The Braidwood Band performs for the seniors at Zion Park Manor in Surrey, as part of a music program planned by Rick’s Heart Foundation. (submitted photo)

The Braidwood Band performs for the seniors at Zion Park Manor in Surrey, as part of a music program planned by Rick’s Heart Foundation. (submitted photo)

VIDEO: Surrey charity brings distanced concerts to care homes, with prop pink firetruck

Familiar tunes performed for seniors during pandemic-era ‘Heart for Music’ program

With COVID-19 keeping live music out of local care homes, one Surrey-based charity got creative in bringing music to people who live at such facilities.

Outdoors, musicians are performing familiar tunes for seniors and staff during special concerts planned by Rick’s Heart Foundation, with spectators watching and listening from inside.

In a spring restart for the pandemic-era program, the most recent performance was April 14 at Zion Park Manor, on 180th Street, where Glen Pearson played to seniors listening from two balconies and from cracked windows. A second concert this month is planned April 27 at Fleetwood’s Elim Village.

“Our foundation has the vintage pink firetruck as a way to bring some joy to the seniors,” said Heart for Music program administrator Janae Sluys. “We hire local musicians to play near (the truck).”

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Based in Surrey and launched in 2018, Rick’s Heart Foundation helps those struggling with addiction and homelessness, both locally and globally, and supports local seniors with personal music throughout B.C., Sluys said.

“Our main program right now is the Heart for Music Program, which provides donations of music equipment and personal playlists to seniors in local not-for-profit long-term care homes,” Sluys explained. “We work with recreational and music therapist to support the care the care and therapy they are already providing. The program has been expanding since the fall of 2020, and is now in 22 B.C. facilities.”

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PICTURED: At care homes, this pink firetruck rolls up for music performances planned by Rick’s Heart Foundation. (submitted photo)

In addition to Pearson, the three-piece Braidwood Band has performed during the Heart for Music concerts. “The musicians perform a lot of oldies and classics – upbeat oldies,” Sluys noted.

“We want to bring some good news to the narrative around our most vulnerable seniors right now, and remind the community that they matter and we care,” she added.

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The foundation was launched by Rick Diamond, founder of Diamond Delivery.

“Built on a foundation of compassion, connection, and community, our goal is to raise funds and the lift spirits for those in need,” says a post on ricksheartfoundation.com. “We are dedicated to supporting those at-risk in our own Surrey community and around the world, including those battling addiction, facing homelessness, or simply needing some joy in their lives. We do this by raising money, implementing programs, and partnering with some of B.C.’s best charities.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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