"Oscar Peterson Park " a step closer to reality
Montreal is a big step closer to bestowing another honour on jazz legend Oscar Peterson.
On Wednesday the city's executive committee approved the renaming of Campbell Centre Park in Little Burgundy for the Montreal-born pianist who died 18 months ago.
The southwest borough had earlier agreed to change the name of the park following a lobbying effort by a neighbourhood coalition.
Peterson grew up on Delisle St., just blocks from the park.
People in the neighborhood say it's a great way to honour a man who is a hero in the heart of the city's black community for a stellar career that included eight Grammy awards, the Governor General's Award for lifetime achievement and investiture in the Order of Canada.
The park is a popular community gathering with its children's playgrounds, wading pool, basketball courts and soccer and baseball fields.
The Coalition for Little Burgundy began lobbying for the name change shortly after the jazz pianist died in Mississaugua, Ontario in December of 2007.
"We're very very pleased," said coalition spokesman Vincent Perez.
"A person who came from the neighbourhood ... will be honoured in the neighbourhood and (that) can be a good thing for the youth of the community."
Ironic name change
Ironically, Campbell Centre park had been named after a music lover and wealthy lawyer named Charles Campbell, who died in 1923.
He had left money for public concerts and to buy vacant lots for neighbourhood playgrounds.
The city has received approval from the Campbell family to change the name and there are plans to bring music festivals and other public events to the park in the future.
The community expects ceremonies for Oscar Peterson park to begin by summer.