Scotiabank BuskerFest, with its bevy of performers and vendors, is taking place in the St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood for its twelfth year. Street performers from all over the world gather for North America’s largest busker festival, in support of Epilepsy Toronto.
If you have ever been downtown, you have likely seen a busker or two. They are street performers, which can include anything from musicians to clowns to living statues to jugglers to acrobats. There are a wide variety of performances to catch at this year’s festival, and considering the scope there should be something for everybody.
It was my first time attending, and I was absolutely delighted by the acts. There is something to see everywhere you look – from performers like Lindsay Stephens wandering the streets on stilts, to artists like Chalky painting famous works of art on the pavement as you look on.
It is impossible to catch everything in one day, but I watched a few lovely performances. We saw the end of Leapin’ Louie Lichtenstein, an amusing cowboy on a unicycle; The Funny Waiter Show, a show that kids in particular will enjoy; Stunt Double Circus, a very “manly” act with acrobatics, hula hoops and pogo sticks; and Yoshi, a Japanese clown and acrobat who balances atop chairs. All were entertaining for young and old. There are several fire-dancing acts like FlameOz as well, which are stunning and not to be missed, particularly at the annual Fire Show, which this year was dedicated to the memory of Jack Layton.
I have a personal fascination with living statues – performers in outlandish costumes who stand perfectly still until they are given a donation, at which point they come to life for a brief moment to thank their patrons. I particularly enjoyed Kate Mior and Pierre St. Pierre.
I highly suggest attending the end of this year’s BuskerFest, or penciling it in to your calendars for next year – it is a load of fun for the young and old. Just be sure to bring a lot of change for the performers and to aid Epilepsy Toronto, as you’ll have hats and buckets jangling with money thrust at you at every turn. Don’t worry, though – these buskers earn their keep and are worth the donation.
– Scotiabank Buskerfest is taking place in the St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood.
– August 25 from 12pm-10pm, August 26 from 12pm-11pm, August 27 from 11am-11pm, and August 28 from 11am-8pm.
– Free event, with donations encouraged on behalf of Epilepsy Toronto and the individual performers
Photo of Leapin’ Louie Lichtenstein by Heather Bellingham.