Olympic Busker Idol Competition Held This Week By TransLink

With just over 3 weeks to go until the 2010 Winter Olympics start in Vancouver, the Olympic frenzy is in overdrive. The first 15 or 20 minutes of the local news covers nothing but Olympic-related stories. It took the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, to finally bump the Olympics into the #2 news spot.

Because it will not be business as usual during the Olympics, for months now, we’ve been warned that we need to prepare for this 2 week party (and its inevitable hangover).

As part of this Olympic-preparedness, TransLink, the corporation that runs the transit services in the Metro Vancouver Region, has been asking locals to: 

…plan their Olympic transportation as much as possible in advance, to ‘know before you go’ and to allow a little more time when making transit travel plans.

Source:  January 5, 2010 TransLink News Release

Because TransLink knows that its transportation system is going to be overwhelmed by locals and tourists as they travel between the event venues and around town, the corporation decided to expand its busker program to provide more entertainment for passengers, who may be facing waits of up to 2 hours—during peak times—for their connections.

Last Thursday, TransLink held auditions for temporary Olympic busking licenses. Would-be Olympic buskers had to apply on a first-come first-served basis, starting at 8:30 AM, at the TransLink Head Office in Burnaby. 

There was no cost for the applying for the busking license. However, if an applicant is chosen, he/she will have to pay TransLink $50.00 for a temporary license that is valid from February 1st through March 31st.

The buskers had to perform in front of a 4 person panel for one of the 30 coveted performance spots. Only 60 audition spaces were available, and those were filled by 10:00 AM. All latecomers were turned away.

According to the Vancouver Sun, TransLink will make its decision about who gets the licenses to play at the SkyTrain stations during the Olympics, in 2 weeks.

Now in all the coverage that this story got in the local television, print, and electronic media, nowhere did it say that a saxophone player auditioned for one of these busking licenses. Ukuleles, fiddles, guitars, steel drums, fiddlesticks, and even spoons were mentioned, but not even a hint of a saxophone. What’s up with that?

Did all the saxophone players sleep in? Did the media just not cover them? I’m thinking if someone had dragged a bass sax to the audition, before 10:00 AM of course, then perhaps the media might have noticed. 😯

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is www.bassic-sax.info. If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

© 2010, Helen. All rights reserved.


Helen Kahlke is a professional horn player and sax teacher who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. She plays soprano, alto, C melody, tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones.

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