Toronto singer-songwriter commits to spending 100 days busking
Katherine DeClerq, CTV News Toronto
Published Friday, April 12, 2019 8:09PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 12, 2019 8:12PM EDT
A Toronto singer-songwriter is spending 100 days serenading complete strangers on the street, hoping to connect with them through his music and make a notable difference by raising money for a non-profit along the way.
Jordan Hart started busking when he was 14 years old in the Edmonton International Airport. Busking, he said, has always been about “bringing people together.”
“There is this level of excitement that you can’t get anywhere else from busking,” Hart told CTV News Toronto. “The most interesting aspect of music is the power that it has to connect people and bring strangers together.”
The 26-year-old grew up in a musical family, but never considered a career in the field until he participated in a high-school singing competition.
“Music wasn’t a career or anything. It was just like English,” Hart said. “It was how you communicate with the people you love.”
“I ended up winning the competition and feeling myself go from this nobody, this really timid person in high school, to all of a sudden feeling accepted for who I was. I knew from that moment this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. “
Three years ago Hart moved from Edmonton to Toronto and has actively pursued a career in music. In addition to performing covers, he writes and sings his own songs, something he says is “the most satisfying thing in the world.”
“I’ve had that dream since I was very, very young - to have people sing back words that I was a part of writing,” he said. “And it’s been happening in the street.”
Hart is about a quarter-way through what he calls the “100 Day Busking Challenge.” The idea was suggested by a marketing team that partnered with him after a chance encounter.
“I was just walking down the street and I was just going to grab some food and I heard that voice,” Mike Kang, co-founder of “We The Iconic,” said.
Every day, Hart ventures out to perform on a different street corner of the city, no matter the weather. In one video posted to social media, Hart is seen singing near Portland Street as it snowed.
“The bad news: the moisture was sucked out of the air by the cold and my guitar cracked down the middle of the body while I was playing,” he wrote on Facebook.
He has also dedicated his Sundays to a non-profit called L’Arche Canada, an organization that helps create communities that support people with intellectual disabilities. He said that 100 per cent of the money he makes from busking on those days will go towards the organization.
Hart says that he wants to give back to a community that has supported him on his musical journey.
“I have never learnt how to love more purely and profoundly than through people with intellectual disabilities,” he told bystanders while busking.
In February, Hart played a sold-out show at the Rivoli and he has a show in Kensington Market scheduled for next month. He says that he is lucky to be a young musician in “this growing community, where it’s not just about the live concert or what we can do on the street.”
“I hope that one day, it gets to the point where I’m playing for as large an audience as possible, surrounded by not only band members that I respect and trust but also visual artists and dancers and speakers and poets and just people who want to share themselves with their community.”
Hart’s 100-day challenge ends on Canada Day.
With files from CTV News Toronto’s Michelle Dube