People and faces at the Stirling MILL: 'making it work', can take a little time...
And a whole lot of hands, pitching in to work together!
Throughout his life, James has been strongly connected to music; both the works of classical composers familiar from his childhood home and the music he learned later for himself. He plays guitar, baritone guitar and tenor banjo. He has performed as an amateur musician and – on occasion – professionally, and hosted many musical events in the community over past years. James has been involved with the Blue Skies Music Festival (Clarendon, ON) since 1986.
Several years ago, he began working on his current passion: a project to make access to musical instruments and music learning more easily available to everyone – young and old – everywhere across our local communities. This resulted in the 2018 incorporation of the Stirling Musical Instrument Lending Library to serve rural residents, villages, small towns and urban centres alike. Opening to the public in January 2019, the Stirling MILL has been keeping him moderately busy ever since.
James runs the ‘Operations’ side of the MILL, working with staff to facilitate the lending program, Patron registration, instrument maintenance and repair, volunteering, instrument donations and community funding, working with our Public Library Partners... Pretty much anything ‘Stirling MILL’.
Contact James: firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie joined the MILL staff in 2022 following retirement from 28 years as a Child and Youth Counsellor with Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board. Music has always been a big part of her life, including 17 years as the Junior Choir Director for St. Paul's United Church in Stirling. She enjoys family music nights at home and around the campfire, and family performances at various events and locations including The Stirling Festival of Sacred Praise and Hastings Manor Long Term Care Facility.
She has relished watching her children grow into talented musicians and often finds herself in the audience of Long Range Hustle, a successful touring band that includes both her sons, Paul and Mike.
Julie loves working with our MILL Patrons, from children through to seniors, assisting and supporting their musical journey; helping them discover the right instrument at the right time and find delight in the joy that making music brings.
Contact Julie: email@example.com
Murray Francis – Staff Assistant
Murray began volunteering with the MILL in 2022. Originally planning to do guitar repairs, he settled into admin work and staffing because that was where his help seemed most needed. Murray assists Julie with day-to-day operations and usually works the Saturday shift at the MILL, helping Patrons find what they need and, for the rest he says: “Nothing glamorous about entering inventory or shipping out instruments to other Libraries, it just needs to be done.”
He has long familiarity with music, having played acoustic and electric guitar for over 60 years on & off. Murray is presently playing 2 – 3 times a month at various seniors’ residences around the area.
Contact Murray: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stuart has been with the MILL since 2021. Doing minor repairs and setups, he enjoys bringing instruments back to life that require a little TLC; he works to get the best for them in looks and playability. Although his primary interest is acoustic guitars, through volunteering at the MILL Stuart also participates in the care and maintenance of many different instruments. He is always interested to hear feedback, both pros and cons, about any instrument we lend so that we can continue to improve our Patrons' experience.
'Buddy Enroute' – the MILL couriers
The volunteer drivers who deliver our instruments to you!
Frequently unnoticed and usually unsung, these fine folk transport instrument loans between the MILL's 'head office' in Stirling and all 9 of our Partner Libraries. At their own expense...!
Frequently less than a week between the loan request and its arrival at your local Public Library. So many thanks are owed, so often, to each of you!
- Bill – Madoc
- Kim – Marmora
- Graeme – Campbellford, Hastings, Warkworth
- Laurie – Brighton
- Haley – Trenton
- Mike – Belleville (and wherever else we need)
- Catrina – Tweed
Student volunteers at the MILL...
From our very first year the MILL has been blessed with a succession of extraordinarily talented young folk, high-school students who came to the MILL for ‘community hours’ and somehow just kept coming back. Some of them are excellent musicians too and had lots to share about instruments they were familiar with; handy for all, both Patrons and other MILL Staff.
Student volunteers make a valuable contribution to our Staff effort: everything from ‘basic assistance’ (cleaning instruments after a loan, regular checking and re-tuning stringed instruments, loading/unloading, etc.) through (for some) learning inventory, serving the public and, on occasion, covering regular Staff duties.
Dan Guerreiro, CPA
Board of Directors – President and Treasurer
Dan Guerreiro grew up in Belleville and has an affinity for the communities that thrive in the surrounding areas. A Chartered Professional Accountant, Dan served originally as Treasurer to the MILL’s Board of Directors (2020), subsequently stepping up as a Director of the Corporation (2021), eventually taking on the additional role of President in 2023.
He was inspired to join the Board as a means of giving back to all those communities, to make the ties that bind them just a little stronger. Dan’s goal is for the MILL to have a large impact in the musical community, going beyond just a place for people to borrow instruments, and becoming a hub of learning and collaboration.
Contact Dan: email@example.com
Board of Directors
Jim McKay taught at York University from 1972 to 1988 and was Chair of the Music Department at York from 1982 to 1988. Jim was subsequently appointed to the faculty at University of Western Ontario in 1989 as the Chair of the Performance Department. He taught bassoon and conducted the orchestra and opera. He retired from this position in 2010.
After retirement from teaching at Western, he maintained an active schedule as a bassoonist, conductor, composer and adjudicator for a further decade. Jim appears on over a dozen recordings with artists including James Campbell, Jamie Summerville, Anton Kuerti, James Mason and Steven Staryk and with ensembles including the Festival of the Sound, the Amadeus Ensemble, and the Contemporary Chamber Players of Chicago. He was frequently featured as a soloist or conductor in broadcast concerts on CBC and NPR and in many North American music festivals. He was a founding member of the York Winds, Triptych, and the Poulenc Ensemble and has toured as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor in Canada, the United States, Japan and Europe. Professor McKay was the Music Director of Symphony on the Bay (formerly Symphony Hamilton) from 1995 to 2015.
Jim has a history of working with non-profits, from orchestras to schools. He has served on and chaired Faculty Committees, served as a Director on several Boards and has previous experience as a corporate officer. Jim McKay joined the Board of Directors at the Stirling MILL in March 2023.
Contact Jim: firstname.lastname@example.org
Board of Directors
Hailing from Saint John, New Brunswick, Graeme Peters is Chief Librarian at Trent Hills Public Library, a post he has held since 2021. He has also worked as a librarian at New Tecumseth Public Library (2016 to 2021), and was library director for the Regional Municipality of Tracadie in New Brunswick (2011 to 2016). He has a master's degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario and an Education degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Graeme has worked numerous jobs over the years including teaching, organic farming, and tree planting, but he is happiest in a library. He has been a Director on the Stirling MILL Board since June 2023.
Contact Graeme: email@example.com
Bonnie Mouck is a native of Stirling with a deep connection to the arts. Starting at the Stirling Festival Theatre, Bonnie moved on to Kingston Arts Council as a fundraising specialist and eventually Executive Director. In Toronto she worked with Factory Theatre for several years and has extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector, including board positions with Easter Seals in Kingston and Distress Centres of Greater Toronto.
Outside the arts, her career includes 14 years in professional services focused on business-to-business marketing. She brings a wealth of experience to support her work for the MILL.
Bonnie Mouck was appointed as Secretary to the Stirling MILL in June 2023.
Contact Bonnie: firstname.lastname@example.org
"If two and two and fifty make a million..."
The faces featured on this page - Patrons, staff, volunteers and friends of the MILL - are just the tip of the iceberg!
Pete Seeger had a song back in the early '60s that had a line something like: "If two and two and fifty make a million, we'll see that day come 'round..."
Thanks to everyone, all across our musical communities, for the interest and support you have shown, nurturing the Stirling MILL from aspiration to reality. It is of all our communities that this program is created and inspired.
Keep on making music, and keep on 'making that day come around'.