opening the Mansion on the Hill created any jobs in this community?
JS: Yes, I employ 5 people living within a 20 minute radius. We are careful in who we employ. For example, all our piano instructors have at least a grade 8 Conservatory. I see it as my job to bring highly qualified teachers so that we can offer the very best in music instruction this side of Montreal.