The streets of Kelowna are about to get even more vibrant thanks to Festival Kelowna’s pianos in the streets.
‘Pianos in the Parks’ will hit the streets this year to animate and beautify public spaces through community interaction with the pianos.
The 2021 season will see 5 pianos placed in high traffic, downtown locations available for everyone to play now until the end of September with a sixth piano popping up in Rutland’s Roxby Park in early July.
“Pianos in Parks has become one of our most treasured and memorable initiatives,” explained Renata Mills, Executive Director. “When we first launched the program in 2015 we knew we had something special on our hands. Now in its 6th year, we have received inquiries non-stop for the past months asking when the pianos would be available to play.”
The idea grew from a video post to the Festivals Kelowna Facebook page that drew huge interest, comments, and enthusiasm. Keeping it simple and focusing on what the society excels at, Festivals Kelowna staff knew this program would be another great way to animate outdoor public spaces through arts and culture.
The pianos have a dual purpose in that not only do people play the pianos and “animate” public spaces through their music, the pianos become temporary pieces of “public art” having been hand-painted by local artists with original, unique designs.
Each year multiple Okanagan artists participate by painting a piano in their artistic style. This year’s artists include Vernon watercolour artist Ruth Nygard, First Nation artists Coralee Miller of the Syilx Okanagan Nation and Barb Dawson of the Tlinget Nation, and Kelowna-based mural artist Liz Ranney.
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