History

History of the Ontario Professional Ticketing Association

While attending an International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) workshop in Milwaukee, Richard Carter met Pat Spira from the Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. After several months of discussion and planning, the two established Box Office Management International (BOMI), later renamed the International Ticketing Association (INTIX).  INTIX is dedicated to the advancement of the success of the admission service industry by exchanging ideas and concepts on effective box office management for the solution of common problems.


In 1981, Richard Carter was brought to Toronto from the Minnesota Orchestra/Orchestra Hall to manage the box office at the soon to be open Roy Thomson Hall. Richard quickly realized that despite the large number of venues in the area, only a few of the Box Office Managers regularly communicated with each other about their daily problems and operating policies.

In 1984, he invited the local Ticketing Managers to a meeting to recommend the formation of a regional ticketing association. As a result, the Association of Ticket Managers (ATM) was formed with 31 founding members including representatives from Hamilton Place, the Stratford Festival, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Blue Jays, Ticketron (now Ticketmaster), Cineplex and Five Star Tickets.

The first ATM executive committee included:

  

  • Richard Carter as Chair  (Roy Thomson Hall)
  • Vice Chairman Ernest Rubenstein  (O’Keefe Centre now the Sony Centre)
  • Treasurer Roy Reeves  (Massey Hall)
  • Secretary Georgian Green  (Toronto Free Theatre)

ATM meetings were held monthly with speakers and workshops and in 1985, ATM became the local host for one of INTIX’s most successful conferences to date – held right here in Toronto. Unfortunately, due to a major shift in box office managers, a heavy meeting schedule and too small of an executive committee, ATM went dormant after a little over two years.


On November 27, 1989, a meeting was held with local box office managers to ask them to re-establish a local ticketing organization. The following organizations sent representatives for this meeting:

Toronto Blue Jays (Randy Low), Canadian Opera Company (Nancy Plancke), Canadian Stage (Danielle Hanning), Elgin Winter Garden Theatre (Pat Crowther), Factory Theatre (Rebecca Cann),  Harbourfront (DJ Stover), Mendelssohn Choir (Ketty Yanovsky), National Ballet of Canada (Bruce Maxwell), O'Keefe Centre (Jim Truax), Pantages Theatre (Carol Gibson), Royal Alexandra Theatre (Jonathan Chan & George Nkusi), Ryerson Theatre (Judi Irwin), SkyDome (Joanne Philpott), St. Lawrence Centre (Joanne Linsey & Diane England), Tafelmusik (Paul Fonsehca), Tarragon Theatre (Keith Cole & Marcello Araujo), Toronto Symphony Orchestra (David Kingswell).

  

At this meeting, it was proposed to the attendees that they re-establish an organization that would meet regularly (approximately five times a year) at a different member's venue. Meetings would focus on seeking practical solutions to common problems. The goal would be to improve our provincial box offices or organizations through sharing of ideas and information.


In the following months, by-laws and a mission statement were drafted and on April 23, 1990, the Ontario Professional Ticketing Association (OPTA) was born. To this day, members' box offices throughout Ontario proudly display the organization's logo on their box office windows.


Previous OPTA Presidents include:

  • Joanne  Benerowski  (Canadian National Exhibition)
  • April Moon - Acting - (The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall)
  • David Kingwell (Toronto Symphony Orchestra)
  • Richard Carter (Roy Thomson Hall)
  • Nancy Plancke (National Ballet of Canada)
  • Randy Low (Toronto Blue Jays)
  • Reynoldo deGuzman CMA (Toronto Zoo)
  • Jim Aldridge (TicketKing)
  • Jan Campbell (Labatt Entertainment)
  • Bruce Morrison (Ticketmaster)
  • Jeff Koets (Young Peoples Theatre)

Based on the success of OPTA, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Salt Lake, Minneapolis and Texas have established their own regional ticketing organizations using the Toronto format. Presently, membership is over 115 members and growing, with a number of OPTA members active within the INTIX organization. OPTA members have hosted and managed three annual INTIX conferences: 1995, 2001 and 2010, and two INTIX summer conferences.