Inside The Library: Cabaret brings musicians together to support MILL

An aspiring musician wants to learn to play or try a new instrument. Investing in a variety of instruments to experiment with is an expensive way to allow them to pursue their passion. Instead, they visit the Musical Instrument Lending Library (MILL) to access an ever-growing assortment of instruments to borrow, just like a library book.

MILL membership is only $10 for two years, the cost of which goes right back into the care and upkeep of the instruments. MILL collections are held at the Bloomfield and Milford Branches of the Library, and if you live elsewhere we are happy to deliver your choice of instruments to your local branch.

To support the Musical Instrument Lending Library, the Friends of the Picton Branch Library and the volunteers who contribute their time and talents to the MILL are teaming up to host the second annual Cabaret musical event at the Prince Edward Yacht Club. It will take place on Sunday, May 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 and available at any library branch.

The Cabaret brings together all kinds of musicians – all who are donating their time to the event. As Doug Sloane, Chair of the Friends of the Picton Library, remarks, “We are indebted to the numerous musicians who give their time so generously. Without them this event would not be possible.”

We are delighted to have county musical legends The Frere Brothers, Suzanne Pasternak, Drew Ackerman, Telegraph Narrows, Micheline Cox, Ernie Neufeld, Maria Gacesa, Steve Emphringham and more, as well as some rising stars who are preparing to follow in the footsteps of the many musicians who have called Prince Edward County home. This includes guitarist and singer Amy Rutherford – as volunteer Don Hinde exclaims, “Wait until you hear her!” as well as Luke Norton who Hinde calls “A fiddler extraordinaire!” Joseph Spinosa, Julia Cranshaw and her dad, Andrew Cranshaw, Tyler Strauss and more. More musicians are being added all the time, so find the MILL on Facebook ( to find the latest details.

MILL volunteers Don Hinde, Mario Panacci, Ruth Dwight and George McNabb will each also take their turn on stage, as well as library staff member Aaron Nash – who you might know if you have taken the ukulele class at the Bloomfield Branch Library. George McNabb, MILL volunteer and a former CBC radio voice, will emcee the afternoon.

This year’s event is a fundraiser for the Picton Library expansion – specifically, the planned sound proof MILL space. If you have dropped by the Picton Branch Library on a Friday afternoon over the past year or so, you may have heard the weekly Rock Jam in progress. Led by MILL volunteer Mario Panacci, Rock Jam is an open jam anyone is welcome to join and has attracted many performers looking for a friendly place to play.

Given the success of this and other musical programs, we see a demand for a sound-proof space in the future library, so that the musicians can enjoy while still allowing other library users to read or study quietly. The Cabaret is a celebration of all kinds of music, “from classical to country!” and there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Pick up your tickets at any branch of the Library to help support the ongoing work of the Musical Instrument Lending Library.