A group of MILL volunteers playing instruments

Volunteer-driven since our inception, the Stirling MILL is deeply rooted in community...

Our volunteers, past and present, give us a fantastic gift: their time and creativity. Whether it is through their musical, technical, or project management expertise, the Stirling MILL cannot operate and develop without our dedicated volunteers.

  • Volunteers designed and implemented the program.
  • Volunteers  donated the instruments, repaired, cleaned and catalogued them.
  • Volunteers deliver them from one Library to another, so you can pick up your instrument loan from your local Public Library.

There are many ways to get involved and contribute to the MILL, even if you cannot play a musical instrument. Please consider joining us and get in touch.


The ‘Many Hands Department’...

We welcome involvement, contribution and commitment in whatever way you are able. Possibilities range from working with instruments through office tasks, publicity/promotion and other ‘behind the scenes’ input.

(Note: proximity to Stirling may be essential for some roles, but not all. If you have skill and experience you would like to offer, please get in touch.)

No-one can do everything!

And, to be sure, none of us who are part of the MILL knows everything about everything that needs to be done. We do our best to keep up, but good help is always welcome.

When the MILL opened in 2019, we had a small number of instruments and a few folk (most fairly local to Stirling) who borrowed them. Five years on, we have 400 instruments plus accessories and gear, music and instructional materials; the MILL has made thousands of instrument loans to hundreds of Patrons across the many communities we serve.

We now have 10 different locations to access instrument loans. Demographics require a unique approach to assure we can serve rural residents, villages, small towns and urban centres alike.

Here are some areas where the MILL could use more specialized assistance:

Electric Guitars, FX and Gear

If electric guitars, FX, amps and pedals are really your thing, something you know and love, have played and teched for yourself... We’d love to have you come visit and spend a while with some of ours.

We could use a hand to help keep the MILL’s collection of electric instruments up on line and working their best. The MILL has over 30 electric guitars, an electric mandolin plus multitudinous FX pedals, amps and other gear. Not exactly a ‘Keef Richards’ size collection, but quite a lot to look after, especially with the frequent wearing/tearing of going out-on-loan and back.


Only one of our MILL Staff, a high-school volunteer, has playing experience with a woodwind instrument. And, although our staff have learned a bit about service and maintenance of brass and woodwinds over the years, it’s different when you don’t actually play the instrument yourself... We have access to excellent (paid) professional tech support, but this costs dollars it is sometimes hard to spare. The MILL would welcome volunteer assistance from someone knowledgeable to help keep our brass and woodwind collection in top condition.

Drum Tech

Drum sets... Yes, we have them; quite a few, actually. And several partial sets (kind of ‘in process’), a number of ‘lonely’ drums, plus spare drum shells, spare drum skins and a colossal collection of assorted drum hardware. What we don’t have is a volunteer who loves drums, and has the time and interest to help us maintain and care for it all. We do the best we can but, for sure, our drum collection could use a little more love.

Orchestral Strings

The MILL is extremely fortunate to have volunteer assistance from an experienced professional luthier (Bruce West Instruments) to help maintain our orchestral string instruments. Even so, we have rather a lot of them and, like everything else in a library loan program, they are not immune to wear and tear, let alone accident or misadventure.

We could really use a regular volunteer who has an affinity and some experience of basic care for these instruments to help us out at the MILL with regular TLC for violins, violas and cellos. A little bit of love is important to keep our instruments in good playing condition.

Data Entry

We will be needing a couple of reliable folk for data entry as the MILL prepares to switch over to the new Library Operating System we are preparing. The new Library System/Software (LS) will allow direct access from each of our Public Library partners and support ‘diversity’, multiple locations where instruments can be housed and directly available for MILL Patrons to borrow in those Partner Libraries. Exciting...!

The Stirling MILL can use your skills and abilities.

We are always open to more good people who are able to:

  • Transport musical instruments to/from our Partner Library locations
  • Help maintain and recondition musical instruments of all kinds
  • Sort, evaluate and catalogue music books and instructional materials
  • Join the team staffing and serving Patrons at the MILL
  • Get involved with our promotional and fundraising activities
  • Assist with website maintenance and updating
  • Contribute to our Audio/Visual team
  • Other possibilities (you name it, might be good…!)

Contact us:

Call/text: 613-661-6183

Email: curator@stirlingmill.ca

Tell us about yourself, your experience, what you’d like to do and what you’d like to learn with us at the Stirling Musical Instrument Lending Library.


Icon of violin with dollar sign

Support the Stirling MILL

Your support for the MILL – in whatever way you are able – is invited and welcomed. There are many tasks to be completed, large and small on an ongoing basis. Opportunities for learning, and to share the skills, experience and ability you have to offer. Get in touch, we’d love to talk with you.