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TransLink’s So You Think You Can Busk? 2012 auditions

It was that time again for Metro Vancouver’s finest to audition for 11 busker spots TransLink put up for grabs for the next busking year. Yesterday, there were 48 applications for 11 performing licenses available July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013. The 11 winners of the licenses are being told this week if they will be joining the 31 other license holders who have renewed their licenses to busk at the following stations: Waterfront (Howe Street Entrance and skywalk), Vancouver City Centre, Burrard, Granville Street and Commercial-Broadway.

Our illustrious judges!

There was a bevy of different instruments (sitar, wooden slot drums, electronic devices and string instruments or all kinds to name just a few) and styles on display. I was only able to catch a handful of the performances myself, but as you can see from this video, there was a little bit of everything for almost any musical taste.

Our judges, TransLink’s Drew Snider and Paul Cheng and 24 Hours’ Erica Bulman, told me that they had a difficult time choosing just 11 winners.

This was the 26th annual busker event, which started as an experiment during Expo ’86. Thanks to everyone who came out to audition! I can honestly say that there wasn’t one dud in the lot. Here’s to another great year of being entertained on the system!


Here’s the list of winners of this year’s licenses:

Katie Yurychuk – guitar and vocals
Joanne Wang – Er-hu player
Dustin Hauschild – guitar and vocals
David Morin – Guitar and vocals
Luis Rodriguez –Guitar – Latin American and Mexican folk * (4:04 on the video)
Anton Sitnikov – Guitar
Mike Sullivan – Guitar
Benjamin and Graham Dawson – Guitar and vocals * (7:40)
Camille Fournier and Angela Sartoretto – Harp and vocals
Tom Paleczka – guitar and vocals
Liam Watson and Matt Canute – Bassoon and Guitar


  • By Cliff, June 22, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

    Is there any information on whatever happened to the guy playing pan-flute at Waterfront Station?

    I fear the giant Guinea Pigs may return if he’s not there to keep us safe.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, June 25, 2012 @ 11:55 am

    Hi Cliff: I looked into our pan-flute man and he’s signed up again for another year. Perhaps he’s taken a much deserved vacation!

  • By Cliff, June 25, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

    For as long as I can remember, his music was part of the walk to the SeaBus.

    I’m sure we have some fine guitar players out there, but when I visit, I want to see more unique acts like the pan-flute!

  • By Eugene Wong, June 27, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    I’d like to set up a web site to promote Translink buskers. Is there a public contact information for them? Did they list any web pages, or YouTube channels?

    I think that it would be kind of neat to see what we can do to support them and Translink, and maybe earn a bit of advertising revenue.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, July 24, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

    Eugene — I’ll ask the powers that be about a list of the buskers.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, July 24, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

    Eugene: So I’m told that we don’t usually release the names publicly: the way we do it is that if you want to contact a busker, we’ll send your contact details to the busker and they will respond to you if they would like to reach out. Want to send your desired email address to and we will forward it on?

  • By Sarah, January 9, 2014 @ 11:56 pm

    Whats up with the ukulele busker at Burrard station who calls “Namaste” loudly to every brown person who walks by? Can someone please tell him brown people speak english, and many don’t speak hindi at all? It makes alot of transit users really uncomfortable when he singles brown people out everytime for months. He’s well meaning, but its so annoying he makes assumptions about people based on the color of their skin. And its not like you can avoid him either, you have to walk beside him to get on the escalator. I dont want to get him fired, hes a nice guy but please address this with him ASAP so people can get on the skytrain in peace, instead of having awkward moments everytime hes there . I dont want to have to lodge a formal complaint, Thanks.

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