Dan Mangan joins Music Therapy Ride
There’s still room for anyone who wants to join this year’s annual Music Therapy Ride from Richmond to Whistler on Saturday (September 14). Corus Radio new-media director Chris “Dunner” Duncombe told the Straight by phone that there are usually a few spaces left on the big day, when a convoy of some 150 motorbikes and classic cars makes its way along the Sea-to-Sky Highway. The ride has been raising funds for music-therapy services and the acquisition of mobile recording studios called Bandwagons—one of which resides permanently at B.C. Children’s Hospital—since 2001.
In partnership with the Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund and the Music Heals Charitable Foundation, Duncombe and his partners have raised over $500,000 in the last 12 years. As ever, they welcome a celebrity guest for this year’s ride in the shape of Dan Mangan, who Duncombe said will probably lead the charge in either “a hot rod or some kind of classic car”. Mangan joins a list of personalities who have pitched in over the years, including George Stroumboulopoulos, 54-40’s Dave Genn, and Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies. Meanwhile, the Washboard Union will be waiting up in Whistler to provide the musical entertainment.
Duncombe has been with the ride from the beginning, and he mentioned Megan McNeil when asked to describe the benefits of music therapy. Before passing away in 2011, McNeil recorded the song “Will to Survive” on the very first Bandwagon, with producer Garth “GGGarth” Richardson. The song has since received over 80,000 YouTube hits and counting.
“Music was transformative for her in the time she was going through cancer treatment,” Duncombe said. “The ability for Megan to not only write her own music but record it really brought home why this matters.”
Duncombe added that the goal of the Music Therapy Ride is no less than “to provide a Bandwagon to every single hospital, and to every place that it’s needed throughout B.C.…But it’s not only about creating these units, it’s about the ability to pay music therapists to staff them. And it’s not inexpensive; it’s something that requires a heavy commitment.”
More information including registration at the Music Therapy Ride website.