Tapestry Music was started by owner David Sabourin in 1996. Originally a printed music specialist store located at 24th Avenue and King George Highway, Tapestry Music has grown since its humble beginnings to become a trusted supplier for music educators throughout BC and across Canada.
As the go-to music store for students, educators and professionals, the landmark White Rock Tapestry Music store, now celebrating 20 years in business, serves communities across the Lower Mainland from White Rock to North Vancouver. Beyond being a retail outlet, the popular store is a community hub for musicians and music fans alike, a meeting place where arts enthusiasts can connect and discover what’s new.
At the heart of Tapestry’s success is a passionate team of dedicated floor staff, off-site “mobile” music representatives, and experienced teachers. Helping their customers discover joy through music and excel in the instrument of their choice is their top priority. “Every person who walks through our doors has unique needs and interests, so asking the right questions is important,” explains owner David Sabourin, an accomplished tuba player, teacher, and music education advocate. With an estimated 15-20% of the population actively involved in music, Tapestry relies heavily on grassroots marketing, mainly through referrals and word of mouth.
Since moving into their current location on Johnston Road in 2004, Tapestry has expanded its facilities to include twelve White Rock teaching studios at two locations steps from the store, as well as an offsite repair studio. Hundreds of music students of all ages visit their studios each year. Providing services for school band programs is a core focus, and their representatives conduct onsite business with teachers helping to organize instrument rental nights, online sales, and facilitate instrument selection. As busy contractors, Tapestry collaborates with several school districts, including Langley, Delta, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver, servicing and repairing an instrument rental fleet of over 2000 instruments in preparation for each academic new year.
“We do a tremendous amount of business beyond our 2 locations in White Rock and Vancouver through our extensive network of school contacts,” explains Sabourin, who has been in the music retail business over 30 years, gaining valuable insight into teachers’ needs across the province. Tapestry strives to make sure every child has a chance to succeed in music by providing ongoing support through lessons, learning materials and more. “Teachers rely on us not only a retailer but as a support mechanism,” he notes.
Numerous studies point to the vital role arts education plays in shaping students’ lives, in particular helping at-risk youth stay on track. Playing in a band offers opportunities for teamwork in a non-competitive environment. With this in mind, Tapestry is oriented toward music education, and staff are advocates for keeping music alive in their community and schools. Sabourin, having taught at many local post-secondary institutions in addition to being a seasoned player with the Vancouver Symphony and Vancouver Opera, and his own ‘Touch of Brass” quintet, can speak firsthand about the power of music to shape lives. He has also had the unique honour of studying with the legendary Arnold Jacobs in Chicago, the principal tubist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for over 40 years.
Tapestry’s passionate instructors boast musical backgrounds and practical experience that are as diverse as the instruments they teach. Many are award-winning seasoned performers who have collaborated with musical celebrities and who are actively involved in the local arts scene. They play a key mentoring role as well, helping to raise a new generation of superstars, and encouraging newcomers of all ages to follow their musical dreams. Tapestry’s impressive teaching roster includes alumni from Canadian, American and UK post-secondary music programs. Lessons are available for a wide range of band and orchestra instruments, as well as contemporary vocal coaching.