TransLink launches new program embracing local artistic talent

Different artists will perform monthly at five Metro Vancouver transit hubs, including the Surrey Central SkyTrain Station

Jodi Proznick, one of the artists participating in TransLink's Art Moves program. (Submitted)

Jodi Proznick, one of the artists participating in TransLink’s Art Moves program. (Submitted)

From musicians and local painters to magicians, TransLink began Art Moves earlier this month. The program aims to showcase local artists across the Lower Mainland and enhance the transit experience for riders. 

Running until October, ArtMoves consists of 26 artists performing at various transit locations for two hours. 

When jazz musician Jodi Proznick was asked to be one of the musicians for the program, she was excited and intrigued. 

“My main response is just curiosity, and it’s an adventure, let’s see what this feels like,” Proznick says. “To be part of this at a meta-level, I’m happy to be launching it.” 

Art Moves was created after TransLink heard from the community that customers wanted more musical performances, according to the 2022 to 2027 Customer Experience Action Plan released in March. It was launched in celebration of the Busker program returning after two years due to the pandemic, and artists are paid through the transit company. 

Artists like Proznick will perform at other transit locations like Waterfront Station, Coquitlam Central, and the Bridgeport Bus Loop. 

Proznick is performing with her band members, James Danderfer and Tilden Webb. She has received many awards during her career, including the Western Canadian Music Award for Jazz Artist of the Year in 2019, and was nominated for two JUNO awards in 2007 and 2019. 

She was also a music instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University from 2012 to 2019. 

One memory that sticks with her so far was how engaged the public was when performing at Waterfront Station in Vancouver on May 16. 

“I saw one woman actually come up to us and [say], ‘You know, I’ve had a really difficult day and I walk in here and you’re playing joyful music and it’s just lifted my spirits so much, so thank you,’” she says. 

Proznick says the program shows the importance of sharing art with the community, no matter where it is. Often, “established” artists will perform in privileged spaces where people have the means to purchase tickets, pay for cover fees, or buy a meal, she says. 

“Art is for everyone, and it is actually part of having a high quality of life,” Proznick says. “Oftentimes, art can be stuck in art galleries or in concert halls.” 

TransLink media relations officer Thor Diakow says the company hopes riders will learn more about the local art scene and how vibrant it is. 

“It’s such a great way to showcase some of the amazing talent we have,” Diakow says. “So it’s a way to better connect with our riders and give them a great overall experience while they’re riding transit.” 

“Sometimes the arts and performance aspect or issues can get pushed aside. They may not get prioritized,” Diakow says. “But we wanted to show as well that it’s such a strong component of the customer experience.” 

He says TransLink will be releasing the schedule of artists a month or two in advance on their website for people to see. Other artists performing throughout the year are blues musician Murray Porter in June, breakdancer Phil Wizard, and Art Battle finalist Madeleine Wynne. 

“I hope that they continue with it because I think it’s a really beautiful gift to the riders,” Proznick says. “For a moment, it can just take you out of all of your stuff and remind you that life is actually quite beautiful and that humans are capable of making very beautiful and provocative things.”