THANK YOU to all the businesses who generously provided a door prize at the eSAX SOS (Save Ottawa Smallbiz) networking event on April 14, 2021 !


Groupe Mitesco Inc. Daniel Sigouin – Free 1 hour Virtual Training with your staff


Lyse-Pascale Inamuco

Vitae Dynamics Inc. Renée Gendron – 1 hour free consultation – $150


Aaron Gaal

Hidden Fold – Kimberly Dagenais – Wine caddy. $40


Donna-Lea Bowman

Dinner for two valued at $100 at Cobrie restaurant 2121 carling av (Carlingwood shopping Centre). Brian Vallipuram


Joe Connaughton

Sebxet – Tracy Morin – A mystery Funko Pop figure. $15


Cindy Munoz

Bobby the Coffee Guy – 1 case of Bobbythecoffeeguy coffee. $65.00


Paul Arnold

AG Snow & Stump – Aaron Gaal – 1 free stump removal (grinding) up to 6” diameter


Lucy Murray

Connect Ottawa – Margarat-Ann Davis – 2 month Free Membership to VIP Connect Ottawa


Prithu Mishra

Bravad Technologise – Mark Karim – 2 snapback hats $25 each


Erin Pham


Elaine Lindsay

PINK ZEBRA HOME SCENTS – Amanda Grigg – One Simmer Pot and 1 Jar of Soy Wax Sprinkles


Lee Underwood

EVERYONE’S A WINNER! Storm Internet Services – Al Guvener (share link and promo code in general chat) – Get $50.00 off on your first invoice, if you sign up for new Internet service with Storm by May 30th. Use promo code “StormeSAX50”



THE DANCING MOTIVATOR – Penny Lee Prevost – 1 month online Nia with Penny Lee classes. $100 value


Amit Arora



Samantha Warskett

Sarah Stewart Photography

$225 gift certificate


Lathapriya Hariharan

RIPEN – Cindy Wheeler –  $25 Gift Card for a local Restaurant


Natalie Cahill

ZOHO FINANCIAL – Harpreet Singh – $50 gift card for a local restaurant


James Mackenzie

Savvy Business Plans – Sumyia Sheikh A loan ready complete and customized business $ 750


Brittany Waitman – Chris Polis

12 Month Basic Membership for 1 Workstation  $204


Sabena de Mel

CREATHREAL – Tasfia Hossain  Polymer clay stud pick of three. $20


Lana Burnley

KANATA-CARLETON SMALL BUSINESS NETWORK (KCSBN) – Dr. Rouba Fattal – 2 free booths $20 total to vendors for the KCSBN Small Business eFair on May 27, 2021


Cindy Wheeler


Eduardo Bailetti

Momentum Business Law – Camille Ferland

Premium Business Consultation Gift Certificate

Value $300 What’s Included: Consultation for an Ontario business with their legal team about your business, growth plans, issues you are experiencing or questions you have. The business consultation will take place virtually and can last up to 1 hour, which will include any time reviewing documentation or background you provide them in advance.


Tracy Sundue




Have you ever found yourself at a swanky event thinking, ‘This string quartet is nice, but I could really use some more saxophone’? That’s music to the ears of Ottawa’s Jarrod Goldsmith, possibly the hardest working saxman in Canada. As a lifelong player, Jarrod finally took the leap and turned his passion into a career.

image of Jarrod Goldsmith playing sax on stage

We interviewed the young entrepreneur and spoke about struggles of creating a market for your product and the joys of not only making your own dreams come true, but helping others do the same.

Tell us about yourself. Who are you, and what do you do?

I’m Jarrod Goldsmith and I’ve created two full-time businesses: Sax Appeal (which is Canada’s Premier Saxophone Ensemble), and eSAX (the Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience). I have a real passion for music, but I also get to use my organizational abilities, public relations and leadership skills. I’m also know for my signature fedora.

Tell us more about your businesses.

Sax Appeal is a rather unusual professional all-saxophone ensemble whose specialty is to provide live music to enhance the ambiance of functions that require the finest of touches. With our distinctive sound (ONLY saxophones), Sax Appeal provides a unique musical experience by playing jazz music, classical music, or anything in-between for literally any event, ranging from weddings to festivals, to cocktail receptions to Christmas festivities. There’s a short documentary explaining more.

