REGINA – The Cathedral Village Arts Festival Streetfair was held on Saturday, attracting an estimated crowd of 30,000 people, according to organizers.
“It’s just a place to see and be seen,” said Linda Rattray, the coordinator of the event. “I believe we’re the largest arts festival in western Canada, for sure.”
Over 300 booths were on display, and more than 50 buskers performed, Rattray added.
Aidan Kreutzar, 7, has busked at the event for the past three years.
“Sometimes, we like to get rich [by busking],” he said with a laugh. “It’s kind of fun.”
Kreutzar, dressed in a red beret and colour-matching bowtie, played the accordion.
“I guess, ever since he saw a busker, somewhere along the way, he’s kind of always wanted to do his own performance,” said Brad Kreutzar, Aidan’s father. “He just saw somebody doing it and, the important part was that he saw them making some money out of it.”
Aidan said he hoped to make $200, which he might use for his Lego toys fund.
Further west on 13th Avenue, 12-year-old Mariel Tuazon played the violin for the shifting crowd.
“I actually play classical music, but I thought, this time, I would play, like, the top songs they play on Z99,” she said.
Toonies and loonies filled her violin case during her performances. Tuazon, who wants to become a music teacher when she gets older, said she would use part of the money to buy things for her brother.
Despite dozens of faces looking at her at times, she wasn’t fazed by the attention.
“I try not to look at them because, sometimes, if I see a lot of people, I get nervous, and my palms start to get really sweaty,” said Tuazon.
The practice brought some financial benefits to other buskers, as well.
“There’s been a couple of [$20 bills] before. It’s pretty good, and when people really like you and you play really well, that’s lots of fun,” said Katia Georgeson, 17.
Georgeson and her brother each played the saxophone.
“I get a sense of joy when I play my instrument for other people because it makes me happy when I play the instrument,” said Wendel Georgeson, 14.
Harvest City Church’s hip hop dance crew Continual Surrender also performed at the event.
“We usually don’t have crowds this big whenever we’re performing, so it’s nice to have them interact with us and get really into it,” said dancer Amanda Flama, 18.
The seven-day festival, which started on a musical note earlier in the week, wraps up on Sunday.