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Happy Spring from The Barry Penny Foundation

As most of you know there has been some drastic changes to my life in the last year. Retirement and the big move to our new home in central Alberta being at the forefront. Because of this, and working with the lawyers of Norton Rose Fulbright preparing for our application to get our registered charity status, our evening of music in Calgary was put on the back burner for awhile. Fortunately because of your great support in previous years we had the funds to continue to support our kids in their music lessons.

Now that Corinne and I are in central Alberta the Directors have decided to expand the Foundations work to include the area of Camrose and Wetaskiwin and all the small villages and hamlets in the area. This does not mean that we are abandoning our work in the Calgary area. We have Directors still in Calgary and they will handle our processes and placement there.

Our first step in this exciting new announcement is to get the word out to people in this area. Last evening Heather and I met with the owners of The Willows Retreat in Camrose County. What a beautiful setting tucked away up here. There is an outdoor stage where people can sit in their lawn chairs and listen and watch the performers on stage. There is a covered dome that can handle a hundred people if the weather doesn’t cooperate. There is camping with electrical hookups. The cook shack has everything you would need to cook up barbecued hot dogs or hamburgers. Basically there is everything you need to enjoy a night of music and then just walk to your camper/trailer or tent and enjoy the great outdoors. The venue isn’t far from Ferintosh where a bed and breakfast is located if that interests you.

The fine details are still being worked out but we have secured the venue for Saturday August 11 through to Sunday August 12. If you are wanting to come from Calgary it is about a two and a half hour drive north up highway two. We would love to see you again. We will announce ticket prices and other details as we have them. We wanted to let you all know with plenty of notice so you can make arrangements if you would like to attend.

Gary Freeman


The Barry Penny Foundation

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2017 Evening of Music Entertainment

Our Evening of Music is very excited to profile our entertainment for June 3rd. First up is “The Almost Famous Band”. They are Klement Danda – Guitar, D’arcy Bryan – Vocals, Angy Porteous – Keyboard & Vocals, Geoff Gay – Bass & Keith Duggan – Drums. The Almost Famous will get you out of your seat, on your feet and dancing all night long! Never to be tied down to one particular genre, this great Party Band can pound out some classic rock and blues, and keep the crowd hopping with high-energy pop favorites. This crowd pleasing Cover Band provides their audience with powerful vocals, has a driving force of a great guitarist and a hot rhythm section that will pound your heart. All coming together to form one great Party Cover Band.
One great attraction of The Almost Famous is their unique ability to involve the crowd with their show, giving their audience the feeling that they all came to the party together. Almost Famous is a polished Cover Band that performs with fun, entertainment and engaging style, making the experience one that everyone will remember. We carefully compile our song set-list so the music is appropriate and fun for each venue or event.
Klement and D’arcy have played for us before and got great reviews from our followers. We are so happy to have them this year.

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All About The BPF

The Barry Penny Foundation is a not – for profit Alberta registered Society that gives the gift of music to children. We achieve this by gifting instruments and music lessons to children who otherwise would not have this opportunity. We are run by a group of friends and musicians who realize the importance and value of music in a childs life. Music can give children an outlet and is a form of expression. Learning music instills confidence and discipline which are skills a child will carry with them throughout life.

The Foundation was founded in 2013 and since that time has helped many families with instruments and lessons. The kids are enrolled in music schools throughout the Calgary area. We currently have fifteen kids taking lessons. After a child and family go through our initial screening they are awarded the instrument of their choice and ten lessons. We monitor their progress with the teacher and if the interest is there we continue on with funding for more lessons. A few of the kids have been in lessons for two years now and we are very proud of them and their accomplishments. The Foundation has assisted the Hull Foundation with instruments for some of their kids and for their music program. We have also donated instruments to The Magic of Christmas Charity who gifted them to kids in need at Christmas.

Annually we host our major fundraiser called an Evening of Music. We sell tickets, put on a dinner and have an evening of fun. The night includes local performers who donate their time and entertain us. The kids we have in lessons are also given the opportunity to perform for our guests. It is so nice to see the kids get a huge ovation from the audience and it gives them a tremendous boost of confidence. We also go to functions throughout the year with flyers to raise awareness of our group and to ask for donations. The Foundation receives donations of instruments from our musical contacts and we also do some instrument drives.

