Photos of BuskerFest 2011
The 12th annual Scotiabank BuskerFest took place this weekend in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood with an almost entirely new cast of diverse international performers. The event, once again in support of Epilepsy Toronto, featured youth bands, chalk artists, mimes, a silver Elvis, and whip-cracking sword-swallower Space Cowboy, among other talented performers. Familiar faces from last year's event included the Stunt Double Circus and living statue Kate Mior, but otherwise, I didn't see many returning acts.
I've always admired buskers and the dedication many of them have to their craft, and I've never met a busker who didn't absolutely love what he or she did, despite its challenges. They're also great equalizers of their audiences by virtue of how public their performances are, bringing live shows to those who would never be able to see them otherwise. As Space Cowboy said at the end of his performance, "If you enjoyed my show, please throw me what money you can. But if you really can't afford it, consider this my gift to you. That's what I love about street theatre — it's true entertainment for the masses."