The Public Piano Program
The #ComePlayWithMeNL Public Piano Program launched in December, 2014, with the Jag Hotel piano featured at the St. John’s International Airport. We now have 6 pianos placed across the province in public spaces – with several more on the way. Each donated piano is painted by a local artist, debuted by a local musician, and sponsored by a local business. The Piano Program is constantly growing and we have plans to install public pianos at Arts & Culture Centers, airports, hospitals, and other public venues across the province.
These pianos allow for spontaneous personal expression, the public’s enjoyment of the piano in the vicinity, and ample opportunities to share on various forms of social media. The pianos add to the atmosphere to create an active, alive, and engaged place of interest, and provides the opportunity to connect over music. Our public pianos have proven to be most welcome and utilized. On top of the general public use of the pianos, the location sponsors are active in creating events structured around the instrument.
For more information, contact Pete Soucy at email@example.com or (709) 746 3470
Coast 101.1 Piano at the MUN UC Food Court
The new Coast 101.1 piano, beautifully and brightly designed and painted by local artist Mark Benson, was officially unveiled during a special ceremony on February 14, 2019. The instrument was generously donated by Kathryn and Aubrey Anderson, who had it in their family for almost six decades. After it was unveiled to the public, beloved singer/songwriter Mark Bragg christened the piano with a charismatic performance. The St. John’s native, and current Corner Brook resident, has long been a staple of the local music scene and has won over fans near and far with his unique sound and style.
This is the sixth piano for Business and Arts NL and we hope to have several more in place by the end of 2019.
Find out more info about the piano here.
Memorial University Piano at the Emera Innovation Exchange, Signal Hill Campus
On September 29, 2018, Business & Arts NL was pleased to unveil its latest public piano (sponsored by Memorial University) at the Emera Innovation Exchange at Memorial’s new Signal Hill Campus. The piano launch was accompanied by remarks from Jennifer Adams, Director of Strategic Innovation at Signal Hill Campus; Memorial University President Dr. Gary Kachanoski; and Business & Arts NL Executive Director Peter Soucy. Bill Brennan, award-winning musician and assistant professor at Memorial University’s School of Music, christened the baby grand with a few tunes.
The baby grand was left unpainted, and instead the piano was accompanied by a newly commissioned, bold and beautiful artwork created by local illustrator, graphic designer, print maker and musician Jud Haynes.
Read more about the Signal Hill Campus piano launch here.
Comfort Inn (Clayton Hospitality) Piano at the Health Science Complex
In May 2018, Business and Arts NL was excited to launch the Comfort Inn piano at the Health Science Centre in St. John’s. Painted in hues of sky blue, yellow, purple, green and red, local artist Louise Markus has channelled the beauty, warmth and comfort of a traditional Newfoundland quilt for the design, making it a perfect addition to the facility said David Diamond, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Health.
The piano is regularly played by staff, visitors and patients.
Read more about the Health Science piano launch here.
Humber Motors Piano at the Deer Lake Airport
Stephen Eckert performed a free community concert at the Airport on Aug 31, 2017.
The public piano at Deer Lake Airport, installed by Business & Arts in August 2015, has also been getting its fair share of attention. Brightly decorated with an underwater theme by Corner Brook artist Jackie Alcock (who made a video of her process) and sponsored by Humber Motors, the piano has caught the eye of many who’ve passed through the airport over the summer (including some familiar faces like Alan Doyle). And during a visit to Gros Morne in September, some members of the Canadian Chamber Choir touched down to play a few tunes!
Read more about the Deer Lake piano launch here.
New Dock Piano at Atlantic Place
The Newdock sponsored piano was launched on February 26th, 2017 at Atlantic Place. Painted by artist Sarah O’Rourke-Whelan, this piano has a sea to sky setting which includes sonar imaging of the ocean floor at the very bottom. The piano is used by food court customers, Atlantic Place workers and tenant staff. There has also been Christmas events and several wedding receptions to date.
Coast 101.1 Piano at MUN Centre, St. John’s
The piano hosted by MUN and sponsored by Penney Auto Group has been a huge hit. It was designed by Benjy Kean (see video, above), and premiered by Brian Way and Noelle Slaney in February 2016. The piano enlivens the food court in the University Centre, where is played frequently, including as the centrepiece of the #MUNCafe Concert Series.
Jag Piano at the St. John’s International Airport
Business and Arts NL launched Newfoundland and Labrador’s first “Street Piano” at St. John’s International Airport in December 2014. Since the launch, the public piano has become an important element of the Airport environment, drawing in people of all ages and from all places to take part in the Come Play With Me NL (#ComePlayWithMeNL) Street Piano Project.
The piano was repainted by Cara Kansala in February 2016.
The original piano was painted by artist Justin Fong, debuted by Timothy Brennan, and proudly sponsored by JAG (Steele Hotels). The piano displays Fong’s vibrant artwork as well as JAG’s advertisement to the 3 million passengers walking through St. John’s airport each year. As well as being featured in a video circulated by Air Canada NL for the Christmas season, social media videos featuring this piano have received tens of thousands of views. There are also plans to incorporate the piano into future media items of both the airport and their vendors, providing a great deal of exposure for all artists and businesses involved. This mutual benefit to arts and business is a microcosmic demonstration of Business and Arts NL’s mandate, as well as an important contributor to our young organization’s visibility in the community.
While welcoming ECMA Artists to St. John’s, we spent a “day in the life of a street piano” at the airport:
Musicians have been finding creative ways to harness some of the magic of this piano. Fairgale, a band based out of St. John’s, recently posted a Youtube video of the band performing an unplugged version of a classic Trooper song. The video has received nearly 9,000 views, and landed the band a spot opening for Trooper at the 2015 George Street Festival!
Read more about the St. John’s International Airport piano launch here.