Adanac Park Lodge

East Vancouver , BC

Adopted by our
generous donors

As soon as I witnessed the amazing Rock Band program and Choir I understood how integral [participation in] music is to our residents’ well-being. I cannot imagine Adanac without this essential service. For APL residents with serious mental health issues, music is a true component of their recovery.” 

Staci Kalmek

APL Manager

The music therapy program at Adanac Park Lodge provides opportunities for residents of all ability levels. In addition to one-to-one sessions the lodge offers Vocal Choir, Hand Chime Choir, and Rock Band to provide supportive spaces for the residents to engage in positive social interactions, express themselves, and to showcase their unique talents and abilities.

Music therapy continues to be an integral part of many of the residents’ everyday life at Adanac Park Lodge. Music Heals funding is currently being used to help supplement and support 12 hours of music therapy services each week. The program focuses on:

  • Community building
  • Self-expression
  • Self-esteem building
  • Physical stimulation
  • Cognitive stimulation/Rehabilitation


Age Range: 27 – 88
68% of clients are age 65 and under

The residents at Adanac Park Lodge have varying levels of cognitive ability due to brain injury, mental illness and/or early onset dementia. Residents at APL are supported to live their fullest ability in a person-centered, social model that emphasizes quality of life and celebrates individuality. APL is the only facility in the lower mainland that provides a specialized level of care for a younger complex population of adults. The robust interdisciplinary team includes a music therapist, rehabilitation assistants, recreation therapy, nursing, social work, residential care aids, dietitian, physicians, and a psychiatrist.

The residents at Adanac Park Lodge were challenged with long periods of social isolation this year due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. This resulted in an increased need for creative staff programming. Music therapy is one part of a larger team that provides such programming.

Interventions address the following needs:

Social Interaction: weekly music therapy programs promote positive social interaction between residents and staff through the use of music making and discussion.

Cognitive Stimulation: weekly music therapy programs provide opportunities for short and long term memory recall, decision making, and sustained and divided attention during tasks.

Emotional Expression: weekly music therapy programs provide a safe space for individual creative self expression through music making and listening. This also provides an opportunity to explore and express different emotions through the medium of music. Provides emotional support during difficult times.

Relaxation, Wellness, Stress Reduction: music making and listening promotes relaxation and wellness by releasing endorphins. This in turn reduces stress.

Movement Through Music: weekly music therapy sessions encourage residents to ‘move to the beat’ safely, with the use of music instruments. This maintains strength and endurance in their neck, arms and trunk.

There are four neighbourhoods at Adanac Park Lodge. Prior to the pandemic, the community and residents at APL collaborated across neighbourhoods and joined in a wide variety of therapeutic programming provided by the interdisciplinary team. As a result of infection control practices, all programming became neighbourhood based. Residents missed playing music together and socializing through music. The diversity of groups, such as the Rock Band group, were limited in numbers and diversity. The bringing together of residents who had similar interests and skills was impacted. As a result, music therapy programs and collaborations for special events were adapted. For example, National Indigenous Peoples Day was replicated in each neighbourhood to provide an equitable service. During and after each program, music instruments and folders are not shared and are cleaned thoroughly.

Your support will allow Adanac Park Lodge to increase music therapy services in 2022, from 12 hours to 16 hours per week.

With the transition in APL’s mandate to serve a younger population, the demand for increased programming has become apparent. Music therapy provides opportunity for self-expression, building confidence and increased social connections, all of which support our residents to live more meaningful lives especially during difficult times.

Funding will support increased individual and group programming for the younger population at Adanac Park Lodge. Details of this include:

● New weekend group support programs for younger adults
● Increased group programs to support individuality and improve quality of life through the use of music technology, drums, ukulele, piano, and singing etc.
● Increased individual music therapy sessions
● New sensory stimulation group for lower cognitive residents

Warren is a young man in his 20’s who moved to Adanac Park Lodge in the Summer of 2020. Warren is a creative and social young man who grew up on the coast of BC and had a very traumatic upbringing. As a result of this trauma, he demonstrated challenging behaviour at school and in the community from a very young age.

Warren requires support to live independently and continues to overcome daily challenges. He is diagnosed with alcohol related neurodevelopment disorder, schizophrenia, and post traumatic stress disorder.

When he first moved to Adanac Park Lodge, he did not adjust well and disliked everything – until he started to express himself through music. Warren loves writing rap songs and singing to creatively express himself. He enjoys learning how to incorporate music technology. One-to-one music therapy sessions give Warren a safe space for his feelings to be heard and validated. Rap writing helps him process his feelings by organizing his thoughts during the week between sessions. He expresses that “music therapy helps him to bring all of his creative ideas together”.

The process of writing and performing his rap songs gives Warren a sense of empowerment, control and autonomy. Now he talks of how much he likes it at Adanac Park Lodge and how well he is doing. He is proud to share his complete rap songs. He joins in other programming as a result of reaching his goals through music writing and rapping. Thanks to music therapy, Warren has the resources he needs to build confidence in himself and creatively express himself.

Bernice ChU

Bernice Chu is a certified music therapist and NMT Fellow in Canada and the United Kingdom. She started working at APL in March 2021 and has very much enjoyed getting to know the residents. Prior to APL, she specialized in working with adults in neurorehabilitation and complex care over 9 years in London, UK. She completed her undergraduate studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, and MA in music therapy with distinction at Anglia Ruskin University.

You can help us reach more Canadians with the healing power of music. We invite you to give the gift of music to provide hope, strength, relief and encouragement to Canadians in need.

No contribution is too small!