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McMan Calgary - Youth, Family & Community Services Association




Since opening its first program in 1975, McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association has grown and evolved into a dynamic not-for-profit social service agency that provides a comprehensive range of programs throughout Alberta.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the association is exploring and implementing innovative new ways to support youth in building meaningful connections and staying remotely engaged during these tough times of loneliness and isolation. Many young people in McMan programs are living independently and, with current social distancing protocols, are at-risk of becoming both socially and emotionally isolated.

So what’s the answer? A new, online guitar lesson program in partnership with The Legacy Children’s Foundation ‘Gift of Music’!

Ten youth from the ‘Youth Transitions to Adulthood’ & ‘Hope Homes’ program at McMan have been provided with donated instruments from donors in the community, through Legacy, and connected with a professional music instructor for one-on-one online guitar lessons over 10 weeks.

“We believe in the principle of ‘connection first’ at McMan, which means we treat connections to natural supports with the same urgency as food, shelter and clothing, says Tim Veitch, Director of Services & Quality Assurance at McMan. “In addition to learning a new skill, building confidence and supporting a weekly routine, these youth will have an amazing opportunity to build a mentorship relationship with a positive role model in their community.”

Music can be an extremely powerful tool in supporting mental wellness and social connection that has proven to positively impact mood, emotional health and motivation. Music therapy has been extensively researched as an effective way to cope with stress, anxiety and depression. Specifically, playing the guitar has also been linked to physical health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and heart rate, plus strengthening the muscles in the arms and hand.

“We feel that these are all amazing reasons to practice and play music, especially during these times of disconnection,” says Veitch. “The most valuable reason of all, being meaningful time spent and a connection made with someone these youth admire and respect.”

To learn more about the programs offered by McMan Calgary, visit​


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