Art Ferri plays piano at the Silver Threads Victoria location shared with the CNIB at Bay Street and Richmond Avenue in Victoria. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Piano Ferri donates Oak Bay painted instrument to Cool Aid

Cridge Centre, Pacifica Housing also gain a little music from Oak Bay’s painted pianos

Art Ferri plays piano a handful of times a week at the Silver Threads adjacent to the CNIB on Bay Street.

Just this week, Ferri found out he was allowed to play the grand piano in the atrium of the Patient Care Centre at Royal Jubilee Hospital and added it to his weekly rotation. Struggling with some health challenges, including defeating cancer more than a decade ago and macular degeneration – both sites are part of his regular routine.

Piano was always part of his schedule in Ottawa before moving to Oak Bay last December.

This summer he made the five pop-up public pianos painted by local artists a part of his new routine. Pianos painted by Artists Gillian Redwood, Jim McFarland, Tanta Pennington, Jonathan Gleed, and Robert Amos were installed at Turkey Head, Loon Bay Park, Cattle Point, Willows Park and Estevan Village. He played each of the five pianos this summer and fell in love with the one at Willows Beach, near his home.

Ferri says he’s been good with money, making more than he could use, and before coming here purchased an electric keyboard for a Kindergarten class in Ottawa. It was easy to transfer that philanthropy to Oak Bay when some of the pianos were auctioned off to help fund the program next year.

“I don’t need this money, so when I see an opportunity to help others, with music especially, it’s wonderful.”

This year, arts laureate Barbara Adams offered an option to lay down $1,000 up front to have an instrument donated to a cause.

“It’s a wonderful idea. Music is life,” Ferri said. “I was born at a time when your (general practitioner) delivered you at home, my father being a wonderful violinist I heard music every day at home until I married. So for me life without music is no life.”

The Willows Beach piano, painted with a scene of the beach itself, is destined for Swift House, Cool Aid Victoria supportive housing. The building, with Cool Aid’s first apartments, opened in 1991, and today is a 49-unit complex designed for people who have struggled with homelessness and maintaining a tenancy. The idea was for residents to live independently, with the support of staff trained and experienced in working with challenging behaviour.

Two other pianos went to good causes during the public art committee’s piano cabaret and fundraiser in October.

Mike Miller, president of Abstract Developments, purchased a piano for the Cridge Centre for the Family, while an anonymous donor purchased one for a Pacifica Housing site in Nanaimo.


 

@OakBayNews
cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

editor@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Cannabis consumption in the provincial capital

Victoria pot shops respond to the national legalization of marijuana

VIDEO: Police tell campers to leave Oak Bay park by 9 a.m.

Tent city leader expects confrontation, campers don’t plan to leave

Homeless campers of Namegans Nation head to Oak Bay

Roughly 30 members of roving tent city settle at Cattle Point in Uplands Wednesday

UPDATED: Early morning crash on Sooke Road causes traffic delays

The road has now been cleared of two incidents from Thursday morning

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Around the BCHL: Youth trumps experience for Chilliwack and Salmon Arm

Around the BCHL is a look at goings-on in the BCHL and the junior A world.

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Aquaman star spotted around Campbell River as production ramps up on See

Jason Momoa, best known for his role in Game of Thrones, is in town to film television series

Chain reaction crash on Vancouver Island leads to boat hitting house

Alcohol and speed may have been a factor in Courtenay crash

Proportional representation grows government, B.C. study finds

Spending, deficits higher in countries where voting system used

Ucluelet fears orca protection could shut down fisheries

“I beg you to start a process to put a stick in the wheels and slow these people down.”

Black market will thrive until small pot growers and sellers included: advocates

Advocates say the black market will continue to thrive until small retail shops and craft growers are included in the regime.

Most Read