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Keys for the City brings music to St. Albert

Street Piano Project gives public access to pianos this summer

By: By Berkley Lamb

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014 06:00 am

PIANO PROJECT – Residents will once again notice decorated pianos in various public places in St. Albert as a street project entitled Keys for the City is underway for its second season. The pianos, which are available for playing, will be displayed until Sept. 28.
PIANO PROJECT – Residents will once again notice decorated pianos in various public places in St. Albert as a street project entitled Keys for the City is underway for its second season. The pianos, which are available for playing, will be displayed until Sept. 28.
FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

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The second season of the street piano project Keys for the City has kicked off in St. Albert.

The project, hosted by St. Albert Cultivates the Arts Society, highlights the musical and creative side of St. Albert’s arts scene by displaying decorated pianos for public use throughout the city that are available. This summer another piano has been added to the lineup.

During the Northern Alberta International Children’s Festival, visitors had an opportunity to be a part of the project by participating in the decoration of the most recently donated piano. The artist, Josee Chartrand, was the mastermind behind the design and vision of the piano, while participants were allowed to glue buttons onto the piano to help create the beautiful mosaic that covers the instrument.

“We had huge numbers of people dropping by for the five days … about 1,000 people stopped to participate,” said Nancy Watt, the creator of Keys for the City, who was on scene with the newest piano at the children’s festival.

“This piano was decorated by the people of the community.”

The pianos are donated by Don’s Piano Place. Last year, the three original pianos were on display for one month. After their popularity and success, this year it has been decided that the pianos will be on display and available for public use all summer.

“Their purpose is to introduce people to the piano, but also as an opportunity for musicians to come out and play,” explains Watt, who says she often sees people come out to watch others play the piano, sometimes with a band of other instruments.

“It brings me happiness to see people playing the pianos.”

The newest piano is located by Cranky’s Bike Shop (24 Perron St.). One piano is at La Crèma Caffé (44 St. Thomas St.), another at the Grain Elevator Park, and the fourth is at St. Albert Place on the front plaza. The pianos will be on display until Sept. 28.


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