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‘Music Bus’ program helps Vancouver Island seniors enjoy live bands

Errington Hall received grant allowing up to 14 seniors attend six concerts
The ‘Music Bus’ has helped seniors in Errington, Coombs and Hilliers attend concerts at the Errington War Memorial Hall. (Photo courtesy of Valerie Dare)

The ‘Music Bus’ is helping seniors in Errington, Coombs and Hilliers attend concerts at the Errington War Memorial Hall.

The hall received a New Horizons for Seniors grant that allows up to 14 isolated seniors to attend six concerts in the hall’s 2023/2024 music series, according to Valerie Dare, music co-ordinator for the hall.

The local bus company, The West Coast Trail Express, picks the riders up at their door and drives the home after the show.

“The fact that I can be picked up and brought home is amazing — it’s such a gift,” said Doreen Bakstad. “I don’t like driving at night anymore, my vision isn’t what it used to be.”

Admission to the concerts is free for the Music Bus seniors and they even receive a CD of the evening’s artist to listen to at home, Dare added.

“The concerts have been all really great. Errington Hall has an amazing lineup of musicians through the years,” said Bakstad.

READ MORE: Canadian music legend Valdy still rocking at 78

Bakstad has been attending events at the hall for approximately 40 years, and “to get to keep going, with a ride there and back is really awesome.”

She recently took in a show by Canadian music legend Valdy, who she has seen several times over the years, and said this was his best performance yet.

“I’m really grateful for the hall board who made this happen. I just think it’s an amazing thing and I feel really, really grateful to be on that bus.”

To be eligible for the project, participants needed to be isolated seniors, over the age of 55 and a resident of Regional District of Nanaimo Area F (Errington, Coombs and Hilliers).

The New Horizons for Seniors Program funds projects that empower seniors in their communities and contribute to improving their health and well-being.

Kevin Forsyth

About the Author: Kevin Forsyth

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traveled around the world before making Vancouver Island my home.
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