Paul Mills is a graduate engineer, musician, musical arranger, graphic designer, and a retired record producer/engineer. This unique combination of skills has resulted in a varied career. He joined CBC Radio in 1972 as a music producer and later moved over to the Radio Drama department as producer and executive producer. As a music producer for CBC Radio in the Seventies, he conceived and produced a national folk music program called “Touch the Earth” which was hosted by Sylvia Tyson. As a drama producer, he developed the award-winning series, “The Scales of Justice” which was later adapted for CBC Television. Later, he was put in charge of planning the radio facilities in the new CBC building in Downtown Toronto and eventually took on senior management roles for CBC Radio including Director of Planning and Technology and Head of the Production Centre.
In 1996 he left the CBC to dedicate his energies to full time record production and within a couple of years had established his own production company and recording studio aptly called “The Millstream”. The Millstream became very busy and Paul’s established reputation continued to attract artists from all over North America: many from Canada’s East Coast but also several from places as far away as British Columbia, Texas and Virginia.
Paul Mills’ outstanding reputation has been earned over the course of a long and accomplished career. He has been an important part of the Canadian folk music scene and recording industry for over forty years. He has produced over two hundred albums working with artists such as the late Stan Rogers (all but one of Rogers’ albums were produced by Mills), Sharon, Lois and Bram, Tanglefoot, Ron Hynes and John Allan Cameron. He is also one of the founding partners of the folk music record label, Borealis Records.
Albums produced or engineered by Paul have earned four gold records (sales over 50,000), two platinum records (sales over 100,000), 5 Juno nominations and 5 East Coast Music Awards. Natalie MacMaster’s record, “My Roots are Showing”, which Paul engineered, won the 1999 Juno award for best instrumental album. Sharon Lois & Bram’s recording “Skinnamarink TV”, co-produced by Paul won the 2000 Juno for “Best Children’s Album”. Ron Hynes’ CD “Get Back Change”, received the East Coast Music Awards nod for Best Album and Best Country Album of the year in 2004. Hynes’ 2006 release, “Ron Hynes” also produced by Mills earned him the ECMA Male Vocalist of the Year award.
Paul is also an accomplished performer and songwriter and has extensive experience in both bands and as a solo act. His primary instrument is guitar but he is also accomplished on mandolin, banjo, bass and ukulele. He has played small clubs, concert halls and folk festivals all over Canada. In 2006, Paul released a solo album, “The Other Side of the Glass” to wide critical praise. It received extensive airplay on folk and roots radio programs all over North America and in February of that year was the most played CD by North American folk DJs. He also performed with Joanne Crabtree in the duo Crabtree&Mills and they have put out three albums together.
In addition to his work as a producer and performer Paul has contributed much to the betterment of the folk community in Canada. He has served on the Board of the “Ontario Council of Folk Festivals”, two years as its President. He also served on the Boards of Folk Music Canada, the Canadian Folk Music Awards and the Home County Folk League that presents the Home County Music & Art Festival in London, Ontario.
His work has earned him several awards including the Estelle Klein award in 2011. In 2018 he was recognized for his work by being inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada.