Harpist Brings Her Music to United’s Residents

Fish Creek residents are treated to a travelling harp performance
Fish Creek residents are treated to Gianetta’s travelling harp performance

Musician Gianetta Baril brought her internationally renowned harp performance to United’s residents at both Fish Creek and Garrison Green communities this week. Gianetta, who is a harp teacher at the Mount Royal Conservatory, played from her custom-fitted van using a sound system to ensure residents could hear every note. She is no stranger to United, having performed for residents and visitors at two open houses.

“I was in hospital for a few days in May – not COVID related – and realized how difficult being isolated can be. I began thinking about how to get music to older adults and others who are isolated. I’ve been performing for 35 years, and know the power that music can have on people’s lives, so as the idea evolved, it became clear that the only way to do this would be by using a vehicle to create a rolling performance space,” said Gianetta.

Gianetta has performed around the world including concerts behind the Iron Curtain, performing as a soloist for the Queen, Prince Charles and the late Lady Diana and most recently at the Rio Harpfest in Brazil.

The interior of her van was modified to include wood paneling, which gives the resulting sound more of a concert hall feel. Because of her close association with United, she launched her travelling music project at Fish Creek and Garrison Green.

Gianetta performing for residents of Garrison Green
Gianetta performing for residents of Garrison Green

“My entire life has been lived creating music and sharing it out of love. This project is how I see that my gifts can be brought forward and be relevant during this time of personal and world transitions. During my long career I have been blessed to experience the transformative power of music on the hearts of listeners and I look forward with eagerness to the special moments that are bound to be sparked through this journey,” said Gianetta.

Garrison Green residents Brian and Jacqueline Naylor were impressed. “We chose Garrison Green because of the variety of programming and this performance was certainly the kind of thing that we enjoy,” said Brian. “It was unique the way she had the van set up. We really enjoyed the performance.”

Gianetta will also perform at a long-term care centre in Red Deer, then travel north for a performance in Fort McMurray.

Performances and presentations in hospitals, retirement communities and schools are being offered throughout Alberta and British Columbia this fall and across Canada starting next March. You can learn more about Gianetta’s work on her website.

You can watch Gianetta at an earlier performance here.

Photos by United Active Living. Videos by Sherana Productions.

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The restrictions on visiting mean that tours aren’t available right now, but don’t hesitate to talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange for a tour once we are able to do so. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

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