Former student helps after guitars are stolen from Kingston, Ont. school

Click to play video: 'Community rallies after guitars were stolen from a north end Kingston school.' Community rallies after guitars were stolen from a north end Kingston school.
WATCH: The community responded with a flood of donations after guitars were stolen from a north end Kingston school – Mar 10, 2022

A fixture of the Limestone City music scene, musician Jay Smith says he was angry and upset when he heard about the theft of ten guitars from Rideau Heights Public School in Kingston’s North End.

Read more: Police on the lookout for instruments stolen from Kingston, Ont. school

“To me, it hit home because I went to Rideau Heights Public,” said Smith.

“I graduated from there. I’m a musician from there, I helped start the music program there. So it was a no-brainer to get involved,” he said.

After hearing about the break-in that happened on Feb. 24, Smith took to social media asking the community to spread the word and help out if they were able.

“I’m not shocked one bit that our community stepped up,” said Smith. “I knew I could count on friends to step up and do the right thing.”

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Robb MacKay, the music teacher at Rideau Heights Public School, said after having to put things on hold due to COVID-19, the music program had just started running again when the theft occurred.

Read more: Ontario to allow high-contact sports, more music extracurriculars in schools

“To lose these things was really heartbreaking,” said MacKay

Ten guitars – acoustic, electric and bass – were stolen.

Now, thanks to community donations all of the guitars have been replaced. Local businesses and individuals have also donated musical accessories, cash and gift cards to the school and the music program.

“Several music stores in town were ready to help us out, loads and loads of private individuals, different organizations. Joe’s MILL (a musical instrument lending library in Kingston) called immediately to see what they could do. It’s been wonderful,” said MacKay.

Kingston police have yet to make an arrest or lay charges. Anyone with information about the stolen guitars is asked to contact the police.


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