It was a big day for Business & Arts NL’s public piano program in the Big Land as the organization launched its very first #ComePlayWithMeNL piano in Labrador.
This latest piano was officially unveiled on December 19 at the Goose Bay Airport and is sponsored by Royal Inn + Suites – Goose Bay’s top-rated hotel and an Indigenous-owned business as part of the Nunacor group of companies. It was generously donated by Karl Manuel, in memory of his parents Ethel (Fry) Manuel and Benoit Manuel.
This latest instrument features the beautiful artwork of local NunatuKavut artist Charlene Rumbolt of Great Caribou Studio (located in Mary’s Harbour). Her artwork is influenced by the people around her and her connection to the land, and the piano design is no exception. Featuring wildberries, whales, caribou, crab and tents among pristine wilderness, the design celebrates the beauty of the Labrador landscape and the richness of life in the Big Land. (While Rumbolt wasn’t able to attend the event, we’ll have more with her in an upcoming post.)
To kick things off, Pete Soucy, Business & Arts NL’s Director of Collaborations, welcomed the crowd and shared the story of the #ComePlayWithMeNL public piano program. Next, Andy Turnbull, CEO of Royal Inn + Suites/Nunacor; Goronwy Price, General Manager of the Goose Bay Airport Corporation; and Wally Anderson, Mayor of Happy Valley-Goose Bay all shared a few words.
The festive mood was in full swing once the cover was thrown off the new piano, as passengers and guests enjoyed a performance by local pianist Matthew Barrett (manager of the Lawrence O’Brien Arts Centre, where the piano was stored and painted), as well as coffee and snacks courtesy of Royal Inn + Suites. (Click here to see a short clip from Barrett’s performance.)
“We are happy to place this piano at the Goose Bay Airport for the enjoyment of travellers to and from the region,” Turnbull says.
“This instrument reflects and celebrates the beauty of Labrador and the joy music brings to us all.”
Additional contributors to the program include Astral Moving and Storage, as well as Household Movers, who move many pianos, free of charge, for Business & Arts NL every year.
Other #ComePlayWithMeNL public pianos are located at the St. John’s International Airport, Deer Lake Regional Airport, Memorial University Student Centre, Atlantic Place, the Health Sciences Centre, St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre, the Emera Innovation Exchange, the St. John’s Farmers’ Market, and Gander International Airport, with more coming in the next few months. Stay tuned!