Anyone who has lived in a big city has likely had experience with street performers.
Although these are sometimes just people trying to make extra money or hone their craft, some of these individuals are homeless. In addition to panhandling, many of them play music as a way to offer some value back to the community that helps support them.
While street performers are all too common, this one is truly remarkable.
This story out of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada is about a man named Ryan Arcand.
Arcand was homeless and was struggling to make ends meet, though he still had his piano to help him make money to buy food. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for locals to notice Arcand’s incredible talent for piano.
Arcand’s life changed one day after a chance encounter with a woman named Roslyn Pollard.
Pollard came across Arcand playing and decided to film his performance to share with the world. As it turns out, Arcand does not only play music but also composes his own songs. As the clip explains, one of his pieces is called “The Beginning.”
Hearing Arcand play, his talent is undeniable.
Pollard loaded the clip on YouTube where it spread across the internet like wildfire.
Though Arcand has spent many years on the streets and has struggled with addiction, his skills on the piano are unquestionable. As a result of the exposure from Pollard’s viral video, Arcand was able to find local supportive housing in Edmonton. While the accommodations are simple, he now has food to eat, a roof above his head, a bed and a place to play piano.
Above all, Arcand now has legions of fans all around the world who have heard his music.
Although Arcand has faced many challenges throughout his life, he says with this new opportunity that he’s ready to change. “I want to straighten out my life, that’s what I want to do.”
After everything that has happened, 43-year-old Arcand is still struggling to adapt. “Do I really deserve this?” he asks, “From my life of crime to now?”
As it turns out, the internet seems to think so.
Arcand’s story has been covered by CBC News and the Edmonton Journal. Above all, his story shows just how powerful music can be when it comes to connecting people. Though he had made mistakes in his life, Arcand’s original music was powerful enough to connect with strangers and propel him forward. It was enough to get him a home and a chance for a better life.
We’re all cheering for you, Ryan!
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