Sarah had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Award-winning President
of Invictus Entertainment, Jim Cressman. They spoke on his amazing
accomplishments to date, his incredible vision, and what he attributes to
his incredible successes. We here at The Daily Musician have been
following the success of this wonderful entrepreneur and his team since
it’s inception, and cannot wait to see what the future holds for them.
Sarah: In a very short time, Invictus Entertainment has become one of the most
recognizable, most successful entertainment companies in our industry
today. What do you attribute to your success?
Jim: Clear vision, an elite team, and absolute stubborness.
Our mandate to drive arts, culture and commerce into small cities across
North America through promoting concerts is a far more noble pursuit than
doing it for the money. When your mandate is that vivid, you end up
attracting people to your team who are driven to make a difference. My
concert division team: Lisa Zechmeister, Rob Cyrynowski, and David Langley
all appreciate the value of live music to these communites on a multitude
Sarah: What prompted your desire to establish your own company?
Jim: I’m an independent thinker, and an entrepreneur at heart. People like me
don’t do well in cubicles.
Sarah: Last year in Halifax, NS Invictus Entertainment Group made CCMA history
with its “Triple Crown” victory – take me through that week and what that
meant to you.
Jim: I don’t care if you’re an artist, or an industry person, if you’re in this
business that means you’ve had the intestinal fortitude to face down your
detractors and follow your heart into the music industry. Don’t get me
wrong, I don’t LIKE everyone in the CCMA community, all the time, but I do
respect them. Validation and endorsement from the people you respect is
the ultimate compliment.
Sarah: Growing up in Prince Edward Island, in a very small town, it’s really
only been within the last decade, or so that we’ve finally begun to see
larger acts come through the province. Bringing large-scale musical acts
to small towns is something Invictus is known for, and something as a huge
fan of music I can really appreciate. Was this always your intention when
you established the company?
Jim: As I mentioned, our mandate is to drive arts, culture and commerce into
small cities. I grew up on a cattle ranch near a small town, where very
little ever happened in the arts scene. Since establishing Invictus I have
also witnessed -firsthand – how a community can come together to support
and celebrate a magical event in their city. It’s an emotionally moving
and powerful experience to have a sold out show, the artist and the
audience fully engaged and KNOW that you’re a catalyst for that event.
Sarah: Do you have a favorite tour you’ve worked on, to date?
Jim: They’ve all taught me something different. It’s been incredibly rewarding
to get into the business early with Kip Moore and see him grow from a club
act to selling out arenas. There’s also something incredibly rewarding
when you bring Carrie Underwood, KISS, or Luke Bryan into a small city and
the hotels and restaurants are slammed and everyone’s buzzing in
anticipation for the show. It truly warms my heart and I know my staff
feels the same way.
Sarah: With CCMA Music Week just around the corner, is there anything that
you’re particularly looking forward to?
Jim: Plenty of conversations over gin and soda.
Sarah: I am lucky enough to follow you on social media, so I get to see a
glimpse of the kind of person you are – someone who is always so positive
and a lot of times, very inspirational, and never once arrogant. In your
opinion – is attitude important when working in this business?
Jim: That’s not for me to say. What I find compelling and valuable may not mean
anything to other people and vice versa. I certainly have a healthy ego
myself, and I never deny that. It’s what drives you to get back up and get
into the fight after you’ve been knocked on your ass, and f you’re going
to work in the entertainment industry, getting knocked on your ass is
inevitable. Probably multiple times.
Sarah: Something just for fun – we at The Daily Musician love to ask this
question to everyone. What is your favorite drink (can be alcoholic or
non)? If you were to have a drink named after you what would you call it?
Jim: I accidentally answered above. Gin and Soda otherwise known as the Jim &
Soda. Satisfying, strong, and doesn’t give you a headache. (laughs)
Sarah: Thank you again so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I
hope I am lucky enough to get to meet you in the near future and have a
real chat! If any more of your artists come through Eastern Canada,
please let us know as we would be happy and most honored to cover their show
and give an interview in helping to support them, as well as Invictus!
Have a great weekend, and enjoy music week, Jim!
The Daily Musician
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