For blues musician Murray Porter, it was a long two years of not feeling the “energy from the crowds.”
While he has performed live online through facetime and other digital platforms during COVID-19 lockdowns, it’s not quite the same.
As a registered musician for TransLink’s Art Moves program, Porter is excited to perform an in-person show at the Bridgeport bus loop on June 29 between 5 and 7 p.m., and at four other transit hubs through June.
“It's fantastic,” said Porter. “I can't wait! There's no comparison to playing live for people than playing online.”
Art Moves is TransLink’s new program featuring 26 local musicians and artists performing at transit hubs across Metro Vancouver between May and October.
It’s part of TransLink’s Customer Experience Action Plan, which aims to create a safer and more pleasant travelling atmosphere for riders.
“This is all part of our commitment to continually improving the customer experience,” TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn said in a statement. “In addition to getting you to your destination safely and conveniently, we want to bring some fun to your commute.”
For musicians and performing artists, Art Moves offers a great opportunity to re-connect with the audience in person after a long, two-year hiatus.
“The energy people get from you, and give back to you, and they're dancing and having fun. Virtual is okay, but live people is way better,” said Porter.
As a proud Mohawk man from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in southern Ontario, Porter will perform original songs about his people.
“Everyone grows up in their reservation, so they don't have the interaction with us to see that we're just normal people like everyone else,” said Porter. “Some still think we live in teepees and are hunting and fishing for a living.”
One of the songs he’ll perform on June 29 is In the Same Canoe, which calls for unity among all people.
“I want to educate people that we are much more than just figureheads,” said Porter. “We are real people who laugh, love and cry just like everyone else.”
The Art Moves program launches this Friday with jazz bassist Jodi Proznick who will be at the Bridgeport bus loop this Friday between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
On top of the Art Moves, TransLink’s Busker Program is also back in action this summer after being suspended for the last two years due to COVID-19. Buskers will pop up at 12 SkyTrain stations to entertain passengers.