Street piano key to Surrey’s latest ‘pop-up’ park

CITY CENTRE – For a second year, the City of Surrey and a team of winning designers has put a little piece of country right in the middle of a concrete jungle.


On Monday (July 7), setup crews, designers and Surrey’s Civic Beautification Planner Shira Stanfield were on scene at North Surrey Recreation Centre parking lot, just across from Surrey Central SkyTrain station, installing an outdoor picnic area where food trucks will show up daily on a rotating basis.


A piano was installed on the pop-up site as an initiative linked to Pianos on the Streets, which has been a popular feature in Vancouver and other major


cities in the world, and from the Piano Teachers’ Federation founder Sean Pacey. The public piano was put in place Tuesday, making it the first en plein air piano in Surrey.


The piano is a donation from Pacey’s Pianos, a company inherited by Pacey from his grandfather. It will be painted by a local youth group after its installation.


"Since 2009, we’ve done events where we’ve put pianos on the streets and we decided this year would be a great year to do it in Surrey because of the great success in Vancouver," Pacey said.


The installation, called "Gingham Style," was a result of a city-wide design competition called PARKit, a contest through the city that challenged designers to come up with a blueprint for a summertime pop-up park.


The winners of the


contest were husband and wife design-duo Mike Wartman and Liz Nguyen, who came up with "Gingham Style" – a country picnic inspired scene complete with classic red-checked gingham patterns, picnic tables and grassy knoll-influenced scenery.


"Gingham Style" is also a tongue-in-cheek reference to the music video "Gangnam Style" by Korean artist Psy that went viral on YouTube in 2012.


"I’m an architect and my partner Liz is a landscape architect so we teamed up on the project," said Wartman, whose design


was chosen out of 15 entries in the competition. "It’s a bit of a take on the gingham pattern, which is the red-and-white checked quintessential picnic tablecloth pattern, and the idea was to bring that idea of a picnic into an urban context and to do it in a playful way."


Stanfield, who helped facilitate the contest and was the designer for the 2012 installation, said she was optimistic about the amount of foot traffic the site will have.


"This is one of the busiest pedestrian sites in the city because you have people coming off the SkyTrain, there are people going to the mall coming back and forth and the students at SFU, so we wanted it to be successful," she said, adding that it will be a site for food trucks and vendors. "The


idea is to bring a reason for people to come so it helps activate the site by having food trucks."


As for the designers, Wartman and Nguyen will be coming by over the summer months to visit their winning installation, and the on-site public piano that will accompany the space.


"I’m sure we’ll pop by periodically over the summer just to see how things are going, and sample some of the food trucks," Wartman said with a laugh. "We’ll just enjoy the space and use it and hopefully it’s everything that we imagined it to be."


The winning design earned $15,000.


Food trucks and vendors are set to park at the site until Sept. 12.

Just Posted

Surrey’s new top cop doesn’t believe residents have lost faith in the RCMP

Brian Edwards will take over the reins of Canada’s largest RCMP detachment on Jan. 6

Surrey Schools to sell property meant for school due to close proximity to pretrial

Sale funds would go toward purchasing new potential school site

Surrey mother voices concerns about Highway 15 intersection after crash

Kim Squirell’s daughter and her friend injured in collision at 176 Street and 40 Avenue

Eight Surrey groups to share $375K in grant money

The not-for-profit groups focus on public safety and the environment

SURREY HISTORY: The 1914 Sedro-Woolley bank robbery and its connection to Cloverdale

Columnist Sue Bryant looks back at the Pacific Northwest’s biggest bank heist of 1914 and its entanglement with the Surrey area

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

National cold case hunters take on search for missing man last seen in B.C.

Kristofer Couture’s car was found at Chilliwack trailhead in January but there’s been no sign since

What’s happening: week of Dec. 12

Events and community listings for North Delta

Owner surrenders dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage to BC SPCA

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

Most Read