Burnaby punk rocker turned politician, creates charity to fund music for kids
Punk rock legend Joe Keithley of the world-renown D.O.A. – he’s also a newly elected city councillor – wants to help Burnaby children who want to play music, but who can’t afford instruments or lessons.
He announced on Saturday that he is teaming up with Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley and the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society to raise money and promote the Harmony for All program.
“Music is universal,” Keithley said. “It can overcome poverty, hatred and it can unify people. That’s why I’m calling this program Harmony for All, because deep down we all know that love and understanding wins out over hatred every time.”
Keithley talked about the impact that music had on him during his childhood in Burnaby. “When I was an awkward teenager at Burnaby North high school, I had a hard time making friends. That all changed when other kids realized I was becoming a musician,” Keithley said. “I want to give kids whose parents may not have the money for instruments and lessons to get on the life-altering path that learning music can be. Music provides structure and helps keep kids safe, off the streets and helps with cognitive development that accelerates understanding of math and science.”
Keithley is giving a lot of praise to Burnaby firefighters for what he says is a strong financial commitment to the program. Things are still in the early stages for Harmoney for All, said Keithley, adding that more details on how people can donate will be unveiled soon.