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As summer wanes, painted public pianos will soon disappear in Oak Bay

Voting open for people’s choice in the annual sculpture walk
Brooke Maxwell performs on the McNeill Bay promenade in July. (Recreation Oak Bay/Facebook)

There’s still time to tickle the ivories across Oak Bay before they are packed away for fall. The Arts Alive program hosts its final pop-up piano concert Friday at Loon Bay.

Jan Stirling, a local accomplished pianist, draws from a wide array of musical genres – classical, pop, jazz, and her own original music. In the case of pouring rain the concert will be rescheduled.

Born in Brantford Ont., Stirling has made the West Coast home for the better part of her life. She has entertained in Victoria, Vancouver, Thailand, Japan, Australia, Penang, and on cruise ships as well as performing for events at Government House, the Empress Hotel, Butchart Gardens, The Oswego Hotel and private parties.

She performs at 11 a.m. Sept. 2, at the Loon Bay piano. Get a taste of the music at

The public pianos are available to be played by anyone from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily to early September.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay piano brings generations together before the music even begins

Oak Bay Parks, Recreation and Culture hosts pianos – painted by artists Chris Paul, Gillian Redwood, Robert Amos, Jennifer McIntyre, and senior art students from St. Michaels University School – at Cattle Point, Turkey Head, McNeill Bay, Willows Beach, Loon Bay Park and Estevan Village.

They’re part of the annual Arts Alive program in Oak Bay. Another summer feature of the program includes a tour of sculptures in the community on loan – and for sale – by the artist. The work stays up for about a year, and the top three sculptures with the most votes from the public are considered for purchase by the municipality.

This year, under the theme of kinship, find To Stand as One by Samantha Dickie in the Hampshire Road garden behind the library; Natural Connections by Andrea Fritz at Cadboro Bay Road and Estevan Avenue; Copper Finch by Erick James at McNeill Bay; Pushed to the Edge by Ken Meyer at Hampshire Road and Oak Bay Avenue; Vordr by Frances Semple at Haynes Park on Beach Drive and Metamorphosis by Peter Vogelaar on Oak Bay Avenue at Hampshire Road.

Download a map of all permanent and loaned art as well as the pianos at Vote online at until Nov. 30.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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