Opinion

Quality of life should trump arts endeavour

As I sat to speak with Klara Woldenga in her apartment above Oak Bay avenue, the piano in Entrance park suddenly came to life. It stopped the conversation mid-sentence; a sudden, jarring sound.

We sat at her kitchen table, which was partially covered by a large puzzle in progress. The window beside the table was open, allowing a gentle breeze to break the warm afternoon.

After a few minutes of chatting, Klara leaned over to close the window. The sound deadened, but continued on. The player had some skill and a repertoire of songs that provided the background to our conversation for some 25 minutes.

As we spoke, the room grew warmer. Klara told me she was starting to feel “trapped” by the sound.

She worried that she was being too sensitive. She told me she asked some of her friends who told her they wouldn’t want the piano right outside their home either. Neither would I.

As Klara said to me at one point during our conversation, even if it was Mozart, you wouldn’t want to hear it 24/7.

Klara took the time to call arts laureate Barbara Adams, who she said was very sympathetic to her plight. Adams told her they tried to find locations that were not close to residents, but it’s easy to see the apartment right behind the park. There is another across the street above a commercial property, much like Klara’s.

The art installations in Oak Bay are here for the summer. The statuary are beautiful. The Gracepoint sign is an attraction to some and a cause for confusion to others. One person asked me, “What does it mean?” They live in Oak Bay, but outside of the village and never encountered the television production.

The pianos are an exciting, interactive addition to the community, but in this case, perhaps a compromise is in order?

- Oak Bay News

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