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About The Canadian Piano Museum

The purpose of the Canadian Piano Museum is to celebrate the piano and organ industries which once flourished in Canada. Canada was once a world leader in piano and organ production and Canadian-made instruments were respected world-wide for their durability, design and good tone. Craftsmen from around the world emigrated to Canada during the 19th century and worked in the many factories which appeared in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. In time, dealerships sprang up from coast to coast as piano making and piano playing flourished.

Toronto

Today, nothing remains of the piano industries but a few old factory buildings. On the other hand, the Canadian pipe organ industry continues to be strong and well respected around the world. The rise and fall of the Canadian piano and reed organ industries is a fascinating story, best illustrated by the examples of the many instruments which still exist today. The Canadian Piano Museum maintains a collection of over 100 instruments plus books, company records and other memorabilia related to the Canadian factories which produced thousands of pianos and reed organs.

The Canadian Piano Museum Library and Archives contains hundreds of recordings of piano, organ and orchestral works – some dating back to the early Edison discs. There is even a collection of early gramophones on which to play some of the early recordings. There are taped interviews with some of the people who worked in the early factories. Most of the factory workers, together with their knowledge and their stories of life in the factory are now gone. It has been the goal of the Canadian Piano Museum to preserve the stories, knowledge and examples of their work.

The Canadian Piano Museum is a hands-on museum. Anyone who plays and knows how to respect the instrument can try out the many pianos and organs in the collection. The library contains hundreds of music books and sheet music samples going back to the mid 1800’s. Early books on technique will interest the piano teacher. Church musicians will be interested in the collection of early hymn books and anthem books.

Teachers, performers, students, researchers, antique lovers and people who just enjoy listening to the piano and organ will all find something of interest at the Canadian Piano Museum.

Owner and curator, John Hall, has been collecting instruments and artifacts for over thirty years while operating his own piano tuning and repair business. An opportunity to work as head technician at a music museum took him from Kingston to Calgary in 1999. In 2006 he set up his own piano museum in the town of Vulcan, Alberta. With the purchase of the historic John Stevenson House in Napanee, Ontario in February 2009, there is now a splendid location to display his collection. The Vulcan location remains as mainly a storage facility in the west.   John Hall