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Report to the Ministry of Health, Government of British Columbia

presented by

Music for our families in care in‌


Dreams are the soul’s pantry – keep it well stocked and your soul will never hunger — Fraser Health meeting room wall

We are the music-makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams... The Music-Makers – Arthur O’Shaughnessy

Concerts in Care is dedicated to providing the joy of music to the more than 45,000 people in elder care residences in BC. The individual proposal documents to Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver Island Health Authority, Northern Health Authority, Interior Health Authority, and the report document on Fraser Health Authority form a part of this document. Concerts in Care complies with the direction of the Seniors’ Action Plan and the promises made under the Residents’ Bill of Rights. It is a collaboration between a private sector not-for-profit society and the health authorities for delivery of a quality-of-life program that reaches to the heart of fundamental human experience. Concerts in Care forms a link between people inside and outside care, between people in care and performers, and enables families to come together to enjoy fine performances hosted by their elders. The Concerts in Care program is particularly important as a component of the Dementia Care Plan, which is instituted for 85% of residents of care homes. It is well known that the capacity to apprehend music is retained to the end of life. The awareness of music may be the most consoling and enlivening aspect of late-life experience.

Presented by Health Arts Society

Concerts in Care contributes to the broader development of the culture of elder care homes. Many administrations have a strong sense of the value of music as a component of life in care, but even they hitherto have not been able to program the level of quality performance available from Concerts in Care. Dedication to this qualitative value is at the heart of the Health Arts Society project. Other homes may provide fine care at many levels but their administrators and staff may not have the cultural experience to fully value the contribution good music well played makes to the lives of their residents. Concerts in Care awakens in these care staff a new level of appreciation for the benefits of music to people at the last stage of life. Carers have very frequently reported that these concert events have a remarkable effect on clients – they love the music and feel respected and invigorated by the visits of the musicians. The concerts also benefit the carers themselves, who recognize that however valued are the visits of amateur and semi-professional players, Concerts in Care offer unprecedently high quality experiences. Many of their reports may be found on the Health Arts Society website at It is the experience of residents that has carried the Concerts in Care program from two hundred in 2006 to 1,700 in 2012, 912 of which are being presented in BC. Our audience are our mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, our friends and mentors; the founders of our families and the builders of our place. We ask no more than that their lives should be equalized and normalized, and to that end we have built significant community support for a unique program – the largest of its kind in Canada. Even so, our audience lives under the aegis of the health authorities, which are principally responsible for the well being of residents. Health Arts Society proposes that all BC’s Health authorities adopt the Concerts in Care program as has Fraser Health Authority.

An audience member at a Concerts in Care performance in Vancouver. (photo – Yukiko Onley) Concerts in Care / Report to the Ministry of Health


Who we are, what we do and for whom Concerts in Care, presented by Health Arts Society, bring the richness and joy of fine music professionally performed to people in care. The 45-minute concerts are delivered in series, usually ten in a twelve-month period, and vitally connect audiences in care to the wider culture and directly to the performers. The concerts are recognised by carers as having a highly beneficial effect on residents and adding significantly to their quality of life. Each concert utilises the talents of an average of slightly more than two performers in groups ranging from solos to quartets. A considerable range of musical genres

is offered by the Concerts in Care roster of some 300 professional performers. Health Arts Society, founded in 2006, is one of seven registered charities delivering Concerts in Care to people, particularly frail elders, in long-term institutional care across Canada. The growth of the program in BC, from 200 concerts in its first year to 1,700 in its seventh, has been driven by the impact of the performances on audiences in care.

Our Performers Concerts in Care performers are chosen from the ranks of presenting organisations across the country and the community of freelance professional musicians. They are paid for their work, although the audiences also benefit from the performers’ goodwill. As much as possible Concerts in Care utilize the services of professional musicians local to the homes. A principle value of the program is the quality of the performers, which, given the size of the itineraries, sometimes requires using performers from major centres. The roster

of musicians includes some of the best-known public performers in the province. To date 5,500 Concerts in Care have been given by Health Arts Societies and Société pour les Arts en Milieux de Santé, utilizing over 12,000 performer engagements. In 2012 1,700 concerts will be given of which 912 will have been presented in BC. With an average audience for each concert estimated at 40, Concerts in Care have, to date, brought pleasure to an audience of 220,000.

Support of Concerts in Care by the Government of the Province of British Columbia We wish to thank the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts and the Ministry of Health Living and Sport for their $150,000 contribution in 2009 which enabled Health Arts Society to deliver 450 pilot programmes outside the


Concerts in Care / Report to the Ministry of Health

Lower Mainland. We hope that the Ministry of Health will support the Health Authorities’ completion of the reach of Concerts in Care across the Province.

Adoption of Concerts in Care by Fraser Health Authority We thank Heather Cook for her leadership in adopting the Concerts in Care programme for delivery to all seventyeight homes of the Fraser Health Authority. Fraser Health

Authority’s full-scale commissioning of the programme is the first manifestation of the intended outcome of the 2009 pilot.

