When seven-year-old Cici Qin saw a piano placed outside the Richmond Cultural Centre, she didn’t hesitate to tinkle its ivories.
“It’s nice,” Quin said, who started playing only eight months ago. “I like the sound.”
Three pianos are being placed outside in Richmond by the Piano Teachers Federation (PTF), part of their Pianos on the Street program.
As well as the cultural centre, a piano is being placed at the Britannia Heritage Shipyard.
The purpose is to make music available to all members of the public, explained PTF spokesperson Laura Shortt.
“We are hoping with this project to build bridges across communities and activate community spaces through these pianos,” Shortt said, explaining pianos are being placed in iconic locations in Metro Vancouver such as Grouse Mountain and Westminster Quay.
“We are also engaging with community groups to paint those pianos, which will be in those places throughout the entire summer.”
The pianos are all owned by Sean Pacey, founder of the PTF and a piano storeowner.
The program is similar to the City of Vancouver’s Keys to the Streets, which started last year.
The piano outside the library will be painted on Friday, in time for its official launch on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Vandalism is an obvious concern, as the pianos are left out overnight — but that hasn’t stopped the music.
“We have had a few issues with vandalism but Sean is determined to keep this project going,” Shortt said. “Whenever we have vandalism, we go back and paint them again and get the community group involved again.”
Shortt added that there is also a contest where people can upload themselves playing on one of the outdoor pianos. Those with the most likes can win cash prizes of up to $400. Competitors will also be eligible for a chance to play with the North Shore Symphony.
For more information, visit www.supportpiano.com.