MONTREAL — The widow of legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson says she is heartened by a petition calling for Montreal to rename a metro station in his honour.
Kelly Peterson instructed The Canadian Press that as trustee of the late musician’s property, she’s at all times in search of methods to additional his legacy and welcomes the trouble by a Montreal man to see her late husband acknowledged.
A petition launched final week by Naveed Hussain calling on the town to rename the Lionel-Groulx metro station after Peterson, who grew up within the close by Little Burgundy neighbourhood, has been gaining steam with greater than 15,000 signatures.
“I love the idea, I love the idea of Oscar being honoured,” Peterson stated on Thursday. “It always really warms my heart and thrills me to see him being remembered … and to have so many people in the neighbourhood in which he grew up wanting to honour him and remember him that way is really overwhelming.”
But the City of Montreal and the metropolis’s transit company have stated that renaming a metro station is sophisticated and unlikely to occur.
The Montreal Transit Corp. has had a moratorium on name adjustments since 2006 and has solely ever made 5 name adjustments since opening. A spokesman stated stations are sometimes named after the streets or close by landmarks.
A earlier grassroots try to rename the station for Peterson in 2008, shortly after the musician’s dying, didn’t succeed.
In Montreal, a live performance corridor at Concordia University bears Peterson’s name as does a park not removed from the Lionel-Groulx station. There’s additionally a mural throughout from the inexperienced area in Little Burgundy close to the metro station inaugurated in 2010.
A metropolis spokeswoman indicated this week officers could be open to discovering a special manner of honouring the jazz legend whose profession spanned greater than 60 years.
Just final yr, the town honoured Peterson’s late sister, Daisy Peterson-Sweeney, an achieved music trainer, together with her personal park within the neighbourhood.
“I would be delighted and thrilled and honoured if the city wanted to do something to honour Oscar even more,” Peterson stated. “It’s not something I ever expect from anyone — I don’t just mean Montreal — Oscar was always humbled by every honour he received, and I feel the same way.”
Kelly Peterson’s focus has been on selling his musical legacy — the songs that he recorded and performed, however extra lately, these he composed himself so that individuals can see a extra full model of Oscar Peterson.
“People play Bach, people play Beethoven, I want people to play Oscar Peterson,” she stated. “I’ve always felt that his music will outlive all of us: People will be listening to Oscar’s music 100 years from now, so it would be nice if there are other things that represent him as well.”
Oscar Peterson does have colleges named for him within the Ontario communities of Mississauga and Stouffville, in addition to a small sq. in Toronto’s monetary district.
But Kelly Peterson, who lives in southern Ontario, added it’s not for her to become involved in Montreal metropolis politics or change its insurance policies.
“I don’t live there, I don’t feel I have the right to get involved in something that has an impact on the residents, and I’m not one of them,” she stated. “But the honour? Absolutely, I love it.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first printed June 26, 2020.
Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press