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CAMP Strikes a Chord: Accessible music education for all ages

Squamish-based Community Access Music Project Society offers bursaries to break down music barriers.

Not everyone can afford music lessons or music therapy for their child or themselves. 

That is where the recently formed Squamish-based Community Access Music Project Society (CAMP) comes into play. 

The non-profit aims to remove financial barriers to music education and music therapy by offering full and partial bursaries to students of all ages to use towards programming throughout the Sea to Sky Corridor. 

CAMP was founded in 2021 and has distributed $23,000 in bursaries.

"We are trying to increase accessibility to music education and music therapy," said Jon Gill, community liaison for the program.

Gill notes that music training provides valuable life skills and can be a life-long comfort. 

"If they're having a challenging time in their life, they can find some peace in music," he said. 

The current bursary for fall programs is open until Friday, Aug. 28th.

Gill pointed to an example of a 12-year-old who wants to take a singing program as an example of who could apply.

"[If] their family has some financial need, their parents can apply, and let us know a little bit about their situation, what music means to them... And we can help them either — depending on the amount of need — with a full or partial bursary," he said. 

The program is available for folks and programs throughout the Sea to Sky Corridor, and adults should feel welcome to apply as well.

"If you're an adult learner, and you are taking some lessons and it's a financial challenge for you, you would be eligible," Gill said. 

The society also hopes able community members will financially support the initiative so more wannabe music lovers can receive bursaries. 

As a non-profit, it runs on generous donations, Gill noted.

Gill said the society is also planning events in the late fall, such as a concert, to raise funds to support the bursaries, so stay tuned for that.

To find out more, apply for a bursary  or donate, go to Community Access Music Project Society's webpage or reach out via email: [email protected].

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