A busker is a street performer. They have an act, be it music or magic or contact juggling or flailing around in very little clothing, and instead of doing that act on stage, they perform on the street where everyone can see them. They make their living by earning money based on what their audience wants to give for the entertainment they’ve received.
Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin: a festival entirely devoted to street performers and their acts. Busker festivals are some of the biggest tourist attractions in Canada and Europe.
Because Vancouver is the most beautiful city in the whole wide world, and buskers are one of the few things of beauty in the world that can match it. Busking is actually a very large part of Vancouver culture. Anyone who’s been to Granville Island, especially in summer, can tell you that. We want to bring that to the wider public, to let everyone see the bright shiny spontaneous side of this city. Vancouver is not a No Fun City and we’re going to prove it.
When a mommy festival and a daddy festival love each other very much … okay, not really.
Remember Downtown during the Olympics? Buskers from around the world thrilled massive international audiences during what became a street performance Mega Event. The festival began as a partnership between Downtown Vancouver and the aMillion BaZillion Arts Society to build on that happy chapter of city history.
Nope. Busker Festivals are a huge deal in Canada and around the world. Over the last thirty years they have become some of the largest outdoor events in the Canadian cities that host them. In Toronto a million people attend the festival over four days. In Edmonton and Halifax, half a million attend over ten days.
Other major street performing events are taking place in St John’s NFLD, Charlottetown PEI, Montreal PQ, Ottawa, Kingston, Mississauga, Waterloo, Sault Ste Marie, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Kamloops and Victoria. To say nothing of the festival throughout Europe, Dotting Asia, Throughout Australia, and spreading throughout the Middle East.
Our team is comprised of several street performers, artists, media designers, family supporters and other Vancouverites who are passionate about growing the arts in our beautiful city.
One of the ways we’re ensuring our festival is open to artists of all abilities and backgrounds is by designating three Community Stages on our site in addition to the Primary Stages for Featured Artists. Community Stages will run on a queue system, with spots rotating every 45 minutes. This is standard. If you’d like to try your hand at busking in those spots you are welcome to. We’ll have volunteers on hand to ensure people respect each other’s time and space.
Request a performer application form.
We’d love to have you be a part of making the festival happen. Apply to be a volunteer.
Nick Broad, Marketing Director
You may contact either or both of the following people:
Mike “DynaMike” Bonnici
Founder and Artistic Director, Vancouver International Busker Festival