New amplified ‘busk stops’ now available for Calgary performers

Michael Bublé sings with buskers ahead of his Calgary concert, on June 23rd, 2014.
Michael Bublé sings with Calgary buskers ahead of his concert on June 23, 2014. Instagram / Michael Bublé

CALGARY – Local artists will now be able to perform at a number of amplified busking centers throughout the city.

The so-called “busk stops” will be in high traffic, high volume areas.

The City of Calgary made the announcement at a downtown news conference on Thursday while unveiling details of its new busking pilot program.

The first eight busk stop locations will be in Kensington, and along 17 Avenue and Stephen Avenue.

“The art of street performance adds vibrancy to public spaces like parks, streets and transit stations,” Sarah Iley, the city’s manager of culture said. “It helps attract tourists and entertains citizens alike. In fact, many highly successful performers have been discovered while busking.”

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Every year, nearly 500 busking IDs are issued allowing artists to perform for donations on city streets.

The city said on Thursday artists will now be able to apply for three different types of IDs:

  1. The standard busker ID, which provides access for buskers to perform in public locations such as parks and streets. This ID will remain free.
  2. The Calgary Transit busker ID, which will cost $25 and requires a police information check. It provides access to busk in all locations including transit stations, but excluding designated busk stops.
  3. The new busk stop ID, which will cost $50 and gives the performer access to perform at select busk stop locations for one year.

Buskers will now be able to apply for these IDs online.

The changes to the city’s busking program were put in place following a review of similar busking programs in other communities throughout Canada.

“We want to thank Calgarians for their input into the busking program review over the past season,” Iley added. “As we implement some of what we heard, we encourage you to stay engaged and give us your feedback.”

The city said if required, the program will be adjusted again for the 2017 season.


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