Music Canada Cares held a successful inaugural instrument drive for The Three Rs Music Program in Lindsay, Ontario last Saturday, September 29th. Over 40 instruments were collected jointly by the Music Canada Cares team and local volunteers from 12:30PM-3:30PM at Mackey Celebrations, a local event venue in the heart of Lindsay’s downtown area. The drive also included an interactive workshop with three of the program’s Artist Ambassadors, including Eon Sinclair, our Artist Ambassador Lead from Bedouin Soundclash, as well as Lindsay natives Jeremy Drury from The Strumbellas and Warren Frank from The Kents. Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MP Jamie Schmale was also in attendance and spoke about the value of The Three Rs Music Program for local schools and young students.
The success of the event is largely due to the approach taken by the program which rests on three key principles: needs-based, artist-driven, and community-supported.
In partnership with the Trillium Lakelands District School Board, three local schools were identified as recipients of the instruments collected: Archie Stouffer Elementary School, Lady Mackenzie Public School, and Central Senior School. These schools have demonstrated need in alignment with the Program priorities, and the instruments collected will satisfy a number of those programs’ needs. The local Steering Committee for the event, made up of a diverse group of community advocates and educators, will meet later this month to allocate the instruments equitably.
The community appeal for instruments was led by the Artist Ambassadors for the program, including a CHEX Morning Show appearance and social media posts. Their messages highlighted the role that music serves in experiential learning for students of all backgrounds. Not all families have the disposable income necessary to provide good instruments when they’re not available in their child’s school. In response to a question on CHEX Daily about The Three Rs Music Program, Warren responded, “When we started out, [our access to instruments] was all on the generosity of others,” a response which is common among artists as they learn about the program.
Jeremy Drury immediately connected with the cause and donated a full drum set he’s no longer using, while his cymbal sponsor Zildjian generously donated a new set of replacement cymbals. Jeremy, Warren, and Eon led an interactive workshop at the event, where they coached a talented local 8th grader Emmett Loignon in cover performances of two songs. Emmett’s already making waves as a singer/songwriter at ‘open mic’ nights in Lindsay, and has been raising money on his own to supplement the equipment at his school so that fellow students may have access to a full music program in the future.
The event was energized by the incredible amount of support from the local community. During his address at the interactive workshop, MP Jamie Schmale stated,“Music increases brain power, creativity, patience, discipline, and everything we want in our youth, so this is a fantastic program.” Schmale concluded, “Thank you to everyone here who came together to make this happen, and our young people will be richer because of it.”
In addition to those volunteering on our Local Steering Committee, the event was supported by local teachers, our instrument repair partner Van Halteren’s Music Centre, and the Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service, , who will continue to accept instrument donations until October 11th at the Lindsay Fire Hall (9 Cambridge St N).
To donate an instrument as part of the Lindsay drive, please contact [email protected].