David Cassel and Ole Eldor await their turn to perform in front of three judges assessing buskers auditioning to play at six TransLink stations in Vancouver.

Singing for their supper at TransLink auditions

The halls at TransLink’s head offices were alive Wednesday with the sounds of 32 musicians competing for seven busker licences

The halls at TransLink’s head offices in New Westminster were alive Wednesday with the sounds of 32 musicians competing for seven busker licences available to perform at six stations in Vancouver.

The busker program was started during Expo 86, and of 43 licences that were issued for 2014, 37 were renewed for next year.

The auditions consisted of three-minute performances in front of a panel of three judges.

Jacey Gibb, of Discorder, an independent music magazine, said they weren’t just looking for musical talent, but also distinct qualities that would make the performers stand out and capture the attention and ears of hurried commuters.

“They all stand out in their own ways,” said Gibb.

Mark Foster, a singer-songwriter hoping to grab one of the coveted licences, said playing his guitar and harmonica in a busy transit station would be a marked departure from his regular day job as an insurance underwriter. A veteran of the busking scene in Calgary, he said it’s also a chance to further hone his musical chops.

Paula Spurr and Michael Bellwood said said playing their bluegrass music for commuters is a good way to stay musically fresh for regular gigs with their Vancouver band, Honky Tonk Dilettantes.

“You can practice in your living room all you want, but nothing beats playing in front of an audience,” said Spurr.

Successful candidates will be notified on Friday.


Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Santa Parade may be cancelled

Annual parade in Cloverdale has seen security costs skyrocket

Semiahmoo Peninsula singer joins voices with vocal partner to form virtual choir

Singers share sacred choral piece online as antidote for dark times

‘The exposure is great’: Why this photo is a contest-winner for one Surrey adventurer

Nature photographer Eduardo Baena spends a lot of time in the wild

South Surrey hikers discover decades-old campsite hidden in Golden Ears Park

Group reconnects with original campers through social media, returns log book

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read