When I started networking to literally create a market for Sax Appeal, I became one of the region’s most active entrepreneurial networkers.

This led me to create eSAX; an entrepreneur networking group for startups to develop connections, gain knowledge from featured speakers and promote collaboration among regional Chambers of Commerce. Events are held every 3 months to coincide with the provincially funded Y-Enterprise Center Ontario Self-Employment Benefit Program (OSEB).

Sax Appeal at the 2013 Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival

Sax Appeal at the 2013 Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival (photo by

What made you choose this path?

I’ve been playing the saxophone for close to 30 years, and I grew up listening to everyone telling me not to pursue a career in music. While earning a graduate degree in archaeology, and having tried for close to 10 years to secure a permanent federal government position in any department, I continued to hone my skills at music by playing ‘on-the-side’, never intending to pursue music as a full-time career.

I bounced from contract to contract and government department to department, but finally decided to literally ‘throw-in the trowel’ and pursue a music career in 2011 (much to the chagrin of my family). Being accepted into the Y-Enterprise Center (OSEB) made me realize that in order to make music a viable career, I needed to embrace being a startup entrepreneur and treat my passion like a business.

Why do you love what you do? What it is that drives you every day?

I never had any business training, let alone any aspirations on becoming an entrepreneur. Hard work, coupled with unwavering persistence, has led me to make my passion for the sax a viable business.

There simply was no alternative or ‘plan B’. My motivation was simple. If I didn’t get gigs, my dog will starve and I’ll need to sell the house. As these were not options, I devote every waking moment to furthering the Sax Appeal and eSAX brands.


Everyone knows that first impressions have the capacity to make or break a relationship, so it’s important to show others that you absolutely LOVE what you do. Anyone who has ever met me knows there is nothing else in life I would rather be doing. This enthusiasm for playing music and helping to encourage other entrepreneurs is so infectious that it’s easy for others to believe in me. Plus, you’ll never hear me call his businesses ‘work’!

Was it all smooth sailing or have you had to overcome adversity to get where you are?

The decision to pursue music as a full-time career is difficult for anyone. The challenge is compounded immensely since a saxophone quartet is, from the general public’s perspective, a rare and almost entirely unknown kind of ensemble.

It’s a guarantee that no one is going to wake-up one day and rip through the telephone book looking for a saxophone quartet to perform at their upcoming function… though I’m trying to change this perspective.

There are almost no full-time saxophone quartets in the world. As such, the public has little knowledge that four saxophones are capable of performing as an acoustic ensemble together. If someone is getting married, they would most likely consider a traditional string quartet, maybe a flutist or harp.

We all know that crazy happens. What’s the wildest thing that’s happened on the job?

Oh you don’t know crazy till you’ve toured with a band (lol)!

Perhaps the most memorable was a gig at a private Ottawa-area golf course last year. An elderly woman seated near us momentarily passed out and her chair fell backwards onto the floor. As I was dialing 911, the other sax player leaned over and asked if she would like any requests which greatly helped to break the tension! After 10 minutes she got up and we continued playing since the show must go on.

And now for something completely different… a few months ago I was contacted by the BBC who somehow came across the following sample we recorded of a Sousa March. Turns out they were interested in featuring that clip during the closing credits of a new Monty Python reunion documentary. How wild is that?!?!? Watch out for it 

A rare Fedora-less shot!

A rare Fedora-less shot!

What do you do with your time off?

A normal day involves playing with my dog pretty much every time she trots into the room and going for regular walks in the forest. I also often bike to the store for a little exercise to get away from the computer, but I’m never far from my phone.

The only time I take time off is when I go home to Montreal for a few days. Seems all I ever does there is eat, drink, sleep, eat more and gain weight. (I’m convinced my parents think I’m lazy, but if they ever saw me in action they’d know otherwise).

This is the age of the social network. How important is social media to your business and how do you make it work?