We are honored and proud to be a part of this process for deserving children however, we can’t do this alone. The cost to put a child through lessons for a year is great even after getting a break from the music schools. We thank you for considering helping us to attain our goals.

If you would like any further information about the Foundation please contact me at

I thank you sincerely for your consideration of support to The Barry Penny Foundation and look forward to hearing from you.

Gary Freeman
Barry Penny Foundation

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2016 Evening of Music

We are pleased to officially announce our 2016 Evening of Music will be on April 23. Our Foundation is growing and our 2016 Evening needs to grow too. This year the venue will be the Pineridge Community Hall in the northeast. This allows us to more than double the amount of guests. With the kids we currently are sponsoring with lessons and more contacting us every week this will help in a big way.
Local musicians have played a big role in all of our events and always come through for us. If you are a performer and wish to perform please contact us.
There is some rumblings about a Juno award winner performing this year so if all goes well we will be announcing that soon.
Once again we will be having a silent auction so if you have something you would like to donate please contact us
Because of the size we are asking that if you have some time during the evening and would like to volunteer we could sure use help with ticket takers, alcohol sales, 50/50 sales etc.
Other than our first year we have been doing all the food preparation ourselves for the evening. We have averaged around 130 people each year and it seemed to go well. This year because of the increase in people we have chosen to have the meal catered. Therefor we have increased the ticket price to $30.00.
Tickets are available on our website with a paypal account or credit card. Directors will also be selling tickets so contact us for tickets.
Spread the word, help us make this years evening a success. Every dollar you spend goes directly to helping out the kids. Hope to see you there.
More announcements coming soon.

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An update for our followers and supporters

It has been a busy summer for the Directors of the Foundation and we want to keep you all in the loop as to what’s been happening. The Foundation is growing. We have four kids who are continuing on with lessons for this next term. Kierra, Jackson, Max and Sydney were all registered with Music Center Canada in Airdrie last year but unfortunately they have closed down due to leasing problems. We have now aligned ourselves with Solfeo Music in Airdrie. One of our Directors, Jordan Bencharski teaches there and has introduced us to the owner, Alberto. He has agreed to take on our students.
We have three new students in Calgary. Yalda, Joshua and Destinee all have been granted full scholarships for this coming session. They all will be attending lessons at Flamingo Music in Northeast Calgary. We have had several meetings with Challena Zellick, the owner of Flamingo Music. After running a school out of her residence for the last five years or so she is opening a brand new school at a location in the northeast. I have visited the location and met with her teachers and what a great team she has in place.
We are currently working on five new applications for instruments and lessons and I expect most if not all will be granted scholarships.
The Foundation has also been working with The Hull Society and The Magic of Christmas by donating instruments to the kids there and helping them in their struggles.
This will bring the total number of kids that we will be sponsoring this session with instruments and lessons to twelve. This exceeds our goal that we set out for in meetings at our year end. The majority of our instruments have been donated and we thank you. Because of insurance and liability issues we have had to turn to registered schools for lessons and because they are in business to make money we pay for our students to attend. For us to send a student to lessons for a year it can cost us as much as $1000.00. It doesn’t take much to figure we will be spending approximately $12,000.00 on lessons just for the kids we have now.
We have already started work on our Spring Fundraiser and our Directors are meeting and coming up with ideas on how to grow this event so we will be able to keep assisting the kids we have in our care now and add more.
Any help you can offer is appreciated. Whether it is monetary, donating instruments or helping with fundraising it is very much appreciated. Don’t hesitate to contact us. There are so many stories we hear every day about families who are struggling, their kids missing out on musical opportunities and all the benefits that come from learning to play an instrument.

Gary Freeman
The Barry Penny Foundation.

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The Barry Penny Foundation

The Barry Penny Foundation is all about kids and music. Our vision is to make sure that every child who has an interest in exploring music is given an opportunity to do so. With education cutbacks in schools and our economy overall, we understand that not every child is in a situation where instruments and music lessons can be afforded.

Over the last three years, the directors of our organization have been able to deliver guitars, mandolins, keyboards and drums to a number of youngsters from Calgary to Fort St. John, BC who came to us through their parents or other recommendations. These children were set up with either a new or a gently used instrument and lessons to get them started. The foundation will continue supporting the child in lessons with continued interest.

