De-clutter your home by donating used records and CDs

It could be that you’re looking to downsize as you transition into condos or a smaller living space. Or it could be that you’re looking to de-clutter your home to make it more presentable to prospective buyers.

But at some point, it’s not unlikely that you’ll want to pass on some of your old musical things to someone else. If you live in the Winnipeg area, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra is only too happy to pick up your used records, CDs, and instruments for free.  This could save you the trouble of searching for a new home for such objects, which too often ends up being the Brady Road landfill. Just give the MCO a ring (204-783-7377), and a volunteer will come to you, at your convenience, to pick things up.

By donating your used records, instruments and CDs to the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, you’ll be supporting a non-profit with deep roots in the Winnipeg community. Taking advantage of the resurgent interest in vinyl among young people, the MCO sells used records, instruments, and CDs as part of a monthly fundraising sale known as Vinyl Vault.

The proceeds raised from the vault help to ensure that the MCO — described as Canada’s “tiny, perfect orchestra” (Toronto Sun) — can continue to present top international musicians, such as Dame Evelyn Glennie and James Ehnes, to local audiences. It also ensures that the MCO can go on delivering important outreach and education in northern communities like Churchill, the Pas, Thompson, Grand Rapids, Snow Lake, Flin Flon and Cormorant Lake. 

Vinyl Vault takes place on the last Saturday of each month, September to June, in the basement of the Power Building downtown. It’s grown into a funky event, drawing in young hipsters and veteran collectors alike. They engage in lively conversations about music over the warm strains of jazz, rock and folk records before leaving with a backpack full of neat new pickings. 

Part of what keeps the event popular is that the MCO doesn’t tend to mark up collectibles by more than a few dollars. Not long ago, MCO volunteers tell me that a young customer mined out a mint vinyl copy of Purple Rain by Prince, which she took home for the same price the MCO charges for nearly every record — $3. With CDs going for a mere $1, the vault is certainly among the cheapest music sales in the city.

The MCO depends exclusively on donations to keep the Vinyl Vault’s shelves stocked, so keep it in mind if you’re thinking of parting ways with some or all of your music collection. A donation to the vault can mean that some young Winnipeggers discover their favourite records of yesteryear or can afford to pick up and learn a new instrument.