This is Mark Landry, a busker who's known for playing the violin at metro stations in Montreal.
But there was terrible news this week. Landry said his violin was stolen from him.
The photo was shared thousands of times and came to the attention of Orchestre Métropolitain CEO Jean R. Dupré, who got in touch with a local music shop, Maison du Violon, who agreed to sell him a brand new violin at cost.
Dupré hand-delivered the violin to Landry, who immediately treated everyone to a beautiful song on his new instrument.
Landry's story touched a lot of people.
Landry told CBC he never doubted that he would find a way to make music again after his violin disappeared. "I said, 'God's gonna give me a new one.'"
The story might be more complicated, though. Le Devoir reported that Landry has mental health issues that led up to his violin going missing.
According to the newspaper, Landry has three violins now, including the one he got from the Orchestre Metropolitain. But none of them were stolen. Instead, he seems to have misplaced or given his violins to friends for safekeeping, and then forgotten that he did so.
Zachary Grant, a former neighbour and close friend of Landry's, says it's important to remember that there's a bigger picture. In a widely shared post on his Facebook page, which he has since deleted, Grant said Landry's story was about more than just a violin.
"A lot of that is systemic," he told BuzzFeed Canada. "It is about gentrification, policing, drug use, and overall about mental health treatment and access."
Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B
Contact Ishmael N. Daro at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.