Richard Flohil heads a small, but extremely busy, music publicity and promotion company. After more than three decades of work in the music industry in Canada, he is understandably quite well known. Despite that, some people want to know more about him.
|1934||Born in the UK (Dutch and English parents)
Private school education
|1950-1953||Trainee apprentice reporter, Yorkshire Evening Press|
|1954||Winner: Westminster Press Junior Reporter of the Year|
|1954||Feature writer: Bradford Telegraph & Argus, Yorkshire Observer; chief reporter, Selby Gazette & Herald|
|1957||First publicity work: John Barry Seven
Emigrated to Canada, April
|1957-1965||Editor, Canadian Woodworker, Electrical Contracting & Maintenance, Furniture & Furnishings Daily, Industrial Sales Promotion, freelance trade paper writing|
|1965-1970||Partner: Concept Associates Public Relations (clients included NCR Business Machinery, Chubb Safe, Mariposa Folk Festival)|
|1970||Formed Richard Flohil & Associates|
|1980-1997||Founding Editor, review editor, feature writer, The Record|
|2002-2007||Editor, writer, Applaud! magazine|
Richard Flohil & Associates handles publicity/PR for a variety of music industry clients, including record companies, events, concert tours, individual artists. It also handles concert promotions and club gigs, and Flohil continues to undertake writing and editing work. Among dozens of clients over more than 40 years, one could include the following:
Record company publicity: Stony Plain Records 1980 – present, Evolver Records (Stacey Earle, Sarah Jane Morris projects), NorthernBlues/Borealis Records (Lightfoot tribute project), Isadora Records (Serena Ryder), Alert Records (Roxanne Potvin)
Concert promotions: Muddy Waters, Ry Cooder, Miles Davis, Stephane Grappelli, Benny Goodman, John Prine, k.d. Lang, B.B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and countless others. Currently promotes some 20 shows per year in various clubs, most notably Hugh’s Room, The Rivoli, and The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, as well as the Shenkman Arts Centre in Ottawa, and Hamilton Place Studio Theatre in Hamilton
Tour publicity: Nana Mouskouri, Eric Idle, Billy Connolly, David Crosby, Ian Tyson, James Keelaghan, Martyn Joseph, Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart, Matt Andersen, Kate Reid
Public relations clients: Canadian Country Music Association, 1990-2000
Events: Southern Comfort Blues Featival, 1990-1993, JVC Jazz Festival 1996-2001, Mariposa Folk Festival (1965-1962, 1988-1992), CMW 2000, 2001, 2002,Watershed Festivals 1999-02
Previous publicity clients: k.d. lang, Colin James, The Irish Descendants, Laura Smith, Loreen McKennitt (25 years), Treasa Levasseur, James Keelaghan, Downchild Blues Band (39 years), Matt Andersen, David Baxter, The Parachute Club, Jadea Kelly, Serena Ryder, Andrea Ramolo and Cindy Doire (Scarlett Jane), Roxanne Potvin, Justin Rutledge and countless others.
Ongoing publicity clients include: Ian Tyson (12 years), Stony Plain Records (32 years), Paul Reddick (eight years), Shakaura S’Aida (six years), Ariana Gillis, Jay Aymar, Alejandra Ribera
Memberships: Toronto Blues Society, North American Folk Alliance, Folk Music Ontario, SOCAN, CARAS.
Giving at the office: Member of Juno Awards blues and roots/traditional committees, previous board member of Folk Music Ontario, former board member of Toronto Blues Society (currently member of programming committee), benefits arranged for Unison.
– Casby Music Award: Special Achievement Award, 1990
– Porcupine Awards Hall of Fame, 1999
– Toronto Blues Society Blues Booster of the Year Award, 2006
– Ontario Council of Folk Festivals Estelle Klein Lifetime Achievement Award, 2006
– SOCAN Special Achievement Award, 2009
– International Blues Foundation “Keeping the Blues Alive” Publicist of the year award, 2010
There’s no quick way to sum up so much – and such varied – work and experience. Flohil has also contributed sleeve notes to more than 100 albums/CDs released in Canada and/or the United States; written dozens of bios for artists; been a guest lecturer both at Trebas and, more frequently, the Harris Institute for the Arts; acted as keynote speaker/panelist at dozens of industry events from Vancouver to St. John’s. He was, briefly, a radio DJ (Q107 Toronto, until he played an Anne Murray record), and is frequently heard/seen on radio and TV as an “expert” with a quick sound-bite. With graphic designer Michael Wrycraft, he has presented an interactive “trivia quiz and game show” at folk festivals in Canada, and, in 2005, the United States. As an ongoing resource, he has 11,000 vinyl and CD recordings in his living room, his office, the bedroom, and the bathroom….
“Not bad, eh?” Flohil said, with some surprise, summing up more than 50 years of hard labour….