Many in Oak Bay have responded enthusiastically to this summer’s public art program, a joint initiative with Oak Bay’s first Arts Laureate, Barbara Adams, a dedicated and valued advocate for arts and culture throughout the Capital Region.
We are grateful for Barbara’s bold and creative energy, and her desire to infuse Oak Bay neighbourhoods with a spirit of curiosity and fun. As a resident of Oak Bay, her efforts to enhance the profile of the arts in her home community, and her vision to distinguish Oak Bay as an arts and culture destination are greatly appreciated and championed throughout the community and by council.
Music and visual arts are provocative by nature, however, and as one might expect, we have heard both concerns and support since launching our inaugural arts program in July.
Residents – young and old – and visitors from throughout the Capital Region, along with tourists visiting from around the world have made a point of actively praising the various art installations throughout the community. For those who live elsewhere, the simple fact that the sculptures and the pianos can openly become part of the fabric of our community without incurring vandalism is an enviable reflection of the character and integrity of the citizenry of Oak Bay.
While these are a proud reminder of one of the many desirable reasons to call Oak Bay home, what is most important, however, is that Oak Bay residents feel this same sense of pride and connection to this unique summer arts initiative. For some, the siting of the piano at Oak Bay Avenue and Foul Bay Road is regrettably disruptive. The opportunity for our citizens to play and hear music was never intended to be an annoyance, and we apologize for any discomfort that this intended joyful arts celebration might have caused.
To address the concerns raised by some residents, we will be limiting the activation times for the piano at this location to 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
We will also be placing corresponding signage requesting people to kindly respect the impact of their performances on the neighbours and reminding piano enthusiasts that there are two other beautiful painted pianos waiting to be played at the end of Oliver Street on Beach Drive and at the end of Estevan Avenue on the Esplanade.
Thank you all for your patience, your sense of adventure and spirit of fun as we celebrate together Oak Bay’s inaugural summer arts installations.
As was heard on the Avenue: “These arts spaces are fantastic conversation starters.”
Coun. Cairine Green, Acting Oak Bay Mayor