Nfld. & Labrador

Sounds of travel now includes piano playing at St. John's airport

Travellers at St. John's International will now be able to enjoy the sounds of piano playing echoing through the airport, after Atlantic Canada's first street piano was unveiled Tuesday morning.

St. John's airport street piano

Here and Now

6 years ago
1:30
Travellers at St. John's Airport can enjoy the tunes coming from Atlantic Canada's first street piano 1:30

Travellers at St. John's International will now be able to enjoy the sounds of piano playing echoing through the airport, after Atlantic Canada's first street piano was unveiled Tuesday morning.

The piano is part of an initiative of Business and Arts Newfoundland and Labrador as part of their Come Play With Me project.
A piano now found at St. John's International Airport can be played by anyone. It was put there as part of the Come Play With Me project by Business and Arts N.L. (CBC)

John Fisher, CEO of Business and Arts N.L., said it's all about getting people more connected to the arts.

"There's a thousand of these street pianos, as they're called, around the world but we didn't have any in Newfoundland and Labrador. In fact, we don't have any in Atlantic Canada," said Fisher.

"So we thought, business and the arts, we're trying to get business to get closer to the arts and arts to get closer to the people, and we thought this would be a real magic formula. And I think it is."

The piano now at the airport was donated by Steele Hotels, and given a funky makeover by artist John Fong.

Players Abigail Schwartz and Timothy Brennan were the first to tinkle the ivories, and soon the sound of music started working its magic on some weary travellers.

Rahim Nekoeian said he and his family were pleasantly surprised by what they heard at the airport.
Abigail Schwartz was one of the first to play the piano now found at St. John's International Airport. (CBC)

"We heard this music and this is actually like a refreshing day here for us. Before travelling, you have so much stress before travel, but you wait here for some minutes and just hear this music, and you're feeling, like, relaxed," he said.

Traveller Jen Hanley said she thinks it's a great idea to have a free-to-play piano in some public spaces. 

"I think it's fabulous because anyone can sit down and play and add to it — I know there's a lot of videos and stuff online of such things in New York. I think it just adds to the aural space for everybody," she said.

Business and Arts N.L. said it hopes to get similar pianos set up in different public places across the province.

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