Arpix Media History

Arpix Media History

Over the course of 24  years Arpix has supervised music for over 1700 television episodes and 80 films across four decades, and all told I have worked in music supervision for 29 years.  How did that happen?

After what seemed an entire lifetime of adventures, from campus radio Music Director to record store employee to cover band keyboard player to original art pop band founder with indie CD releases, to becoming a publicity company owner and then an artist manager, and finally a wide eyed futurist aching to work in this new fangled phenom called the internet in the summer of 1994… I got a phone call that would change the course of my life.

Music industry titan Frank Davies was on the other end of the line and he asked me if I would consider becoming a music supervisor. At the time, I had no idea what those two words even meant. And so I said yes. I joined SL Feldman under my boss Janet York Sam Feldman and I earned $18,000 a year. I had a small corner office with a Windows computer and an internet connection, and no idea what I was doing, but I sure learned quick.

I worked on various projects, including Due South, National Lampoon Spring Vacation, and several Harlequin romance films. The mid-90s marked the heyday of indie rock, and artists were beginning to understand the value of licensing their music for TV and film, so I quickly became a popular guy.

After 2 years there. I decided to move on and landed a role as the Head of Music at Greenlight Communications, thanks to my friend Heather Pollack.

Working for CEO Gary Howsam and his music sidekick Fraser Mohawk was an interesting experience, to say the least. My windowless office was sweltering hot, and I spent most days in shorts and a t-shirt. It was during this time that I worked independently on The Hanging Garden, a feature film produced by Louise Garfield and directed by Thom Fitzgerald. This project earned them the TIFF Audience Award, and it cemented my lifelong friendship with Louise Garfield.

During that period the newly branded GFT wasn’t producing many films so I began moonlighting as an independent music supervisor. One day, I received a call from Jean Desormeaux, former Film head at Alliance, who was indie producing two films for HBO and he asked me for my price for each film. I randomly suggested $7500, and he countered with $5000. I accepted, and with that, I was off to the races. Before I knew it, I received another offer to work on a film called White Lies, starring Sara Polley, for another $5000. Everything was coming up roses.

Shortly after, a young woman named Natalie Pancer asked to intern for free for five years. I recall replying that if she was still working for free in a year, there would be no future for either of us in this business. We worked together for a few years, and Natalie was fantastic, and I paid her. She even coined the term “a little cheese goes a long way” when discussing what defined good music in a film.

Eventually, I moved my company to my own space with Alister Sutherland, my new partner in composer management, at 103 Church St. a fabulous place, where many of my early successes occurred, and where I built my business.

We were fortunate to discover a young composer named Rob Carli, who has since become one of the most celebrated composers in the country, with his most famous credit being Murdoch Mysteries.

I had initially called my company Ron Proulx International, but I eventually felt the need to create a unique name. That’s how I came up with Arpix Media, which starts with the letter A and uses the initials of my original company RPI. The name also ends with an X, which I’ve always liked, given my last name. Put it all together, and Arpix Media was born.

During this time, I added Chris Robinson to the team. He had just finished answering phones at Attic Records and joined us as an intern for a day. Chris stayed with me for over 12 years, and he has continued to have a successful career in music and film.

103 Church St. was also the home of many great parties during the film festival and other times. My office had a real bar, entertainment, and people dancing and/or performing on top of the bar. If you ever came to a party there, you know.

In the summer of 2001 I met Andrea Higgins, a keener young person who wanted to work in music supervision. We have worked together for 22 years. How often does that happen in the modern age? She’s got excellent taste in all things and she’s awesome.

In 2001, the parties I co-hosted w Robert Ott’s BMG got so big that we needed to take them across two days to spread out 250 people. We decided to have a party on September 11, 2001 and also September 13, 2001. So, they never happened.

Interestingly, I had already decided to make a move to a new location that summer, so it was with great sadness that I left 103 Church St. It was amazing, and I had no idea if I could ever find a better place.

Fortunately, I found a fabulous live/work condo at 670 Richmond St. W., which became the new home of Arpix Media and my personal residence for 20 years until I sold it in 2022. 670 was also the site of many of its own great parties, film and TV projects, and great staff.