As most Sax Appeal gigs are private events (weddings, cocktail receptions, etc), I quickly realized that social media (particularly YouTube) would be essential to allow people the opportunity to see what the group is all about. Even today, many people who know about the group have never had the opportunity to see a Sax Appeal performance first-hand.

Back in 2011, Sax Appeal was only getting a gig perhaps every fourth month or so. Obviously this was not enough to live-on, but as I began engaging people and promoting the ensemble via various social media outlets, the impression that some had was that the group was performing a few times a week! One of the lessons learned was that starting out, it was important to appear more successful than one actually is in order to start developing a deep-rooted trust from the public’s perspective.

eSAX event, April 2014.

eSAX event, April 2014.

Are you involved in your local community?

All business owners understand that they need to network to get work. Having attended hundreds of networking events myself, as well through the hosting of eSAX, I’ve strategically placed myself at the forefront of the entrepreneurial networking scene in Ottawa. I’m an ambassador for the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce as well as the Orleans Chamber of Commerce. I’m also extremely active in three other local Chambers of Commerce: the West Ottawa Board of Trade, the Nepean Chamber of Commerce, and Le Regroupement des Gens D’affaires de la Capitale Nationale (RGA). I am very active within Ottawa’s entrepreneur community and regularly devote my time to promote, encourage and assist other entrepreneurs.

What does the future look like for you and your businesses?

GREAT! With any niche business, of course, it takes a few years of hard work to build a brand.

As I’ve been literally been branding himself (via the signature fedora and music ties), I’m starting to get a lot of recognition. However, it’s important not to become complacent and wait for the phone to ring, so my future will continue to consist of extreme amounts of both attending and hosting networking events, using social media and playing as many gigs as I can!

Do you have any advice for aspiring business owners just starting out?

First off…never underestimate the power of face-to-face networking!

Networking is not about people buying your products and services NOW, but it should be about building future relationships. Relationships take time in order to develop trust. Think to yourself that everything you are doing now is to help make your business a success in 2 years from now. People tend to ‘buy-into’ others whom they like, trust and respect. This building of trust takes time and persistence. Be patient.

If you really don’t like networking events, try to at least smile a lot, let your passion shine through, listen, ask questions and follow-up with everyone you meet.

  • Smiling lets people know that you are outwardly warm and friendly. Plus, let’s face it…who would you rather go introduce yourself to…someone who is smiling, or someone who is not?
  • Being genuinely passionate about what you do is often the very first impression people make. Always make sure to keep a positive attitude, as well as sincere enthusiasm around people (and even at home). This is very important because people see through fake. If you don’t absolutely love what you do, then it will be almost impossible for others to believe in you.
  • As people generally like talking about themselves, it’s often not hard to engage people you just met by asking them some simple questions. Doing so puts you in a stronger position to find ways you can help them, as well as bring your background and business back into the conversation.
  • Always make sure to follow-up with every single person you meet right away. Even if you think someone has absolutely nothing to do with your business, one never knows where a referral may come from. It’s also wise to keep a detailed database and track which event you meet someone at and when you followed-up with them.

Success breeds success so associate with like-minded people. It’s simply not healthy to be around people with a negative attitude who always complain about how unfair life is. If you don’t like how things are done, change it. Embrace what it means to be a startup entrepreneur by standing out and transforming the status-quo.

Speed Networking Event – January 15, 2020

Build relationships through one of Ottawa’s best entrepreneur networking events for small business at the next eSAX January 15, 2020 Speed Networking Event (5-10pm). Networking has never been so fun!!

Lansdowne Park (Horticulture Building) – 1525 Princess Patricia Way, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5J3


17:00 – 18:30 Networking with performance by Sax Appeal Ottawa

18:30 – 19:30 SPEED NETWORKING portion

19:30 – 22:00 More great networking!


People will line-up in two rows and have about 1 minute each to quickly introduce themselves, perhaps exchange a business card etc, than move down the line to the next person. It’s an opportunity to initially connect with almost everyone in the room that would ideally lead to a future  conversation.

Note: On-line registration ENDS Friday, January 10, 2020 (midnight), but tickets WILL be available @ the door

eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience), is an entrepreneur networking community and trade show for small business.

