25 August 2012
When I landed in Toronto, I was all touristy-eyed about attending the city's most talked-about festivals... in most cases (as with Luminato which I wrote about here) I had no clue what the festival was actually about, but I thought the name sounded promising. Similarly so with the Busker Fest (I started wildly thinking about snow sleds and dogs, which, actually, isn't too far fetched, if all that people tell me about Canadian winters is true).
Turns out what actually happens at busker fests is almost as awesome - buskers are essentially street performers - everyone from jesters, to jugglers, to magicians, tightrope walkers, fire-eaters, what have you. Entertainment medieval style. Nothing I say is going to do it justice anyway, so I'm just going to let the pictures do the talking.
I pretty much wandered through with my mouth agape and eyes wide open for the most part, so all the pictures above aren't mine, they're from Busker Fest Toronto's Facebook page. The full collection's here.
Now here's what I found truly amazing: all of this stuff was available for free. The audience didn't have to pay to watch, the performers weren't paid to perform. Some of them came from other countries, just for the joy of performing. Any money they made was from tips. And not one person who watched any show walked away without leaving a tip. I think that's what made the whole thing completely phenomenal for me.
All proceeds from the theater in the area, as well as donations made from those attending the event, went towards supporting Epilepsy Toronto. I'm definitely going to volunteer as well as attend next year, it's a great event that ensures people who attend willingly donate what they can.