Long & McQuade Auctions Off Instruments for Charity

The Long & McQuade location in Surrey, British Columbia is spreading holiday cheer this year by auctioning off painted instruments to benefit music therapy efforts at BC Children's Hospital.

This annual program, now in its seventh year, supplies instruments, painted by local as well as nationally-renowned artists, to be sold in a silent auction, with all proceeds going to the hospital.

"I spent a number of days in the hospital as a kid, and it can be scary," said Bryan Faber, guitar department manager of Long & McQuade's Surrey location. "They bring these music therapists who come in, and they'll either bring instruments to [hospitalized children], and [the kids] can play with them; or, they will just play and sing to [the kids]."

This year, the store brought in five unused ukeleles and five brand-new Korg tinyPianos to be painted.

"There's a techno duo on the West Coast here called Destinique, and they painted one and even featured it in a little documentary they made, and they recorded a track with it," Faber said. "We [also] got a nationally acclaimed artist from Ontario named Ivan Wheale. Just beautiful pieces."

"Korg Canada hooked us up with five white [tinyPianos] at a very reduced cost, so our costs are already more than covered," Faber continued. "I started the minimum bids at $75." He added that the pianos usually sell at a retail price of $250. "Basically, it funds the payroll and the maintenance of instruments [in the music therapy program]. There's no government funding for music therapists, at least not here. So, it's all funded by donation, and every little bit helps."

The silent auction began on Dec. 1 and will close at the end of the day on Dec. 23. Those interested can participate in the auction by signing up at the Surrey Long & McQuade store (13785 104th Ave.), or bidding online through the shop's Facebook page.