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

Central Alberta to soon get new hand-held virus tests for quicker results

AHS has formed a partnership with Spartan BioScience to develop the devices

Red Deer’s new courthouse on track despite pandemic

Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda reaffirms commitment to build courthouse

Vulnerable Lacombe resident says COVID-19 ‘extremely scary’

Elderly residents and people with prior conditions at risk for severe cases of COVID-19

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

Snow expected in Red Deer and other parts of central Alberta Monday

Spring is on hold in central Alberta. Heavy snow fall is on… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Newspapers are safe to touch, World Health Organization confirms

Just make sure to wash your hands, as you would after touching any surface or object

David Marsden: Signs of kindness lift our spirits during COVID-19 pandemic

From teddy bears, to colourful cutouts of hearts, to expressions of support… Continue reading

Central Alberta business sanitizes with bacoban against coronavirus, results to last for over 3 months

An Innisfail brewery is among countless businesses ensuring their premises are sanitized… Continue reading

Delay in tackling COVID-19 adds mightily to death toll

The basic choice all along with COVID-19 has been: do we let… Continue reading

Health care workers should have the protection they need

Hospital staff are now having serious problems getting protective equipment to prevent… Continue reading

Lacombe Police respond to multiple incidents

LPS respond to thefts, outstanding warrants

Most Read