Peerless music label sets up shop in Whistler 

Peerless Music, an Internet music marketing and production company, is the first music label to establish head offices at Whistler.

The eight-year-old company has established an office and living space in Emerald Estates, after two years researching a viable west coast location.

President and Web master Fred Xavier, who ran Rohans in Vancouver through the ’70s, attended SFU film school and later worked with Sony of Canada and Shaw Communications in Toronto, relinquished a temporary Vancouver space in favour of the Whistler location. The company also maintains a Toronto office to promote its lineup of adult contemporary music.

"In this age of global e-commerce and toll-free numbers, Peerless Music is accessible by DJs, retail outlets, and customers throughout the world," says Xavier. "Our artists are situated throughout North America, we have a relationship with MP3 France, HMV and Virgin are world-wide, we have US and Australian distributors, and use Mushroom Studios in Vancouver whenever we want to record. Peerless can be based wherever I want, so why not one of the most beautiful places on the planet!"

Lori McCombe, director of artists and repertoire and Xavier’s partner, says they settled on the Whistler location for a number of reasons.

"Whistler is an ideal location both for the global audience here and the West Coast time zone, where many of our artists are based, including California. And with music technology at an advanced stage these days we can be based anywhere," says McCombe.

Peerless focuses on blues, swing, jazz, pop and blues-rock artists, and will be showcasing several of its Canadian recording artists at a concert series at Millennium Place in February and March. Details will be announced next week.

The company’s focus continues to be the development of artists, including Angela Kelman, Jane Mortifee, Leslie Harris, and Jim Byrnes, together with the marketing of their music using the Internet.

This past year albums produced by Peerless included Powder Blues’ Swingin’ the Blues, Blues on the Radio by various artists, and the self-titled album Margo from the sultry pop diva’s collection.

A recent grant from PromoFACT (supported by Muchmmoremusic) and an agreement with Liquid Audio to support downloadable music are two strategic moves that position the company as a stronger presence on the Web.

"The Internet allows us to communicate with fans, talent and distributors, in addition to media-marketing. And promotion of artists can also be completed at a reasonable cost," notes McCombe.

And how about those mountain peaks?

"It’s great! We can live and work in a beautiful community and still have instantaneous communications. With music distribution moving away from retail stores and moving trucks and towards a digital product, physical space is less needed," says McCombe.

Peerless music can be reached at www.peerlessmusic.com.

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