(the following is the speech Jennifer Buchanan opened the Afternoon of Song/Anniversary Celebration on Saturday June 11, 2016 – all photos by Christina Ryan)
Good Afternoon! It truly is a great honour to have you all here today. I’m honestly a bit surprised to be here myself. When I was 21 and approached the very first group home to show them what music therapy was all about – I never thought they would want the service after that first visit….….and I certainly never thought I would be standing here in front of so many friends and partners 25 years later.
Twenty – five years is both a long time and a very short time. Compared to other therapy professions, our company is still in the adolescence stage. On the other hand, a company, that is standing after twenty – five years in a city that is as constantly and rapidly changing as ours may be considered an achievement – or the very least lucky.
When I acquired my certification as a Music Therapist in the 1990’s there were only just over 100 of us Music Therapists across Canada. Last week when I was at our Canadian Association Conference I saw that same number – almost 100 Music Therapists – all receiving their certification from just this past year. `
The landscape is certainly changing from when I first started….but our mission remains the same – to help people. We love serving Calgary and surrounding areas – be it in your agencies, group homes, palliative care, mental health or neuro units, elementary and high schools, and our many continuity of care sites – including retirement as well as long term care. We truly love them all.
Like many businesses we started with 1 client and 1 therapist and today we have a team of 15 serving over 1700 people on a regular basis. We don’t take our work lightly – although we do experience a tremendous amount of pleasure doing it – even yesterday as I was running around getting the little things done that need to be done before an event I found myself driving by many of your agencies…. and I felt myself smiling, filled with many memories and reflections, and feeling so grateful.
You have given us the opportunity to do this work and we look forward to continuing to help you, your loved ones, and those you advocate for – whether it be to foster memories in someone who has forgotten, ignite language for the first time in a child, capture a person’s attention when focus is difficult to be had, or to ease the anxiety after a life has taken a turn for something unexpected……. it is for all these moments…..we look forward to continuing this work. Thank you for giving us the opportunity.
Of course – I could never have done what this company is doing alone – it takes a very special team – and I am fortunate to work with a dynamic group of Music Therapists. They are as passionate about this service as I am and we all look forward to spending this afternoon with you. The therapists have been working with several of our clients to prepare for afternoon’s event – for it is our clients who will always remain the soul of our work. You are in for a treat…