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Oak Bay community tunes in to return of painted pianos

Instruments can be found at five locations, dusk to dawn, until mid September
Retired holistic pediatrician Carl Ivey shares his passion for piano and the works of Beethoven at Spewhung/Turkey Head in Oak Bay on Wednesday evening, Aug. 11. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)

Oak Bay Parks, Recreation and Culture’s painted piano project is a go, with five colourful instruments set up around the District for the public to play and admire.

This creative music project is part of the District of Oak Bay’s public art program ArtsAlive, with the pianos painted by local artists and senior art students from St. Michael’s University School. The instruments are provided, tuned and installed by Allison Piano.

RELATED READ: August to see return of community painted pianos in Oak Bay

Playing at the Turkey Head piano on Wednesday evening was retired holistic pediatrician Carl Ivey, who was first introduced to the instrument at age nine but formally took it up at 35.

Ivey, a classical music enthusiast, celebrated Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday in December and is now able to publicly honour the German composer’s musical genius. He shared information with Black Press Media about Beethoven’s life, such as his mixed-race origins and struggles with his deafness, and recited a portion of his iconic Symphony No. 9.

Further down the Oak Bay waterfront, the piano installed at McNeill Bay along Beach Drive sports a colourful seascape with jubilant seals.

Besides McNeill Bay and Turkey Head, painted pianos can also be found at Cattle Point, Loon Bay Park and Willows Beach and will be available for daily public use 10 a.m. to dusk until mid September.

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