Launched in 1992, Ron Kitchener established RGK Entertainment Group as a concert promotion and event marketing company. By early 1994, RGK had evolved into an artist management driven company, with Kitchener managing then up-and-coming country star Jason McCoy. Since that time, he has led his team to all new heights as a multi-faceted company.
Open Road Recordings, also founded by Kitchener, has won Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Award for Record Company of the Year from 2009 to 2014. It is home to JUNO and CCMA Award winning artists Doc Walker, Dean Brody, Emerson Drive, The Road Hammers (certified Platinum in Canada), High Valley, Tim Hicks, 2015 CCMA Rising Star Madeline Merlo and Blackjack Billy. Open Road's catalogue includes Prairie Oyster, Tara Oram, Ridley Bent and Johnny Reid. The label represented Big Machine and The Valory Music Co. in Canada for over seven years and included Taylor Swift (certified six times Platinum in Canada), Reba, Rascal Flatts, Justin Moore and Brantley Gilbert. Open Road is distributed by Universal Music Canada.
Roots Three Music, co-ventured with ole music in 2006, is a song publishing company dedicated to developing song writing talent both domestically and internationally. Roots Three Music has a diverse catalogue with cuts by Montgomery Gentry, Craig Morgan, Blackjack Billy, Tim Hicks, The Judds, Mark Wills, Dean Brody, The Road Hammers, Doc Walker, UK super group Westlife, Howie Dorough (Backstreet Boys) and 98 Degrees, as well as sync placements on Oprah, Good Morning America, ESPN, NASCAR, Fox, MuchMusic, CBC and more. Rogue 11 is RGK's exclusive new publishing division, having signed Dan Swinimer and Madeline Merlo.
RGK One Shot Productions is the television development division of the company. Meet The Wilsons, the company's first official production, debuted in September 2009 on CMT. The show has aired on CMT in Canada and the US.
DART Events has produced three national CMT tours, including the most recent CMT Hitlist Tour, which featured Doc Walker, Emerson Drive and Aaron Pritchett. 2011's tour included Dean Brody, Aaron Lines and Deric Ruttan – and the inaugural CMT On Tour supported some of the hottest new stars of Canadian country. DART Events also produced the Bands On The Run tour, featuring The Road Hammers, Doc Walker and Blackjack Billy across Canada in the fall of 2014.
RGK Management clients have achieved recognition internationally, with several artists touring overseas to great success. Artists Corb Lund, Dean Brody and Doc Walker have all been well received in Australia, garnering a strong fan base down under. Doc Walker's album Go debuted in the Top 15 on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Country Album Sales Chart. Contributing to the growth and enhancement of Canada's phenomenal talent, Kitchener organized Canadian Country on Show in Australia, a tour developed to take established and rising country artists 'down under' and perform numerous shows across Australia. Previously, RGK has managed multi-Platinum selling artist Johnny Reid and International GRAMMY winning group The Mavericks.
An entrepreneur and an innovator, Kitchener embraces the future of today's business. He combines professional business strategies with a grass-roots philosophy, creating the best all-around opportunities and atmosphere for his artists. In 2008, 2009 and 2011 Kitchener was named CCMA Record Company Person of the Year. With all of his professional successes, it is no surprise that Kitchener was nominated and elected to sit on the board of the Country Music Association (CMA), as International Director in November 2009. In addition, he has held positions on the MMF (Music Manager Forum) Canada Board and the CCMC (Contemporary Coalition of Country Music) board based in Sydney, Australia. He is a class of 2008 (Nashville) Leadership Music alumni and served as co-chair for Leadership Touring Day. He is currently the Chair of the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) and a member of the 2015 Canadian Music Week (CMW) Co- Chair Committee.
Kitchener is married with two children, and splits his time between his offices in Nashville and Toronto.