In 2000 Lynn McGown and I opened Celtic Woollens with a vision of a retail store that specialized in Fair Trade Goods from Ireland and Scotland and at the same time a music centre. Our business model was based on the desire to create a community where all were welcome. We became a drop in venue for musical jam sessions and a warm intimate venue for concerts. The music school started out of this with requests for fiddle lessons, singing lessons and guitar lessons from patrons who wanted to be included in the growing community. Twenty years later we are making the transition to becoming a full music school, adding many more instruments to our curriculum.
Our dream has always been to create a community space for the enjoyment of music. One of the things that excites us is that each time a new student walks through the door there are wonderful possibilities to be explored and achieved.
Michael Burnyeat one of our fiddle teachers came to us when he was ten years old for lessons and is now the current BC Fiddle champion. Jocelyn Pettit came to my fiddle jams when she was nine years old and is now a successful touring musician and studying music in Scotland. This is one side of the dream possibilities.
The other side is a woman Murial Harris who came to us at sixty seven with no prior musical background started on the harp and ten years later at seventy seven is an integral part of our Thursday night music jam sessions.
The dream is to provide a warm and supportive space that will enable any one coming through the door to fully enjoy those wonderful moments of joy that suffuse our souls through playing music.