Laura Simpson is the CEO and co-founder (along with artist, Dan Mangan) of Side Door, a Canadian startup with the mission to create greater value and opportunities for performing artists by facilitating shows in houses and other alternative venues. The online platform matches artists and hosts based on preferences, then books and tickets shows. Side Door’s mission is to give audiences instant access to intimate and unique events happening in their own neighborhoods, hosted by passionate community curators. Laura also founded The Syrup Factory, which began (and continues to be) a concert venue in her home and evolved to include artist consultation. Although she’s lived in and travelled to various places, she’s always returned home to Nova Scotia. She believes experiencing amazing live art in intimate community settings leads to stronger human connection, greater empathy and improved mental health.

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