CANMORE – Local musician Grant Salvin woke up to an unpleasant Christmas surprise on Dec. 22, discovering that thieves had broken into his van absconding with every piece of music gear he owned.
“We had just played at the Legion in Banff on Friday night and had another show on Sunday,” Slavin said. “All of my equipment from the show was in the van."
It was difficult losing around $6,000 in instruments and sound equipment, he said, but what has proven harder to accept is the collection of song lyrics and sheet music that were stashed in a guitar case that was stolen.
“It was two songs that I have been working on, it was personal,” Slavin said. “It’s not that these songs are going anywhere … I do it for fun.”
Slavin said his hobby and passion is creating music. He has collected instruments and sound equipment over the last 15 years that disappeared overnight.
“All I have is those guitars and amps,” Slavin said. “They’re all gone.”
One of the stolen instruments is especially meaningful to the musician as it is as rare customized Fender Squire guitar. It was stolen that night along with two six-string electric guitars, a P.A. system, mixing board, three powered speakers, bass amp, four guitar pedals, a tablet, a Kodak digital camera, drum machine and his wallet.
“I’m not crushed because it was a $1,000 guitar,” he said. “It’s not crushing me financially, but it’s my personal stuff, it’s all I have. It’s the only stuff I’ve had.”
Slavin and his family recently moved into the new development Hawks Bend in Larch and the gear was stolen from his van sitting in his driveway.
He parked the van around 8 p.m. that Friday, Dec. 22.
It was the next morning between 8-9 a.m. he went to check on the van and discovered the vehicle's side door was open and his gear was gone.
“They took everything in the van, it would have taken them a good 20 minutes to unload that thing,” Slavin said. “I was in my house literally sleeping just above.”
He was surprised the thieves were out that night, Slavin added, because of the terrible snowstorm that engulfed the Bow Valley.
“Who’s ever out there in a massive snowstorm trying to rob people … To be that ballsy I’m almost thankful I didn’t come out when that was happening. It could have ended up worse,” Slavin said. “I hope they need it more than me.”
He understands social problems and feels for the person or people who cleaned out his van and that he hopes they get the help they need, Slavin said.
Slavin has filed a police report and insurance claim, he said, but he still feels violated and has little hope he will somehow be reunited with his stolen items.
He has already cancelled one gig because he does not have a guitar.
Slavin books all the bands at the Drake and Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon, he said, explaining that he is grateful the Bow Valley music community has rallied to spread the word that his gear was stolen through social media.
“Through that network of musicians it’s out there,” Slavin said. “Stuff happens, we’ll recover.”