The Amigos have been playing music at the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury for the last 21 years. Pictured (l-r) are: June Smithson, Marty Tuer, Marjie Feil Wessell, Chaplain Ricky Williams, Helmut Wessell and Sean Hart. Photo submitted

Celebrating musical volunteers at the Ponoka Centennial Centre

The Amigos have been playing music at the Centennial Centre for 21 years now


For the last 21 years, volunteers have been bringing musical joy to patients at the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury (CCMHBI).

It started in the old seniors building at the facility, when Janice Mackie and Lorna Jean Lockerby could be found near a piano singing and playing old time tunes.

As new buildings went up and the facility grew, the volunteers found a small space in the area now known as Town Centre, where they would bring out a piano and share an hour of music with any patients wanting to partake.

Soon after, Janice and Lorna were joined by singer/guitar player Maurice Paul, who inquired if the group needed a guitar player after passing by and hearing the music. The trio began playing together and grew to a quartet after Janice came upon Marjie Feil singing and playing on one of the other units.

“It’s hard to count the exact number of Amigos who have come and gone over the years,” says current Amigo Cathy McMillan. “Numerous family members, friends, new musicians, and CCMHBI staff have all been a part of the Amigos family. We even had a member go through a heart transplant who returned to play again!”

McMillan joined the Amigos about a year ago, inspired after watching her neighbours perform in the group.

“The patients just love them,” McMillan says. “They’ll often sing along, and seeing the smiles on their faces is so rewarding.

I think the Amigos should make a record, they are just that good! We truly have been blessed with unbelievable talent over the years and I am so happy to be able to join them as often as I can.”

Just Posted

Ponoka Agricultural Society Bench Show winners, photos

The Ponoka Agricultural Society’s annual Bench Show was held at the Ponoka… Continue reading

The Ponoka Little League girls softball team win bronze

Ponoka defeated Calgary 17-2 in Canadian Little League playoffs

Ponoka Aquaplex will be closed from Aug. 25 to Sept. 30.

Many improvements planned for Ponoka pool

Ponoka County agrees to next step for Rimbey Agrim

Full time manager will help Rimbey Agrim Centre’s financial stability

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Panel to review impacts of safe injection sites in Alberta

It will look at crime rates, social order and property values, and not harm reduction or housing

Five suspects arrested by Leduc RCMP with help of Wetaskiwin and Maskwacis

Leduc RCMP work with Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP to make arrests

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

PHOTOS: 5th Annual Alix rodeo bucks the competition

Cowboys and cowgirls risked it all at the Alix Rodeo

Wetaskiwin RCMP arrest two in Camrose after report of suspicious persons

Fugitives try to flee on ATVS, one allegedly steals police car

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Most Read