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Youth centre music programming gets $10K boost

Orillia Youth Centre purchases new musical equipment thanks to MusiCounts grant

The Orillia Youth Centre is celebrating an early Christmas gift.

The Front Street facility has received a $10,000 grant to help bolster its music programming.

The centre is one of 30 recipients of a MusiCounts TD Community Music Program grant, having received $10,000. The money allowed for the purchase of 40 to 50 pieces of equipment, including a new drum kit, a set of djembes (hand drums), ukuleles, mandolins, acoustic guitars and more.

“We have been very fortunate to have some tremendous musical equipment donated (over the years), but nothing of this quality,” said Orillia Youth Centre director Kevin Gangloff.

The centre has been offering music programming for almost a decade, and the donation from MusiCounts “validates the work we’ve been doing,” he said.

The centre hosts open-mic nights and concerts and has welcomed well-known musicians such as Serena Ryder to do workshops with visitors.

“We’re going to continue to do the things we were doing, but with newer and better equipment,” Gangloff said.

Musical pursuits are out of reach for some, and the youth centre wants to provide options to as many people as possible.

“Not everyone has that opportunity. Whenever you can provide that outlet, it’s important,” Gangloff said. “Music speaks to so many people in so many different ways.”

He has known about his successful application to MusiCounts for about two months, but he had to keep it a secret until the official announcement was made. In the meantime, he was able to work with Gilbert Guitars — a long-time supporter of the centre — to pick out the equipment. All of it was purchased through the Mississaga Street business.

“It’s great because we’re getting exactly what we ordered and asked for,” Gangloff said. “To be able to work with them to make these purchases has been tremendous.”

It was a team effort to get the grant. Gangloff thanked those who supported the centre’s application, including the Mariposa Folk Festival, Roots North Music Festival and Orillia Secondary School music department — all of which have partnered with the youth centre to assist with its music programming.

“(The money is) coming to the youth centre, but it really branches out,” he said. “It’s a nice tie-in.”

Find out more about the MusiCounts grants, including the other programs that shared the $500,000 in funding, by clicking here.

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Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the desk editor for Village Media's central news desk in Simcoe County.
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