Federal investment provides a tune seniors can dance to

DRUMMING CIRCLE- The County of Prince Edward Public Library and Archives were presented a New Horizon's For Seniors Program grant on Friday. The funding will be used for a musical outreach program for seniors. Pictured at Friday's presentation are (Standing, Left to Right) Head Librarian Barbra Sweet, councillor Gord Fox, Library Board Chair John Ambrose, Mayor Robert Quaiff, Library Board Vice-Chair Lynda Parks Sahadat and (Seated) Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)


Seniors in Prince Edward County will get a chance to bang a drum thanks to a grant from the federal government.

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis was the Picton Branch of the County of Prince Edward Public Library and Archives on Friday to announce $5,405 from the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) through the Ministry of Employment and Social Development Canada.

The funding will to the Library’s ‘Sharing Music’ program, an outreach initiative that will see a musical instructor teach residents in area nursing and retirement homes.

Ellis said the funding will allow seniors to socialize and participate in music workshops provided by the Library which will improve both physical and mental well-being.

“Projects like these make good sense because they are designed for and by seniors. Seniors who participate in NHSP projects are involved from the start of each project and have the chance to provide input from their own perspective,” Ellis said. “They help shape the project so it aligns with specific community needs.”

Ellis referred to seniors as pillars of the community and said NHSP projects ensure seniors have a strong presence in community activities and receive the recognition, respect and admiration they deserve.

Head Librarian Barb Sweet said she hopes to have the program up and running sometime in May and that the funding has allowed the Library to purchase drums and other percussion instruments that are simple to use and will benefit seniors that partake in the classes.

“We have a drummer that has contacted nursing and retirement homes in the area and she will go in and the residents will gather and she will teach them,” Sweet told the Gazette. “Because we have the musical instrument lending library and there is such interest, we’re hoping the program will grow beyond but this is where we are starting and we are hoping it will be a monthly or even a bi-weekly visit.”

Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff thanked Ellis and the Government of Canada for the funding and said it will suit this community well.

It’s a well played tune that, per capita, Prince Edward County has one of the oldest communities in Ontario.

“This expansion of our library services and to be able to provide this opportunity to our seniors is wonderful,” Quaiff said. “Libraries are the heart of any community and ours is very special.”
Library Board Chair John Ambrose said the organization was grateful for not only the monetary donation but the spiritual meaning behind it.

“Giving to seniors to so that seniors can help other seniors,” Ambrose said “What an interesting and efficient way to benefit the community and stimulate the senior community.”