Delivering Concerts in Care Health Arts Society has a seven-year track record of delivering multiple concerts in series. The Society’s assets are – • stable, highly experienced staff • propriety systems • large, established roster of performers able to accept significantly more work

• existing schedules can be multiplied in size without a proportional multiplication of administrative functions The itineraries are designed as if “tours” arranged in contiguous daily schedules enabling the same performers to undertake concerts in long series.

Implementation by Health Authorities The implementation of Concerts in Care requires the services of a Health Authority designate to connect the homes and Health Arts Society. Each home will be given instructions on administration of the programme: advising clients of the programmes, reception of performers and thanking the performers. Each home will be given a log-in to the Health Arts website which provides all details of their schedules and performers.

An interval is required to install the programme at the outset of an agreement between the Health Authorities and Health Arts Society for the provision of Concerts in Care across the BC-wide system.

Concerts delivered to all BC Health Authorities to Date Concerts Homes

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 TOTAL 194 558 550 905 505 567 905 4,184 27 43 44 101 68 55 171

Plus: 326 concerts delivered to facilities of Provincial Health Services Authority

Concerts in Care / Report to the Ministry of Health


An audience member at a Concerts in Care performance in Vancouver. (photo – Yukiko Onley) 4

Concerts in Care / Proposal Report toto the the Ministry Ministry ofof Health Health

Concerts in Care British Columbia Contribution Calculation


April 2013 – March 2014 Concert months

No. of concerts

Contributions (plus HST)

Fraser Health Authority


April – March



Interior Health Authority


April – March



Northern Health Authority


April – September



Vancouver Coastal Health


April – March



Vancouver Island Health Authority


April – March







Average contribution per concert


“You gave me so much pleasure to hear you playing – the tears came in my eyes. You’re a sweetheart – a darling.” Resident, St. Vincent’s Langara, Vancouver, responding to a performance by Avan Yu

Mei Han performs at Mount St. Joseph, Vancouver, April 5, 2012 (photo – Al Harvey) Concerts in Care / Report to the Ministry of Health


Selection of Reported Outcomes of the Concerts in Care Programme

There was a large turnout, and it seems that everyone is very impressed. One gentleman reluctantly admitted that he was moved to tears by the intensity of the performance.

They were FABULOUS! It was such an honour to have them here. You could have heard a pin drop in between songs the residents were so quiet and relaxed.

— Senior’s Wellness Coordinator, Northern Health

— Pamela Hinchliffe, Dr Andrew Pavilion/ Summerland ECU

I spoke to the staff and they said the Red Chamber performance was excellent!! They said the patients really were impressed with it. It really made an impact to have cultural music to support the multicultural event. Apparently the patient attendance at Fir Hall was one of the highest! — Linda Lee, Fraser Health

I just wanted to let you know…how much our residents enjoyed the show yesterday. All six of the performers were amazingly talented and seemed very comfortable in front of the residents, considering this was probably not their typical kind of audience! Thanks! — Janessa Gauvin, Fraser Health

Was fortunate enuf to take in Mr. Kenneth Broadway’s performance on Saturday. He was exceptional – the residents were spellbound. At the end of his performance, he even took the time to shake hands and accept accolades from the residents.

[A] severely depressed resident who refused activities... was finally talked into attending the Chris Millington Trio because the staff knew jazz was a favourite. The resident immediately responded to the music, talked about the show, and showed other signs of being more cheerful. This resident died two days after the concert; it was the last live music she heard. — Anita, Aberdeen-Hillside

A seriously depressed client who after refusing to leave her room for days, heard Robert Silverman was coming to play and asked to be dressed, have her hair fixed, and lipstick put on and be taken to the concert. She then talked about the concert for days after. — Kevin Kirkland, PhD, MTA, Music Therapist, UBC Hospital

Our tenants thoroughly enjoyed today’s concert. I can’t thank you and performers enough for this valuable program. I sincerely hope it continues, it is very much appreciated.

In the 15 years I have worked in extended care, I have never seen the residents more focused and entranced by a performer! It was amazing. Even residents with dementia, who normally can’t sit still for long, stayed and listened intently for the entire 45 minutes. It was educational for even me, how people with dementia can obviously appreciate fine music and respond so differently than with other calibres of music. Thank you so much for allowing our residents to share in this opportunity!

—Tricia Bowness, Site Manager, Mountain View Assisted Living, Golden

— Valerie Watanabe, Vancouver Island Health Authority

— Carol A. Jones, Fraser Health


Concerts in Care / Report to the Ministry of Health

Concerts in Care / Report to the Ministry of Health



Concerts in Care / Report to the Ministry of Health

Concerts in Care / Report to the Ministry of Health


“This program is amazing and brings so much to the lives of seniors that often can’t get out to see live musical performances.” Site Manager, Mountain View Assisted Living

For more information about Health Arts Society, please go to

BC Ministry of Health proposal