I am a well-established, professional concert harpist and have had a long career which has taken me around the world. When covid forced the cancellation of all live concerts, I was inspired to create a new and unique initiative - Harp to Heart – as a way to safely bring the comfort of live harp music to people struggling with the anxiety, isolation and stresses of the pandemic. Last August, I purchased an older Ford Transit High Roof van which I converted into a self-contained concert hall/tiny home in which I travelled for 7 weeks, playing 33 covid-safe free concerts throughout Alberta and BC. This included concerts in parking lots besides seniors residences, at community drop in centres for handicapped, in campgrounds in remote northern communities and in schools.
Thanks to a sponsorship from Cam Clark Ford of Airdrie, I have been able to purchase a new Transit van which is being built out for a much longer 6-month cross-Canada journey due to begin in April 2021. I intend to continue the project for two years, hopefully into the U.S. once possible. Part of my personal commitment to this project is to offer all events free of charge to seniors’ homes, hospitals, schools etc. This is a philanthropic undertaking without income for myself, and I am fortunate to have received donations and sponsorships to help cover some costs related both to the new build and to travel on the road. I expect to travel approximately 30000 km in Canada over the coming year bringing hoping to bring some consolation to Canadians across the country.
Another goal of the project is to connect meaningfully to young people who are particularly worried about their futures, especially in more rural and remote communities as well as immigrant populations. In decades of sharing my music, I have witnessed it dramatically open new horizons that could never have been imagined. I am grateful to have the energy and capacity to support young people in becoming courageous and creative citizens.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (April 2021)