If you know me well, you know that Venice Beach became a second home for me in the mid 00s. For seven years, I went back and forth  between Venice and Toronto, and ran my company remotely from wherever I was. My love for Venice Beach began when I worked on films with my then new friend and Venice resident, filmmaker Alan Moyle, having first met when he directed the film New Waterford Girl.

In the early 2000s, we became specialists in biographical dramas, working on films about Donald Trump, Evel Knievel, Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, Shania Twain, Terry Fox, and Pierre Trudeau. We also worked on movies based on true events, such as The Matthew Sheppard Story and The Mary Kay Letourneau Story.

Personally, I have always preferred working on television series. There’s something about getting to know the characters and the people you work with that makes it feel like a well-oiled machine.

Some of the series Arpix worked on include kid fare like Life With Derek, In A Heartbeat, Girlstuff/Boystuff, and dramas like Murdoch Mysteries, Heartland, Regenesis, Flashpoint, Wynonna Earp, Workin Moms, and Hudson and Rex.

Though I have a background in piano and drums, I never wanted to be the guy who wrote the music for the shows we worked on. I wanted to focus on overseeing the best possible music scenario for each production. But I did co-write the theme songs for Life With Derek, Radio Free Roscoe, and Mischief City.

While I dabbled in scoring for film in a previous life, I ultimately decided it wasn’t for me. However, in 2002, I both oversaw music supervision and scored the film Twist, which won a Genie Award for the song  song Pantaloon In Black, co-written by Director Jacob Tierny and myself. Other Genie Award-winning songs I worked on include River Blue for The Fishing Trip and One Thing To Say for Jacob Two Two.

As an individual who has achieved success in the music supervision industry, I firmly believe that people are the most important aspect of our lives. Without them, we would be nowhere. I owe a great deal of my success to the support and guidance of my family, particularly my parents who let me pursue my dreams from a young age. Although my dad never had the chance to witness my work as a music supervisor, my mom did in the early days, and I appreciated her support.

My brother Gord, who unfortunately passed away in 2013, was my main mentor, teaching me the nuts and bolts of running a successful company. Without his guidance, I would have never been able to run a company nearly as well as I have.

I am also grateful for the support and guidance of Frank Davies, who introduced me to music supervision, and my first employers, Janet York, Sam Feldman, and Gary Housam.

Christina Jennings, who I met in 1999, has been my closest friend and ally in the industry for over 20 years. We have worked together on numerous projects, and I owe her a great debt for the success of Arpix.
My recent team of over a decade, Andrea Higgins and Kyle Merkley, have been a dream team to work with on a variety of TV and film projects. Andrea has become a powerhouse in the world of music supervision in Canada. Kyle, who I hired as the number one graduate from a college, has been a valuable asset to the team and is known for his talent, kindness, and smart approach to work.
I am also grateful to all the interns and assistants who have worked with me over the years, including Natalie Pancer, Chris Robinson, Brian Bautista, Noel Uzelac, Michelle Ewing, Tim Des IsIets, Walter Zwol, Alister Sutherland, Jean Wilkinson, Kubby Kubbernus, John Jay Hebert, Nick Longo, and Drew Reavie, our most recent admin person who I continue to trust and appreciate.
With Thanks
The following is an honour roll mention to many who were there in the beginning, came near the end, lasted throughout the middle, had an impact on my life, and all are collectively part of the journey of this one small company. Each of the people here made a wave in the life of Arpix. In no particular order, they include;

