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

Klaglahachie goes plaid for new play

Forever Plaid musical to take to Ponoka stage next month

Ponoka locals to compete at CFR

The 2019 Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) in Red Deer will feature a… Continue reading

Ponoka town council passes first reading of proposed animal control bylaw

New, updated bylaw would replace old one, includes cats

CBHI doles out the cash

The annual huge barrel racing event in Ponoka another great success

Bantam Broncs better on both sides in big win

Ponoka pounds Lindsay Thurber 38-12 in final regular season home game

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

PODCAST: Journalism instructor discusses how reporters have taken on climate change

Mount Royal University’s Sean Holman has been researching how journalists have covered climate change

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

Alberta truck convoy plans counter-protest at climate rally with Greta Thunberg

United We Roll organizer says similar protest planned for Swedish teen’s event in Edmonton

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Maskwacis RCMP truck rammed by fleeing vehicle

An individual has been arrested following a chase and then a deliberate… Continue reading

Alberta takes second look at trucking changes after meeting Broncos families

Transportation minister has said government was reviewing rules for school bus drivers and farmers

Male pedestrian dead after collision with train in Blackfalds

Man from Red Deer pronounced dead at the scene

‘Sky didn’t fall:’ Police, lawyers still adjusting after pot legalization

Statistics Canada says 541 people were charged under the federal Cannabis Act between Oct. 17, 2018 and the end of the year

Most Read