VIA Rail's Artists on board Program

VIA Rail's Artists on board Program offers complimentary or reduced fare travel for approved professional musicians in return for performing on board the Montréal-Halifax and/or Toronto-Vancouver trains. The program is available to solo performers or duets and is open to Canadian citizens only. Assessment is based on relevance to our product and passengers. All requests must be made at least ten (10) weeks prior to the requested departure date.


Our consumer demographics on the Montreal-Halifax and Toronto-Vancouver trains are varied. While many customers travel to visit their friends and families, many others travel to experience Canada by train. Audiences will range in size.


Performances are held in either our Skyline, Park or Service Cars.

Due to the many variables on board (meal times, number of passengers, stops, etc), flexibility is essential. The performance schedule is set upon train departure and may be subject to change on route.

There may be minor disruptions during performances for announcements, service, etc.


Each performance should include a combination of selected original material and Canadian covers, with a focus on audience engagement and active participation.

Performances must be 100% acoustic, and larger instruments are prohibited for safety and space considerations.

Performance Requirements

     - Three (3) 45-minute sets are required for each day of travel

     - Three (3) station sets are required per one-way trip

Travel Itinerary

A request may be made for the Toronto-Vancouver and Montréal-Halifax trains.   

The final destination does not necessarily have to be the end point. Stops along the way may be accommodated where the requested schedule does not interfere with the on board performance times.     

The additions of non-performance routes, for the purpose of traveling to your departure point (such as travel between Montréal and Toronto), are approved on an individual basis.  In any case, a maximum of one (1) non-performance route at a reduced fare may be included per one-way trip, for a total limit of two (2) per itinerary.   


When researching your desired travel dates, please keep in mind the following advisory for this route: While VIA endeavours to operate on time, the realities of increased freight traffic on tracks that we do not own may give rise to significant delays. We suggest that you do not arrange connecting transportation on the day of your arrival.


Accommodations are subject to on board availability at time of booking. Depending on the accommodations provided, meals may not be included.

Application Process

An online application form must be completed:
      - applicant must provide a website to access audio and video recording samples
      - applicant must provide desired itinerary, researched on our website

All requests must be complete when sent.

VIA Rail will contact you within six (6) weeks of your application.

Unfortunately, the program is temporarily suspended. When the situation allows, the registration form will be accessible again.