Outside the National Arts Centre downtown is a sculpture of the great Canadian jazz pianist and composer Oscar Peterson, sitting at his piano and looking like he's just taking in the applause of his audience. The sculpture was unveiled in 2010 by Queen Elizabeth, and is the work of master sculptor Ruth Abernethy, who's done a lot of sculpting work around the country. Of the many statues in both cities, I'd say this is a personal favourite of mine, and there's enough room on the piano bench for photo ops with Oscar. I took the first two shots one snowy evening in January. Oscar was retaining some of the snow. My title comes from one of his signature tunes, Hymn To Freedom. You can see Oscar's take here. Or you can hear this tribute lyrics version by Oliver Jones, Dione Taylor, and Dave Young. I've seen Ms. Taylor perform the song in concert.
A few days later I came back and photographed some more. Speakers mounted on the wall up above play his music throughout the day and the evening, probably only stopping when the building closes up for the night. Perhaps not even then, as I've not been past here at three in the morning to see if it's still playing.
As I mentioned, the bench is popular for photo ops. Oscar's face is so warm and expressive. That guy beside him? Not so much. In the background, buildings like the British High Commission, the Chambers, and Parliament Hill can be glimpsed.
The piano itself emerges from the wall, while Oscar sits with that wonderful smile on his face, and a reputation as one of the best jazz musicians of all time to his name.