David Gilmore tunes a guitar at Gilmore Guitars in North Red Deer Friday afternoon. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Getting guitars to kids in need

GuitarZ For KidZ launched earlier this summer and has received about 30 guitar donations

A program in Red Deer aims to get guitars into the hands of less fortunate youths.

GuitarZ For KidZ, a committee of the Red Deer Arts Council, was started earlier this year by David Gilmore, owner of Gilmore Guitars.

“I’d been thinking about doing this for quite some time,” said Gilmore. “There comes a time in life when it’s your turn to give something back.”

A five-person committee was formed in May and the program was pitched to the Red Deer Arts Council; GuitarZ For Kidz officially became a part of the council in July.

“We’re taking old guitars that are under beds or in closets collecting dust as donations and handing them to the kids in need,” Gilmore said.

The Red Deer program was inspired by the Guitars For Kids program in Cambridge, Ont., which was started by Dan Walsh Blue Rodeo’s Bob Egan.

Playing guitar can be more than just a hobby, Gilmore said.

“Music is the great equalizer. There are all kinds of benefits to a musical education – there’s research saying playing music helps you learn math.

“It’s a creative outlet too,” he said. “There’s nothing like sitting down and playing a guitar with a group of people who are picking up what you’re laying down.”

More than 30 guitars have been donated to the program so far; two of those guitars have been given to youths in need.

“We’re just getting started and I’m pretty pleased with the recognition we’ve gotten so far,” he said.“We’ve had some really cool guitars donated and we just had our first fundraising event last weekend.”

The goal is to giveaway 25 guitars in the program’s first year, said Gilmore.

Don Routley, GuitarZ For KidZ committee member, said he is very excited to give away more donated guitars.

“We want to help out people who can’t afford it or people who have been involved in music and due to circumstances beyond their control … have lost access to play,” Routley said.

To apply for a guitar donation, visit www.guitarzforkidz.ca, click on the contact section and share your story. Donations can be brought to Gilmore Guitars or The Hub on Ross.

If a donated guitar is beyond repair, it will be donated to an artist who can use it for an art piece. The work would then be sold in a silent auction.

Five guitar lessons will be offered through the program as well.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Don Routley and David Gilmore, GuitarZ for KidZ committee members, at Gilmore Guitars in North Red Deer Friday afternoon. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

David Gilmore tunes a guitar at Gilmore Guitars in North Red Deer Friday afternoon. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Just Posted

11 rafters rescued from Red Deer River

Red Deer RCMP rescued a party of 11 river rafters Saturday afternoon… Continue reading

Tuesday marks 20th anniversary of Pine Lake tornado

‘Devastation was apparent’ following F3 tornado killed 12 people on July 14, 2000

Red Deer woman loses student visa, ‘has no choice but to leave’ Canada

Victoria Forschle and her family came to Canada in 2008

Red Deer up to four active COVID-19 cases

Province announced 77 new confirmed cases across Alberta Friday

You can’t put a price on memories

Some people would rather buy something than sell something. Some people are… Continue reading

Masks and gloves: Elections Saskatchewan preparing for pandemic election

REGINA — Elections Saskatchewan estimates it will need 400,000 face masks and… Continue reading

Quebec police say they found 2 bodies in St-Apollinaire during search for 2 girls

SAINT-APOLLINAIRE, Que. — Quebec provincial police continue to search for the father… Continue reading

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA chief Don Fehr reflect on RTP, CBA deals

Gary Bettman and Don Fehr finally have a chance to catch their… Continue reading

NHL’s road to Edmonton and Toronto featured plenty of obstacles

Since early March, the novel coronavirus has affected almost every decision facing… Continue reading

Florida sets record week for coronavirus deaths

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida’s coronavirus death rate rose again Saturday, setting… Continue reading

Trump’s defiant help for Stone adds to tumult in Washington

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s intervention into a criminal case connected to… Continue reading

With debt, deficit numbers out, experts say Liberals need plan for growth

Borrowing will push the federal debt past $1 trillion by the end of the fiscal year

Most Read