Toronto Subway Stations Invite Musicians to Display Their Talents

Published March 23, 2024

Musicians in Toronto have a unique chance to showcase their talents by performing in 29 of the city's subway stations. This opportunity comes as part of a special program that dates back to 1980, originating from a pilot project that now issues three-year licenses to performers. In total, 90 lucky musicians will be granted the ability to entertain daily commuters on a structured three-day rotation starting April 29.

A Platform for Diverse Musical Acts

Toronto's transit system celebrates local artists by integrating their creativity into the everyday travel experience. The city's Underground Sounds Subway Musicians Program not only brings life to the daily commute but also reflects the TTC's commitment to fostering a culturally vibrant public space. With a current lineup of 10 licensed performers, the program features an eclectic mix of instruments from drums to the Finnish kantele, without imposing any genre restrictions.

The Audition Process

Hopeful musicians are encouraged to upload a five-minute performance video to YouTube that showcases their musical capabilities. Following this, they must complete an online application through the TTC’s official website. A panel will review submissions, evaluating talent based on musicianship, entertainment value, and stage presence. The application window remains open until March 31 or until 175 eligible applications are received, after which the auditions will conclude.

Past Success Stories

Previous participants in the program include award-winning artists, music conservatory graduates, and recognized musicians, all of whom have gained greater exposure, leading to invitations for special events and private functions. Some have even received offers to provide music lessons, thanks to the visibility provided by this unique platform.

More Than Music

The TTC is not only a patron of music but also other forms of art. After a 12-year break, poetry has made a comeback with the Poems in Passage initiative, which features works by Canadian poets across the TTC’s network.

Toronto, Subway, Audition