“Thanks to the library, it’s free,” he says. “It’s very expensive otherwise and I just don’t have the money to do that. I feel very lucky.”

“I’ve recorded more than 20 songs already,” he told the Westender community newspaper, which profiled how the library’s space, equipment and workshops open up opportunities the community might not have otherwise. “I have a CD that I’m selling now.”

Sales are going well – “it’s turned out great” – and passersby regularly buy his CD now instead of capturing his performance on their mobile phones, as they sometimes did in the past.

He came to Canada from Guatemala via the US more than 25 years ago, leaving behind the political unrest of the time. His first job here was as a labourer in a factory. It wasn’t for him, and he started performing as a street musician a few years later.

Now that he’s seen the success of his first CD – dream fulfilled – he has more in the works. Next is a stop in the VPL Inspiration Lab to record Christmas music. “I want to make it really good and maybe even collaborate with two or three other musicians.”

Fulfill a dream