KAMLOOPS – Within days of being vandalised beyond repair, the outpouring of love for the blue piano of downtown Kamloops has surprised the general manager of a downtown association.
In an attempt to draw people downtown, the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association placed a public piano near the corner Victoria Street and Third Avenue last year. Last week a vandal destroyed the piano, leaving the association, and the community, without a place to openly share music.
“It was a public space experiment… people took ownership of the space. We received a lot of emails about the piano,” association general manager Gay Pooler says, adding the piano was part of an ongoing goal to ‘activate’ downtown sidewalks, plazas and parks to encourage people to spend more time in public places..
While the association hasn’t figured out what to do with the old piano, Pooler says it’s 'a pain in the behind to move around' but thought it might make a 'cool planter.'
She also says the association has gotten multiple offers for new piano donations.
“Of course we have to replace it,” Pooler says of the old piano .
She says they have looked into having multiple pianos in the downtown core, the only stipulation being the instrument needs some protection from the elements.
Pooler says this time they will do a better job of securing the piano’s lid. She also suggested a security camera that could function also as a live steam webcam.
“It would be very cool to see people play,” Pooler says.
Below are a few of the messages the association has received from residents sharing memories of the blue piano.
- Me and my one-year-old grandson Grayson had our ten or twenty minutes of fun on the blue piano this year 2015 on our way to MacDonald’s for an ice cream. Thank you for the pleasure, sorry to hear of the ignorance of our fellow man. I will pray for them.
- I was watching a group of teens. One of the young men full of piercings and tattoos walked over sat down and began to play symphony music. It was a delight. Living downtown I watched many people spend some time hunched over the blue piano I'm saddened to see it go.
- I am very sad to hear that there won't be the blue piano anymore. My children very much enjoyed playing as we went by. I'd like to see another!
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