British Columbia

Hedley, Mother Mother on hand to launch Vancouver Public Library's borrowable collection of instruments

If you've ever wanted to try learning a musical instrument but wouldn't or couldn't invest in one, the Vancouver Public Library might have the answer.

Brass, woodwinds, banjos and ukuleles, can be borrowed for up to three weeks

Judy M. is a student at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music. "It’s an honour. It’s a really great pleasure to be able to be the very first one to borrow." (CBC/Rafferty Baker)

If you've ever wanted to try learning a musical instrument but wouldn't or couldn't invest in one, the Vancouver Public Library might have the answer.

Its new instrument lending program at the downtown branch allows cardholders to pick from among 100 instruments. 

“I was keeping it for my daughter, but I thought this was a better cause,” said Donna Hossack, 85, who recorded the theme song to popular children's TV show The Friendly Giant. (CBC/Rafferty Baker)

From brass to woodwinds, from ukuleles to banjos — even the last harp owned by the woman who recorded the theme song to The Friendly Giant, a popular Canadian children's show that aired on CBC television from 1958 to 1985.

Members of popular bands Hedley and Mother Mother were on hand Tuesday for the launch of the program.

"I think it's important for us to represent a community that really relies on togetherness," said Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard.

Mother Mother's Molly Guldemond was also excited at the idea.

From left to right, Tommy Mac and Jacob Hoggard of Hedley, and Ryan and Molly Guldemond of Mother Mother. (CBC/Rafferty Baker)

"When i first heard about it it was like, 'Obviously, why not? Why hasn't this been a thing before?'" she said. "Music and the arts shouldn't be elitist, so it's a very good thing to be a part of."

The bulk of the collection was donated by Sun Life Financial, along ​with $130,000 for program costs.

Spit valves will be clean

And if you're worried about instrument cleanliness, don't fret.

A partnership with Long and McQuade means library staff will be trained in proper care and cleaning of loaned instruments to ensure all spit valves and mouth pieces are well taken care of.

Just don't turn yours in after the due date. Late fees are a dollar per day.

Just a few of the instruments available to borrow from the VPL's new instrument collection. (CBC/Rafferty Baker)