Socializing Through Music

As part of another Doable Neighbourhood Project (DNP), Cochrane is looking at starting up a Pop Up Piano program.

“It is an initiative that is being promoted through 8-80 cities, to encourage the community to gather around pianos and play the instrument to create a vibrant, attractive and welcoming environment in selected areas throughout Cochrane’s downtown core,” explained Isabelle Denault, Economic Development Officer. “These types of programs have been quite successful in areas such as Montreal and New York City among others. The basic idea is to have these pianos in selected areas for anyone to play the instrument, and create a musical environment.”

Ms Denault added that the idea of the pop-up pianos stemmed from a consultative study hosted by 8-80 Cities. Through consultations with over 100 people from Cochrane, 8-80 Cities identified that the community stakeholders wanted more opportunities to interact and socialise with other community members in public spaces. The need for increasing the amount of public spaces was an important factor as well as increasing spaces for art & culture and more specifically music. Pop Up Pianos were an easy fit for all these demands and have proven to be a successful program elsewhere.

“There are always opportunities for community members to get involved in various initiatives that take place around town,” said Ms Denault. “The difficulty often lies in who can they communicate with in order to voice their desire to get involved. Specifically for the Pop Up Piano DNP initiative, if people have old pianos that they do not wish to keep they can donate them to the DNP. Contact for piano donations is Jean-Pierre Ouellette CAO, Deputy Clerk, 705-272-4361 ext.230 or If people want to get involved in playing… The pianos are free to all who wish to play them”

Ms Denault stated that anyone can grab a seat and play their heart out. The pianos will be easy to spot as they will be painted in various bright colours. The idea is to create musical and inclusive public spaces that encourage social gatherings around town, so the use of these spaces are free to everyone and anyone.

The DNP aims to make Cochrane a more active, sociable & healthy community for people of all ages.

This article was originally published in the Cochrane Times Post.

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