Who we are and what we do
Joe’s M.I.L.L. is a non-profit musical instrument library located in Kingston, Ontario. It was inspired by the late Joe Chithalen, a talented bass player who wanted everyone to experience the joy of playing an instrument. Several years and over 1,000 instruments later, Joe’s M.I.L.L. is a thriving, charitable organization powered by it’s volunteers and community partnerships.
Joe’s M.I.L.L has over 1,000 instruments and resources including guitars, keyboards, drums, horns, violins, percussion, amplifiers, exotic instruments, sheet music, and much more – and they’re all available to borrow free of charge!
Stop by the library, register ($15) and pick an instrument. The staff and volunteers at Joe’s M.I.L.L., will be happy to answer questions and help you find the right instrument to borrow.
Who was Joe?
Francis Joseph (Joe) Chithalen (November 17, 1967-May 1, 1999) was a Canadian musician who played bass with a number of bands in the Kingston music scene of the 1990s, most notably Bloom, Weeping Tile, The Mahones, Wild Blues Yonder and Haskell & The Cleavers. On May 1, 1999, Joe died tragically at the young age of 32 in Amsterdam shortly after a Mahone’s concert, reportedly from ingesting food containing peanuts.
Joe’s friend and former bandmate from Weeping Tile, Sarah Harmer, wrote “You Were Here”, the title track from her 2000 solo album, in memory of Joe. Joe’s M.I.L.L. was established by the late Wally High – Joe’s friend and bandmate from The Mahones – along with other friends, family, and fellow musicians to carry on Joe’s legacy of sharing music.
A memorial bench was dedicated to Joe Chithalen in 2001 in McDonald Park in Kingston, Ontario (near the lion), and in 2011 a bench was dedicated to Joe’s M.I.L.L. founder, Wally High, in Boucher Park on Clarence Street, Kingston, Ontario. Everyone is encouraged to visit these benches and take a few minutes to remember our dear friends.