Comedian, actor, businessman, culture advocate, new husband — it’s no wonder Shaun Majumder can’t sit still.
Earlier this week he announced yet another project, which will see him combining his love of entertainment with the corporate world.
Majumder and entrepreneur friend Ron Lovett have created CelebConnect, matching entertainers, musicians, athletes and business moguls with companies across the country for branding opportunities or performance engagements.
“It seems like a lot of big agents take a name of well-known people and put them in their roster. People call the agent and ask for an artist, and the agent calls the artist and then takes 25 per cent. For what? Taking the phone call?” Majumder said. “The hope for me is to build something very commerce-driven, but if anyone is taking commission on this, it’s the person who put the work in.”
CelebConnect will work online dating style: Majumder and Lovett are building a roster of performers (which so far includes the casts of “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” and “Dragons’ Den,” as well as UFC fighters, retired NHLer Paul Coffey and others), and will work with businesses, advertisers and event planners to find a celebrity who matches their values.
Majumder said he and Lovett will be personally involved in the matchmaking process, in order to avoid mismatches — something he has experienced many times in the past.
“I’d get to a gig and realize that they had probably picked the wrong person for it,” he explained. “These corporate relationships are very valuable, and a lot of people in the acting, music and sports world want to have creative say in these types of things.”
It’s not Majumder’s first foray into the business world. In the past couple years, he has been working on a plan to revitalize Burlington, his hometown of about 350 people on the Baie Verte Peninsula.
Having purchased a plot of land in the town, he and his wife, Shelby Fenner, had the idea to create a high-end, eco-luxe lodge in the community, in the hopes of attracting tourists.
The project grew to include a documentary TV series, “Majumder Manor,” but wasn’t without its challenges: first, Majumder’s initial business plan was turned down by the provincial government, which said the manor would need at least a dozen rooms to be viable.
Majumder came back with a new plan to build cabins before the manor is constructed, but had a hard time finding land in Burlington.
Majumder kept the cameras rolling throughout the tribulations, and “Majumder Manor” viewers witnessed them all in the first season.
In Season 2, which is currently in production and will begin airing on W Network in July, things will get more personal. Majumder and Fenner, who were married a little over a year ago, are planning a wedding celebration in Burlington in June, and the show will document the preparations.
“I have no idea how we’re going to get there,” Majumder said. “Here it is in April now. Will there be snow on the ground in June? To say out loud we’re going to have a wedding in Burlington, it forces us to get things done.”
There’s also an episode where Majumder, having refitted an old 20-foot cabin-cruiser and naming it for his late mother, Marian, takes the boat out on its maiden voyage and scatters the last of his mom’s ashes — which he has been releasing in bodies of water around the world over the past few years, in a tribute to his mom’s love of travel — in the water while on a fishing trip during the recreational cod fishery last summer.
“Earlier in the day, people were coming in with fish the size of kids. We went out and got not one. Peter Blackie (architect featured on the show) caught one, and it was the smallest codfish I’d ever seen in my life. It was the size of a brook trout.
“I’m not joking, as soon as we put the ashes in the water, the fish started hitting. We even made a joke, ‘Mom, while you’re down there, nudge the fish for us, will you?’”
The focus for the manor project has now switched to include cabins and tents, in a luxury camping kind of situation, which Majumder hopes will be open from the middle of next month until the fall.
He’s also going ahead with The Gathering, his annual Burlington festival of music and food started in 2012, which, this August, will feature Steve Poltz, Sam Roberts’ acoustic duo Minotaur with guitarist Dave Nugent (“They do Sam Roberts Band cover songs,” Majumder explained), Sean McCann, Duane Andrews, Craig Young, Ashelin and others.
It’ll all make for some interesting, entertaining but hectic, viewing, Majumder said.
“Shooting a documentary series this way, the way we do it, is one of the most challenging things,” he explained. “With a show like ‘Republic of Doyle,’ for example, you have scripts and directions and everyone knows exactly what’s going to happen. Yes, we have a plan, but everything on the show has been born out of truth. There have been some pushes (in the past) to create something that wasn’t there, but everything you see is genuine.”
Visit Majumder Manor’s YouTube channel to see clips from the upcoming season of “Majumder Manor.”