Kiwanis Village Nanaimo

Nanaimo, BC


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“One resident said it [music therapy via Kiwanis Village TV] was just like having a friend come and visit them. It has been wonderful to offer this program to all of our residents as we try to look for unique ways to connect to our seniors, while still limiting traffic throughout our community. We are so happy to be able to have music based programs that can help combat social isolation through this challenging time.”

Lyndsay Webster

Manager of Community Development and Engagement

Kiwanis Village is a not-for-profit senior’s community located in the heart of Nanaimo BC that provides affordable housing and multi-level care to 200 residents. Music Therapy is available in one-on-one sessions as well as smaller group programming. With Music Heals funding, Kiwanis Village was able to start a Bell Choir in 2020 which was met with immediate success.


Seniors in assisted and supportive housing, and Adult Day Program in Nanaimo.

How does Music Therapy uniquely address the needs of clients at Kiwanis Village Nanaimo?

In Long Term Care:

  • Provides meaningful connections
  • Many residents are unable to attend other programs for a variety of reasons
  • A chance to reminisce, relax, and connect in a meaningful way that isn’t overstimulating
  • Lasting impact for hours after the visit

In Assisted Living and Supportive Living

  • Residents in the Bell Choir enjoyed the challenge of learning a new skill and learning to play an instrument
  • Enjoyed the camaraderie and teamwork
  • Looked forward to practicing their skills and working towards showcasing their talent to an audience in the future

In Adult Day Program

  • Opportunity for reminiscing and increasing mood
  • Share experiences and stories related to favourite songs
  • Form social connections, build friendships
How has COVID-19 impacted the program?

In response to Island Health COVID-19 guidelines, the Kiwanis Village TV Channel was created to broadcast programs to all 200 residents. Music Therapist Stephanie has been developing weekly Music Therapy programs. With this TV Channel she is able to reach many residents that have never had the opportunity to join in on Music Therapy.

Adopting the music therapy program at Kiwanis Village Nanaimo would ensure 3 hrs of music therapy a week for 45 weeks which consists of:

  • Continuation of additional 1-1 visits in the Lodge
  • Weekly group sessions for the Adult Day Program
  • Weekly groups for the residents in Assisted/Supportive living, including bi-weekly Bell Choir practices, and an additional bi-weekly group session

Should in-person opportunities be restricted in 2021, funding would be used to support the continued creation of recorded music therapy programming on Kiwanis Village TV. This programming is available to all residents in Kiwanis Village, opening up music therapy access to all 200 residents!

“The bell choir was my favorite recreation program at Kiwanis Village, by far! I loved learning to play a new instrument. I am relatively new to Kiwanis Village and participating in the bell choir really helped me meet new people. I just wish we could practice more often!”  – Kiwanis Village resident

“I always wanted to learn to play an instrument and never got the chance! I am so thrilled that I am finally learning how to play! My family is going to be so surprised!” – Assisted Living Resident attending weekly Bell Choir

Stephanie Martyn

Stephanie Martyn, MTA, has been practicing Music Therapy on Vancouver Island since her graduation from Capilano University in 2009. She began Trinity Music Therapy in 2011 and has been providing music therapy to seniors in Nanaimo ever since.

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!