Freeze Flame Productions Inc

Friday, February 12, 2010

2000-2009: Decade of Development


PREVIOUSLY; 2008, I had been doing physio for an MVA in late 2007, when I was struck down by a work place injury in July 2008; Trying to make ends meet, I took a job outside the city paying much less than I had been used to & in the end it cost me more than I had bargained for.... with constant pain in my body and the car problems the winter months became my own personal hell...

By October 2008, my new girlfriend and I had been living in a basement apartment for about six months with tensions increasing between us and the upstairs tenants neither one of us wanted to be at home much. She ended up making arrangements for us to move into her old apartment, as her previous roommate was about to move out. We moved into the new and out of the old apartment as fast as I could load the car. Once we got settled, I wanted to bring my dog over to see the place and get acquainted and hopefully get used to the place. It's a big change for an animal to keep moving around, so she remained with my parents for the most part. She kept their dog company and they got along really well. My arm injury made walking the dog very hard and painful to do, so she wouldn't have got as good of a walk as I would have liked.

I was trying to hold a job in another city and it wasn't going well. November 2008, was when I noticed that I was going broke by trying to work more hours, so I decided that I would have to give up what was my Part Time job. I was just filling in because they needed the help, but it was costing me money, so I stopped working the Tuesday Morning sale at the auction. Now I was just working Wednesday to Sunday, not much of an improvement.

My dad was wondering why I was running out of money so quick, and eventually sat down with and figured out the numbers. I had so many bills, and so much debt that the added gas expense of driving out of the city and back everyday was costing me over $500 dollars more than I was making in a two week period. I had to start looking for some kind of financial help like a consolidation loan or something.

By Christmas 2008, I had emptied most of my savings from the last couple years in order to pay off two of my outstanding loans at the advise of my banker, who promised me help with consolidation if I did so. With the luck I had, they denied my consolidation loan application and I was back to square one, no money, no savings, and no help. For my business, I had opened a mail box in Hamilton, ON many years before and this had been acting as my main address for mail, but the drive down every couple weeks was also getting costly and was adding wear to the car. I decided that since I was now settled in a nice place back in Toronto, that I would also moved the mail box for the business. This proved to be a much more efficient move. I had been looking to do more for the company, but with all my debt it was very hard.

January 2009 rolled around and I was soon unable to work due to my medical issues. I ended up on E.I. The auction laid me off...eventually, but I stopped trying to go back there after three failed attempts at submitting medical letters. They told me they weren't acceptable, and WSIB reports weren't relevant.... in the end I just said Fuck IT!

By February 2009, my car was off the road anyway, and I was now a transit rider for the first time in years. I was OK with that, but it proved challenging, my arms were still very week and I couldn't hold on like other people when the bus stopped quickly. I pretty much had to hug the pole to even get a grip, or get a seat which isn't always easy.
Later in the Month, we also had a couple baby showers for friends. We now had a nice place to live and could have people over. The previous February, we had found out that my girlfriend was pregnant, but it was over almost as soon as we found out. She miscarried at 6 weeks, and we were both heart broken. A year later we were still together and had worked through our pain together and wanted to be happy for our friends as well.

March 2009 brought more developments, I was still riding the bus, but I was actually saving money doing it. I had to cancel my gym membership because I wasn't able to make the payments and luckily my contract had expired months before. Complications with E.I. & WSIB caused my phone company to suspend my account just as I began a job search Program called a Practice Firm. I would go to work in an office Mon-Fri 9-4pm and the way it worked, I had work duties on Mon, Wed, Fri. Tues & Thurs were designated job search days. Lots of workshops too, useful but sometimes repetitive. This is when I started focusing on my company again.