Powered by: Ottawa Special EventsSURE Print & GraphicsMedia Mall MarketingPita Pit Orleans and Gloucester,,Dylan BlackCanadian Institute of Mass Communication (CIMC), Sylvie DemersMobile Optician Services – Services d’Opticien MobileCrystaljoy; Ambitionary VisionarySax Appeal OttawaShawn ShoesmithJulia FurlettiSignal 88 Security of Ottawa, Musical Theatre RadioMichael LifshitzRogue Media, Barking Monkey Studio, Murilo Torres, CollabSpace and Oakwood

Help us raise funds for the CHEO Max Keeping Fund for Kids & Ability First Ottawa!


Facebook (Main Page):
Twitter (Hashtag #eSAX):
LinkedIn: Pinterest:

#eSAX Makes Networking Work!

Fireside Chat – October 16, 2019

Are you a small business owner looking for resources to grow? Be part of the eSAX October 16, 2019 Fireside Chat featuring an exceptional panel of women entrepreneur business leaders including Erin BlaskieAngella GoranFiona Gilligan and Terri Storey (moderated by Sueling Ching) with Mayor Jim Watson, the Ottawa Board of Trade and MC Dylan Black.

Plus nominations are OPEN for the Peter Stewart Business Mentor of the Year award! Nominate a business mentor now who has made a difference in your life. More info HERE!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 (5 – 10 pm)

Horticulture Building – 1525 Princess Patricia Way, Ottawa, Ontario

Cost: $100 in advance / $125 at the door.

Note: On-line registration ENDS Friday, October 11, 2019 (midnight), but tickets WILL be available @ the door

eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience), is an entrepreneur networking community and tradeshow for small business.

Powered by: Ottawa Special EventsMedia Mall MarketingSURE Print & GraphicsShopOttawa.comPita Pit OrleansEast Coast LimosDylan BlackCanadian Institute of Mass CommunicationDeez-Picz & VIDZSylvie DemersMobile Optician Services – Services d’Opticien MobileCrystaljoy; Ambitionary VisionarySax Appeal OttawaShawn ShoesmithJulia FurlettiSignal 88 Security of Ottawa, Startup Canada, Invest OttawaMusical Theatre RadioMichael LifshitzRogue Media, Barking Monkey Studio, Murilo Torres CollabSpace

Help us raise funds for the CHEO Max Keeping Fund for Kids & Ability First Ottawa!


Facebook (Main Page):
Twitter (Hashtag #eSAX):
LinkedIn: Pinterest:

#eSAX Makes Networking Work!

Pitchfest – July 10, 2019

Are you a small business owner looking for resources to grow?

Pitch your business for a chance to win great prize packages @eSAX Pitchfest!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 (17:00 – 22:00)

Lansdowne Park, Horticulture Building

1525 Princess Patricia Way, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5J3

Cost to pitch: $250 + tax (includes your admission) Note that a maximum of ten (10) companies will be eligible to pitch!

General admission: $50 in advance / $65 at the door

Click HERE to register

About: eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience); is an entrepreneur networking community and tradeshow for small business to create connections, gain knowledge and promote regional economic collaboration with the Ottawa Board of Trade and community/business leaders. Here is a short promo video and overview, as well as an epic #Mannequin Challenge video.

What is a Pitchfest? A pitchfest is where entrepreneurs present in front of a panel (e.g., Dragons’ Den) to potentially win resources that will aid their business.


Applicants must:

– Have been in business less than five (5) years;

– Have generated less than $500,000 in revenue since inception;

– Be headquartered within 100 km of the National Capital Region.


Will be awarded to the top three (3) applicants as judged by popular vote @eSAX (i.e., 1st prize, 2nd prize and 3rd prize).

Each prize package will consist of multiple products / services as per details below.


Participants will have five (5) minutes to explain their vision and business concept to ‘win-over’ the crowd. Live voting will be done by our entrepreneur peers in attendance @eSAX, so this will also be a great opportunity to receive considerable exposure in front of hundreds of other business and community leaders.

Deadline to apply is Friday, July 5, 2019 (midnight)

Individuals must register here and provide a business logo, website URL, Twitter account and 100 word bio to prior to the deadline.


