Whalley’s Long McQuade music store is ringing in the holiday season once again with its annual painted instrument auction to benefit music therapy efforts at BC Children’s Hospital.
The program, which has been running since 2007, sees musical instruments painted by locally and nationally-known artists sold in a silent auction, with proceeds going to the hospital.
“It basically pays for (sick kids) to have music therapists to come in and play instruments with (them) and take their minds off of an otherwise dreary situation,” said Bryan Faber, the guitar department manager of the 104th Avenue music shop.
This year, the store brought in five unused ukuleles and five brand-new mini-Korg keyboards for artists to paint.
An auction of the instruments began Monday and continues for the next three weeks. Winning bidders will get their painted ukulele or mini-Korg on Dec. 23.
“They’re just amazing pieces and they sound really cool, too,” Faber said of the keyboards. “Each one of them has 25 different sounds, 25 different demo songs,” he said, noting that the store typically sells them for “$250 a pop.”
Korg Canada donated five of the instruments, and the painted products’ bids begin at $100 each. The ukuleles will begin at $180 each.
Faber shared his music shop’s sentiment that music therapy is a worthwhile charitable effort, saying that the project has some personal significance to him.
“I’ve had a lot of friends who have had their kids, unfortunately, have to go to Children’s Hospital for various different things, whether they’re serious or not as serious,” he revealed.
“My niece was rushed there the moment she was born, a couple of my nephews who are twins were born there prematurely. It’s just an amazing place.”
Faber and a few of his coworkers were able to tour the hospital a few years ago, and said they were inspired by the visit.
“It’s a great cause to be a part of,” he said, noting that all of the B.C. Long McQuade stores contribute to BC Children’s Hospital.
“Music heals everything… and it’s universal. It doesn’t matter, race or colour or anything. Anybody can play music and anybody can appreciate it,” he said.
People can participate in the auction by signing up at the Surrey Long McQuade store (13785 104th Ave.), or bidding online through the shop’s Facebook page. Faber said current bids will be updated daily through the Facebook page.