How do we do this?
* Instruments of all kinds have been donated to the Foundation by music stores like GuitarWorks and from generous individuals who either just handed over their unused instruments or donated funding so that we can purchase new ones.

* The lessons that we set up for the kids are provided by certified music teachers, who in many cases have given us a discount in order to support our cause

* We have networked with many organizations such as the Hull School in Calgary, and other groups who have direct contact with kids in need.

* With our Annual event that includes volunteer musical entertainment by local musicians and the help of a strong force of caring folks, we have been able to raise money to support this project. Other donations have come from generous people just like you who just want to be part of giving the gift of music to children.

The Barry Penny Foundation was founded by Gary Freeman, his wife Corinne and a group of caring folks who believe that music is a universal world that in some way each of us participate in. We are all about giving the opportunity for children to explore this world and discover their own talents, whether they become singers, musicians, dancers, or just learn to appreciate music in their own way. At the Barry Penny Foundation we know that music is a commodity that doesn’t necessarily have to cost huge dollars. Six strings on a guitar and a pick to play it with is sometimes all it takes to open the door to a place where every child, young or old can discover not only themselves, but even make sense of the world around them.

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This hour had about 22 minutes

.  As some of you know Corinne and I spent an hour the other morning at Air 106.1 to talk about the BPF. We actually spoke in between news, traffic and weather so let’s say we were on the air for about 22 minutes. Although we haven’t heard it yet the people who did said it sounded really good. We talked about Barry, we talked about the beginnings of the Foundation and we talked about our goals. Most of all we talked about kids and music and what we are accomplishing. We reached out for instruments, help with lessons, donations for our auction and most importantly we reached out to the kids and gave them a contact, somewhere to go to get help.

The directors in the group have seen that smile on the face of a young man or lady when we show up with an instrument, get them into lessons and promise to help them on their musical journey. I can’t describe the feeling we get when we help. It puts me on a high for awhile and when I come down I get to do it all again….It’s an amazing feeling.

We have already received some contact from the radio interview and I thank Air 106.1 and Kevin Wallace for the chance to talk about our amazing group.

I also would like to thank Christina Von Bieker who arranged the pub crawl in Airdrie. Christina will be at the dinner and she tells me she has a presentation for us.


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A letter we recieved

Why playing music means so much to me

I have always loved playing the keyboard and piano, and I always have music playing wherever I am. Playing music is a way to express myself. I can play calming music when I’m mad, I can play happy music when I am sad, and I use music with a lively beat to get me motivated ( clean my room, do my homework etc).
Music is the one thing that I love doing, something that I can lose myself in. It’s like an escape to me when things are bothering me or when I feel like I need to get some emotions out. I have found that if I’m very upset or mad, playing some music will calm my mood. It’s almost like music is my friend that I can talk to about anything.
I have never taken any lessons, other than a few from a family friend and I think that with some teaching and practice I can start writing my own songs and playing some of the old classical songs that are more complicated. Music is a very important part of my life. Any chance to build on the musical ear I have would be great and I would be very thankful.

This young lady received a keyboard from the foundation on the weekend. Her mom told us how excited she was that we were coming. She immediately sat down and played us a couple of songs. Ashlea joined her and played the high end on one. It was a very emotional day for all and so very rewarding. Thanks everyone who has helped.

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Another Success Story

This is a letter we received a while ago:

I always had an interest in drums. Since I was little I would bang on the table or my legs. I love music like Hip Hop and Rock n Roll. I don’t like Country. I have been taking lessons at Music Centre Canada but I can only go when my mom has the money. I would like to continue there if I could.

After letting his mom know of our decision and plans to help out this is the response from her:

Oh my gosh…..I am in tears!

This is Max’s response

max drums

We are so happy that we were able to help out.

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Evening of Music

imageThe Barry Penny Foundation proudly presents the third annual Evening of Music. Join us on Saturday May 2, 2015 for dinner and entertainment. We once again will be having a 50/50 draw and silent auction. Tickets are just $25.00 and a cash bar will be available. For ticket info please contact
If you are able to volunteer, whether it is selling 50/50 tickets, helping with the meal, or in any other capacity please contact us.
We are also looking for donations for the silent auction. Any help or donations will be very much appreciated.
If you are a performer and wish to perform please contact me.
We are looking forward to seeing you all there again this year.