Michele Flinn-Nylander’s (foreground) new studio Island Style will be the winter home of the community piano which Heather Gordon Murphy (background) helped bring to Campbell River.

Winter home found for downtown piano

The piano will spend the winter months inside Island Style Creative Studio

The community piano is locked up for the winter – but not in a storage shed.

Instead, the piano has found a new home in a new business on Shoppers Row.

The piano will spend the winter months inside Island Style Creative Studio – a place for artists to gather.

“We needed a place to keep it for the winter and this is the best place,” Heather Gordon Murphy said. “It’s downtown; the piano can have a nice life here. It’s (the piano) artistic and this is an artist’s studio.”

The piano, which graced downtown sidewalks throughout the summer, came from inside Quay West restaurant to Island Style just last Wednesday.

Gordon Murphy said the piano has already been requested for the opening of the Campbell River Art Gallery’s Christmas market tomorrow.

Gordon Murphy says she hopes the piano will also be outside for Starlight Shopping on Dec. 2.

Gordon Murphy, co-owner of Raincoast Creative Arts Studio on Shoppers Row, helped bring the community piano to Campbell River in early summer.

Jan Tees, who takes dance lessons from Gordon Murphy, told Gordon Murphy about a TV show she saw about a community piano in New York.

“I said ‘that’s interesting, I just got back from Austin, Texas in May, and May is community piano month in Austin, Texas.’

“There were painted pianos all over – in the parks, down by the rivers, on bridges. They were left with a little sign that said ‘Play Me’,” Murphy said.

So Tees, using funds from the Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA), bought a $75 piano from the Restore. The piano was then painted at the Art in the Square event at Spirit Square in August.

John Bailey, who helped co-ordinate the painting, said close to 100 people painted something on the piano; the youngest painter was three-years-old while the oldest was 93.

Murphy said so far the piano has been so successful that she’s thinking of adding one or two more pianos next year.

For now, the community piano can be played at Island Style Creative Studio, owned and operated by Michele Flinn-Nylander.

The new studio, which opened last week, is a place for artists to come and collaborate and sell their art.

For $10, artists can rent out wall space for their art.

The studio will also have live entertainment on weekends. Flinn-Nylander says she hopes to have a junior jam, so young people will have the chance to play their music in front of a live audience.

The studio is also available for photo shoots and Flinn-Nylander will do make-up, hair and provide costumes and props.

“I wanted to have a place where people could share ideas and inspire each other,” Flinn-Nylander said. “I talked to a lot of people who wanted the same thing and there really wasn’t anything in Campbell River.”

To rent a space at the studio call (250) 286-3286 or check out the Island Style Creative Studio Facebook page.

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