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

Affordable housing idea dead for Central Park, idea shifts to Royal Athletic Park lot

Underground parking with housing units above to be considered for existing lot

Victoria airport workers rally on Tuesday

Food service workers call for improved working conditions

BC Nurses Union calls for decriminalization of opioids

BCNU president wants the federal government to do more to reduce preventable deaths

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

One year later: Still no suspects in killing of 13-year-old B.C. girl

Marrisa Shen was killed in Burnaby’s Central Park on July 18, 2017

Cougar shot by police in Nanaimo

Shooting occurred in water at Nanaimo Yacht Club at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday

BC Games opening ceremonies promise to be magical

Features Shane Koyczan and his band, Asani, parade of athletes, and lots more

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors send DeMar DeRozan to Spurs in colossal NBA trade

Toronto also sent Jakob Poeltl and 2019 first-round pick, gets Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

More lightning forecast as storm sparks 38 new wildfires in B.C.

22 new fires in are burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Banff’s bathroom bears returned to the park after 15 months of rehab in Ontario

Black bears, now yearlings, were sent to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Ontario last April

‘Recovery high schools,’ per diems urged to better manage addiction in B.C.

BC Centre for Substance Use says focus needs to shift to from overdose prevention to long-term care

Most Read