For Immediate Release
October 17, 2014
Gord Bamford Supports Music Therapy at Alberta Children’s Hospital
Gives $10,000 to Program, 2nd Year in a Row
(Calgary, AB) Savannah Hunik has a genetic disorder that affects her joints and makes walking painful; but making music with her music therapy specialists at the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH) is a fun way to pass the time as she undergoes her lengthy treatments.
Canadian country music superstar Gord Bamford believes in the healing power of music therapy, and through his Gord Bamford Charitable Foundation, the artist gave $10,000 to the ACH’s music therapy program today.
“I know how music is able to take a child’s attention away from the pain they are experiencing,” says Bamford. “From the visits I have had at children’s hospitals all across Canada, it never ceases to amaze me how singing a simple song or playing a guitar melody is able to change their mood. Music is a powerful tool in the process of healing.”
Since 2008 Bamford’s Charitable Foundation has generated over $2 million dollars, and the country artist has made making donations to children’s hospitals a priority. Bamford recently had a record-breaking fundraising night in August, 2014, generating $503,000 at this 7th Annual Charity Golf Classic.
“I love to sing,” Hunik says. “For me, music is something that lifts me up and it’s just amazing how it really, really helps me during my long visits to the hospital. A lot of kids can benefit from having those things they love to do — music and singing— it makes it so much better, so much easier.”
Marc Houde, Music Therapist in the Music Therapy Program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital says music therapy is known to reduce anxiety and stress related to hospitalization and provides patients and their families a creative means to express their feelings and uplift their moods. This is done through playing instruments, composing songs or simply listening to music chosen specifically for the patient.
“Children often don’t have words to express their grief or frustrations and music is a way for them to give voice to those emotions,” says Houde. “The power of music therapy is that it can change how people feel in an instant. It gives patients the strength and courage to fight. Music, during the toughest times, enables us to feel empowered and supported.”
Justine Clay, Communications Director for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation says they are extremely grateful to the Gord Bamford Charitable Foundation for their continued support of the music therapy program. “This program would not be possible without donor support and we are proud that well-known artists such as Gord Bamford recognize the power that music has in our society, including helping those who are most in need,” she says.
Bamford is a 19-time Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) award winner, a three-time Juno Award nominee, and most recently, winner of the prestigious Global Artist of the Year, presented by Nashville’s Country Music Association. His winning streak continued at the 2014 awards back in September, with Bamford being honoured with the CCMA’s Single of the Year [for the #1 song, When Your Lips Are So Close], Male Artist of the Year, and Country Music Special or Program of the Year for Gord Bamford Christmas in Canada. More about Bamford can be found at www.gordbamford.com and at www.gordbamfordfoundation.com.
The Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation (www.childrenshospital.ab.ca) raises funds for excellence in child health, research and family centered care. As the official fundraising body for the Alberta Children’s Hospital, all money raised by the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation is re-invested in the hospital and child health needs in this region.
(L-R), Joanna Tong, Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, Gord Bamford, music therapist Marc Houde and Alberta Children’s Hospital intern Jessica Ko.
Corinne Szepesi, Manager
Gord Bamford Charitable Foundation