You can now borrow musical instruments at Halifax-area libraries
Sun Life Financial donated 150 instruments to the program, which already exists in 8 other Canadian cities
Anyone with a library card in the Halifax region can now borrow a musical instrument.
On Wednesday, Halifax Public Libraries announced a new program that will allow people to check out a guitar, violin or hand drum from any branch.
The 150-instrument collection will be housed at the Alderney Gate Public Library in Dartmouth, but the network of vans that shuttles library materials between branches will also be used to transport instruments.
Local musician Joel Plaskett performed at Wednesday's announcement and donated a signed four-string tenor guitar to the collection.
"I've written a lot of songs on the tenor," said Plaskett. "I just thought it would be a nice one to have in the public system because it's one of things that people won't try unless they stumble upon it."
Sun Life Financial donated the instruments for the program, along with $140,000 to pay for a technician to maintain them.
Halifax is the ninth city in Canada to get such a collection.
Sun Life officials say the instruments have been well taken care of and are appreciated by the people who use the programs.
"When we launched in Vancouver, the first instrument to go out the door was a mandolin to an 86-year-old woman," said Paul Joliat, vice-president of sponsorships for Sun Life. "And the look of celebration on her face, it was fantastic."
Library officials anticipate great demand for the instruments, so they hope to get more donations from the public.
Woodwind instruments like clarinets and saxophones will not be accepted for health reasons.