24 years ago I drove into Calgary for the first time. I remember finding Memorial Drive within my first few minutes and being mesmerized by the Bow River that lined the downtown high-rises, street lamps and flowers. My first ‘office’ and home would not carry the same charm. It was dark, damp, and well shared with 18 other housemates..but my room was mine and it was here that I started calling and connecting with the local community to demonstrate what music therapy was.
I would move 11 times in those first 3 years (oh to be in my early 20s again) and envisioned having an actual office where I could close the door and not be interrupted by roommates and later my small, delightful, but disruptive children.
It wouldn’t be until 2005 til I would find my first office away from home. Alongside my dearest friends and singing mates, Janet Fedor and Sharon Moffatt, I would finally have a place that I could store office supplies away from my home. We called this place the Little Yellow House because of its colour and its size. The office was lovely but not functional for our growing needs. We needed a place that we could invite clients to come to us…instead of us always going to them.
That place would come in what I now call one of my significant “bubble bath” epiphanies. With the Little Yellow House recently sold I was feeling confused as to my next steps. The answer came swiftly as I poured in the bubbles – “call Providence.” I had spoken to the team at Providence Children’s Centre a couple years prior, and they had mentioned the potential of us leasing space with them.
I called the next day and a room was made immediately available.
It took me some time to settle into this new environment, but what a place it ended up to be: $.25 coffee, a full kitchen where dishes were done, and a staff that would help us lift anything heavy – not to mention give us great company. It was here we were able to introduce our Therapy Express Camps, FunDrum and BabyGroup.
But like all good things…there comes time for the next shift. With several children on a waiting list it was time Providence to repurpose the space that we loved to borrow.
I was uncertain if I was to find another place as good.
It was during my Brain Collapse that I stopped looking for a new place and turned my sights on getting our company ready for the next phase, regardless of where the office may be. Then on a Tuesday I had another bath (don’t worry I had a few between the last one and this one). It was there that I felt a readiness to GO. Calling over 20 locations in 2 days and setting up 10 appointments I pursued the hunt.
As soon as I entered 1 – 1332 Hasting Crescent SE I knew it was the place……our place. Not because it was beautiful, nor big, but because of the way I felt when I entered.
The journey to our Home on Hastings is not unlike all other journeys in life – filled with hopes, dreams, disappointments, directional highjacks, and success.
What will make this space special are the people that will visit there. We look forward to seeing you.
Jennifer Buchanan is a health entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word. Since she became a certified music therapist almost three decades ago, the music therapy industry has shifted from not being a recognized industry at all to becoming a legislated profession. As a leading expert, Buchanan has served hundreds of organizations with her team at JB Music Therapy, which she founded in 1991. JB Music Therapy has thrice been nominated for the Community Impact Award by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Buchanan was also the former president of the Canadian Association of Music Therapists (1998-2001, 2013-2015). She is recognized as an esteemed leader in bridging academic research in music, medicine and the public. She has appeared in many media outlets and presented internationally to numerous education, healthcare and government organizations. She is currently on the board of directors with the Famous 5 Foundation and looks forward to visiting more places and meeting more interesting people on her life’s journey.