Kelowna steps up to help blind busker replace stolen equipment - InfoNews

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Kelowna steps up to help blind busker replace stolen equipment

Sarah Mainland, 35, was getting ready to play the harp at a local shelter Easter Sunday when her mom, Joyce, realized a thief had taken a backpack full of equipment the week before. Since then, the community has stepped up and helped her replace all the equipment she lost.
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April 10, 2018 - 10:38 AM

KELOWNA – A blind Kelowna busker who lost $400 in equipment to a theft two weeks ago has had everything replaced, thanks to support from the community.

Sarah Mainland, 35, was getting ready to play the harp at a local shelter Easter Sunday when her mom, Joyce, realized a thief had taken a backpack full of equipment the week before.

Joyce says most of the equipment, valued at around $400, was cables, but she also lost 34 expensive harp strings. They were hoping the thief would realize the items weren’t valuable to anyone except a harpist and turn them in, but after busking in Kelowna for more than 10 years, Sarah’s many fans made sure she has all the equipment she needs to keep filling the city with music for another decade.

"The amount of community support has been wonderful," she says. "Following the article many friends, fans at the Farmers Market and the fellow musicians have stepped up to help Sarah out. To say we are grateful, thankful and blessed is an understatement."

Hundreds of dollars in donations poured in as well as an addition she has wanted for a long time.

“Another person has offered to install a pickup directly into her harp, like many professional harpists have,” Joyce says in an email.

Sarah’s next performance will be at the launch of a new art gallery at Metro Central between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. April 11. Following that she will be heading down to the Marmalade Cat Cafe for a fundraiser hosted by the Kelowna Arts Council.

Sarah's bag was taken near Doyle Avenue the night of March 26, the same day Kelowna city council gave three of four readings and all but assuring passage of additions and changes to the so-called Good Neighbour bylaw dealing with buskers and panhandlers.

Anyone with any information about the theft is asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP non-emergency line at 250-762-3300 and cite file number 2018-16897.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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