Pop-up piano will be anchored in DT Chilliwack

Chilliwack's soon to be public piano was donated by a couple who was downsizing in Langley.

A public piano is coming soon to Downtown Chilliwack. Royal Hotel GM Leonard Wiens (at piano) instigated it with help from Matthew Stinson

A public piano is coming soon to Downtown Chilliwack. Royal Hotel GM Leonard Wiens (at piano) instigated it with help from Matthew Stinson

Chilliwack is about to get its first public piano to add to the atmosphere downtown.

“It has become a real community effort to make this happen,” said Leonard Wiens, general manager at the Royal Hotel.

Sometimes playable pianos get a new lease on life when they are painted and installed in downtown streets, such as with the Vancouver program known as Keys to the Streets.

“I saw something about that program, and thought, ‘Why not here in Chilliwack?’

With Keys to the Streets, 10 pianos in Vancouver were re-purposed in this novel way last summer and installed in public places to inspire creativity. The street piano concept has also hit Montreal, Toronto and New York City.

“There are so many things that make our downtown unique, and this can only add to the ambiance,” Wiens said.

These pop-up pianos in Vancouver offer folks a way to relax and enjoy the street vibe with a little live music, said Wiens.

Players can come by, sit down and tickle the ivories at will.

Chilliwack’s apartment sized upright piano was donated by a couple who was downsizing in Langley.

“The plan is for it to sit outside the hotel on the sidewalk,” said Wiens.

They’re going to use a custom-made dolly on casters to transport it. The plan is to secure it on Wellington Avenue near Mill Street, and to bring it indoors when need be.

“We think it’s going to be a neat project, and will undoubtedly bring more interest to our downtown core.”

The piano has been temporarily housed down the street at Cyrus Centre Chilliwack. They are contributing to the cause by painting the piano artistically. It was personalized with the help of Cyrus youth residents.

“I’m sure it will nice to have a piano on the street. Sure there will be some Chopsticks or children trying it out.

“But at other times it will be someone who can really play.”

They will sit down at the keys and offer an impromptu concert to the enjoyment of passersby, playing Mozart or other famous composers’ works, he suggested.

They’re working on getting a cover to protect the piano, and they installed an anchor into the sidewalk.

“The City of Chilliwack has been very supportive of the project, providing the space for the piano to be anchored on Wellington Plaza.”

Community members and businesses have really stepped up as well to help bring the project to fruition.

“In terms of cost it’s been minimal and several have contributed to the cause,” said Wiens.

Here are some of the generous donors who’ve contributed:Walt’s Metal Work built the dolly to transport the piano, and a steel fabricating company in Abbotsford contributed the steel. Fortins Home Hardware contributed the paint, while Pioneer Buildall contributed the casters.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com
twitter.com/chwkjourno

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

Just Posted

Jag Deol, owner of Sangam Restaurant and Catering, is collecting non-perishable food items for the Chilliwack Salvation Army at both his restaurant locations. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack restaurant hosts food drive for Salvation Army

Sangam restaurant will match all donations of non-perishable food that come in

Crews work on reconstructing Spadina Avenue in Chilliwack on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Sprucing up of Spadina Avenue with $2.8 million redux wrapping up shortly

Curbing, trees, landscaping, irrigation and street lighting should be complete by early December

Chilliwack’s Klim twins, Matthias and Zach, are the tall guys in the back row (Zach with a green stuffie on his shoulders, Matthias to the right), helping to sort toys at the Archway Community Services Food Bank in Abbotsford. (UFV Cascades photo)
Chilliwack’s Klim twins get involved in community service with UFV men’s basketball team

No games for the G.W. Graham grads due to COVID, but they are doing other things with the Cascades

(Left to right) Brandon Kloot, board member with John Kampman, board chair, and Matt Van Muyen, System Principal at Unity Christian School pose with the sold sign on a 8.1 acre property the school has purchased to plan for future growth, November, 2020. (Submitted photo)
Land purchase by Unity Christian will help with future growth

New acquisition ‘promises to be a blessing for the long-term future of our school’ says board chair

Santa Claus makes his way through the Cottonwood Centre shopping mall during his big arrival in 2019. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Santa’s Cottonwood Centre visits in Chilliwack cancelled by COVID

Provincial health orders mean Santa won’t be able to visit children, even with physical distancing

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

The online poster for Joel Goddard, who left his Willoughby home Nov. 10, 2020, has been updated by his family and friends who received word that he’s been found.
Langley man missing since Nov. 10 found alive and safe in Abbotsford

Family of the Willoughby area man had been searching for days. Police find him at Abbotsford Airport

A UBC study recommends an multi-government investment of $381 million to protect 102 species at risk in the Fraser River estuary. (Photo supplied by Yuri Choufour)
102 Fraser River estuary species at risk of extinction, researchers warn

UBC team develops $381-million strategy to combat crisis, boost economy

FILE – A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub, in Birmingham, England, on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Want to know if you’ve had COVID-19? LifeLabs is offering an antibody test

Test costs $75 and is available in B.C. and Ontario

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

File photo
Surrey RCMP arrest man accused of threatening city councillor, prime minister

Surrey Councillor Jack Hundial said he received a death threat ‘that basically said to put a bullet in me’

The grey region of this chart shows the growth of untraced infection, due to lack of information on potential sources. With added staff and reorganization, the gap is stabilized, Dr. Bonnie Henry says. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 tracing to keep up with surging cases

People now notified of test results by text message

Most Read