Buskerfest Toronto is a celebration of street theatre with the aim of raising funds for a worthy cause. Sponsored by Scotia Bank the 2014 Toronto Buskerfest took part between 21-24 August in the heart of the city.
I was in town for the weekend so was able to wonder the streets of Yonge, Dundas and surrounding side streets to appreciate all the free acts. Artists come from all over the world to perform. They rely solely on the tips from the audience for income, as do all street performers or buskers.
Buskerfest Toronto began in 1999 and was started by Epilepsy Toronto as a fun way to raise funds. It has become the largest Epilepsy event in the world and is now hosted on what has historically been claimed as the longest street in the world, Yonge Street in Toronto. Whilst I’ve seen many street artists perform, such as at the Melbourne White Night Festival, this time they were concentrated in one small area for the Buskerfest Toronto.
Sections of Yonge Street were closed off on either side of the famous Dundas Square. It was pedestrians only in what became a very crowded area, requiring patience to walk by.
There were a host of stages clearly numbered and set plans are listed. There were also information tents at Dundas Square for people to keep track of the acts and timings.
Spectators can also have their say as there is a chance for people to vote for their favourite act of the festival.
The main stage, “Epilepsy Toronto Benefit Stage” is where all donations by the crowd for the act on stage is given to the charity.
Buskerfest Toronto was a visual feast of acrobats, fire eaters and jugglers (I’ve never seen so many), costumes, mime, puppets, kids entertainment, music, food, crafts and more.
I show below some pictures of some of the acts I saw at the 2014 Buskerfest Toronto.
Did you attend Buskerfest Toronto 2014?
If so what was your favourite act? If not, let me know your favourite picture from those below.