TTC takes subway musicians auditions online

Auditions for the next generation of TTC subway musicians open on April 9. For the first time, auditions will be conducted online with the public able to cast votes for their favourite artists.

There are 90 three-year licenses up for grabs for the subway musicians program, now known as Underground Sounds. And through the TTC’s partnership with Universal Music Canada, one grand prize winner will get to record their song and have it featured in an exclusive Apple Music ‘Tracks on Tracks’ playlist, available at or

“We know Toronto is filled with incredibly talented musicians and this is a chance for some of them to be heard by the 1.8 million customers the TTC moves every day,” said Councillor Josh Colle, Chair of both the TTC and the Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council. “By moving to an online audition format, we are able to engage our customers, and residents of the Toronto area, and allow them to have a say in who earns one of the coveted licenses.”

Musicians will post their digital auditions to YouTube between April 9 and May 6. For those without a camera, there will be two opportunities on April 18 and 19 to perform live and have the performance video recorded for uploading. Details about these live audition opportunities will be released in the coming weeks.

Online voting, to determine the top 10 qualifiers, will run May 7-28. Those qualifiers will perform live for a panel of industry experts, including representatives from Universal Music Canada, where the grand prize of recording time and a spot on an exclusive Apple Music playlist alongside top recording artists, will be chosen.

“The TTC takes you where you are going. Music transports you to another world,” said Jeffrey Remedios, President & CEO, Universal Music Canada. “This is a partnership designed to invigorate the TTC’s Subway Musician Program with a long-term digital solution, giving more musicians a chance to participate and connecting riders through their passion for music.”

The subway musician program has been enhancing TTC customers’ experiences for almost 40 years, while providing exposure to local musicians. This year’s winners will be granted licenses to perform in more than 30 station locations throughout the TTC beginning this fall.

Past and current TTC musicians include Juno Award winners, Royal Conservatory of Music graduates, symphony performers and published musicians.

To qualify, musicians must live in the Greater Toronto Area, be 18 or older and not be employees of the TTC or Universal Music Canada or members of their family.

For more information on auditions and voting, visit

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