My wife Carla Lewis, Louise Garfield, Christina Jennings, Rob Carli, Jono Grant, Peter Chapman, Keith Power, Phil Bennett, Wolfgang Webb, Angelo Oddi, Maylee Todd, Kristjan Bergey, Lora Bidner, Amy Lennie, Drew Reavie,  William Genereux, Claudia Leclair, Frank Davies, Gary Howsam, Janet York, Sam Feldman, Jean Desormeaux, Eric Norlen, Tony Tobias, Jeff Rogers, Robert Ott, Jacob Tierney, Debra Kouri, Anton Leo, Greg Stephens, George Koller, Laura Harbin, Randy Frisch, Jamie Grant, Vince Degiorgio, Janis Lundman, Charlotte Mickie, Pegi Cecconi, Charles Cozens, Jacqueline Kelly,  Ron Murphy, David Harrison, Sebastien Chorney, Heather Conkie, Jana Sinyor, Jamie Vernon, Kevin Leflar, Mark Quail, Lisa Kalushner, Victoria Hirst, Paul Vella, Adam Roberts, Ted East, Adam Haight, Jerry Ciccoritti, Michael Doherty, Cal Coons, Michelle Lovretta, Fred Brennan, Jeff Cohen, Craig Lasky, Lindsay Spiller, Jeff Renfroe, Richard Flohill, Nick Krewen, Michael Doherty, Barry Stanley, Emil Glassbourg, Michael Beard, Evan Tussman, Rebecca Herr,  Walter Zwol, Scott Garvie, Suzanne French, Saul Pincus, David Ostry, Andrew Mech, Barbara Lieberman, Dan Fill, Beth Stevenson, Steven Denure, Adrienne Mitchell, Alan Okada, Dan Lyon, Stephen Ujlaki, Byron Martin, Joey Plager, Richard Evans, Dale Burshtein, Harvey Glatt, Robert Wertheimer, Neville Quinlan, Elana Adair, Nicholas Tabarrok, John Gillespie, Allan Moyle, Sherrie Johnson,Garth Douglas, Gaye Hardiman, John Anderson, Lewis Chesler, John Delmage, David Buchbinder, Michael Decarlo, Peter Meyboom, Heather Pollack, Jarrett Sherman, Peter Mohan, Kevin May, Kevin Lafferty, Steve Collins, Maria Alonte, Joan Fisher, Susie McGregor, Paul Stillo, Steve Solomos, Carolyn Mill, Sebastien Nasra, Virginia Rankin, Kari Scogland, Peter O’Brian, Mark Smith, Moira Nordholt, Vesna Svilanovic, John Nabereznyj,  Don Gamsby, Ian Menzies, Charlie Finley, Roger Clown, Michael Cooper, Paul Ackerley, Peter Mitchell, Catherine Reitman, Daphne Ballon, David Steinberg, Greg Spottiswood, Jordy Randall, Karen Kosowski, Karyn Nolan, Stephen Montgomery, Emily Andras, Tom Cox, Laurel Macdonald, Lisa Dalbello, Jay McCarrol, David Leask, Suzie Vinnick, Kathryn Calder, Adeline, Patrick Cassavetti, Donna Serafinus, Alex House, Steve Hoban, Gary Koftinoff, Peter Willis, David Hayter, John May, Leif Bristow, Mary Young Leckie, Brian Dennis, Janice Dawe, Tina Grewel, Dave Huband, Paul Aucoin, John Lecuyer, Greg Dummet, Austin Wong, Ambrose Roche, Ari Wise, Blair Purda, Sean Mulligan, Ralph Singh, Diane Lametti, Jen Mulligan, Janet Baker, Cheryl Link, Avi Diamond,  Michael Cline,  Nick Longo.

And I must give a nod to those who are no longer with us, but were a part of the fabric of what it takes to have a fullfilling life while having a fulfilling career, and/or were an ongoing inspiration on this fabulous journey;

Graeme Bousada, Vic Horvath, Gregor Hutchison, Ralph Murphy, Brad Lavelle, Jake Hiebert, Rod Duncan, Ritchie Yorke, Bill Malcolm, Howie Jamieson, Tim Laing, Ross Perlmutter, Haydon Heathcock, Cynthia Browse, Frazer Mohawk, Chris Dedrick, Don Zaluski.

Finally, so much of my thanks for everything goes back to the morals and direction shared with me by my brother Gord Proulx, and my parents Anne Proulx and Eddie Proulx. I miss them every day of my life.

NoteI am not a fan of email generally. I’ll take one phonecall over ten emails any day. 
So, feel free to use the phone with me. C.647.262.1260   
Ronno. arpixmedia