Heart of Orléans BIA

 613.617.0608 / 613.899.8442

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Restaurants, Shops and Services in Orléans, Ottawa

BIA Faces of Business – School of Rock Orleans

The Interview

What are your names?

Andy Ives / Rick Vantour

How long have you been in business? 

6 ½ years

What made you choose your current location? What do you love most about Orléans?

When we decided to buy a SoR franchise we did a demographic study of all of Ottawa. We looked at age, income, number of families, cost of doing business amongst other things. Orleans came on top. Rick grew up in Orleans
and currently lives in Cumberland so the choice became easy.

Tell us about your business.

How did you get the idea or concept for the business? 

We both felt there was a better way to learn music than the traditional one-on-one, “learn from a book” method. SoR is a music school franchise that has been proven for years with a unique approach to musical instruction. Also, we have played in bands together as a hobby so music was an attraction.

What made you choose this type of business?

We wanted to do something outside of technology where we both had our “day jobs” – something that we both have a passion for.

What is your mission? What are your goals?

Our mission mirrors those of the franchise – to help students rock, on stage and in life. This may sound a bit contrived but we have seen how music and collaborative performance can transform people in so many ways, so it makes sense.

What problem does your business solve?

People want to learn how to make music (play an instrument or sing) but they should also have fun doing it. We differentiate ourselves by having programs where students work together in a band, rehearsing and playing songs together. The support of bandmates leads students to have a greater engagement and practice more. Our students
progress much faster than the traditional lesson approach. Our method did not exist in Ottawa prior to School of Rock.

How many employees do you have?

In addition to owners, Rick and Andy, there are 11 employees

What is your favorite part of your business? 

Seeing students transform. Witnessing a shy introverted student (young and old) transform into a confident person who can take that confidence outside of the music environment.

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?

We offer lessons (remote and in school) and band-related programs for virtually every age.

What is unique about your business?

Music is a team sport! We enable students to learn instruments, make music as part of a band, and build relationships with other creative people.

Why is your business  important to you? What are you most proud of?

Music can literally change lives. It sounds dramatic but it’s true. Our customer feedback confirms this and we’re confident that what we do will help shape an individual to be a happy solid human being in and out of the school.

To what do you attribute your success?

First, we have great instructors and a clear vision for quality musical education. Second, our customers (parents and students) are phenomenally supportive, as is the Orleans community generally. Finally, we are very hands-on in the
business, focused on quality service, and we hope that our passion for this business comes through in all interactions with us.

What inspires you? 

Seeing individuals grow and succeed where perhaps they thought they couldn’t. Feeling that perhaps we are part of that process is pretty cool.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

You have to be hands-on and the first number of years are not easy. You have to prepare yourself for anything and roll with it when it happens. Surround yourself with smart energetic people who can do stuff that you can’t!

What is the most interesting thing about you personally that no one would know, that you don’t mind sharing? E.g. What do you do when you are outside the office? Do you have a hidden talent?

Rick and Andy met at a common friends party. Andy was playing in a band and one of the key members to play that night was a no show. Rick jumped in and played in the band for the entire night- thus started the friendship which
blossomed into a business relationship.

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

Don’t be intimidated by music- anyone can do it. KISS made a career knowing only three guitar chords. The rewards are endless.