(CNN) — A homeless man in Canada with a talent for music is winning fans online. A passerby’s video of Ryan Arcand has gone viral — with about 2.5 million hits.
In the middle of downtown, a melody so beautiful Roslyn Polard knew she had to hit “record.”
“I wanted to show it to my kids. I wanted to show it to my friends. It was kind of unbelievable,” Polard said.
The question then became just who is this man — and what is his story?
After three days of searching the inner city and homeless shelters, 43-year-old Ryan Arcand was found. He looked much different, and he had no idea he’s become the star of a video that has gone viral.
“Do I ever look rugged, my hair. This song always gets to me. It’s the one I wrote,” Arcand said when taking a look at the video.
It is hard to piece together how Arcand got to where he is today.
He was put into foster care as a young child, and in one of those foster homes, he had the opportunity to play a piano.
“I was in tears with this piano. It was like it never had been touched. It never had been touched at all,” Arcand said.
Arcand has lived on the street for most of his life, and is consumed by addiction.
“Music — it becomes a part of you…like you are born with it. You are playing, and it’s like you forget yourself,” Arcand said.
The video that has gone viral likely won’t change Arcand’s life.
“It is not a happy story and there is not going to be a happy ending I don’t think. This is not something that YouTube is going to fix,” Polard said.
The video and Arcand’s life story is a reminder that beauty and promise can be found anywhere.
Polard says she hopes to donate any money made through the video to a social agency that can help Arcand and others living on the street.