Vandals put Vernon public piano out of play

Downtown instrument destroyed, but public project is not over

An instrument of joy has been destroyed in downtown Vernon.

A colourful piano had been stationed next to the sidewalk in front of Good Gracious on 30th Avenue, since early spring.

But it didn’t last long. The piano was tipped over and damaged recently.

David Stanfield, manager of the Vernon Public Piano Project, is disheartened by how the instrument was treated.

“I checked on it every couple of days and had to clean up nasty stuff sometimes,” he said of cigarette butts, alcohol and garbage.

But he did and it was worth it when he saw the joy the piano brought to those who sat down to tickle its ivories, and those who took a minute to listen to the music.

“This is not for me, this is for the homeless people,” Stanfield said. “For some of them, this is the most important thing in their life. I bump into them and they tell me how much this means to them.”

“This music is part of the solution, now they have something to do,” he said. “It actually makes a difference in people’s lives.

“It’s precious.”

But the man behind the piano knew its days could be over in a flash.

The piano project is not over, though.

Efforts are underway to get a piano into an indoor venue and off the streets.

While it may not continue to be a public instrument, it could still serve as a centre for performances, for those who are truly interested in respecting it, Standfield said.

“So this is a long-term project, and I have every intent on working on this being integrated into the new cultural centre,” he said, hoping the arts community will get behind him to assist.

This isn’t the first time the piano has been removed from the streets.

Former Good Gracious owner Dave Russell bought the piano from Dodd’s Auction in 2015 and put it in front of the store. Looking for an artist to liven up the instrument, Russell put a call out to the public via the Morning Star, for someone interested in adding some colour and art to the piano.

Stanfield, a public artist, read the article while in the Bean Scene and decided to add his personal touch to the piano.

READ MORE: Downtown feature hits a high note

“I took it upon myself to continue being the creative artist, and maintenance man — not only of the piano, but of the general area; garbage on the sidewalk, etc.,” Stanfield said.

But the piano didn’t last long due to vandalism and someone who even went out of their way to move it down the road.

Good Gracious no longer wanted the responsibility, therefore Stanfield took over and has been housing the piano in his storage for the past four years until he finally brought it back out this spring.

He even worked with Interior Piano Service to get the instrument tuned and has since been in contact with the Towne Cinema to possibly move the piano in there.

READ MORE: Piano man lights up Vernon streets


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

EntertainmentLive music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon Mounties probe white supremacy propaganda

Slips leading people to websites boasting extreme ideology were strewn about local school yards Sept. 30

B.C. Green candidates announced for Central Okanagan ridings

A call for candidates was put out late last week for the Central Okanagan

Outbreak at Vernon care facility not COVID-19

Scenario C respiratory illness outbreak declared Sept. 25 by Interior Health

Costs climb to more than $100K for BC SPCA to care for animals in Princeton farm seizure

Eight puppies, of the 97 animals seized have now died from parvovirus enteritis

Vernon author’s book describes how child’s death transforms mother’s life

Destanne Norris to hold book signings in Vernon and Salmon Arm

B.C. starts October with 82 more positive COVID-19 tests

10,899 tests a record for a single day, Bonnie Henry says

Out of the shadows: Illuminating Revelstoke’s overdose crisis

The city has one of the highest illicit drug death rates per capita in B.C.

Missing mushroom picker in northern B.C. found dead

Witset elder found deceased in Price Creek area more than two weeks after he vanished

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Greens focus on long-term care reform in first platform promise

Greens have promised to move away from the for-profit care home model

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘It’s a nightmare’: Northern B.C. family desperate after living in hotel for a year

Renae Podgorney says because of a lack of rentals, she’s now applying to rent a one-bedroom unit

Highway 6 limited in North Okanagan

Another crash reported by DriveBC following morning logging truck rollover

Sports back at play in North Okanagan schools

Gymnasiums opened up within the district for school-organized sports only

Most Read