Cross-Country Harp to Heart Tour comes to Ottawa

Gianetta Baril playing her harp Amadei in Ottawa. (Shaun Vardon / CTV News Ottawa)

After COVID-19 ended live concerts around the globe, Gianetta Baril would not be silenced. The award-winning, globetrotting recording artist, teacher and professional concert harpist decided to buy a van and convert it into a rolling home and concert hall.

Baril and her 17-year-old cat Misty have been on the road since April, leaving her home in Calgary, destined for Newfoundland and points between. With more than 100 concerts complete and 16,000 kilometres on the odometer so far, she has charmed thousands of Canadians with her harp “Amadei.”

“Normally I’d be travelling around the world and I felt strongly after a 40-year career. I know the power of live music and the harp, in particular, to bring comfort,” Baril said.

“I knew I had to find a way to do it, this project Harp to Heart is entirely philanthropic. I don’t pay myself, I do donations to keep myself rolling.”

Playing for small groups, her goal is to bring the beauty and comfort of live harp music to audiences of all ages.

“I was playing for a large school in Saskatoon and a little girl came up to me and I asked her, 'What does the music make you feel?' And she said, 'Music makes my heart feel like I can do anything,'” Baril said. “I’m having a really wonderful time. I have kids and grandkids and I miss them, but I said to them I enjoy playing the harp more than I ever have, and so I feel like I’ve found where I’m supposed to be.”

After her popup concerts in Ottawa, Baril is headed to Montreal and then Quebec City before she starts her tour of the Atlantic provinces. If you would like to learn more about Harp to Heart, or book a concert performance, you can find a link to her website here