New Glasgow Regional Police is investigating the vandalism of a community piano located in downtown New Glasgow over Thanksgiving weekend, but now offers are coming into the town from people offering to replace it.
Police say it was vandalized sometime between Sunday and Tuesday morning. The piano that sat near New Glasgow’s riverfront was widely used by all ages, Pictou County residents and guests wanting to play a tune as they passed through the downtown.
Geralyn MacDonald of the Town of New Glasgow said the piano was first placed in the gazebo in early summer after New Glasgow’s program and events manager Jake Chisholm saw it as a nice addition to the town.
“It was always used,” Chisholm said. “It was really neat to see people using it.”
MacDonald said it was not uncommon to hear people playing the piano throughout the day and early evenings in the town. She said she saw visitors from Ontario stop their vehicle and get out to play a tune as well as teenagers and other groups of people who would stop and take a seat on the bench.
Vandals tore the boards off the piano and knocked it on its side where town maintenance staff found it Tuesday morning.
“The pieces were laying on the ground and the keys were completely smashed,” she said.
But all is not lost. Shortly after the town posted photos of the vandalism on its Facebook page, people offered to donate pianos to the town to replace the one that was vandalized.
MacDonald said the support the town received on its post shows how important the piano is in the community.
“I found the community took ownership of it,” she said. “It was their piano. We saw youth playing it, small children, elderly people. Really everybody. “
Two more people donated pianos to the town as of Tuesday so the town is in the midst of deciding where they will be located.
“We are working the Creative Pictou County on where to place them and try to protect them better,” she said, adding one of them will most likely return to the gazebo but the town is also looking at security cameras for the area.
“It is a community treasure and it makes me angry that some decided to tear it apart,” MacDonald said. “It is so unfortunate.”
Anyone with information on about the vandalism can contact New Glasgow Regional Police at 902-752-1941 or Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or text TIP202 + your message to 'CRIMES' (274637). You can also access Secure Web Tips at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca. Calls to Crime Stoppers are not taped or traced and if police make an arrest and lay charges based on a tip, callers could qualify for a cash reward of $50 - $2,000.