Sun Life Financial brings the gift of music to Canada’s capital

I spent a lot of my childhood at the library. It was located at the end of our street. It was convenient. Most of the summer was spent reading books for the Summer Reading Club. When I tell kids about how excited I would get to read 12 books before the end of the summer- I get the eye rolls. You know you are old when you used to read books as a kid!  Imagine if we could have actually could borrowed musical instruments!

Residents in the Ottawa area will now be able to borrow musical instruments from two Ottawa Public Library branches, courtesy of the Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library program – the first of its kind in the region. This innovative program, available at the Ottawa Public Library’s (OPL) Main and Nepean Centrepointe branches, gives anyone with a valid library card the opportunity to borrow a variety of musical instruments.

Grammy and Juno-Award winning Canadian music icon, Sarah McLachlan, with student performers from Suzuki Music of Ottawa. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)


Earlier this year, Sun Life Financial announced the expansion of its highly successful Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library program to more cities across the country in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. Ottawa is now the sixth city in Canada to be part of this groundbreaking program.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring this innovative program to our nation’s capital as part of our Canada 150 celebrations. Music can have a profound impact on a person’s life and being able to share and create music is something everyone deserves to experience,” said Paul Joliat, Assistant Vice-President, Philanthropy and Sponsorships, Sun Life Financial. “At Sun Life, we’re committed to building healthier, sustainable communities for life which is why we’re thrilled to be able to increase access to music for more Canadians.”

Sun Life Financial is making a philanthropic donation of $140,000 to the Ottawa Public Library to fund the program’s operating costs. In addition to donating 150 instruments including guitars, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, violins, drums and portable keyboards, Sun Life Financial has also created a series of videos to assist with the use, care and enjoyment of the instruments. Whether you’re a beginner picking up an instrument for the first time or a seasoned musician, the program is designed for anyone looking to explore the world of music.

The Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library program is a natural extension of the company’s support of music education, one that aligns perfectly with the company’s award-winning Making the Arts More AccessibleTM program. Sun Life Financial believes arts and culture should be celebrated within our communities and made available to everyone, regardless of their means.

“Music, like books, is essential to fostering curiosity and creativity,” said Danielle McDonald, CEO, Ottawa Public Library. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Sun Life Financial to provide our community with the opportunity to borrow and enjoy a wide variety of instruments through this unique and inspiring program. The Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library program is a great example of how our library inspires learning, sparks curiosity, and connects people, allowing everyone to share in the joy of creating music.”

OPL will also be holding a musical instrument donation drive running from November 7 to December 8, 2017. Residents of the Ottawa region may drop off their donations at the following locations:

  • Ottawa Public Library, Main branch, 120 Metcalfe St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
  • Ottawa Public Library, Nepean Centrepointe branch, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, ON K2G 5K7
  • Long and McQuade, 1193 Hunt Club Rd, Ottawa, Ontario, K1V 8S4

Please visit https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en for more information.

The Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library program was first launched at the Toronto Public Library in April 2016, and was later expanded to the Vancouver, Montréal, Calgary and Kitchener Public Libraries. The program is already an overwhelming success and all libraries are currently experiencing wait times to borrow an instrument.

Sun Life Financial launches the expansion of the Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library program to the Ottawa Public Library. From left to right, Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa, Danielle McDonald, CEO, Ottawa Public Library; Grammy and Juno-Award winning Canadian music icon Sarah McLachlan; Tim Tierney, Chair, Ottawa Public Library; and Paul Joliat, Assistant Vice-President, Philanthropy & Sponsorships, Sun Life Financial. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)

Sun Life Financial in the community
At Sun Life Financial, we are committed to building sustainable, healthier communities for life and we’re proud to hold the Caring Company designation from Imagine Canada. Community wellness is an important part of our sustainability commitment and we believe that by actively supporting the communities in which we live and work, we can help build a positive environment for our Clients, Employees, advisors and shareholders. Our philanthropic support focuses on two key areas: health, with an emphasis on diabetes awareness, prevention, care and research initiatives through our Team Up Against DiabetesTM platform; and arts and culture, through our award-winning Making the Arts More Accessible TM program. We also partner with sports properties in key markets to further our commitment to healthy and active living. Our Employees and advisors take great pride in volunteering over 40,000 hours each year and contribute to making life brighter for individuals and families across CanadaRead more about Sun Life Financial in the community.

About Ottawa Public Library
Ottawa Public Library (OPL) is the largest bilingual (English/French) public library system in North America. The OPL extends public access to information and services through the library’s 34 branches, physical and virtual at www.BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca, as well as two mobile libraries and a vending machine-style lending library service. Serving close to one million Ottawa residents, OPL’s mission is to inspire learning, spark curiosity, and connect people. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Contact us at 613-580-2940 or InfoService@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca. If it’s out there, it’s in here!



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