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About Sickkids
About SickKids

July 13, 2012

Break out a tune and show some support for 2015 Pan Am Games

By Daniella Vasilovsky

Pianist - Ryan Szukalo
Pianist - Ryan Szukalo

Music is filling the “Main Street” hallway of The Hospital for Sick Children where one of 41 eye-catching painted pianos is helping to kick off Toronto’s three-year countdown to the 2015 Pan Am Games.

On July 10, SickKids got closer to the South American nation of Suriname when the hospital partnered up with the Arts and Culture initiatives of the Pan Am Games Organizing Committee to bring in a beautifully painted piano for everyone’s enjoyment. The piano will stay for two weeks.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for SickKids to show our support for over 5,000 international athletes and the local art community,” said Jeff Mainland, Vice-President, Corporate Strategy and Performance, SickKids. “The piano is a great creative outlet for our patients, families, staff and visitors to enjoy and celebrate.”

Playing the piano since the age of six, SickKids patient, Ryan Szukalo, shared some of his wonderful musical talent. “Playing music is a great way for me to tell stories, express emotion and it is something many others can relate too,” said Ryan. Going into his last year of high school, Ryan hopes to continue his passion for playing the piano.   

The piano is part of the “Play Me, I’m Yours” project, which started in 2008 by British artist Luke Jerram. The public art project involves distributing bright and colourful pianos in diverse locations across the city to engage audiences in arts and culture and support the Pan Am games. Toronto-based artists from each of the 41 Pan Am countries decorated the pianos with a distinctive nod to their country of origin. However, no artist from Suriname could be found in Toronto so Sandra Brewster from nearby Guyana offered to fill in and did a beautiful job.

Watch the video now!