Inside The Library: Song Circle comes to Picton branch on Fridays

We have a new musical event at the library! Come to Picton branch every Friday at 4 p.m.  and join the Song Circle—a musical symposium for songwriters and musicians of all kinds, from beginners to professionals.

The Song Circle is hosted by Mario Panacci, a singer-songwriter and longtime volunteer with the library’s musical programs.

How does the event work? Panacci put it this way, “Each person takes a turn sharing a song in the circle, and a person can ask another to share a song so they can sing or play along to it. A person can also pass their turn in the circle. The person playing can tell others that they’d like to perform a song solo or they can ask others to join in and select the people they want to join them.

They can also ask for feedback after performing a song. Only people comfortable with feedback will ask, so it’s important that others in the circle not give ‘uninvited’ feedback. The song circle is about respect first and music second.” All are welcome. Just show up and join in!

Want to join Song Circle but need an instrument? No problem! Our Musical Instrument Lending Library (MILL) has hundreds of items, from guitars and violins to keyboards and accordions. MILL members may borrow one instrument at a time, for six weeks at a time. The MILL membership fee of $10 (for a two-year term) supports the program, going toward instrument maintenance and repair (e.g. replacing guitar strings or rehairing violin bows). Browse the catalogue of instruments online by clicking the search button at And why not visit the Milford and Bloomfield library branches to try out instruments in person? Knowledgeable MILL volunteers are available most Saturday mornings to answer questions and help you find the right instrument.

Are you interested in learning to play the ukulele? Fun to play and easy on the fingers, ukulele is a great choice for those new to stringed instruments or new to music altogether. We’ve just run a popular ukulele course at the Bloomfield branch, and we’re ready to repeat at Picton branch in July. If you’re up for the challenge, please e-mail me, Aaron Nash, at [email protected], or call us at 613-476-5962. For more upcoming events, musical and otherwise, remember to keep an eye on our online calendar at For example, youngsters (ages 7 and up) looking to learn the rudiments of ukulele can register for our children’s edition of beginner ukulele, Aug. 21-24, at the Milford branch. Bring your own uke or use one of ours to learn basic chords, how to strum and keep a beat. These events are completely free, but seating is limited — reserve your seat early!

We are thrilled to announce that the Cabaret fundraiser, held at the Prince Edward Yacht Club and organized by MILL volunteers Don Hinde, Panacci and George McNabb with the Friends of the Picton Library, raised $1,000 for the planned recording studio in the Picton branch expansion.

We are immensely grateful to the many musicians who shared their time and talent for this fundraiser. For more about the expansion, visit Find us on Canada Day, July 1, outside the Picton branch . We will have a book sale, release our new fundraising mugs designed by Tim Snyder and have children’s fun events from 12-4 p.m.. From 3 – 4 p.m. we’ll take over the community stage and members of our drumming circle and ukulele groups will entertain and welcome you to join us.

-Aaron Nash