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Pitch perfect: Pianos in Parks returns to Kelowna

The 2024 season returns to its pre-pandemic scale with eight pianos placed in community locations
Festivals Kelowna Pianos in Parks program returns for 2024.

Pianos in Parks returns this week as Festivals Kelowna places decorated pianos on city streets and in public spaces. 

The program aims to animate and beautify public spaces.

The 2024 season returns to its pre-pandemic scale with eight pianos placed in high pedestrian traffic, community locations where they will be available for everyone to play until mid-September.

“Get ready to tickle those ivories,” said Renata Mills, Festivals Kelowna executive director. She pointed out that the program has been around since 2015 and would not be possible without the support of Wentworth Music. 

Pianos in Parks is modeled after similar programs around the world called Public Pianos.  The instruments also function as public art, hand-painted by local artists with original, unique designs. 

Past artists include internationally renowned watercolour artist Alex Fong, First Nation artists Coralee Miller of the Syilx Okanagan Nation and Barb Dawson of the Tlinget Nation, Emily Carr graduate Jolene Mackie, and Kelowna based mural artist Liz Ranney. 

This year’s artists include Vernon’s Ayla Cooper and Marc Dermott of 99.9 Virgin Radio Kelowna.  Returning artists are local drag performer and visual artist Shannon Lester, Ukraine graphic designer Stefania Miro, Kelowna mural artist Sara Richardson, and painting instructor Jamie Pisak.  

“One of the best parts of Pianos in Parks is discovering where they are,” Mills explained. “So, starting Tuesday (June 11) be on the lookout as these beauties pop up like spring flowers around the city.” 

More information can be found on the Festivals Kelowna website.

Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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