This month’s Front of House is Ashley Hackett, Online Licensing Administrator at CMRRA. When she’s not busy updating musical works or providing support for royalty processing, you can spot her at Toronto Blue Jays games, indulging in baking, or unleashing her creativity through crafting using her Cricut machine. More recently, she had the fortunate opportunity to witness Taylor Swift’s Era’s tour live in Los Angeles.
As CMRRA’s Online Licensing Administrator, could you provide some insights into your role and the tasks it entails?
As an Online Licensing Administrator, I research and make updates to the musical works within our system, which includes ensuring recordings and usage provided by the DSPs are linked to the correct work and adding or modifying share information as claims come in. Apart from my responsibilities within the Online Team, I also assist other departments as needed with their priority projects, such as helping with the quarterly royalty processing and distribution. Assisting other departments is always great because it adds variety to my workload and allows me to learn more aspects of the company, while completing important time-sensitive projects.
After your roles as a Workflow Coordinator and Tariff Licensing Administrator at CMRRA, you worked at the Lakeridge Health Vaccination Clinic. What inspired your decision to come back to CMRRA?
My time at Lakeridge Health was rewarding and a great experience but I realized the healthcare field may not align with my interests. I have always loved music and working at CMRRA previously had allowed me to be a part of the music industry, helping to get songwriters and publishers paid through services we provide, is a rewarding career. Another part of my decision was the wonderful people I worked with before and still work with after returning. I’m lucky to have and have had great supervisors and co-workers in my various roles, which I knew I would be returning to and jumping back in as if no time had passed at all. Another important factor in returning to CMRRA was what would be an improved work-life balance for me with working from home, as well as some newer benefits (i.e., mental health coverage) that I believed would be very helpful and allow me to continue to grow and succeed. The Hybrid-Office-Telework Program that CMRRA offers that allows staff to work –from home has been a huge bonus and benefit to my overall health and wellness, especially commuting to and from the Durham Region. All in all, deciding to leave the healthcare field was a difficult decision, but returning to CMRRA was not and I’m very grateful to have been welcomed back with open arms and smiling faces.
You’re an avid Blue Jays fan and attend numerous games throughout the season. What is your favourite memory?
I have two favourite Blue Jays memories, one from watching at home and one from attending in person. My favourite Blue Jays memory watching from home is the José Bautista bat flip from the 2015 ALCS game 5 versus the Texas Rangers. The 2015 season was when I started watching baseball and the bat flip was such an electric and iconic moment to witness even from home that it solidified this new love I had for the Blue Jays and baseball. My favourite Blue Jays memory that I attended in person is the 2016 Canada Day game versus the Cleveland Guardians with my mom. It was the nail biting 19-inning game that had multiple player and coach ejections and position players pitching. It was truly quite the game to witness, especially since it went on for about 6 hours.
During your free time, you enjoy baking as well as crafting with your Cricut, people still talk about the brain cake you made for Halloween one year! What is your favourite item to bake or craft?
My favourite thing to bake would have to be cakes and cupcakes because I love getting creative with decorating them, trying new techniques and ideas, and seeing people’s reactions to what I come up with. Hearing that people still talk about my brain cake is such a huge compliment because I took a risk in trying to make that for the first time and it was also my first Halloween at CMRRA (go big or go home, right?). My favourite things to craft right now are Starbucks cold cups and t-shirts because I can customize it to whatever the individual wants and they’re something that the person is going to use regularly or wear out and about.
You recently saw Taylor Swift in Los Angeles; can you talk about that experience?
I was very lucky to get a presale code from Ticketmaster for Taylor Swift tickets in Los Angeles two weeks before the shows. I got to live out my dream of seeing her in Los Angeles after winning a trip in 2019 to see her there in 2020, but it was unfortunately cancelled because of the pandemic. My mom and I made it a whole experience, from getting dressed up, to doing our nails to match an album/all her albums and making and trading friendship bracelets with other Swifties at the show. Looking back a couple months later, it’s still so surreal that this amazing trip of a lifetime happened to me. I’m so glad I have pictures and videos to remember it, even the video of me crying during her intro/opening and her coming on stage. It’s an experience and trip that I’m still so excited about and will be talking about for a long time to come.
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