Osoyoos Gyro Park was home to strains of a new sort Sunday afternoon as the community’s Piano in the Park was officially opened for public use.
“I think this is a wonderful opportunity for us to enjoy music on the beach,” said Mayor Sue McKortoff, speaking to a small group of people who gathered to welcome the new piano and thank all those who made it possible.
“I hope that we can all enjoy the music from every age group and that anybody who wants to can come down when the piano’s open and enjoy it and sing along with it.”
The local Piano in the Park project was the brainchild of Janis St. Louis, who along with Rusty Copeland and Alan Bleiken — The Three Amigos — are responsible for the popular Music in the Park program.
“I looked up on the internet and found they’re all over the world,” Janis said of pianos being placed in community parks. “There’s 10 of them in Kelowna. There’s 10 of them in Vancouver, or more.”
She made a a proposal to the Town of Osoyoos through the Waterfront Steering Committee and “they thought it was a great idea and gave me their support.”
The project was completed without grant funding of any kind, the piano donated by the local Turnbull family and other jobs completed by other individuals and businesses within the community.
A plaque attached to the back of the piano details community engagement.
The piano will be put away at night — covered by a sturdy box — but will be available to anyone interested in playing it during the day. It does, however, come with some community responsibility:
“We have a barbecue cover that will be attached to the back of the piano,” explained Ms St. Louis. “We’re going to ask people that if you’re around here during the day and it starts to rain, if you could just flip the cover on top of it.
“Right now, it’s just a fair-weather piano,” she added. “If it’s not nice, it will be covered. If it’s nice, it will be open.”