Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Homeless Edmonton Piano Player Who Gained Fame from Viral Video Dies at 46

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Homeless Edmonton Piano Player Who Gained Fame from Viral Video Dies at 46

Article excerpt

Homeless piano player dies at 46

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EDMONTON - A Edmonton homeless man whose spontaneous piano performance was viewed on the internet by millions of people has died.

Ryan Arcand, 46, died last weekend in a supportive housing complex where he had been living for a few months, said Jared Tkachuk, an outreach manager at Boyle Street Community Services.

He said Arcand struggled with a developmental disability, trauma and mental illness and used alcohol, drugs and the piano to cope.

"He was quite proud of his talent and I think he was happy that it got acknowledged because that's so rare for people who are marginalized," said Tkachuk.

Arcand had been living on the streets when a woman recorded him playing a battered outdoor piano near city hall in 2014.

Roslyn Polard said she was struck by his beautiful music and others who also stopped to watch the performance had tears in their eyes. …

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