Canada Day Bus – Music for Seniors

The Cause

A classically trained violinist and fiddler from Saskatchewan, Dr. Norman Burgess, came to Calgary in the 1970's to teach classical violin and Academy at the Mount Royal College Conservatory of Music. His dream was to create a musical revolution. In 1982, the Calgary Fiddlers Association (a fiddle education and performance organization) began and a group called the Calgary Fiddlers (youth aged 13-18) were formed. In 1992, the Bow Valley Fiddlers (ages 7 and up) was added to the Calgary Fiddlers Association umbrella. Since then, thousands of young fiddle students have entertained audiences around the world with their unique blend of ensemble fiddling, fun choreography, youthful exuberance and amazing musicality.

In 2010, the Calgary Fiddlers Association was approached by members of the Calgary Canada Day Committee to help provide musical entertainment as part of a grant they were receiving. The seniors, care-givers, staff and families loved the program so much that it has continued ever since.

How does the Canada Day Bus - Music for Seniors project work?

In early June, the Calgary Canada Day committee gives us a list of 45-50 seniors homes who will receive Canada Day celebrations and entertainment. Each day our fiddlers and staff travel to 4 or 5 facilities, provide a 30-45 minute show at each location, interact with the seniors, hand out Canada flags and serve Canada maple leaf cookies. On the tenth day, the Calgary Fiddlers perform at a special July 1st zoo celebration.

This amazing community outreach program brings an emotional boost to those who need the uplifting music most while offering a unique opportunity to bridge the generations. In additional to music education and performance, the Calgary Fiddlers Association instills important life skills in our students including leadership, confidence, discipline and giving to others.

Music acts as medicine for people of all ages. The Canada Day Bus - Music for Seniors program improves mood, relieves anxiety, stress and depression. We have been told the seniors look forward to our visits each year and that it brings a youthful twinkle to their eyes in anticipation of another Canada Day Celebration event.

We wish to keep this project alive and thriving in our community for many more years to come. Our goal is to have the Field Law Community Program grant jump-start a donor/sponsorship program we plan to implement for the Canada Day Bus - Music for Seniors in 2019.

Who Will it Benefit?

The Canada Day Bus - Music for Seniors program specifically benefits seniors living in long-term care facilities in Calgary, Alberta.

This exciting traveling music show allows the Calgary Fiddlers Association and Calgary Canada Day Committee to bring toe-tapping fun fiddle music and Canada Day celebrations to those with extreme mobility challenges who wouldn't otherwise be able to enjoy a Canada Day event in their community.