An Ottawa man is donating his 12,000 vinyl records to raise money for the city’s public libraries. He said it’s taken him 65 years to amass the collection.
“This is the money [that] I did not drink or smoke over the years,” Yves Pigeon told CTV Ottawa.
He’s turning over nearly his entire lifetime collection of LPs to the non-profit group, the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library, which will sell them to raise money for the city’s local library branches.
But Pigeon is holding onto the first album he ever bought back in 1959 -- which he called his favourite one. His most treasured album is Songs You Love by German-born, Austro-British soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.
“It still brings me pleasure,” he said. “She's not the best soprano of the world but she's still my first.”
Pigeon admits he hasn’t even listened to some of the records in his collection. But he says the pleasure came from just owning them all.
“If you're not a collector, it's hard to understand because it's just stuff,” he said, admitting he feels a certain satisfaction knowing they’ll be going towards a good cause.
“The other part of the pleasure is that people … 50 or 60 years younger will say, ‘Oh I like this, I'll buy it,’” Pigeon said. “I had all the pleasure of finding them, someone else will now have the same pleasure.”
Before his large record donation, Pigeon would regularly waltz into the records room and just pick an album he was in the mood for.
“I love coming up here in the morning and saying: ‘Who's going to sing for me today? Oh, let's ask Jessie Norman or King Price,’” he said, adding he’s also a fan of Canadian opera singer Maureen Forrester.
But Pigeon won’t be in want for music since he still owns 3,500 CDs. However, he admits these might not be enough.
When the library holds a large sale of his 12,000 records in the fall, Pigeon is planning on attending and dropping a few dollars there.
“I probably will go to it and buy a few back, which would be stupid,” he laughed.
Even though his wife wants to use the empty space for shelving, Pigeon already has plans for his ex-records room.
“I'm going to buy books. If I can't buy records, I buy books,” he said. “It's a sickness but a socially acceptable one.”