As an industry-leading international event technology solution, ShowClix is dedicated to providing excellent partner support across the globe. Bruce Morrison, General Manager of ShowClix Canada, is instrumental in helping our Canadian partners master our system and grow their businesses. After joining our team nearly a year ago, Bruce has brought valuable knowledge about the Canadian ticketing market, and has been a great asset to both our team and our partners.
Bruce graduated from Canada’s Carleton University with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1989. Prior to graduation, he began working in stage management for local community theatres, overseeing the light design, sound design, and more. When the City of Ottawa opened their 900-seat performing arts theatre in 1988, Bruce took on the role of stage technician, but quickly moved to work with their computerized box office. Thus began his nearly 25 years in the ticketing industry, learning from prominent companies including Ticketmaster, A.K.A New Media Inc., Sony Center for the Performing Arts, and Ticketfly. Throughout his career, Bruce has always loved helping people have an amazing experience at live events, and that passion fit perfectly with the culture and mission of ShowClix.
Today, Bruce continues to expand our platform throughout Canada, partnering with events like Calgary Fringe Festival, Bonsound, NXNE music festival, and more. In his spare time, he can be found brushing up on his curling skills!
Describe a typical week at ShowClix Canada.
With ShowClix being a relatively new entrant to the ticketing market in Canada, a good chunk of my time is spent getting our name out there, often through attending conferences, industry events, or PR activities. I also reach out to new event organizers we want to partner with, demo the system to them, and write proposals. We’re definitely in growth mode, but we’re also spending time in meetings and strategy sessions with our colleagues in the U.S.
As head of our Toronto-based team, you work mainly with our Canadian partners. What are some of the events you worked with that you’re really excited about?
It’s great to see us partner with diverse events like the Calgary Fringe Festival, Edmonton Airshow, Feast Tofino, and the NXNE music festival. We’ve recently welcomed a number of partners in the Montreal area as well, including Bonsound, Blue Skies Turn Black, and Extensive Enterprises. I’m very much looking forward to the Cicada Festival in St. Catharines, Ontario, which is a new music festival featuring all kinds of great Canadian artists!
You have over two decades of experience in the ticketing industry. What changes to the industry- and live events as a whole- surprised you the most, and what are you excited for in the future?
Some things have changed radically since I sold my first ticket in 1988. Of course, the rise of online ticketing (and the Internet in general) is at the forefront; I remember the days when people would line up at ticket outlets or the box office to ensure they got tickets. The technology for live events is another huge change. Everything from barcodes, to RFID, to using artificial intelligence to pre-qualify ticket buyers is quite incredible. It’s great to be working with the ShowClix and Patron Technology teams, who have a clear purpose to provide reliable technology and support to live events.
Working in sales means you get to become familiar with the ins-and-outs of many different events around the world. How does this experience help you in your role at ShowClix?
Understanding how the various pieces of a live event come together is essential if you’re fulfilling technology needs. Over the years, my roles in ticketing from the perspective of a ticket agency, venue, and promoter have allowed me to better understand the holistic picture of an event, and to relate to people whose jobs touch the ticketing side. It also helps me understand industry trends and best practices, which I can pass along to our partners.
Tell us a couple notable experiences you’ve had in the ticketing business.
This was bizarre. I was serving as both Box Office and Front of House Manager for the Ottawa Shakespeare Festival, which took place in a tent theatre on Victoria Island in the Ottawa River. One evening as we’re loading the audience in, a man enters with a budgie bird on his shoulder, but he assured us the bird, Spooky, would behave. During the musical introduction to the show, the bird started singing along and I had to ask the man to leave. Instead, he held out his hand and the bird walked over it and onto my shoulder. I walked around for the entire performance with Spooky the budgie bird on my shoulder. After the show, the man held out his hand, Spooky walked on to it, and they disappeared. It was surreal.
More recently, this year my son, Braden, a freshman at Brock University, got a job working for the Toronto Blue Jays in the box office. This means he’s a second-generation Morrison to be selling live event tickets, which is something I’m extremely proud of!