Calgary family donates pipe organ to school

Calgary family’s pipe organ finds new home at Chestermere school

WATCH ABOVE: Gil Tucker reports on how a Calgary family’s pipe organ found a new home and escaped the landfill.

CALGARY –  A Calgary family’s wish to find a home for their 80-year-old pipe organ has been fulfilled. The heirloom was packed up into pieces this week, on its way to a music teacher at Chestermere High School.


Made 80 years ago in Toronto, the instrument was originally shipped west to a Calgary funeral home.

After Herb Vandernet bought it from the home, he spent two years building his basement around the organ, its 300 pipes taking up an entire room.

Following his death last fall, his children put the house up for sale and hoped the piece of history could be preserved.

“Our biggest fear is that this organ is going to end up in the landfill,” said daughter Alice Ward in a previous interview. “It’s too beautiful and it meant too much to my father to have that happen.”


In donating it to Johnston and his band students in Chestermere, the family got to keep it close to home.

“It’ll be an adventure. It’ll be loud…we want it loud,” said Johnston.


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