The following prize packages will be awarded to the top 3 (three) applicants as judged by popular vote @eSAX on July 10, 2019


1st Prize

Momentum Law legal services ($3,500)

BDO two 1.5 hour sessions (with a small business partner and tax partner) plus one hour session with a specialty service (US tax, FAS or wealth) ($2,500)

Ottawa Business Journal advertising ($1500)

Collab Space 3 month’s free membership ($600)

Sure Print & Graphics retractable 8ft branded banner, 500 business cards & use of their eSAX booth for the January 2020 event ($900)*

Ottawa Board of Trade two tickets to a 2019 Business After 5, two tickets to a 2019 Local Breakfast Series & two tickets to a 2019 Ottawa’s Economic Outlook event ($200)

Three tickets to the next eSAX event ($375)

Additional prizes TBD

2nd Prize

BDO two 1.5 hour sessions (with a small business partner and tax partner) ($1,875)

Steve Cody mentoring session and Ruckify Bucks (TBD)

Collab Space 3 month’s free membership ($600)

TiECon Ottawa Conference x 2 tickets ($500)

Mobile Optician Services 1 year service package ($100)

Two tickets to the next eSAX event ($250)

Additional prizes TBD

3rd Prize

BDO two 1 hour sessions (with a small business partner and tax partner) ($1,250)

Collab Space 3 month’s free membership ($600)

Dinner, Show & Night-Out Package with:

East Coast Limos ($625), National Arts Centre production (2 tickets $100), Ottawa Special Events (big screen, projector & audio $500), Pita Pit catering up to 10 people ($100),

Cartier Place Suite Hotel ($200),

One ticket to the next eSAX event ($125)

* Please contact each individual company prior to use for details

Good luck!!

Ottawa eSAX Event Review by Covert Ottawa Guy

On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, I once again had the honour of attending eSAX the Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience networking event held at the Horticulture Building at TD Place. As my entrepreneurial mind gets the best of me at times, I’ve been out to this event four times now. Each time, it continues to impress me with the variety of opportunities that can be found simply by networking with the variety of people that the event attracts. Most people who attend these events are either seeking answers to their business questions or looking to provide expertise or answers for others. Additionally, many successful business owners, entrepreneurs, and individuals from the business community are present, ready to engage others in conversation and share ideas.

Each time I attend this event, I am awestruck by both the professionalism and the upscale, elegant feel of the event. Jarrod Goldsmith is the brains and creator behind eSAX and does a phenomenal job of organizing this event and bringing together the business community in a unique and interactive way. He seemingly spares no expense in creating a dynamic, exciting, and enriching atmosphere to promote social and business networking.

This time around, I decided to set up a booth and experience this amazing event from the perspective of an exhibitor. This was my first set up as Covert Ottawa Guy, so I wasn’t sure how it would go over, particularly in this experienced business environment. But I was pleasantly surprised-it was amazing. At my booth, I interacted with tons of people looking to find out what’s happening in the entrepreneurial community and to build a network of service providers and meaningful partners to expand their business needs. I want to thank everyone who came to visit me at my booth, who took the time to tell me about their businesses and who exchanged ideas with me about mine. As it turns out, a whole lot of people are interested in events and event services around Ottawa!

Enough about my exhibit though, let’s get back to the show! The Horticulture Building at TD place is the perfect location for this event. There is plenty of parking, and easy access from any corner of the city. Registration is completed efficiently by an army of volunteers, eager to please, willing and capable of helping with any issues that may arise, and answer any questions that you might have. After registration confirmation, you move along to a table where your name tag and lanyard are waiting. Then you enter the trade show floor to take in the event. The entire process takes about two minutes.

Once through registration, you’ll find a lounge area with tall tables set up, and a bar area with friendly bartenders ready to serve. There are several items to choose from, but I particularly enjoyed the idea of the signature “SAX on the beach” drinks that they were serving in tall martini glasses. It is a classy touch and provides a fun topic of conversation for the attendees. A little further into the room, you’ll find the food, which is catered by Pita Pit, a personal favourite of mine since my old club days in the Byward Market. I really appreciate the offering of both vegan and gluten free options, catering to attendees with food allergies or dietary preferences. It’s always a nice touch, and really goes a long way with the people for whom it affects. For the entertainment, you’ll find the lovely “Sax Appeal” playing some great tunes throughout the night in the bar area, and there’s a great media wall set up to get shots of you and your companions for the corporate bulletin board.