Certain aspects of the Practice Firm made me rethink the direction I was going. I wanted to work, but I didn't want to hurt myself anymore. They didn't know how to utilize my entertainment industry experience to my own advantage, but it gave me ideas again. I started compiling lists of resources that I might be able to use. Like associations, and online applications for grants and other funding. This was made more accessible by using an online bookmarking website known as

It was around April 2009 when my girlfriend found out that she was pregnant, and we started with all the doctors again. This time we were excited, and looking forward to everything, we kept very positive and healthy. We tried not to tell anybody this time until we knew it was going to be a sure thing. People found out, obviously.... it wasn't until week 13 that complications started, and we spent a lot of time in Emergency Rooms and what not. This one had lasted twice as long as the previous and was just three times harder to deal with.... It was a major set back, and a very painful experience for both of us.

By May 2009, just before Mother's day we had lost our second baby, and two of our friends had just given birth. We had to press on, and keep living. We were together and did what we could to get past the loss. By the middle of the month, I had finished my Practice Firm, but not in very good standing. My E.I. complications finally cleared up, and I was able to pay off major portions of debt, mainly because I got a lump some instead of biweekly payments.

By June 2009, I was able to get back into the gym, not really physically, but I was determined to do so. I had been doing Physio for my arms, at a different clinic for WSIB which I continued. I went to the gym and I paid the whole year off at once, so I wouldn't have to work for my gym membership. I had also started working as a bookkeeper, doing some accounting work, through my mother who happened to have a client that she could pass on to me. This was only once a month, so it wasn't much to start.

July 1st, 2009.... came so quick, I had been busy all year. I found it funny that I was busy with things I thought were more important than most of the job I had been doing. We took an overnight Road-Trip up to Ottawa, saw the fireworks, and had a nice meal. The car was acting up during the trip, the headlights started cutting in and out. Just what I needed....but we made it home.

June & July 2009 were pretty good months. In early June 2009, I received my tax return and was able to pay off the loan against my car. My MVA claim also settled around that time, and I was awarded a nice little payoff, after fees and stuff. My girlfriend had also been handed a Line of Credit from her bank, for some reason. By Later in July 2009, I was also awarded a sizable chunk of money from WSIB for having been left with a permanent injury. The money was put to good use. I had to pay off debt, and was left with a little more to work with.

By the end of the summer, all I had left was my student loan. It felt good to be a little closer to debt free. This allowed me some breathing room, I continued to look for work, but focused on getting healthier by going to the gym more regularly. I also had more time to focus on the things I wanted to do, like my company. The artists that I had been working with, were working on new material, so we discussed some plans. In the end, we decided that we needed to register the company as a publisher with an agency called SOCAN to be able to collect royalties for CD sales and performances. This took much longer than anticipated. To Register my company as a publisher, I first had to register myself as an artist.

With my new address, I had been having a few issues receiving my mail at times, more so with things from the government. So, this process took a little more work than it should have.

When September 2009 came, I was increasing my workouts at the gym. I had gained a couple more clients for bookkeeping, and some major changes were starting to take place with the company. We obtained a couple artists, including a classical pianist, who was an accomplished composer/conductor. He had 2 CDs already made and ready to be sold. My main artist was working on two of his own CDs as well as a compilation with a group of artists from the Washington, D.C. area. And two other artists who were steadily recording music trying to put together CDs of their own.

By October 2009 I was drowning in paperwork. I had been working on updating a previous business plan, to present to some potential investors. I finally got a hold of an Aboriginal Agency here in Toronto, ON that helps small businesses grow by providing grants and funding.

I wasn't finished with the business plan, but it November 2009, I met with Aboriginal Business Canada in order to find out what steps I needed to take to obtain funding. I still needed to do my financial statements for the previous year end. I had to get the books up to date for my own company. It was December by time this was done.

In December 2009, The Company was a registered music publisher/record label. We had potential sources of funding. I was nearing the the last pages of an updated business plan and the artists were working on completing quite a lot of product. See, in the past we had relied on others to help us make music. By December 2009, we had 2 fully functional recording studios and another being prepared. We are well on our way to making this, "What we do..."

The idea for the last few years has been to build a studio big enough to accomodate all our equipment, a common place that we all have access to on a FT basis. What started out as an idea, has evolved into many different areas of an industry. I am looking forward to seeing what the next "Decade of Development" has in store for my life, my dreams, and everthing in between....


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