La Scena Musicale

Monday, 18 May 2009

Montreal park renamed in honour of Oscar Peterson

After a highly publicized but failed October 2008 attempt to rename Lionel-Groulx metro station after Oscar Peterson passed away in Mississauga in December 2007, the city of Montreal has approved the renaming of Campbell Centre park to pay tribute to the legendary jazz pianist. Plans are in motion for the park to host music festivals and other public events beginning this summer.

Peterson, an officer of the Order of Canada and Governor General’s Award winner, grew up just blocks away from the park in the Little Burgundy neighbourhood. A lobby group of local residents, The Coalition of Little Burgundy, started pushing for the name change shortly after Peterson’s passing. The same coalition, led by Université de Montreal law student Michael Citrome, had also lobbied for the renaming of the metro station.

Campbell Centre park was originally named after Charles Campbell, a lawyer who left funding for the creation of parks and music concerts for the public (the Campbell Concerts) after he passed away in 1923. Now that the approval of the Campbell family and the municipal government has been received, Campbell’s two original aims will be joined as one with a public park honouring a music great and featuring musical performances.

- Cyrstal Chan

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