Burnaby's punk rock councillor collecting musical donations at farm market

Do you have a musical instrument stuffed into the back of a closet that no one ever plays?

Instead of taking up space and making you feel guilty those instruments could inspire and uplift a budding musical talent - and earn you a tax receipt.

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Punk rock legend Joe Keithley of the world-renown D.O.A. wants to have the guitar, tuba, flute or whatever instrument you never play, get you a tax receipt for it, and put it into the hands of a young person in Burnaby.

Splitting his time between playing gigs and serving Burnaby as a city councillor, Keithley is working to share the benefits of music with Burnaby children who want to play music but cannot afford instruments or lessons. He has teamed up with Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley and the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society to raise money and promote the program.

Now he has the Burnaby Artisan Farmer’s Market on board, too. Keithley will be at the market with Burnaby firefighters and some musical friends on Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will accept instruments that are in reasonable condition. If you have something large – a piano or drum kit, for example – you can email Keithley first: joe.keithley@burnaby.ca.

“Music is universal.  It can overcome poverty, hatred and it can unify people,” said Keithley. “That’s why I’m calling this program Harmony for All, because deep down we all know that love and understanding wins out over hatred every time. When I was an awkward teenager at Burnaby North high school, I had a hard time making friends. That all changed when other kids realized I was becoming a musician. I want to give kids whose parents may not have the money for instruments and lessons to get on the life-altering path that learning music can be. Music provides structure and helps keep kids safe, off the street, and helps with cognitive development that accelerates understanding of math and science.”

Instruments will be assessed for value and charitable tax receipts will be provided for the 2019 tax year.

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