The Kermode Friendship Society is set to start rocking and rolling.
The society was awarded close to $12,000 from MusiCounts, a Canadian music education charity associated with the JUNO Awards.
The friendship society is using the money to purchase musical instruments so that it can add free music lessons to its suite of individual and group services.
“It’s really exciting, we have a lot of interest from youth, most youth that I mention it to, they are pretty excited, they are definitely into music, music is a way for them to heal and cope,” said Angela Genaille, Aboriginal child and youth mental health program coordinator at the Kermode Friendship Society.
Two full rock band setups were ordered through Sight & Sound in Terrace. The setups include two electric guitars, bass guitar, drum set, microphones, amplifiers, a keyboard, tambourines, maracas, shakers and accessories. The society also ordered 10 acoustic guitars.
The program is still in the development phase and instruments are yet to be delivered but the society is in the process of recruiting volunteers. Genaille said that when the program is up and running she would like the youth to become mentors and include younger children and elders.
Genaille got the idea to apply for the grant when she saw how children from Terrace responded to a talent show component of the Gathering Our Voices Aboriginal Youth Conference, an annual event produced by the Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.
“You could just see how much music lifted their spirits, it was healing, it was creativity, it was very inspiring,” she said.
The MusiCounts TD Community Music Program offers grants of up to $25,000, instruments and music equipment to community centres, after school programs and other non-profit organizations. This year, 37 community organizations across Canada will be awarded a total of $500,000 in instruments.
The Kermode Friendship Society was established in 1976 and offers culturally sensitive programs to Indigenous people and the community-at-large in the Terrace area. The society has new headquarters on Park Ave. in Terrace.