It was a fun, musical-filled day as Business & Arts NL launched its latest #ComePlayWithMeNL public piano at the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre on May 15.
After greeting the assembled guests and giving a background on the public piano program, Pete Soucy, Director of Collaborations, introduced Shelley Smith, who donated the piano in memory of her grandmother, self-taught church organist Gladys Smith. The piano was previously played by Shelley’s daughter, and its new home at the Arts & Culture Centre will give it new life as more hands come by to tickle the ivories, creating beautiful music and memories along the way.
A wonderful example of creativity and collaboration, this latest piano was painted and designed by the 2019 graduates of CNA’s Textile & Apparel Design Program, under the guidance of instructor Stephanie Stoker. Featuring a red curtain, stage lights, musical instruments, a pair of marionettes, and costumes and the tools that help create them, the design reflects a celebration of local live performance – a fitting tribute to the building in which it sits. (More about the design and process in an upcoming post.)
The instrument is sponsored by Toyota Plaza and helps further Business & Arts NL’s goal of bringing the province’s creative and business communities closer together.
“We are delighted to support the work and vision of Business & Arts NL,” says Dan Penney, owner of Penney Auto Group.
“We hope this piano can inspire young and old alike, and lead to new events and activity at the Arts & Culture Centre.”
After a few words from Aiden Flynn, local actor and director of the province’s arts and culture centres, members of the Vanier Elementary School Choir, under the direction of Adrien Doucet, performed a few numbers for the crowd. They were accompanied by Evan Smith, who made the piano sing in fine style for its inaugural performance. (Click here for a couple of clips of the performance.)
Since it launched, the #ComePlayWithMeNL public piano program has helped bring people of all ages together through spontaneous moments of community music making. We welcome everyone to our next piano launch on May 25 at 2pm at the St. John’s Farmers’ Market (featuring a performance by Mick Davis).
Other #ComePlayWithMeNL public pianos can be found at the St. John’s International Airport, Deer Lake Airport, Memorial University Student Centre, Atlantic Place, Health Sciences Centre, and Emera Innovation Exchange.