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’s company JB Music Therapy has been instrumental in the implementation of hundreds of music therapy programs throughout Canada for almost 30 years and we have been thrice nominated for the Community Impact Award by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the recipient of the two most prestigious Canadian music therapy lifetime service awards: the Franni Award and the Norma Sharpe Award.
She has served as the President for the Canadian Association of Music Therapists for 5 years and has been an invited keynote speaker at national and international conventions speaking on music therapy and health entrepreneurship to a wide variety of education, healthcare, government, small business, and corporate audiences.
As an author of two award-winning books – ‘Tune In‘ and ‘Wellness Incorporated‘ she has appeared as a guest on numerous news and current affairs programs including Fox News Health, NBC, CBS, CBC Radio, CBC Television, CTV, Global TV, and has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, Chatelaine Magazine and Canadian Living (read articles and view videos here)
At the age of 36, she learned to swim, and then 10 years later she obtained her MBA specializing in social entrepreneurship from the University of Fredricton. In addition to raising her two children and being married for over 25 years, she classifies these as some of her most noteworthy moments in life.