Growing up in a middle class home in B.C.'s Fraser Valley, Jacob Hoggard credits library visits for introducing him to knowledge he wouldn't have access to – and expanding his horizons.

Now the frontman for the Juno award-winning band Hedley, the singer is backing a new program that lends musical instruments to patrons of the Vancouver Public Library.

"In the Fraser Valley, the library was always a place that brought community together," he said.

"Music for me was a very private and personal experience and to have this element become a part of the community is such a huge step forward in what Canadians believe in…supporting our culture, supporting our arts."

Starting today, library users can borrow more than 100 instruments from the central branch completely free of charge.

The innovative lending initiative is spearheaded by Sun Life Financial, which donated the first 100 instruments, including guitars, trumpets, trombones, ukuleles, violins and portable keyboards.

It's part of a national rollout that will see more lending libraries across Canada. The first one was launched at the Toronto Public Library in April.

Ryan Guldemond, guitarist and singer of Mother Mother, helped unveil the Vancouver program.

"If it wasn't for our access to instruments when we were growing up we probably wouldn't be here, we probably wouldn't be working within the realm of our passion," he told reporters.

"To think that this will enable young people or anybody to unearth their own creativity and potentially follow their dreams is a really amazing thing."

The library is also accepting instrument donations until July 4, and music lovers are encouraged to drop off new and gently used instruments at any library branch or two Vancouver Long & McQuade locations.

Head librarian Sandra Singh is hoping to see a broader range of instruments from around the world.