Drelene Gibb

Music gives new hope to seniors

Lounge Lizards shows success in creating community

  • Sep. 2, 2014 7:00 a.m.

While some may see it as a fun outing on a Sunday afternoon, Lounge Lizards is so much more for many of its performers and audience members.

Lounge Lizards is an open mic venue for seniors at the Monterey Recreation Centre.

“It’s kind of rediscovering, or discovering for the first time in your life, some of your gifts and talents,” said Drelene Gibb, organizer of Lounge Lizards. “A lot of times you put these extra things that are your gifts on the shelf for a while.”

For Mike Goubault it’s the venue that turned his life around.

When Goubault’s wife of 10 years died in January 2013, he was emotionally adrift. “I lost my best friend,” he said. “I went to a couple of those support groups and they didn’t do anything for me.” The only thing that has seemed to help him deal with the grief is performing at the Lounge Lizards.

“It’s a form of a healing process,” he said. “Lounge Lizards has put me back in the saddle. It made me focus more on what life is all about.”

Gibb too, finds performing at Lounge Lizards healing for her, having gone through her husband’s death three years ago, and breast cancer a year after that.

“The thing that actually pulled me through was playing the ukulele and these old songs,” said Gibb.

“It’s one thing to join a breast cancer support group, but that can be depressing. When you come to something like this it does more. It’s uplifting.”

Carl Ivey is also a popular performer at the Lounge Lizards. A former pediatrician, Ivey is known as Classical Carl and performs in area seniors homes as well.

“I play music that resonates with me – Beethoven, Bach, Chopin,” he said. “I love to meet people who say they don’t like classical music – it’s like not liking gravity.”

Days before Goubault’s wife died, as she lay unresponsive in bed in hospice at Royal Jubilee Hospital, he played her a couple of her favourite Elvis songs.

“All of a sudden she started moving her hands like this in bed,” he said, waving his hands with the memory.

Ivey said studies have been done that show music has a therapeutic effect. “Music makes people feel good. It brings joy and pleasure and stimulates the immune system. … The word silly comes from the old English selig, which means happiness and long life. Long before it was proven in a lab, the ancients knew.”

Goubault won the Lounge Lizards people’s choice award this summer. He now gets joy out of brightening people’s days by singing and performing.

“When you go home at night you feel good that you made somebody happy or sang someone’s favourite song.”

“It’s a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon,” said Trudy King who regularly attends the weekly shows. “I enjoy it very much. There’s all kinds of people, quite a variety, some people play piano, some play ukulele and there are some very good singers.”

“Whether we participate as musicians or form part of the audience, we are guaranteed two hours of both entertainment and camaraderie. In my opinion, every centre should emulate this program,” agreed performer Frankie Glickman.

Gibb said it’s about what music and being part of a community can do for people, whether they are performing or sitting in the audience. “Monterey has a lot of clubs, but this is a venue for individuals, that’s why I started it, for people who feel at loose ends,” she said.

“It’s an awesome idea, it’s an amazing venue,” agreed Ivey. “We can all  be ourselves and be comfortable making mistakes, no one’s going to throw rotten tomatoes.”

The Lounge Lizards open mic is on every Sunday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Monterey Centre, 1442 Monterey Ave.

 

Just Posted

Two popular Oak Bay art pieces to be installed permanently

Bodhi Frog and The Hunt stay thanks to public support and Oak Bay arts laureate Barbara Adams

Deadline looms for second annual Acorn Arts Award

Nominations for Oak Bay award must be in by Jan. 19

Upgrades to Millstream overpass to begin Feb. 1

Project includes addition of left hand turn lane onto highway to Victoria

VIDEO: Murdoch to run for mayor

Two-term councillor Kevin Murdoch announces his intent to run for mayor’s chair in fall election

Langford loses bid to host Amazon HQ2

Mayor hopes to attract more tech jobs to city

VIDEO: Murdoch to run for mayor

Two-term councillor Kevin Murdoch announces his intent to run for mayor’s chair in fall election

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

Gas plants verdict coming down today; ex-premier’s top aides to learn fate

Verdict to be delivered on senior staff to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Most Read