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Sarah McLachlan helps launch instrument lending library in Winnipeg

Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan sings the national anthem at B.C. Place stadium in Vancouver, B.C., on September 30, 2011. .
Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan sings the national anthem at B.C. Place stadium in Vancouver, B.C., on September 30, 2011. . The Canadian Press

There’s now something a little louder than books available at Winnipeg’s Millennium Library.

The library announced the start of a new musical lending library program Friday.

“Music brings joy to people’s lives,” said Coun. Sherri Rollins, Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Protection, Community Services and Parks, in a release.

“This meaningful program will offer musical opportunities to people who may not be able to afford an instrument, and will foster talent in aspiring musicians.”

READ MORE: City of Winnipeg to consider phasing out Millennium library security screening

The program is sponsored by Sun Life and will get started with 150 instruments, cases, and accessories donated by the financial service company.

The instruments, including guitars, mandolins, violins, portable keyboards, and various types of drums, can be borrowed to anyone with a library card.

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Friday’s announcement came with some star power, as Juno-award-winning singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan attended to help launch the program.

The local initiative is one of 11 programs Sun Life has helped kick off at libraries across Canada.

“We are excited to provide more Canadians with access to music through this innovative program, one that aligns with our mission of building healthy and sustainable communities for life,” said Paul Joliat from Sun Life.

“Music is very powerful and affects the way we think, feel and act, which is why the joy of making music is something every Canadian deserves to experience.”

READ MORE: Data shows drop in incidents, visitors at Millennium Library since screening measures introduced

The library is hoping to add to its collection of musical noise-makers, and also launched a donation drive in hopes of adding new or gently used guitars, banjos, ukuleles, violins, drums and portable keyboards to their assortment of instruments.

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Donations can be dropped at the Millennium Library or Long & McQuade at 1845 Pembina Hwy.

Downtown library security a work in progress
Downtown library security a work in progress