Centre collecting musical masterpieces

Mary Winspear Centre getting ready for fall art auction

Mary Winspear Centre Development Coordinator Lynn Fanelli donated a set of drums and a violin to the Centre’s musical instrument fundraising program.

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre is enlisting the help of some of its guest performers to lend their names to the annual dinner and art auction coming up in September.

Those names — or more specifically, their signatures — will be added to a growing collection of donated musical instruments in a new fundraising effort for the Centre.

Executive Director Brad Edgett says the idea came from Philip Sutton, manager of the Charlie White Theatre.

They will be accepting donated musical instruments, fixing them up if need be, and getting some of the talented performers to sign them when they are in Sidney.

Already, a drum set, violin and guitar have been donated. Edgett said the plan right now is to have the members of iconic Canadian rock band Chiliwack sign the drum set.

Each signed instrument will be added to the auction items in the Centre’s annual gala dinner in the fall. Edgett said the addition of the instruments will help the event reach out to a broader group of people who enjoy the shows at the Mary Winspear Centre.

Performers there cover a wide spectrum — from opera and folk music, to comedians, rock bands and classical singers.

The art auction, Edgett said, will now include not only visual art but music of a variety of genres as well.

To that end, he said the Centre is accepting donations throughout the year. Lynn Fanelli, development coordinator of the Centre, donated the drum set — a Rogers set from the mid-1960s — and a three-quarter size violin that her daughter has grown out of.

She said the drums were given by her and her brother to their dad years ago.

No longer able to play them, she thought the plan to have them signed by Chiliwack and then auctioned off would be a great idea.

Edgett said the Centre will take anyone’s musical instrument, as long as it’s not too big.

Performers, such as Jimmy Rankin, Fefe Dobson and Herman and the Hermits (to name a few) are being asked it they’d sign them.

Ones that get the coveted signatures will be auctioned off at the Sept. 27 dinner and art auction.

Funds raised will go towards the Foundation looking after the ongoing upkeep and growth of the Mary Winspear Centre.

To donate an instrument, or for more information, call the Mary Winspear Centre at 250-656-0275.