Scotiabank BuskerFest 2012

This is a bittersweet time of year. Summer’s almost over. Soon we’ll be doing things inside and getting ready for Halloween. Before that happens though there’s one more terrific summer festival in Toronto.

Fireguy at Toronto's BuskerFestBuskerFest starts today – August 23rd – in the St. Lawrence Market area, on Front between Jarvis and Yonge. Yay! I love Scotiabank BuskerFest. It’s the largest busker festival in North America with more than 100 performers from around the world. It’s also a charity event to support Epilepsy Toronto and the charity runs the festival. I think it’s much more fun than a run or a walk and it’s something the whole family can do together.

Busker acts are often really inventive – look at the picture on the right of Fireguy on a skateboard. Based on what I saw yesterday there will be a lot more inventive acts.Yesterday was the Scotiabank BuskerFest launch.  About 500 kids from local community day camps were treated to a show and a free barbecue  in Market Square Park. Judging by their applause they loved the show. So did I. I can’t wait to take my 3-and-a-half year old grandson to see 2on1 –  Peter Rabbit and Snap Boogie. Peter drums on buckets and Snap does very acrobatic dancing.

He’s also going to love the Chicago Ultimate Tumblers. I suspect that the Cirque Mechanics and their 18 foot high Gantry Bike is going to lead to a lot of new climber moves in Toronto playgrounds.

I particularly loved Surreal McCoy; two person-sized seagulls complete with working beaks.  They walk like gulls and talk  like gulls, it’s hard to believe that they aren’t gulls.

There was a lot going on and I know I missed the names of some of the performers. It was just like BuskerFest; something happening in front of you and behind you and beside you, just keep looking around. There are musicians, alone and in bands; mimes; tumblers; magicians; acrobats; human statues; dancers; aerialists; and more. You can read a bit about all of the performers on the Scotiabank BuskerFest website.

Festival admission is pay what you can by donation. That money goes to the Festival. The buskers only get paid if the audience puts something in the hat so make sure you take a lot of change with you.


Scotiabank BuskerFest runs from Thursday Aug. 23 to Sunday Aug. 26 in the St Lawrence Market neighbourhood – Front Street between Jarvis and Yonge
–  Thursday 23rd 12 pm to 10 pm
– Friday and Saturday 24th and 25th 12 pm to 11 pm
– Sunday 26th 11 am to 8 pm
– Admission is pay what you can but remember to tip the buskers.