‘Le Groupe MusiArt’ is Back on Stage After the Fire

On May 25, 2023, members of the Groupe MusiArt‘ choir, made up of psychiatric outpatients from the MUHC Music Therapy Program at the Montreal General Hospital, were preparing to celebrate the launch of their third album Less than two hours later, flames consumed the Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur, where the show was scheduled to take place. This heartbreaking situation caused the cancellation of the performance, in addition to the loss of music equipment and personal belongings in the fire. 

Healing Through Music Therapy

At the Montreal General Hospital, music is used to connect patients at the Mental Health Mission with their emotions, to encourage self expression, and to open doors that regular therapy doesn’t always successfully open.  

The members of the MusiArt choir get together weekly to sing, and to compose their own songs. In the process, they discover new forms of expression, build friendships and, most importantly, enjoy a space free from judgment or pressure. 

Learning to Recover  

In the months following the disaster, music therapy sessions were no longer held, as most of the equipment and instruments had been damaged. The costs associated with this unfortunate incident were considerable, and unfortunately not fully covered by insurance 

”The choir members really put the title of their album, Resilience, to the test with this experience, “ said Dany Bouchard, Music Therapist at the Montreal General Hospital. In fact, we were just about to launch this album, intimately linked to mental health issues and the pandemic when this happened. I’m extremely proud of the way they have risen above this challenge, even if the impact on them has been significant.“  

Inspired by Solidarity  

When he heard about the tragedy in the media, Mark Lazar was moved by the cause and the fate of ‘Le groupe MusiArt‘ choir. As a native Montrealer with a strong desire to give back to society, he immediately contacted the Foundation to get involved and help the group recover what had been lost. He launched a fundraiser within his own network, and made it his mission to help cover the cost of the damages. 

When I learned about the impact of the loss of the instruments and the damage it could cause to the mental health patients involved, I knew it was something I could help with. Helping someone can change the course of a person’s life, just like music can, and I felt it was important for me to be a part of that, said Mr. Lazar. 

25 Years of Music Therapy 

Despite all the setbacks the choir members have experienced, whether in their personal lives or, more recently, with this fire, they persevereOn October 12, they finally gathered at the Théâtre Plaza to launch their third album, Resilience 
album cover for Musicothérapie - Resilience - Le groupe Musiart

Le Groupe MusiArt‘ has never been so eager to put on a show, and this date is extremely meaningful for us, as we celebrated the choir’s 25th anniversary, explains Dany Bouchard, music therapist. Everyone at the concert was able to feel the strength and passion of the choir, making it a very moving experience.  

You can show your solidarity by making a gift. All proceeds will go directly to the cause.   


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