Chantal Jolly

By Susan Summers, MMT, MTA
[email protected]

March 2, 1964 – November 13, 2009

Music therapy lost a bright and beautiful soul on November 13, 2009. Chantal Jolly passed away peacefully, after living with breast cancer for seven years. She was surrounded by loving family, friends and music therapists who offered music, prayers and healing. Music was in constant supply during her last days and accompanied her final transition.

Chantal was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba and graduated with an honours Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Computers at the University of Manitoba before training as an actuary. Moving to Vancouver in 1990, Chantal entered the Capilano College music therapy program, graduating with the Bachelors of Music Therapy degree in 1993. She was one of the ten pioneering music therapists who graduated with her Masters of Music Therapy degree from Open University in 1998, created and mentored by Dr. Carolyn Kenny, who became one of Chantal’s lifelong close friends. Chantal trained in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) with Linda Keiser Mardis, and became a fellow in the Association for Music and Imagery (FAMI). Chantal also had training and credentials in Reiki, sound healing, healing touch, reflexology and K Psych.

Clinically, Chantal worked with many people in a variety of settings: Riverview Hospital, Strathcona mental health, long term care homes, cancer care and at Crossroads hospice care. She had her own successful private practise and website. (

Chantal was actively involved in MTABC for many years. She was the Drumbeat editor in 1996, Vice-President in 2001, President of MTABC from 2002-2004 and Past President till 2005. She was a long time member of MTABC, CAMT and AMI.

Chantal was a consummate musician and singer, playing piano, bass, clarinet, guitar, harp and percussion. She was co-leader of Give Peace a Chant in Vancouver, as well as provided musical leadership for her church. She had performed in many bands throughout her lifetime, had original songs to her credit and was working on recording an album. There are plans to complete her album and hold a CD release party this spring.

Chantal loved adventure, travel, people, spirituality and healing, imaginative goddesses and faeries, laughter, parties, fun, color, beauty and life. She formed close and strong connections with many people over her years, as was testament with over four hundred attending her Celebration of Life on December 5. Her healing and therapeutic work touched thousands of lives. Her life and final transition engendered a community Circle of Love, which extended from the east coast of the US across Canada and to Japan, from California to the Queen Charlotte Islands. To view beautiful photos and videos of Chantal, please see these links:

Chantal had many accomplishments to her credit, but what will be remembered and celebrated most was her authenticity and realness. Chantal was someone who lived a life of love and who shared herself freely and generously with everyone. Her generosity and creativity knew no bounds. Her favourite phrase and song was “All you need is love”.

We celebrate her illuminating spirit, her kind and loving heart, her quick wit and infectious laughter, her beauty and her ability to light up a room just by being in it. Chantal is survived by her mother, Elin, many close cousins, aunts and uncles, and friends and colleagues from her many communities and from around the world.

Our music therapy community in BC has lost a sister and friend. To honour and remember her clinical contribution to music therapy, there will be a bursary or scholarship established in Chantal’s name at Capilano University to benefit music therapy students and interns. For further information about donating to Chantal’s scholarship/bursary, please contact [email protected].

Chantal’s own words, written on September 20, 2009:

“I was awakened at 1am by uncontrollable bliss and gratitude, and a never-stronger belief that miracles are happening everyday. We only call them miracles because we still doubt that they are the most natural process that can occur if we allow them to. Life blows me away with its wonder.”

Chantal shared her final words through her cousin, Gregg, at her Celebration of Life on December 5:

I would like to thank everybody just for being here and allowing me to share such a beautiful and enlightening experience, here on this journey. I would like to thank all my friends and family for their support, wisdom and love. Light and love to all as we celebrate. Celebration, love and light to all.

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