London

Soon you'll be able to borrow musical instruments at the library

Before the end of the year, London Public Library patrons will be able to borrow musical instruments using their library card.

Money for the musical instrument lending library comes from a fund set up by the Junos

London Mayor Ed Holder at the announcement of an instrument lending library for the public library, paid for by money raised through the Junos. (Kate Dubinski/CBC News)

Before the end of the year, London Public Library patrons will be able to borrow musical instruments using their library card.

The instrumental lending library is being launched in the next two months with money collected during the Junos, part of Music Counts. 

The fund took $1 from Juno event ticket sales held at Budweiser Gardens, Centennial Hall and the London Music Hall. 

"In essence, it will be the same as getting out a book. You come in, choose an instrument, and then take it home for a select amount of time," said Michael Ciccone, the chief librarian and CEO of the library. 

"I'm sure there will be some string instruments involved. We're having them sourced right now, and we don't want to make any promises we can't keep, but we'll make an announcement soon." 

The instruments will be purchased with $200,000 raised through Music Counts, members of the Juno host committee announced Thursday. 

Chris Campbell, London's director of culture and entertainment tourism, said the economic impact of the Junos to London was $1.9 million.

"The instrument lending library supports our community's musical literacy and will help Londoners deepen their love and connection to music. These instruments will allow new passions to be formed and maybe will even be a starting point to a future Juno winner. As everything at the library, these instruments will be free to borrow." 
Our very own Tom Power joins guest host Ali Hassan live from London to recap some of the highlights from this year's Juno Awards. Freelance music writers and q This panellists A. Harmony and Tabassum Siddiqui also join Hassan to break down some of the night's biggest surprises. 23:20

Schools getting instruments

Music Counts has also given money to help give students in the London area access to musical instruments and other resources, such as scholarships. 

At Riverside Public School, students described instruments that were literally rotting, said Kristy Fletcher, the executive director of Music Counts. 

"Like many schools, they have an increase in new Canadians joining their population. As we know, music can be a tool that helps lessen language barriers and encourages cultural exploration. Riverside was able to get new equipment. They'll be used by students for many years to come," she said. 

Other schools will also get money from music grants, some of which are open until November. 

London Mayor Ed Holder said the Junos were an opportunity to "showcase London as the great city it is." 

"The Junos did London proud and I know that the Juno folks feel London did the Junos proud. London didn't have a prouder day," Holder said.