In the main trade show area at this particular event, I’d estimate that there were approximately twenty different companies in attendance showcasing their products; the majority focused on marketing and sales strategies and business to business (B2B) contact management. As to be expected at an entrepreneurial trade-show, each booth was bustling with activity. It wasn’t all business services though; you could also find some other essentials, such as East Coast Limousines and Bytown Video Production.

Each eSAX event has its own theme that may include guest speakers, other networking activities or business development ideas. For this particular event, there was a “speed-eSAX” session that took place for about an hour. As I had a booth to operate, I unfortunately couldn’t take part in the activity, but judging by the reactions of the various participants, it was a huge success. Jarrod Goldsmith was up on a centre pedestal with a megaphone moderating the activity. Once again, another successful idea by Jarrod, who seems to have a knack for networking and pulling together members of the business community.

Previous events that I’ve attended have all had their respective themes, and have featured a series of fantastic guest speakers. Each event that I’ve attended has been emceed by Dylan Black of Boom 99.7 and Rogers 22, and Mayor Jim Watson has made appearances, saying a few words to the attendees prior to the scheduled guest speakers. As an example of what you might be able to expect, a highly successful eSAX last fall featured Bruce Linton from Canopy Growth, Brett Wilson from CBC’s Dragon’s Den, and Steve Cody, who used the eSAX event to launch his now hugely popular Ruckify app.

The next eSAX is scheduled for July 10th and is boasting an equally impressive theme of “Pitchfest”. This is the third annual eSAX Pitchest event, where small business owners are encouraged to sign up and pitch their business to seek resources to grow their business. There are incredible prizes to be won at the event for the top three businesses as determined by live peer voting. Registration is now open for either the opportunity to pitch your business, to set up a booth, or to simply attend this event. You can click here to see registration information.

Overall, I love eSAX, which is evident from how often I attend! Jarrod is incredibly passionate about it, and he works hard so that each event is unique and encourages both attendees and exhibitors to continue to return three times a year.


Originally posted by Ottawa Covert Guy on April 23, 2019

April 17, 2019

Presenting Speed-eSAX! Networking has never been so fun!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 (5 – 10 pm)

Lansdowne Park – Horticulture Building. 1525 Princess Patricia Way, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5J3

With a special performance by Sax Appeal!

#eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience) is an entrepreneur networking community and tradeshow for small business to create connections, gain knowledge and promote regional economic collaboration among regional Chambers of Commerce. Never been to #eSAX? Check out this short video!

Amazing Overview of the October 2018 eSAX Event Showcasing the Launch of Ruckify!

CoverageCorp perfectly captured the energy of the official launch of Ruckify at the October 2018 eSAX event, featuring W. Brett Wilson (Dragons’ Den Emeritus), Bruce Linton (Canopy Growth), Steve Cody, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, the Ottawa Board of Trade, Dylan Black (MC) & Jarrod Goldsmith (eSAX) on the day that cannabis became legal in Canada!

Video produced by CoverageCorp

eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience – is an entrepreneur networking community and tradeshow for small business.

#eSAX Makes Networking Work !

January 9, 2019

#eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience) is an entrepreneur networking community and tradeshow for small business to create connections, gain knowledge and promote regional economic collaboration among regional Chambers of Commerce. Never been to #eSAX? Check out this short video!

Wednesday, JANUARY 9, 2019 (5 – 10 pm)

Lansdowne Park – Horticulture Building. 1525 Princess Patricia Way, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5J3

With a special performance by Sax Appeal!

Fireside Chat – October 17, 2018


and Dylan Black (Boom 99.7 FM and Daytime Ottawa) – Master of Ceremonies

with a special performance by Sax Appeal!

NOMINATE someone for the 1st Annual PETER STEWART BUSINESS MENTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD! Click here for additional details. (Deadline September 23, 2018, midnight)