Local musicians raise funds for instruments and lessons for children

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Proceeds from the Thursday Night Charity Bingo Games at Market Brewing Company this month will go to MusicCan, a nonprofit started by Glenn Marais and Manny DeGrandis

Throughout the month of November, bingo supports MusicCan, an organization that offers instrument and music lessons to young people.

Proceeds from Thursday night charity bingo games at Market Brewing Company will go to the organization this month. Tonight, November 10, Glenn Marais and Manny DeGrandis who founded MusicCan will be there to provide live music.

The duo have been playing together for 20 years and launched the organization in 2021 after losing a lot of work during the shutdowns. Their goal is not only to provide free instruments for children, but also three months of free lessons.

“Giving someone a guitar, a keyboard was one thing, but if they can’t afford lessons, it’s kind of pointless,” Marais said.

So far, they have partnered with Yahama to donate brand new acoustic guitars to four needy children, three of whom have already started lessons. Marais said children are usually speechless when they see the instruments.

“When you first have a guitar in your hands…you’re so respectful of it,” he said. “They’re all very calm and they have this look of reverence and it’s so great.”

With this fundraising campaign, MusicCan hopes to bring the same experience to more children in need. Not only do they want to help 10-20 children in 2023 and eventually expand across Canada, but the organization is also raising funds to purchase a community battery.

Marais has been teaching the djembe at Maple Leaf Public School in Newmarket for three years, but the school rents the drums and it’s very expensive to buy them.

With enough funds raised, he said they would be able to buy a set that would be stored at the school but could also be taken to other schools to expand the program.

Bingo fundraisers take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on November 10, 17 and 24. You must be 18 to play and it costs $25, which gives you five rounds of bingo. Fifteen dollars goes into the pot for players to win, while $10 goes to the charity of the month, which is MusicCan.

Along with the bingo fundraisers, Marais and DeGrandis will be playing at the Good Vibes on Main 10th Anniversary Party taking place at Market Brewing Company on Nov. 11 from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. There will be prizes, giveaways and live music of course. The event is free, but a portion of every beer sale will go to MusicCan.

There is also a GoFundMe page where you can donate online to help MusicCan achieve its goal. The page also outlines exactly how the funds will help the organization achieve its goal of improving lives through music.

“It changed both of our lives for the better and I can’t even imagine a life without it,” Marais said of her own experience with music. “That’s why I really like doing this for kids who can’t afford it, because they face some of the challenges I faced when I was growing up.”

MusicCan is aiming to raise $15,000 through its fundraisers, including this month’s events.

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