British Columbia

Can't stop the music: VPL expands popular instrument lending program

The Vancouver Public Library has announced it will be adding more than 100 instruments to its musical Instruments lending library.

Expansion announced at event attended by Sarah McLachlan

Sun Life Financial has committed $140,000 towards the musical instrument lending library. (Jeff Vinnick)

The Vancouver Public Library has announced it will be adding more than 100 instruments to its musical Instruments lending library.

The expansion is due to increased support from Sun Life Financial, which has committed $140,000 toward the program and will see instruments such as guitars, ukuleles, violins, drums and portable keyboards added to the inventory.

Ever since the program first opened in 2016, instruments have been consistently booked out, according to chief librarian Christina de Castell.

"It is always completely busy," said de Castell to On the Coast reporter Margaret Gallagher. "We love hearing about the things that people create and all the joy that this collection brings."

She says the increased collection is going to make it easier and faster for musicians and aspiring musicians to obtain these instruments.

"We see libraries as a place where people can create and share their ideas and their inspiration with the world in all the forms that can take, and music and songwriting is such an important part of creativity in Vancouver today," said de Castell. 

The program allows the public to withdraw a musical instrument the same way they would a book.

Connection through music

The expansion was announced at a music-filled event Tuesday that included performances by students from the Sarah McLachlan School of Music and an appearance by the songstress herself.

Sarah McLachlan attended the event with students from her music school who also performed their own music. (Jeff Vinnick)

McLachlan says the musical instrument lending library is important because it gives people of all ages an opportunity to either learn or reacquaint themselves with an instrument.

 "I think music opens up our emotional world and connects us to ourselves and to the world around us," she said. "We all get elevated and I just think it's a beautiful thing."

The Grammy award-winner also donated a signed acoustic guitar, which de Castell says will be placed in the library's display case for everyone to see.

You can listen to the full interview below;

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