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An art project designed to help kids in third world countries learn music has been brought to Regina. 

The Landfill Harmonic Project is a non-profit organization that began in Paraguay. It’s spreading the message that art helps people heal from the effects of social issues including poverty, reconciliation, the environment, and age and gender minorities.

Chair of the Organizing Committee, Noela Bamford, says “What we were trying to do with this project was to take the third world example and apply it to our first world country.”

The Landfill Harmonic Project is focused on how art helps people heal from the effects of poverty because of how it started.

Bamford says the project started in 2006. A professional musician, Favio Chavez, started teaching music to children in poverty in Cateura, Paraguay. 

He taught with instruments made out of garbage, such as flattened tin cans and water pipes, so no one would steal them.

Bamford says in Cateura, a cheap violin from China costs more than a house—about 230 dollars.

She says about 40 per cent of children in Cateura don’t go to school. Many of them are abandoned by their families, must work to provide for their families, or are involved with crime, drugs and alcohol.

Music had an impact on the childrens' desire to better themselves by learning how to read and write.

“In order to learn music, you really need to understand music theory, and in order to [learn] music theory, you have to be able to read and write, and some of these kids didn’t go to school and they didn’t know how to read and write, and they found through the music program a great desire to start learning.” 

Bamford relates to the children in Cateura. 

“I grew up in a very poor family without a lot of opportunity to take music lessons…learning to play the violin and learning to play the flute, it made a huge difference in my life.”

Bamford’s experiences with poverty taught her what she now advocates for as part of the Landfill Harmonic Project.

“It made me believe that all human life has value, not just men and women of privilege.” 

The events coming up include the Something From Nothing Art Show and Sale, students presenting their art as an interpretation of social justice issues, and meeting the Recycled Orchestra, the group of once impoverished children from Paraguay.

The Something from Nothing Art Show and Sale will be held March 22-25 at the Nouveau Gallery. The artists will showcase pieces made out of garbage. 

Wilf Perreault is one of the artists contributing. His piece is made out of the top of a steel drum.

“Art is the biggest part of my life,” he says. “It’s kind of cool that I can do what I do and help out an organization.”

Perreault says he can see how art helps people deal with social issues. There’s been times when he’s needed money, but “what [he’s] gone through is nothing.”

“It’s a nice escape,” Perreault says, “and I don’t hide from that fact.” 

Bamford shares her hope of Landfill Harmonic’s contribution to Regina through these upcoming events.

“I want to inspire kids to think about the world differently and I want kids to look at people and see their sameness, not their differences.”

For more information on the Landfill Harmonic Project or to donate, contact Noela Bamford at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (home) (306) 522-1301 or (cell) (306) 502-2819.