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Properties Trust Brings Music to Wesbrook Square

Listeners say some performers are better than others

Local residents have been mildly surprised to learn that the occasional live music performances in the square in Wesbrook are part of a festival sponsored by UBC Properties Trust, the university’s property development arm. 

Although a couple of posters advertise Summer Sounds at UBC, many passersby said they thought the musicians were buskers. 

Renee Haggart, who lives in Hampton Place, was listening to the music while waiting to meet a friend in the space between Blenz Coffee and Sports Illustrated Clubhouse formally named Norman Mackenzie Square. She said she didn’t know about the festival but thought the music was a cool idea. 

Musicians hired by Properties Trust can be heard playing Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays through the summer. 

Although the festival is described as “music from local artists” and “community music,” the musicians are hired through an agency. Jacob Dryer, who was playing on June 14, said he mainly tours in Alberta. And he was not the musician listed on the Properties Trust website as the day’s performer. 

Properties Trust describes the musical style of the festival as “easy listening” encompasses a variety of styles. The music itself has not been particularly loud, a fact appreciated by local businesses. Workers at Blenz said the musicians “are not bothering anyone.” The sentiment was also shared by residents in nearby apartments, who also noted that the music was only audible when they went outside. 

“I hear it when I come out for my break,” said one Save-On employee. “Some of the performers are definitely better than others.” 

That reaction was shared by several people who are frequent visitors to the space. Asked what they thought of the music, several people said they didn’t want to offend the musicians but were less than impressed. “I am there every day and only one guy has been worth listening to,” said one listener. 

And one local resident expressed concern about the use of funds, “I think there are better uses for the money.” 

Although there are listings for some of the gigs on the Properties Trust website (, performer information is spotty, and performers themselves appear to be responsible for signage (if any) while they are playing. 

Sounds of Summer continues through July and August. 


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