A library card might be only thing keeping residents from picking up a guitar, thanks to a new lending program at the Thompson-Nicola Regional Library.
Library users can now borrow a Riversong guitar from any library in the regional district for up to six weeks at a time. There are two libraries in Kamloops: downtown at Victoria Street and Fifth Avenue and in North Kamloops in the Library Square development at 693 Tranquille Rd.
Riversong Guitars is local, but its reputation is worldwide. The company’s award-winning guitars have been played by musicians such as Jim Cuddy, Trace Adkins, Eric Church and Tenacious D. The company has even built a guitar for the legendary Paul McCartney.
Riversong CEO Mike Miltimore was at the downtown Kamloops library on Thursday (April 21) to make the guitar-lending announcement, along with chief librarian Judy Moore and local band Margit Sky Project.
"Guitars save lives. I think that was one of our very first discussions we had [with the library]. What a profound affect a guitar can have on somebody," Miltimore said.
There are two guitar models available for borrowing — the Dreadnought and the Grand Auditorium, both designed in Kamloops. There are 20 guitars in total available throughout the regional library area.
The new program also includes resources to learn how to play guitar, with beginner-friendly guides available through the TNRL website.
Moore said it all wouldn't have been possible without Miltimore's support through Riversong.
"I can't be more excited. This partnership, and the discussion with Riversong and Mike, started about two-and-a-half years ago and, of course, we all know what's happened since then,” she said, referring to the pandemic.
Margit Gossage, music teacher and half of the local duo Margit Sky Project, was on hand at the announcement to demonstrate the guitars.
"I've lent guitars out, purchased guitars for kids and I think this idea is brilliant — and I know there’s going to be many grateful families out there who will have the opportunities to play some music," she said, before belting out a rendition of John Denver's Take Me Home, Country Roads with bandmate Rod Bandura.