Photos of the day: Piano in the Park at Watson’s Mill

by DaniGirl on September 25, 2016 · 4 comments

in Lucas, Mothership Photography, Ottawa's hidden treasures, Photo of the Day, Postcards from Manotick, Tristan

I had heard about Pianos in the Park, but didn’t realize until this week that they had installed a piano right around the corner from us at our favourite place. The Ottawa version of Pianos in the Park (apparently it’s an international movement) is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing pianos to local parks. They’ve got them downtown, in Carp, Barrhaven, Riverside South, and about a dozen other location, including one right here in Manotick. This is in the gazebo at AY Jackson park.

Piano in the Park at the Manotick Mill

As soon as Tristan heard about it, he wanted to check it out. He’s been teaching himself to play piano from YouTube videos using Synthesia (not unlike Rock Band or Guitar Hero) on our electronic keyboard, but he doesn’t get a chance to play on a real piano very often.

Safe to say, he quite enjoyed it!

Piano in the Park at the Manotick Mill

Piano in the Park at the Manotick Mill

And so did Lucas, though he was more inclined to discordant banging than any actual harmonies.

Piano in the Park at the Manotick Mill

I was intrigued, so I did a little digging to find out more about the project. Founder Nicholas Pope launched Ottawa’s Pianos in the Park in 2014, modeling it on Play Me, I’m Yours, a project started in Britain that now has more than 1,300 pianos in 45 cities around the world. In an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, Pope said all the local pianos will be painted with Ottawa-specific themes, and that they take anywhere from 40 to 80 hours to finish. So the Manotick piano is in place but not yet painted – although I did notice it smells of fresh varnish.

Amazing, right? I love this so much that I joined the Pianos in the Park group on Facebook, and found out about THIS amazing project being cooked up as a tribute to Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, a traveling piano set to go on tour across Canada this October.

Piano in the Park at the Manotick Mill

Have you been to any of the other pianos in Ottawa parks? I’m thinking it would make a fun adventure to tour them all before they’re packed away until next spring.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nancy riggs October 5, 2016 at 9:28 am

A friend just told me to check out this post. This was our piano! We moved out of our manotick home in July and we were very happy to find this organization to put our piano to good use when we moved. Loved seeing your photos of it, thanks.
Nancy Riggs

2 DaniGirl October 8, 2016 at 5:39 am

That’s so amazing, Nancy! I’m glad your family piano found a great home, and I hear lots of people enjoying it when we walk by. Thank you for donating it!

3 Kaz October 20, 2016 at 10:11 am

I am local piano tuner and I would like to tune this instrument before it will be taken away.
This is my donation to the project.
Is it OK to do it or shall I ask someone?
Please let me know – thanks!

4 DaniGirl October 20, 2016 at 2:29 pm

Hi Kaz, this is a lovely offer! I’m just a fan, but you can get in touch with the Pianos in the Park team directly through their Facebook page here:

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