A vibrant-looking GO bus is on the road, driving through the region and honoring Salome Bey, Canada’s First Lady of the Blues who paved the way for many black artists. See the video of how this bus wrap came together and why this initiative is important for Metrolinx and the history of the country.
Some might say GO Transit bus #8531 has soul – and proudly has hues of the blues.
Thanks to a special wrap around the entire vehicle, it pays tribute to the late Salome Bey, an award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter and honorary member of the Order of Canada.
Metrolinx News recently told readers the story about the wrap, unveiled for Black History Month, but wanted to share a video of the project – which you can find below.
But first, some thoughts from Bey’s daughter.
“I think it’s beautiful that she’s being honoured with a vehicle because our mother came here from the (United) States on a bus, planted roots here and called Canada home,” said her daughter SATE, who goes by the single name, holding back tears during a recent unveiling.
“She planted a beautiful seed to grow and she broke grounds. She created movement in her own movement.”
Bey settled in Toronto from New Jersey in the 1960s and would go on to become a prominent actress, playwright and a director of musicals, while breaking ground in Canada by creating theatre opportunities for Black artists.
Bey died on Aug. 8, 2020 in Toronto, at age 86, but her legacy lives on.
The bus wrap was designed by Mark Stoddart, a local artist who decided to use a newsprint style to tell the story of a woman who made a significant impact and contribution to society.
A mural with the same design can also be seen inside Union Station’s Bay Concourse – located on the southwest corner, next to the Scotiabank Arena entrance.
“This is an amazing opportunity to showcase her while educating and inspiring others,” said Trevor Anderson, Metrolinx Program Sponsor for Union Station and a member of the transit agency’s Black Employees Experience at Metrolinx (BEEAM) staff resource group.
Travellers can take in the Bey mural for as long as they want to stare, or keep an eye out for the tribute as it heads along a GO route with heart and soul on full display.
Story by Nitish Bissonauth, Metrolinx bilingual spokesperson and media relations advisor