Veteran music agent Richard Mills, one of the original agents at The Feldman Agency when it opened its Toronto office in 1993, is retiring from that side of the business. In a lengthy Facebook post, Mills said he was making "a pivot into another creative venture, not a goodbye" but first will be taking a break to travel and spend time with friends and family.
"As one might expect, it is a very tough decision to make as I love what I do and who I work with," he wrote. "I cherish greatly the experiences and relationships I have made over the past 27 years. I have the utmost gratitude for the trust given by my artists and managers and as well as my family at Feldman and wider circle of colleagues in industry. It has been a remarkable million mile journey that I could not have imagined at the start."
Indeed, Mills, who started his career as a student talent buyer at the University of Manitoba before joining TFA, has traveled many a mile with his clients over almost three decades. The VP of performing arts, whose clients include The Tenors, Jesse Cook, Ron Sexsmith, Molly Johnson and Matt Dusk, many touring in the U.S. and Europe, even helped stage a private concert at the Great Pyramid in Egypt with Tom Cochrane.
"For 24 years Richard has grown with our TFA family personally and professionally," said TFA president Jeff Craib in a press release. "Anyone who is acquainted with Rich knows he has a heart of gold and cares deeply about people, their interests, careers and lives. We may miss seeing him day to day but we will always remain in touch. Professionally I'm certain our paths will cross again as he is a very creative person. Everyone at TFA thanks him for a lot of great years, laughs and hard work and we wish him nothing but the absolute best."
In his Facebook message, Mills revealed he had a much different perspective on the profession when he first started -- and it wasn't good. "30 years ago I said I would never be an agent as I did not believe that I could trust them and as I have quipped many times it "doomed" me to become one," he wrote. "The reality is I saw an opportunity to change what people thought of agents and their role in building careers and inspiring audiences through strategy and fairness and got to work."
Over the years, Mills developed a specialty for corporate and private gigs, advising planners on programming and executing international events. Among his clients were Brookfield Properties, Canadian Pacific, Investors Group, Mercedes Benz and governments in Ontario, Quebec and Canada on their entertainment projects.
"In that [sic] meantime, I am not going into witness protection or anything and I will be working closely with the amazing team at TFA to effect a smooth and seamless transition for the clients and accounts," Mills wrote.