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DCC convinces city to use Dutch street organ for events

Centennial gift silent for 30 years

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

EDMONTON, Alberta - The street organ donated by the Dutch community in 1967 as a centennial gift to the city of Edmonton sat for thirty years - little used - on display at the Valley Zoo. Soon it will be pumping out its music again at functions in the city and at the Dutch Canadian Club building. DCC hopes to have the Cello street organ working at its Spring Dutch Market Day on Saturday, May 13.

DCC officials tried many times to interest city in renting out the Cello for happenings at the club building. Now that the city is privatizing some services and wants to reduce maintenance costs, it considered a proposal from the Dutch Canadian Club. Since then, the parties have concluded an agreement which has volunteers operate the Cello which was built by Carl Frei in 1926.

The deal involves changes to the Dutch Organ House at the Zoo to accommodate pick-up and delivery of the street organ. The House is a climate protected, enclosed building and does not allow the Zoo to operate the instrument. The DCC is building a trailer to transport the street organ, will be responsible for tuning it after every excursion and has agreed to buy two new music books a year over the three year contract.

Involvement of the DCC may also lead to the street organ becoming an entry in Edmontonís annual Klondike Parade.

The Dutch Market Day will be held on the grounds of DCCís building at 13312 - 142 Street, Edmonton, Alberta. People interested in renting a table to display crafts are invited to call 780-466-5756.